Published September 28, 2011.
Jamie and Elaine have been best friends forever, and now they’re finally juniors in high school. Elaine has a steady boyfriend, and Jamie could have one—if she’d just open her eyes and see Paul. But Jamie has a bigger problem to worry about.
Then Elaine gets “in trouble”—something they thought only happened to “other” girls. Are there any good choices for a girl in trouble? (goodreads.com)
Carolrhoda Lab does it again with another gripping story that I get to gush about. Although I will say this is probably my least favorite out of the CL books I’ve read. I still think very highly of it but I do feel it was lacking something that the other CL books had, mainly depth.
The situation that Jamie and Elaine go through is terrifying. Hell, it’s terrifying now, let alone 60 years ago where you were either biblically virginal or a whore, irrespective of what happened to you to get into that “in trouble” position. Elaine’s problem was really front and center and while it pulled me in, it also pushed me away from Jamie a bit, and it was her story. So a bit of a flaw in the story-telling. You could really feel for Elaine through Jamie. You could feel her impossible situation but at the same time you could feel Jamie’s helplessness when it came to helping her friend. Elaine was a bit lost when it came to the other half of the problem and I know I got frustrated right along with Jamie when Elaine just couldn’t see the forest for the trees.
And then things start opening up about Jamie. The little flashes seen throughout the story come to light and things start to click into place. That horror that was projected onto Elaine comes right back around to Jamie. Her situation’s different, though. Jamie had more support and options. But here’s where I think the story starts to fizzle, when it really gets into Jamie’s problem.
Jamie attempts to terminate her problem on her own which results in some terrible moments in the story and I will say I had some tears but the story reached a point where it just zoomed by and before I knew it it was over. It left me wanting more and I think considering the situation of the plot, it would have rendered that. Instead there’s a fade to black moment, some skimming and the end of the story. It’s Jamie’s story but as a reader I was never privy to Jamie coming to terms with her decisions. She made them, yes, but any repercussions she had were skipped over. I think the story could have been so much more had those issues been drawn out more.
IN TROUBLE really is a good story and a quick read but I think it’s quickness does more against it than for it. That depth that I think is required for such a topic is absent and the focus is really on the wrong person. And then the story ends far too abruptly to have any real resolution. But it’s still good. I liked what I was reading. I could connect with Jamie and I felt everything she did. But overall IN TROUBLE lingered on story elements that should have been shorter and dashed by moments that should have been more drawn out. I ended up feeling a little robbed at the end. I wanted more, especially for the topic. Yes, it sucked what women had to go through back then when they got “in trouble” and it’s because of that that I don’t feel it should have been glossed over when it got to be Jamie’s turn.
Still, I’d recommend to read IN TROUBLE. Just keep in mind going in that for the topic, the story doesn’t go very deep.
Ban Factor: High – Teen pregnancy. That’s all you need to know. Context doesn’t matter. It’s all about premarital sex and teen babies.