05 April 2014

Lean On Me by Candy Crum

Lean on Me Cover
Sixteen year old Bri comes from a wealthy family, allowing her an expensive pass into the popular crowd, though it never much mattered to her. She's on the basketball team and track and is the top in both.
Bri has everything a girl could want, but she longs for loving and emotionally available parents. She longs for a traditional family instead of the one she was gifted - cold and very distant.
Bri's parents pressure her to be the best at everything instead of just being the best that she can be. As a result of trying for the perfect life for her parents, Bri finds herself in an abusive relationship and pressured into doing what a lot of teenagers are pressured into doing.
When Bri becomes pregnant, her entire world is turned upside down and she has no idea who she can trust anymore. Bri struggles to find a place in this world for herself and for her baby - the baby that she is desperate to have and watch grow. Along the way, Bri is given an opportunity to completely change her life and the life of her child - but it may hinder the life of another... binding him to a future he was never meant to have, just for her. Bri is forced to grow and grow stronger as she fights for her baby and learns how to be a good mother - and remain a pure soul.
I so wanted to like this book.  The story concept was great, the character development was wonderful and the writing style was such that I would enjoy, but with all of this greatness, there was the fact I felt insulted as a reader and parent. 
I felt the author wrote a fictional story based on life events that happen daily, but instead of keeping the story as close to reality as possible, she deleted important things to enhance the impact she wanted on the scene.  An example is Bri, 16 years old, pregnant by the star football player was viciously attacked at a gas station by the baby’s father and his friends.  The purpose of this attack was to kill the baby she was carrying.  It was vicious enough than an ambulance had to be called and she spent a week in the hospital.  Not once did the police show up at the scene or the hospital to investigate the attack.  It was days after she returned to school when one of her teachers asked her what had happen and had to demand the principal call the police to the school so Bri could report the attack.  Now while in the hospital on the first night, her parents were called, they didn’t demand the police to be there, but that is when they found out she was pregnant.
Instead of being the supportive parents, they disowned her, left her with $100.00 to get a fresh start, went home and put her belongings on the curb for anyone to take.  Her best friend Matt found out what happen to her parents when a nurse informed him of their choice.  My question is why  the hospital didn't contact child services since she was a pregnant 16 year old girl?  Instead they let her leave with Matt to move in to his family’s home.  There was no mention of needing the parents to call the school and excuse her week or so long absence from school while in the hospital and recovering?  Didn’t the school wonder why she was gone so long with no word? 
When the teacher had to demand the principal contact the police after Bri told about the attack, why did the teacher have to be forced?  Isn’t it mandatory that the police are contacted in these cases?  When the police arrived at the school, they did an investigation with EVERYONE involved in the room together.  The police decided at that time there was nothing they could do, Bri was a lying slut.  When does this happen in real life?  Aren’t people talked to separately when investigating a serious crime such as attempted murder? 
Once her pregnancy was confirmed with the school, she was taken to the principal’s office and expelled because she was a bad influence. There was never anything mentioned about the girl who tripped Bri in class, causing her to fall and risk her baby’s life again, and let’s not even go over how she could have broken ribs and still perform in gym class with no one noticing her pain and asking what was going on.  Her parents were never called before being expelled, when does this happen in real life?  How can parents just kick a 16 year out, she is in the hospital, going to school, living with another family and NO ONE knew?  If this had happen during summer when school wasn’t in session and she had never been to the hospital, then I could buy this, but when does a hospital give such intense care to a pregnant teen without parental consent and a payment plan? 
These events are what kept me distracted from enjoying the book, I couldn’t move past feeling like I was being manipulated with such exaggerated neglect of facts to make the impact of the story greater.  We have a girl who is harassed and attacked and NO ONE knew anything? There are some excellent messages in this book that I hope doesn’t get lost with readers who are like me and need a consistent flow in a story.  Who needs to be able to read a book and not have to go back over a few pages to confirm I didn’t miss some important information because none of it was making sense for me.  I really wanted to like this book, I wanted to give it a rating that would be based on the writing style, character development and consistency, but the glaring fact that as a reader I felt manipulated and treated that I wouldn’t know the missing pieces of the story was more than I could overcome in giving this a higher rating. 

Candy Author PicCandy Crum lives in Indiana and is the Author of “The Eternal Series” and other short stories. She published her first novel, The Eternal Gift, in May of 2011 and has been publishing ever since. Candy is an avid lover of the paranormal genre, stemming from years of reading the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice when she was a teenager. Later, she developed a deep love of the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead and the House of Night Series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, furthering her love of the genre and pushing her to really push to finish and publish her novel. Since then, Candy has released three other books in The Eternal Series and will release another later in 2014. Now, Candy is trying her hand at more contemporary pieces of work, like that of Lean on Me and other books she will release in 2014. Some of Candy’s interests include the usual reading and writing, music (of most types), movies (action and comedy or any combination of the two), cartoons (she loves to say that her children watch cartoons because she does), and drawing. She loves talking with her fans and loves reading the reviews that her fans are kind enough to leave for her. Always feel free to find Candy on Facebook and send her a message.


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