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This Is Not Forgiveness
Cover of This Is Not Forgiveness
This Is Not Forgiveness
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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.
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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  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.0
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    2 - 3

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Celia Rees is the author of many books for young readers including the bestseller Witch Child. She has been shortlisted for both the Guardian and the Whitbread children's fiction awards and her novels have been translated into over twenty languages. Celia lives in Leamington Spa.
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    Starred review from September 1, 2012
    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 the sexy and mysterious Caro. He would do anything for her, and she knows it. What he doesn't know is that Caro and his older brother Rob have a secret past. Rees revels in an unapologetic exploration of extremes in this smart and well-crafted novel. The brothers are perfect foils for each other, with Jamie an eager-to-please, typical teen, and Rob a menacing and tragic war veteran prone to terrifyingly violent outbursts. Though Caro's manipulations of the brothers for her own political gain drive the action of the story, the relationship between the two siblings provides its molten emotional core. As Rob becomes increasingly unhinged, Jamie's desperation to claim Caro as his own and to assert himself in his relationship with his brother becomes a matter of life and death. Though the portrayal of Rob's deteriorating mental state is raw and often uncomfortable, in the end, the honest, uncensored storytelling makes this a tale that will stay with readers long after the final page is turned. (Fiction. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 2012

    Gr 10 Up-A dark, haunting story of love, betrayal, and loss. When Jamie meets Caro, he instantly falls for the mysterious, intoxicating girl. Her physical beauty, her unconventional ways (rumors of her past involvement with older men, the scars on her wrists, her passion for political activism), and her wild, independent streak are a heady mixture that the inexperienced teenager can't resist. She becomes involved with his older brother, Rob, a former soldier back from Afghanistan with physical and emotional wounds, but Caro's refusal to be tied down only increases Jamie's infatuation. Though the graphic dialogue and colloquial style of the protagonists' voices add an authentic flavor, the language still retains a lyrical feel. By employing several narrators and slowly dropping hints about Caro and Rob's actual intentions, Rees imbues the novel with an intentionally disjointed tone that mirrors Jamie's own mindset as he eventually discovers that the two are hiding a far more dangerous secret. The use of multiple perspectives infuses the characters with depth and nuance; Caro in particular is portrayed as both the alluring object of Jamie's affections and as a troubled adolescent coping with feelings of alienation and pain. Rees conveys the sensuality of young lust and the aching, all-consuming feeling of first love with candor and tenderness. A powerful novel that should resonate with both teens and adults.Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    November 15, 2012
    Grades 9-12 Three narratorsa young but broken war veteran, his long-suffering little brother, and the driven girl who comes between themweave a powerful, tragic tale of love and war in Rees' contemporary British novel. Jaime is infatuated with Caro from the first moment he spots her, though he can hardly believe that this enigmatic, beautiful girl returns his feelings. Their fiery, troubled love affair is all he thinks about, aside from worrying over his mercurial brother, Rob, who returned from Afghanistan with PTSD and a busted leg. But while Caro has genuine feelings for Jaime, her true goal is Rob, whose unpredictable mental state makes him a perfect tool for her anarchist plans to fight violence with violence. Told as a series of flashbacks, the story starts a year after Rob's funeral, so the novel's tension lies in watching the inevitable destruction unfold. Each character is distinct and sympathetic, though not necessarily likable, and Rob's fragmented narrative is particularly affecting. A slightly underplayed ending doesn't detract from the novel's lingering sense of discomfort.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

  • Patrick Ness, author of the 2011 Carnege Medal award-winner Monsters of Men Sleek, dark and dangerous. Celia Rees has ventured into new territory and returned with explosives.
  • Melvin Burgess, author of Smack In a remarkable book that manages to be both lyrical and gritty in the same breath, Celia Rees takes us into an apparently ordinary world where love, betrayal, faith and violence appear hand in hand on virtually every page. I love it for its deceptively gentle prose, its totally believable characters and its vortex of a plot.
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    Bloomsbury Publishing
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