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Barren by Elizabeth Miceli
Publication Date: October 6th 2015
Publisher: Swoon Romance
*** PUBLISHER’S ALERT: MATURE CONTENT WARNING ***
Recommended for ages 16+. Includes scenes that depict drug use, teen sex, and sexual assault.
This book contains mature content and depiction of a seventeen-year-old girl’s rape at the hands of another student. It is a chilling first person point of view account of something that occurs across the country at parties just like the one depicted in this story, and we wanted the fictional account to feel raw and as devastating. We also understand that these scenes may be difficult and uncomfortable for some. We recommend this novel for readers ages sixteen and older.
“I cried, praying for him to finish. I closed my eyes and tried to envision myself somewhere else… somewhere where I was happy. I thought of my family all piled around our tree on Christmas morning. I thought of singing with my band. I thought of Caitlin and me baking cookies and watching movies together. But after just a few seconds of pretending, Mike would hit me or thrust deeper, and I would be back in reality. I was being raped. I was all alone. I was a damsel in distress. And there was no one there to save me.”
Seventeen-year-old Stacey Lorenzo’s poor self-esteem has always consumed her. When significant weight loss leaves her still feeling powerless and with an eating disorder, she turns to partying to cope. Things go from bad ot worse when she is raped, a crushing blow to her psyche from which she may not recover. Stacey drugs, cuts, and hooks up with countless guys in an attempt to dull the pain. But if Stacey doesn’t find a way to face her demons and overcome her fears, she might find herself in a hole so dark, even love won’t be able to pull her out.
Barren is written by debut author Elizabeth Miceli. It is a devastating and dark account of one girl’s plummet to the very bottom of the human experience and the horrific and petrifying road to recovery and self-worth.
“I gained five pounds over the summer … I just don’t want anyone to notice.” She stared at me, open-mouthed. She looked shocked, sad, and angry all at the same time. “Who the fuck would notice that?”
I put the makeup bag away, averting my eyes to the floor. For her, five pounds was no big deal. The kid ate like crap, rarely worked out, and was perpetually skinny. If she gained five pounds, she might actually look better. For the “used-to-be-fat” girl, five pounds is a huge deal. Five pounds could lead to ten, and then twenty, and then I could be back at 185 pounds. She took my arm and yanked me up to the mirrors. I stared at myself. Clear complexion. Brown eyes. Long hair. Fat arms. Fat legs. And a pocket of blubber on my lower stomach.
“Don’t you see how beautiful you are?” she asked.
I just stared at my reflection, counting all the fat parts. I got up to ten.”
About the Author
Elizabeth hails from the smallest state with the biggest heart. She started off at The University of Akron and then transferred to the University of Rhode Island. She is a double major in both Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies. Although she loves writing- she also has a passion for helping others which is why she is studying to become a sex therapist/couples counselor. Elizabeth loves spending time with her family and friends, singing, eating everything Italian, and baking cookies. She is “in love with love” which is probably why the driving force in almost everything she writes is romance. When she’s not getting lost in her characters she can be found waiting for her prince charming in her North Kingstown, Rhode Island home.
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