Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-08-20
- Reviewer: Staff
In this gritty follow up to 2010's Damaged, DuPree tells the story of Shakira, known as KiKi. Starting near the end of the story and working back, the author makes it clear that KiKi will eventually extricate herself from difficult circumstances before illustrating them in heartbreaking detail. The novel opens with an unexpected reunion between KiKi and fellow former foster child Nausynika, or Nausy, now working with at-risk youth. The two had landed in the same foster home when Washington, D.C., social workers split up KiKi's family after cops found drugs that were hidden in a sibling's diaper bag by her mom's boyfriend. But after the middle-school girls are caught exploring each other sexually, they run away rather than risk being separated. In no-holds-barred flashbacks, readers live the soul-shattering experiences that follow—including prostitution, drug use, incest, rape, and physical abuse. DuPree skillfully describes the after-effects while demonstrating KiKi's strength and courage and her simple desire for a normal life. A riveting book that should be required reading for understanding at-risk youth. Agent: Victoria Sanders & Associates. (Oct.)