Jake Riley: Irreparably Damaged

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9780060518370: Jake Riley: Irreparably Damaged

Jake Riley is a nice guy.
Jake Riley is a loser.
Jake Riley is a good friend.
Jake Riley is dangerous.

Everyone has a different idea about Jake. Lainey's friends think he's her boyfriend. Lainey's mother thinks he's sad. Lainey's guidance counselor thinks he is a bad influence on her.

None of these people really know the truth about Jake. Not even Lainey.

By the time Lainey learns the truth about Jake, she no longer has to wonder about one thing.

She knows he's dangerous.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Rebecca Fjelland Davis grew up on a farm in Iowa. She now lives in Mankato, Minnesota, where she received an MFA at Minnesota State University. She spends her days and nights teaching English and humanities, writing, and cycling competitively.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 8 Up-Lainey, 14, is being tormented by the son of a worker on her dad's Iowa farm, a boy who has been labeled in his high school counselor's file as "irreparably damaged." Jake's emotional maturity was badly stunted by his experiences in a juvenile-detention facility and he seems to be incapable of acceptable social interaction. When Lainey expresses her fears about him, her mother won't take her seriously and her father assigns both of them chores, believing that hard work is the cure for all the world's ills. Readers are drawn into a drama that feels real despite the novel's flaws-of which there are a few. Early on, Jake rescues a squirrel from certain death by amputating its leg; it's unclear whether this is an act of cruelty or kindness. Jake's threats against Lainey (both sexual and physical) are vivid and menacing for her as well as for sympathetic readers. The school counselor's coldness and the English teacher's insensitivities show Lainey's unreliability as a narrator, while, at the same time, her perceptions seem like those of a scared ninth grader. Her friends run the gamut from one who is socially and emotionally naive to another who becomes sexually active in spite of her own better judgment to a new girl who fascinates Lainey because of her apparent self-assurance. Arcadia's arrival on the scene and her connection to Jake seem tacked on rather than smoothly integrated. Nonetheless, this is a compelling read with credible and complex main characters. An excellent discussion choice.
Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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