Kirkus starred review: “This no-holds-barred, suspenseful examination of domestic abuse serves as a powerful warning.
High schooler Taylor stoically identifies her older sister’s body and witnesses the end of her autopsy after her boyfriend finally beats her to death. The girl takes charge of her 6-year-old nephew, Mason, and moves away to live with her overworked grandparents. But Taylor herself is involved with a violent boyfriend. It’s a textbook abusive relationship: Devon calls her constantly and threatens to beat her, imagining that she might be involved with another boy, and although fearful, Taylor believes she loves Devon and thinks she can control him with sex. She finally makes a real friend, Lily, who falls victim with Taylor when Devon and his friend Conor raise the stakes. The boys take the girls to a remote cabin with no heat, where they hold them hostage. Rather like Devon, Moser pulls no punches in describing a realistic situation of domestic violence, presenting an alternative to Taylor’s submission in feisty Lily. The narrative frankly describes several sexual acts as the only power Taylor has over Devon. It touches on Devon’s own experience of domestic abuse at the hands of his father, demonstrating the cycle of abuse. The characterizations come across as completely believable, and the prose is absolutely gripping.
An excellent and absorbing cautionary tale. (Fiction. 14 & up)” ~Source: Kirkus Review Posted Online:July 17th, 2013 | Kirkus Reviews Issue:Aug. 1st, 2013
Booklist: “The opening line establishes the grim, violent tone: “They stuffed her brain into her chest.” In the morgue, high-school student Taylor identifies the badly beaten body of her sister, the victim of domestic violence. Living in a new town with her grandmother, Taylor befriends Lily, who radiates personal strength and resilience despite her own family tragedy. Taylor’s suspicious boyfriend, Devon, harasses her by phone, tracks her down, and accompanied by a friend, abducts Taylor and Lily to a remote cabin. Armed with a rifle, Devon keeps them imprisoned, physically abusing Taylor until the young women fight back. Told from an omniscient point of view, alternating chapters focus on each title character. As each recalls significant moments in their lives, it is clear both have witnessed repeated domestic violence, and Taylor herself is a victim. Tautly constructed, this relentless, uncompromising portrait of domestic violence convincingly conveys the confused mindset of a victim, as Taylor seeks Devon’s love even as he rapes her. With plenty of sex, violence, smoking, and harsh language, this has something to offend nearly everyone, but it is a fully credible, gripping cautionary tale for teens. — Linda Perkins ~ Source: Booklist November 1, 2013Elise Moser was born in Brooklyn and spent her childhood in small-town New Jersey. She moved to Montreal to do an English degree at McGill University, and stayed on. She worked at Paragraphe Bookstore for twelve years and went on to become a long-time sales rep for American university presses with Lexa Publishers Representatives. Her short stories have been published in Canada and the US, and her adult novel, Because I Have Loved and Hidden It, was praised by the National Post as “[an] ambitious and artfully woven debut novel” when it was released in 2009. She was president of the Quebec Writers’ Federation between 2009 and 2012. She presently divides her time between Montreal and Sauk City, Wisconsin. LILY AND TAYLOR Trade Cloth 9781554983346 US $16.95 Groundwood Books Fall 2013