This Is Not Forgiveness

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Oct 16, 2012 - Juvenile Fiction - 288 pages
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Everyone says that Caro is bad-but Jamie can't help himself. Gorgeous, impulsive, and unconventional, Caro is totally different from all the other girls and Jamie can't believe that she wants to be his girlfriend. But Jamie soon realizes there is more to Caro-much more. Consider: How she often disappears for days at a time, or the small scars on her wrists, or her talk about revolution and taking action, not to mention the rumors about the other guys....

Jamie's also worried about Rob, his older brother. Back from Afghanistan and traumatized from an injury there, Rob seems to be living in a world of his own and is increasingly difficult to reach.

Which is why it's so strange that Rob and Caro seem to know one another. And why it feels so dangerous that they're being awfully secretive.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A dark and dangerous thrill ride pushes teen readers to the brink of their comfort zones when it comes to issues of love, lust, politics, family and war.Despite repeated warnings, Jamie can't resist ... Read full review

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This is Not Forgiveness is darkly beautiful and draws you into this story with three main characters, all with their own voice and all with their own issues.
The opening wasn't what I
expected and I needed to know what it was that Jamie couldn't forgive and if I agreed with him. So I began this heart breaking journey into Jamie, Caro and Rob's minds.
While I preferred the views from Jamie, I was drawn to Caro and Rob's stories like a trainwreck that you can't peel your eyes from. This is definitely an issues book, and I think that it is good that the majority of the book is from Jamie because of the perspective that he brings to the story. I didn't dislike being in the other's heads besides the nitpicky fact that when you are in Caro's head, it is in italics, and I don't really like reading in that format. It makes me feel weird. (Or weirder than usual)
I think that adding in those perspectives really just shows how deep their problems are and also gives a frame of reference for where they are coming from. This is a story with a lot of dark elements, and it was quite an adventure getting into the mind of a soldier with ptsd and some of the thoughts from war and dealing with the aftermath.
I think though that the blurb is a little misleading for Caro. It mentions scars on her wrists and that sort of caught me because that is more of the issues that I prefer to read about, but I didn't pay attention to the rest. She is into politics and making a statement, and that really is the forefront for her. She does have issues, and cutting is mentioned, but not in how I thought it would be.
Rob really broke my heart. The issues that he had to work with and all of the emotions he felt that he didn't really know what to do with. I think it is so important for me to read about and get a glimpse into what our soldiers to and how hard it is to adjust to being back.
Let me just warn you, in case you can't tell from the description, or if you don't get the sense from the first few pages... This story doesn't have a happily ever after. It is more true to life, and makes you think, hard.
Bottom line: Gritty and realistic story with three distinct main characters, beautiful and shocking.
Great quote:
p. 99 in earc
From down the hall, he's just a dark shape receding, sitting motionless, silhouetted against eh strong sunlight like a man in a photograph. His face is as familiar as my own in the mirrow, but he looks like someone I no longer know.


Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28

Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 29
Chapter 31
Chapter 30
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Also by Celia Rees

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About the author (2012)

CELIA REES is the author of many acclaimed and bestselling books for young readers including the Witch Child, Sorceress, Pirates!, Sovay, and The Fool's Girl, and her books have been translated into more than twenty languages. Celia lives in England.

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