This gripping, chillingly realistic novel from New York Times bestselling author Sharon Draper, “by turns pulse-pounding and inspiring” (Kirkus Reviews), shows that all it takes is one bad decision for a dream to become a nightmare.
Diamond knows not to get into a car with a stranger.
But what if the stranger is well-dressed and handsome? On his way to meet his wife and daughter? And casting a movie that very night—a movie in need of a star dancer? What then?
Then Diamond might make the wrong decision.
It’s a nightmare come true: Diamond Landers has been kidnapped. She was at the mall with a friend, alone for only a few brief minutes—and now she’s being held captive, forced to endure horrors beyond what she ever could have dreamed, while her family and friends experience their own torments and wait desperately for any bit of news.
From New York Times bestselling author Sharon Draper, this is a riveting exploration of power: how quickly we can lose it—and how we can take it back.
A tumultuous week in the lives of students at the Crystal Pointe Dance Academy is told through a variety of viewpoints. Justin, the academy's principal male dancer, must continually defend himself against homophobic taunts while he pines for Layla, whose low self-esteem keeps her locked in an abusive relationship. Zizi is an airhead, and Mercedes lives under the thumb of her oppressively rigid mother. Then there is Diamond, who goes to the mall for dance tights and leaves with a handsome older man who has promised her a film audition. As readers will likely predict, the film Thane is making will not be rated G. Diamond is drugged, tied to a bed, and raped repeatedly in the presence of some burly cameramen, who post the film online and rake in money. Diamond's chapters are brutal but, perhaps mercifully, they are few and far between; the story sidetracks frequently to other characters' less urgent dramas. Draper writes about the lives of teenagers with authority and believable dialogue, but the juxtaposition of banal moments with Diamond's nightmare makes the sexual violence feel uncomfortably trivialized. Ages 14 up.