Powerful and unfiltered, this fictional account of a teenage boy's addiction to online pornography is equal parts heartbreaking and hopeful.
The first time a link to a porn video pops up on his computer screen, Lucas is startled. He was simply trying to stream a superhero movie. Transfixed by the scene that unfolds, he experiences his first stirrings of arousal. Lucas soon realizes that he wants to recapture that same excitement, and it's not long before he starts down a path that takes hold of his every thought--day and night.
Only when his secret is revealed and everything comes crashing down around him can Lucas confront his compulsions. But even as feelings of shame overwhelm him, his urges seem impossible to ignore, and interacting with real people is difficult. As Lucas gets help, it becomes clear to him and those around him that he can recover and find a new direction for his life despite this addiction.
With a naive and confused protagonist and multilayered storytelling, this is a no-holds-barred look at a teenage boy falling prey to the world of cybersex, the perils of porn addiction, and the difficult road to recovery for addicts and their loved ones.
Growing up in Chartres, teen Lucas has been addicted to online porn for years. Despite blatant warning signs that he is in trouble (falling grades, antisocial behavior), he manages to keep the truth hidden from everyone until his computer crashes. While his father's friend is making repairs, Lucas's browsing history is revealed, and his stunned parents are at a loss about what to do. In his first YA novel to be translated into English, French writer Bard tackles a provocative subject with objectivity and unabashed honesty. His reporterlike narrative stays focused on facts, allowing readers to form their own judgments about characters and their decisions. Relevant to adults as well as adolescents, the book examines how Lucas's curiosity about sex evolves into an obsession, how his image of women becomes warped, and how his addiction pays a toll on his parents' marriage. After he enters a specialized center for teens, Lucas's recovery is a slow, arduous process, but the benefits of intense therapy are clear as he experiences his first healthy relationship with a female peer. The story's journalistic quality may be off-putting to some, but Bard's exposure of a universal, rarely discussed issue is commendable. Ages 14 up.