{Review} Exposed by Kimberly Marcus

Exposed by Kimberly Marcus

It’s the fall of senior year.

Elizabeth Grayson is focused.

On her camera.
Her portfolio.
Her art school applications.

Her life.
Her photos.
Are clear.

She’s focused along with Kate, touchingly dubbed by Liz as, 
The straight line to my squiggle, 
my forever-best friend.

But everything changes after one night at their monthly sleepover, when the cloudiness of life and the people Liz thought she knew, is exposed.

At first assuming Kate’s ensuing distance to be the result of an argument about Kate’s future that occurred during their sleepover, Liz repeatedly attempts to apologize. However, as Kate’s distance from Liz continues, Liz begins to unravel the events of the evening, which results in a stunning accusation.

The fallout sharply veers Liz’s life out of focus in every way.

While it would be easy for a writer to concentrate the narrative on the perpetrator and victim of the alleged crime, author Kimberly Marcus instead provides a nuanced look at the ripple effect of the accusation by telling the story from Liz’s point of view. Liz’s turmoil as she goes from priding herself on being able to, 

…sum someone up 
in a snapshot 
or just a few words.

To realizing that,

some things come in shades of gray,
hues that give pause and make me wonder…

is perfectly captured in moving verse.

The verse form is ideally exploited in Exposed as Liz experiences a multitude of intense bursts of emotion, ranging from guilt, disbelief, betrayal and sorrow to relief, acceptance, and brief moments of joy.

And as Liz not only must come to grips with the horrible situation in which she is squarely in the middle, yet also paradoxically pushed to the fringe, she also must continue with the rituals of her senior year.

Kimberly Marcus’s affecting verse as Liz prepares her portfolio, mails her college applications, and realizes that her relationships with her friends, boyfriend, and family would soon be changing, regardless of her current predicament, induced in me a keen nostalgia. I recalled the nerve-wracking music school auditions, the nail-biting anticipation of the letters that would determine (or not) my next year’s destination, and the giddy pride/relief of graduating from high school. Never is it more poignant than when Liz voices her simultaneous joy and loneliness in the verse “Like a Bird,”

I’m floating up
flying high
swirling around
soaring out of my mind
with glee. 

Until it hits me,
that the person
I most want to tell
has flown away. 

I must commend Kimberly Marcus on convincingly capturing so many angles of a difficult topic, as well as Liz’s realizations that sometimes the world and the people in it just aren’t what she thought they were or should be. Because, as Liz so eloquently states,

It’s amazing how you think
you know someone so well,
then one day you come to see
that you really don’t know
that person at all  

And you wonder
what that says
about you.

FNL Character Rating: Becky Sproles, in Season 4’s heart-wrenching “I Can’t” episode.

{Buy Exposed at Amazon | Book Depository}

{Add it on Goodreads}


Support Clear Eyes, Full Shelves

Buying via these links help support our hosting & podcast production costs.

    Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository  

{List-O-Rama} 6 Novel in Verse First Reads

{Interview} Gabrielle Prendergast on Novels in Verse