Author: Nancy Ohlin
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher, Simon Pulse, through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review--thank you so much!
My previous experiences with Nancy Ohlin's work has been ambivalent--I read her other novel, Thorn Abbey, and I just wasn't feeling it. So I was a little apprehensive when I began to read Consent. For one thing, it talks of self-discovery, the constant up in the air feeling of being young, always so afraid to stand out and desperate to fit in, all at once. And that self-discovery naturally flows into sexual awakening, and the giddy, flying on air feeling of first love.
The main character, Beatrice 'Bea' Kim, is a loner, a deeply defensive young woman with a secretive passion for music, ignored by her family, in doubt about her future. In some ways, I really related to her. She was so vulnerable, and so shy. But when she meets Mr. Rossi, her music teacher, there is an immediate spark between them. Bea's voice almost becomes manic as the novel goes on, which gave the volatile and shaky feel to the relationship that felt real.
This novel was really intense, and really painful. It evoked the agony of growing up, and being seventeen, perfectly. It made me hurt for Bea; she just wanted to be loved and accepted, and when Dane shows that toward her, she gravitates and stays in his alluring, seductive orbit, and it spurs the novel at a breakneck pace. And then there's Dane himself, hopelessly attracted to Bea, unable to control himself. It really bothered me that he seemed to prey on her insecurities--it made it feel wrong, despite Bea feeling like she's in love.
Regardless, though? This book is dark and real and raw, ripped right from the headlines, and I enjoyed it. It was an eye-opening look into relationships such as these. I really liked it. The bottom line: A dark and gritty novel that had me feeling everything, Consent is a fantastic peek into the consequences of a passion gone too far! Next on deck:The Butterfly Clues by Katie Ellison!