Exposure is the story of Anthony and Amelia, two teens who have a love for theater, music and each other. They attend a private school, where Anthony’s mom also teaches. While caught up in their passion for each other, they decide to not just explore their sexuality, but to photograph it. Taking pictures might be dangerous, but add in cell phones and emails, and you open up a very contemporary problem happening to many teens today. The modern day Romeo and Juliet have been hiding their relationship from all but a few close friends and Anthony’s mom. Amelia’s father does not approve of her dating, so imagine his surprise when he accidentally finds naked pictures of Anthony on her laptop. He is a wealthy and influential local businessman and he uses his power to to advance what he believes is just punishment for Anthony. He turns a silent ear on his daughter’s pleas and what ensues is an out of control media and mob mentality for a school and small town.
Therese Fowler has written such a deep and honest story in this book. Most parents of a teen in this time of technology has thought of this. Teens have immature thought processes and like many politicians (ha ha) don’t think about the long term consequences of those naked pictures and sending them over the internet. Our laws and statutes haven’t caught up with technology and the questions of crime, pornography, and sexual predators loom over these issues like a dark cloud.
Fowler has shared that the idea for Exposure was born of her own experiences when her 19 year old son was arrested for what is commonly known as “sexting”. She was surprised that this crime fell under the heading of distributing pornographic material and if found guilty he might be forever labeled as a sex offender, and have to register.
This book was so very well written, a love story, a story of two families in crisis, a cautionary tale of sharing personal pictures and more. As I was reading I was unable to envision the ending Fowler had planned for this book, it took many turns and the last 70 pages were riveting! I love a story that keeps me up late.
I’m giving this book a 5 out of 5 stars, and I recommend it to readers who like contemporary fiction. I believe this would make a wonderful book club or group read. My friend Judy lent me this book, and I’m mailing it back tomorrow, she plans to share it with her 16 year old daughter, also a wonderful target audience for this one.