Exposure [NOOK Book]

Overview

In Exposure, Therese Fowler has written her most gripping novel to date—a ripped-from-the-headlines story of ardent young love and a nightmarish legal maelstrom that threatens to destroy two families.

Amelia Wilkes’s strict father does not allow her to date, but that doesn’t stop the talented, winsome high school senior from carrying on a secret romance with her classmate Anthony Winter. Desperately in love, the two envision a life together ...
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Exposure

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Overview

In Exposure, Therese Fowler has written her most gripping novel to date—a ripped-from-the-headlines story of ardent young love and a nightmarish legal maelstrom that threatens to destroy two families.

Amelia Wilkes’s strict father does not allow her to date, but that doesn’t stop the talented, winsome high school senior from carrying on a secret romance with her classmate Anthony Winter. Desperately in love, the two envision a life together and plan to tell Amelia’s parents only after she turns eighteen and is legally an adult. Anthony’s mother, Kim, who teaches at their school, knows—and keeps—their secret. But the couple’s passion is exposed sooner than planned: Amelia’s father, Harlan, is shocked and infuriated to find naked pictures of Anthony on his daughter’s computer. Just hours later, Anthony is arrested.

Despite Amelia’s frantic protests, Harlan uses his wealth and influence with local law enforcement and the media to label Anthony a deviant who preyed on his innocent daughter. Spearheaded by a zealous prosecutor anxious to turn the case into a public crusade against “sexting,” the investigation soon takes an even more disturbing and destructive turn.

As events spiral wildly out of control and the scandalous story makes national news, Amelia and Anthony risk everything in a bold and dangerous attempt to clear their names and end the madness once and for all.
 
A captivating page-turner, Therese Fowler’s Exposure is also a deftly crafted, provocative, and timely novel that serves as a haunting reminder of the consequences of love in the modern age.

BONUS: This edition contains an Exposure discussion guide.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sexting leads to big trouble for two teenagers in Fowler's Picoult-lite latest, a cautionary tale more intent on hammering home its message than in creating believable characters. Anthony Winter, a charismatic 18-year-old raised by a single mom, is dating Amelia Wilkes, a nice girl from a wealthy, conservative family that doesn't want her in a relationship with a student who can afford private school only because his mother teaches there. Kids being kids armed with camera phones and digital cameras, they e-mail each other nude digital photos, and when Amelia's father comes across pictures of Anthony on his daughter's computer, he calls the police, and a nightmare begins for all involved: Anthony faces being branded a sex offender, and Amelia gets in trouble with the law as well. Unfortunately, Fowler diminishes the power of her story with a cast of predictable, two-dimensional characters (i.e., Amelia's controlling father is bad; Anthony's supportive mom is good) whose sole purpose is to move the plot forward. (May)
From the Publisher
Praise for Exposure:

"Provocative, timely, and compelling, Therese Fowler's Exposure will leave book clubs talking for hours." - Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Wednesday Sisters and The Four Ms. Bradwells
 
“Complex, gripping, and rich with emotion, Fowler's 21st-century Romeo and Juliet beautifully blends modern day drama with carefully drawn examinations of family, loyalty, honesty, and the power of love.” - Eleanor Brown, New York Times bestselling author of The Weird Sisters
 
“Telling a page-turning story you can’t wait to pass on to your book club or your best friend, Therese Fowler brings the full force of her talent to bear on a gorgeous, heartrending story of young love and thwarted parental ambitions.” - Joshilyn Jackson New York Times bestselling author of Backseat Saints

"Headlines rarely reveal the truth. Exposure does. I truly couldn't put it down." - Randy Susan Meyers, author of The Murderer's Daughters

 
Souvenir
 
“Compelling . . . The characters are likable, troubled and human, and they’re well worth following on their journey.”—USA Today
 
Souvenir is indeed one of those books you want to sit down and finish all at once. . . . Fowler’s storytelling is what makes this novel shine.”—Durham Herald-Sun
 
“A touching . . . novel with a stunning ending.”—Daily American
 
Reunion
 
“Beautifully written and full of heart, Reunion is a satisfying tale perfect for a weekend escape from real life.”—Bookreporter.com

“Highly emotional, often hysterically funny prose.”—Wichita Falls Times Record News
 
“An enjoyable, breezy escape.”—Booklist

Library Journal
Fowler (Souvenir) enters Jodi Picoult territory with a revealing novel about the dangers of "sexting" (explicit text messaging). Anthony Winter and Amelia Wilkes have their future planned. They will finish their senior year at Ravenswood Academy in Raleigh, NC, move to New York City, study drama at NYU, and pursue careers in theater. Neither counted on Amelia's wealthy father, Harlan, finding pictures of them naked on her computer and calling the police. An overzealous district attorney soon arrests Anthony, Amelia, and even Anthony's mother on felony charges. Facing the possibility of separation and imprisonment, Anthony and Amelia flee together, a desperate act that could end in tragedy. VERDICT Drawing on an actual event in Fowler's own family, her latest novel will appeal to readers of contemporary issues novels and soap opera fans, despite an awkward opening. It is young adult readers, though, who will embrace this story of teen love and desperation. [Library marketing.]—Lesa Holstine, Glendale P.L., AZ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345526250
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 522,799
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Therese Fowler
Therese Fowler is the author of Souvenir, Reunion and Exposure. She has worked in the U.S. Civil Service, managed a clothing store, lived in the Philippines, had children, sold real estate, earned a B.A. in sociology, sold used cars, returned to school for her MFA in creative writing, and taught college undergrads about literature and fiction-writing -- roughly in that order.  With books published in nine languages and sold world-wide, Therese writes full-time from her home in Wake Forest, NC, which she shares with her husband, four amiable cats, and four nearly grown-up sons.


From the Hardcover edition.

Biography

Although Therese Fowler officially made her fiction debut in 2008, it turns out Souvenir, is actually her third novel. The first one, penned in grad school, never got past the query stage. She came closer the second time. In 2005, with the ink still wet on her M.F.A., she sent out queries and, almost immediately, signed with her first-choice literary agent.

Flush with success, Fowler assumed she had it made. Yet, in spite of what seemed like more-than-polite interest from several editors, she was unable to land a book deal. After the last wave of submissions, she retreated into a period of reflection with a dawning realization that she might well have been writing "the wrong kind" of novel. Suddenly, she zoomed in on an idea that had been germinating in her creative imagination ever since her mother's death two years previously.

Everything coalesced: the story idea, new insight into the demands of the market, knowledge from school, and Fowler's own refinement of her career goals. With a clear understanding of what she wished to accomplish with her writing, she set to work on Souvenir. The story of a woman whose youthful choices have far-reaching consequences for her and for those she loves, the novel was published in ten languages and released in 18 countries. On track at last, Fowler seems destined for a bright future.

Good To Know

Some fascinating outtakes from our interview with Therese Fowler:

I'm among the first girls ever to play Little League baseball, and to my knowledge the very first in western Illinois. It was 1976, and I was a nine-year-old tomboy whose older brothers had played. The national organization had altered its rules and began allowing girls into the League in '74, but it took some doing to persuade our local board to let me in. They insisted I had to wear a protective cup (citing "the official rules") -- but I never did, and no one ever double-checked.

At 19, I went to live in the Philippines for three years as a U.S. Air Force "dependent spouse." I lived off-base in Angeles City and had to haul water for drinking and cooking. The up-side was that a cold beer was a mere nine pesos (about 45 cents). The poverty and pollution in that part of the country was disheartening, yet the resourcefulness I witnessed in so many of the local people inspired me. Living outside the U.S. was the most eye-opening, conscience-expanding experience I've had.

As with many teens, my first jobs included babysitting and mopping floors at McDonald's. Since then, I've held jobs a diverse as selling used cars, selling apparel, cosmetics, and real-estate, substitute-teaching six graders, teaching undergraduate creative writing, and working as an editorial assistant for a literary magazine. Amidst all that, I spent several years as a stay-at-home mom. I earned my B.A. at age 33, and my M.F.A. at 38.

My husband and I have, in some ways, a non-traditional relationship -- especially when it comes to domestic duties. He does most of the cooking, dishes, and laundry, while I do most of the yard work. I love to mow the lawn! And I take great satisfaction in planting and pruning. I think my love of nature is prescribed by, or perhaps reflected by, my name: Therese (trees) Anne (and) Fowler (flowers).

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    1. Hometown:
      Raleigh, NC
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 22, 1967
    2. Place of Birth:
      Rock Island, IL
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Sociology, 2000; M.F.A. in Creative Writing, 2005
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

1

Nine hours before the police arrived, Anthony Winter stood, barefooted and wild, on the narrow front porch of the house he shared with his mother. The painted wooden planks were damp and cool beneath his feet, but he hardly noticed. In his right hand he held a fallen maple leaf up to a sun that was just breaking the horizon. In his left he held his phone. He squinted at the leaf, marveling at its deep blood-orange color, amazed and happy that nature could make such a thing from what had, only a few weeks earlier, been emerald green, and before that, deep lime, and before that, a tight, tiny bundle of a bud on a spindly limb, waving in a North Carolina spring breeze. He’d always been an observant person; he hadn’t always been so romantic. Amelia brought it out in him. She brought it out in everybody.

When she answered his call, Amelia’s voice was lazy with sleep. It was a Monday, her day to sleep a little later than she could the rest of the week. Tuesday through Friday, she rose at five thirty to get homework done before her three-mile run, which came before the 8:50 start of their Ravenswood Academy school day. At three o’clock was dance—ballet, modern, jazz—then voice lessons twice a week at five; often there was some play’s rehearsal after that, and then, if her eyelids weren’t drooping like the dingy shades in her voice teacher’s living room, she might start on her homework. But more often she would sneak out of her astonishing house to spend a stolen hour with him. With Anthony. The man (she loved to call him that, now that he’d turned eighteen) with whom she intended to spend all of her future life, and then, if God was good to them, eternity to follow.

Seeing Amelia and Anthony together, you would never have guessed they were destined for anything other than a charmed future, and possibly greatness. Perhaps Amelia had, as her father was fond of saying, emerged from the womb coated in stardust. And maybe it was also true what Anthony’s mother claimed: that her son had been first prize in the cosmic lottery, and she’d won. They were, separately, well­ tended and adored. Together, they were a small but powerful force of nature. Love makes that of people, sometimes.

That morning, nine hours and perhaps five minutes before his arrest, Anthony stood on the narrow front porch with a leaf and a phone in his chilly hands. Amelia was saying, “I dreamt of us,” in a suggestive voice that stirred him, inside and out. He heard his mother coming downstairs, so he pulled the front door closed. Unlike the rest of his school’s faculty, she knew about Amelia and him; in her way, she approved. Still, he preferred to keep his conversations private. There were certain things even an approving mother wouldn’t want to hear. Certain things he absolutely did not want her to know.



2

At 8:35 that morning, Amelia parked her car in the student lot and sat with the engine running, keeping warm until Anthony arrived as well. She was still smiling with her recollection of his words, spoken softly as she’d swum up out of sleep and into the day. He’d quoted her Shakespeare:

No sooner met, but they looked;

No sooner looked but they loved;

No sooner loved but they sighed;

No sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason;

No sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy.

She knew the lines by heart. She had been Rosalind, he Orlando, in last year’s school production of As You Like It. And while the lines were Rosalind’s, about her cousin’s love for Orlando’s brother, this was, after all, their story, in verse.

No sooner looked but they loved.

Love at first sight. Amelia, sixteen when it struck, a focused high school junior whose romantic experience with boys was tenuous and limited, hadn’t believed it could happen to someone like her. But as with anything that a person dismisses and then experiences in full force—a hurricane, the Lord, a visit from a ghost—she was converted instantaneously. With her heart pierced as surely as Shakespeare’s lovers’ had been, she became Immediate Love’s happy evangelist—quietly, though. Selectively, so that her father would not find out and ruin everything.

Whenever her most trusted girlfriends heard her talk about seeing Anthony across the stage at auditions, of falling for him before he’d even spoken a single word, the girls gravitated toward her like she was fire and they were chilled travelers of a hopeless, barren snowscape. Oh, to be loved. To have love, true love, not the pistol-in-my-pocket variety they were offered all too often. Or worse: the lurid, online-porn-fed ambitions of the most heinous of their rich-boy classmates, whose ideal woman was an oversexed Lady Gaga in fishnet and pasties. No. To be Amelia, who had Anthony, that was the dream these girls nurtured. Anthony was passionate. A nonconformist. Perhaps best of all, Anthony was a secret.

They were sure Amelia’s father, Harlan Wilkes, would kill her, or maybe Anthony, or maybe both of them, if he found out Amelia was not just dating someone he disapproved of but was, in planning a future with Anthony Winter, deceiving her father in every possible way. The girls talked about Amelia’s risky love with dewy, faraway expressions, with smiles and sighs. They trailed Anthony like ladies of the court, always respectful of Amelia’s claim on him but, at the same time, always angling to be the one he might turn to should anything ever go wrong.

Sitting there in the parking lot, Amelia watched car after car—many of them luxury models bought from her father’s franchises—pull into the lot and park while the heater’s air warmed her skirt-bared legs. Save for the pleasure of seeing Anthony, she didn’t want to spend yet another day at Ravenswood. She’d been attending school there on the forested, esteemed campus since she was four years old. The buildings and grounds, the sports fields, the stadium, the teachers and staff, the classrooms, the gym—nothing seemed to have changed in all that time. There were new students every year, yes, but they were, for the most part, replicas of all the students who had come before them, and models for the ones who would come after. Amelia knew the word for her feelings: ennui. She knew the remedy, too: escape.

No sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy. These days she lived that line, though it had given her trouble when they’d first been rehearsing the play. “The remedy,” Ms. Fitz, their director, had explained, “for the reason for their sighs. Oliver and Celia are desperate to sleep together, so their solution is to marry the next day and scratch that itch, so to speak.” What Amelia and Anthony plotted was a remedy for the pretty ribbon-wrapped life her father insisted should be her future—a future that didn’t include anyone remotely like Anthony. No intellectuals of any kind (“Too much thinking, not enough doing,” Harlan Wilkes was known to say). No tall, lean, black-haired young man with curls framing his heart-shaped face, a face that made one think, Italian, or possibly Jewish, or, depending on one’s familiarity with the wider world, Jordanian. Anthony could be any of these, could play all of them—that, Amelia thought, was part of his brilliance onstage.

Kim Winter, his pale-skinned, ginger-haired mother and one of Amelia’s favorite teachers, had lent only her hazel eyes; the rest of Anthony’s features owed to his father’s contribution, the only thing the man had contributed before running out on his wife and unborn son, claiming that he’d made a mistake with marriage and a bigger one with fatherhood. Fortunately, Anthony inherited his mother’s capacity to soldier on—which is not to say Kim and Anthony were unaffected. When Anthony got moody he sometimes talked about how he would show his absent father how well he could do without him, how his father’s rejection was no loss but rather a favor, as useful to him as the Andalusian heritage responsible for their looks.

His mother, native to upstate New York, where Anthony had lived until he was ten, was part Russian Jew, part Irish Catholic, part Canadian Quebecer, with a dose of Iroquois added in a few generations back. Heritage mattered, but it was not and should not be allowed to become everything. “On est tous dans le même bain,” she often told her French class students, Amelia included. We are all in the same boat. She also reminded them that “Borders are arbitrary, man-made things.” And then there was the one Amelia liked best: “Question authority.” That was the kind of adage Amelia needed, to help give her the courage to live her own life.

Anthony’s mother was popular with the Ravenswood students, who signed up for her art or French classes even if they weren’t especially talented in either subject. Amelia, en route to school for first-quarter parent-teacher-student conferences last year, had told her parents this. “It’s not that she gives easy A’s or doesn’t assign homework. She’s just . . . cool.” This was a few weeks before Amelia met Anthony, at a time when she’d only heard him spoken of, sometimes in unfavorable tones. He’d started there as a junior, when Ms. Winter got hired on, and so he was a mystery to those who, like Amelia, had been there forever. Her fellow students weren’t sure how to classify him; he didn’t fit into any of the cliques. Not a jock. Not a prep. Not a stoner. Not goth. He was said to be smart, but quiet—not nerdy, though. More like the kind of guy you’d see in an Apple ad. His eyelashes were so thick and dark that even an innocent glance could seem sultry. The students couldn’t peg him, so they disparaged him—the girls halfheartedly because, after all, he was hot; there was no other word for it. When Amelia finally did see him, love him, meet him, she categorized him simply as Anthony.

Driving home from the school after conferring with Amelia’s teachers, Harlan Wilkes had said, “Nothing against you, Ladybug, but I don’t see what’s so special about that Ms. Winter.”

“She seemed very nice,” Amelia’s mother said. She turned to Amelia, who was riding in the backseat. “I noticed she doesn’t wear a wedding ring.”

“She says she’s keeping her options open.” Amelia admired Ms. Winter’s positive attitude about being single and hoped it would rub off on her. Yes, Amelia had been only sixteen at the time, and a long way from having to face spinsterhood (if they even called it that these days), but she was fairly convinced that no man would love her once her faults were known. She thought she’d do well to accept that fate. Some things just weren’t attainable by determination and hard work.

Her father said, “Keeping her options open? At her age?”

“She’s not that old. You’re older than she is,” Amelia said.

“And I’m married, and have been for twenty years.”

“Well, I think she’s great.” That night Kim Winter had been dressed in wide-legged aubergine trousers and a cream knit turtleneck, with a vibrant watered-silk scarf tied around her neck. Amelia admired everything about her, including her style.

Her father said, “Sure, she’s ‘great,’ if you think ‘great’ is being a single, middle-aged art teacher and making, what, thirty grand a year.” He glanced at Amelia over his shoulder. “And you wonder why I’m pushing you to go to school for business.”

She didn’t wonder. She knew he simply didn’t understand. His world, the business of selling import cars, was not about art or beauty or magic. He indulged her interests, true, but only because he viewed them as extracurriculars, no different than her running track, or joining Drama Guild and French Club. She would have to wait until she was on her own, independent, and then she’d live the life she wanted. She’d be privileged to end up like Ms. Winter if it meant she was doing the things she loved.

In the year that had passed since that evening, nothing had changed in her father’s way of thinking. Amelia’s thinking had changed, though, and once she turned eighteen in February, she would tell her parents in exactly which ways. She’d reveal her plan to move with Anthony to New York City, where they would both, if they got in, go to New York University for drama, and at the same time pursue Broadway careers. She longed to tell them now; it pained her to keep her feelings and her plans a secret. She knew, though, how they would react, and so the best strategy was to delay until it became a fait accompli, an unchangeable fact.

Amelia saw Anthony’s aging Mini Cooper trailing Brandt Wilson’s new Infiniti, and shut off her car’s engine. Cameron McGuiness, her most faithful friend since their first days of kindergarten, spotted her from across the lot and waved. Cameron knew not to stop to talk in the morning, knew the few minutes Amelia would have with Anthony before class were a precious commodity. Amelia leaned her head against the leather-covered headrest and sighed. Summer could not come soon enough.

Given his way, her father would see her married off on the Saturday following her college graduation (from any top Southern school, but preferably Duke) in a huge white wedding that included, of course, a ridiculously expensive white dress that would be complemented by an engagement diamond so heavy that she’d struggle to raise her left hand. A ring that would have been presented to her some tasteful number of months earlier (meaning, more than nine) by a twenty-first century version of Barbie’s Ken. Ken would wear a tux he owned, bought with his substantial income working in some first-rate white-collar field. There would be no Broadway career, only Broadway tickets—a torturous scenario to Amelia, who imagined the gut-wrenching envy she’d experience sitting in the audience watching other women live out the dream she’d been too softhearted and obedient to pursue. Her future could so easily have gone that way, if not for Anthony.

Amelia’s smile, which had faded with the negative thoughts, reappeared when she saw Anthony walking toward her car. He, with his luxurious hair, his full lips, his quick wit, his quiet assurance, was her savior. He’d made her believe not only that she should claim her future for herself when the time came, but that she truly would. Her father did not own her. No man did. Whatever she would do, wherever she would go, it would all be on her terms.

“Hello, beautiful,” Anthony said as Amelia opened her door and got out. She smiled. The thrill of him, of his love for her, her and not someone else, someone whose childhood had not been spent hiding a shameful flaw, delighted her.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Interviews & Essays

A Conversation with Therese Fowler author of
EXPOSURE

Q: EXPOSURE is fiction, but was inspired by your own son's arrest for what's become known as a "sexting" crime. Can you tell us about that?

A: I was working on a different book when my son, who had just turned nineteen, told me that a warrant was being issued for his arrest. He'd shared a photo of himself undressed with a girl who'd asked him to send one, and when her father discovered it he called the police. Because my son was over eighteen and the girl was not, he was charged with the crime that one of EXPOSURE's characters, Anthony, is charged with initially: disseminating harmful materials to a minor.

Life for my son and our family became very complicated very quickly, but I felt bound to keep working on that other book and meet my deadline. However, the story just wasn't doing quite what I wanted it to do, and I was worried that it might be somehow fatally flawed.

In the meantime, the idea for EXPOSURE was taking root. I'm sure it grew from my horror and frustration with what was going on, and the effects it had on my son and on our family. I asked him what he thought about my writing a novel inspired by the situation (but completely fictional), and he was fully supportive. I wouldn't have considered it otherwise. Since he was supportive, I wrote the story outline and took it to my editor and publisher, who gave me their support as well.

Q: A lot of people would rather put a troubling time behind them, yet in writing a novel based on your troubles you chose to do the opposite. Why?

A: The subject of teens and sexuality and technology and the law is a fascinating, complex issue, and one I struggled with while my son's case was ongoing. Where should we place the blame when kids get into trouble for sexting? What's appropriate in terms of punishment?

I'm a novelist, so maybe I'm predisposed to want to explore such questions in story terms. But I also felt obligated; as I researched the issue, I came across many disturbing news stories about these issues and the consequences for everyone involved. If my crafting a cautionary tale could help prevent even one new crisis, wasn't it my duty to try? It didn't feel like a choice.

Q: Did you know from the outset that the book would get published?

A: No; in fact the whole time I was working on it I was terrified that I'd made a mistake in abandoning the other book. Yes, I had my publisher's blessing to substitute this story for that one, but I still had to meet a deadline and, as is true with any book an author writes under contract, the final product has to pass muster or it doesn't get published and the author doesn't get paid.

Fortunately, I met my deadline, and everyone involved was not only satisfied with but also quite enthusiastic about the manuscript.

Q: Early book reviews from people as diverse as public school administrators, booksellers, and regular readers are saying EXPOSURE is a must-read for all teens, parents of teens, and adults who care for or work with teens. This sounds like educational advice; isn't fiction supposed to be read for enjoyment?

A: Absolutely—but that doesn't mean there isn't also something of value to be gained from the reading. Whether invented or true, stories have been the vehicles of lessons and warnings and inspiration for as long as humans have had the means to tell them. My philosophy about and my purpose with my all of my novels is to tell an engaging story, and to tell it about something that matters.

Q: What do you hope people will take away most from this book?

A: With EXPOSURE, I hope teen readers will gain insights that help them protect themselves and make good decisions. It's difficult to be a teen today; there are so many messages, so many influences, so many temptations. It's equally difficult to be a parent or educator or counselor, trying to understand and shape kids' environments in ways that acknowledge all the challenges. I hope adult readers will gain some additional understanding of this strange new world, and take reasonable action to help children avoid trouble.

Q: What's next for you?

A: I'm at work on my fourth novel, which, like EXPOSURE, is a contemporary drama that also looks at societal issues. Two very close families, a tragedy in which underage drinking plays a role, questions of loyalty, questions of guilt—who, or what, is really to blame? And what will happen when the truth is revealed? It's scheduled for publication sometime next year.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 23, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Gripping!

    "Exposure" is thought provoking, beautifully written and gripping. The premise of the book is written appropriately and fitting for 2011. Two teenagers in a consensual relationship choose to text each other inappropriate pictures. The girl's father finds out and takes legal action. Anthony and Amelia's, (who were high school seniors), private and intimate pictures of themselves, not meant to be shared with anyone but the two of them, were misinterpreted as child pornography. This book touches on many typical issues, such as they're typical teens; they are passionate and feel that no one experiences love like they do; they have hopes and dreams for their future together. Their parents are also pretty typical; they want their kids to succeed and have an easy life. Amelia's dad may seem the overly sheltering parent, but he has made mistakes in his past that he was hoping she would avoid. This book will surely be a book club favorite with the subject matter at hand. It's a representation of everything that is good and bad about our changing culture, including the news media that feeds into the salacious aspect of the story. Presenting characters that are so real, "Exposure" is a fast-paced, intense read and I enjoyed every minute of it. Madison Pridgen, A member of Between the Lines book club

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Provocative, Gripping, And All Too Timely

    It's hard to know where to begin with a story like Exposure. The premise is simple enough: 18 year old Anthony Winter is in love with 17 year old Amelia Wilkes. The two of them have a sexual relationship - which is perfectly acceptable according to North Carolina law - and happen to exchange nude photos of each other and with each other - which is not acceptable according to the law. Parents are infuriated, blame gets passed around, mostly by Amelia's father Harlan, yet both teens are still 100% devoted to one another. Like I said, simple enough.

    What makes Exposure stand out and truly become this phenom of a story, is Therese Fowler's remarkable execution. Told in third person, from several different perspectives, the reader has insight into the emotions and the thought process of Amelia, Anthony, Kim Winter (Anthony's mother), and Harlan Wilkes himself. Each chapter ignites more and more rage about the entire situation, but no one can ever be hated in it. Harlan, the most easily disliked of the characters, isn't even a bad person. His view of the situation, while biased, unreasonable, and rash, is still understandable. He loves his daughter and he wants to do what is best for her, even when she insists that he's only accomplishing the opposite. Kim Winter's love for her son rings just as true as Harlan's for his daughter, only she sees Anthony for who he is - not a man who should be on a sex offender registry, but as her son. Her son who is madly in love with the wrong man's daughter and who is being unjustly punished by some backwards law that allows him to have sex with a 17 year old girl, but to not have naked photos of her, or her of him.

    Seeing the strains put on each of these characters strengthens the story, and each of their reactions make the entire situation hit that much closer to home. Anthony and Amelia could be any two teens, in any school, in any state. Harlan could be any concerned, upset, outraged father. And Kim could be any devoted, terrified, and loving mother. These people are not out of the ordinary. It is the fact that they are so ordinary, that makes them stick out.

    It is this - along with Fowler's emotional hold on the reader - that gripped me from beginning to end. Exposure is a love story at its heart, yet Amelia and Anthony spend little time together. The majority of their love is displayed in sweet memories and quiet longings. But that love is quite evident regardless. Fowler writes the story like one would a play, in acts, and even with an encore. Each act brings more and more dissolution and despair, almost like one of Shakespeare's tragedies. And she knows this, doing it with precision and purpose. Creating a poetic connection to her characters and their plight, two teens, madly in love, yet persecuted for the means in which they go about it. For hiding it, for lying, for keeping their private manners private, but doing so with technology they always use, but winds up being their damnation.

    Exposure is provocative, gripping, intense, and all too timely - a modern tale of love, family, right, wrong, and the consequences of following your heart. It didn't leave me breathless, but gasping for a resolution. I was stunned, blindsided, emotionally aghast, and so, so heartbroken that love in the 21st century can be this hard. That two people can love each other that much and have to suffer for it. It defies genres and preferences. It is timeless, a modern twist on a classic tragedy.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Exposure

    Having never read anything by Therese Fowler I wasn't sure what to expect with "Exposure." I have read several fiction works about the subject of sex ting and wondered how different another book about the topic might be. Well I must say that I became captivated by this book immediately, the authors writing style completely drew me in, she allows you to feel the emotions the characters feel, and because the topic discussed in this book is quite timely it was easy to imagine how this scenario might actually happen.

    She gives us the story of Anthony and Amelia. While they both attend Ravenswood Academy, they come from different worlds. Amelia is a seventeen year old who is the only child of Harlan and Sheri Wilkes. Having grown up poor Harlan worked his way into owning several car dealerships in the area, but since he never forgot growing up poor he is determined to shelter his daughter from a life of adversity by planning out her future for her.Anthony is eighteen and grew up in a single parent home, his ticket to Ravenswood Academy is the fact that his mother took a teaching position there.
    Anthony and Amelia are drawn together because of their love of theater. They are making plans for where they want to go to school, and while they are able to share their plans with Anthony's mother,everything has to stay hidden from the Wilkes, until Amelia graduates, because she knows her parents will never allow her to follow thru with her plans, because they are so different from what her father wants her to do.
    When Amelia forgets her laptop on a kitchen counter, her father decides to do a little snooping, shocked when he finds several naked pictures of Anthony. Unwilling to listen to his daughter, Harlan becomes irate and wants Anthony to be punished, but when Anthony's computer is confiscated pictures are found that cause Amelia to be arrested as well.

    This book is filled with well developed characters. Amelia and Anthony are so easy to envision, so in love and full of hope for the future. Because we get the story from so many points of view, it is really hard to label anyone as a bad guy. I could understand Amelia and Anthony exchanging those pictures,never realizing something that they did out of love would be exposed. As a parent I could definitely understand how Harlan must have felt when he found those pictures on his daughters computer. I think the one person whose opinion I would have liked to read more of was Amelia's mother Sheri, she seemed to be in the background quite a bit, and allowed Harlan to make the decisions.
    I did enjoy the fact that the Wilkes' dog a golden Lab named Buttercup was mentioned several times in this story.
    I really enjoyed this eye opening, thought provoking story and will certainly be looking for more work from this talented author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2011

    WOW!

    Iloved Souvenirs and was thrilled to hear that Therese Fowler has written another novel. I was lucky enough to score an ARC of Exposure - and just loved it. It is well written based upon a great - and current - premises. The characters are so believeable! I only wish that I had known from the start that this grew out of a real life experience for the author. Such a good read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 23, 2011

    Best Book I've Read This Year

    You know how great it is when you get a book you can't stop reading and you stay up until 1:30 am to finish it? That is Exposure by Therese Fowler. This, simply put, is one hell of a great book! I was already a fan of Fowler's work as I read and loved Souvenir last year. Exposure is even better!

    The premise of the book is perfect for 2011. Two teenagers in a consentual relationship choose to text each other inappropriate pictures. The girl's conservative, successful father unfortunately finds out and legal action ensues. This book is very timely in our age of digital cameras, flip videos, Skype, etc. I dare say that everyone who has a child who even knows how to use a cell phone should read this novel ASAP!

    This book is such an absolute page-turner that I really don't want to say much more about the plot so that I don't spoil your fabulous upcoming reading experience. Suffice it to say, the boy, the girl and their parents all get in BIG trouble. Despite the teenagers' actions, they are lovable and believable. Fowler's character development is tremendous.

    Exposure is really a 21st century Romeo and Juliet. This book will be the delight of book clubs as it has a gripping plot and can so easily lead to moral and ethical questions. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I see this book becoming a movie shortly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very Impressed

    *Note: I received an advanced copy, so I won't go into details in case something is changed before final publication.

    While at first I feared that Exposure would go the way of A) a cheesey teenage love gone wrong story, or B) an overzealous courtroom drama, I was pleasantly surprised to keep reading and find that it was neither. Fowler managed to bring in the romantic and legal aspects while at the same time developing truly engaging characters and creating an overall flowing story. Once into "the meat" of the story, I had a hard time putting the book down. I genuinely cared about Anthony and Amelia, and could not wait to get to find out what happened to them. It definitely has me interesting in reading more by Therese Fowler.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2013

    Very Interesting

    A really good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    Outstanding!!!!

    Compelling, love story, realistic topics about teens and sexting and how parents become involved---could not put it down---finished over the weekend! Raw and full of emotion with real characters you grow to love and adore! Having raised two sons and three stepsons in the south (Winston-Salem, NC) before moving to Atlanta and now Florida, coming from strict parents within the Bible belt, myself; could relate as such a conservative closed mind area.

    Even though my sons are grown now with families of their own it offers an insight to what is in store for their children--the internet and technology has changed all our lives, especially teens and the younger generation. The story is about teens, young love, romance, and relationships with parents, politics, and the south—a wake-up call to parents a teens alike.

    Have read Therese’s other two books; however, will say without a doubt, Exposure was outstanding and this gem truly belongs on the best seller list and movie worthy! Hats’ off to Fowler for bringing a story to life which appears was close to her heart; controversial and well-written. A must read - I highly recommend!

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  • Posted September 10, 2011

    Excellent reading

    Well written, believable characters, page turner.

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  • Posted August 17, 2011

    Timely & Relevant Read!

    Wow! Where to begin?

    In this digital age we live in, can we ever be to careful of the information we save, store, and put out there for the world to see?

    My youngest son is 16 and his cell phone is an extension of his right arm. We've had numerous talks about the dangers of sexting, the harm that can be done by simply forwarding a picture sent to him by someone else. But does he really get it?

    I don't think I truly got it until I read Exposure. Aside from the obvious humiliation, rumors and innuendos both parties would find themselves surrounded by, there are also the legal ramifications to consider which this book did such an excellent job of driving home.

    Anthony and Amelia don't feel like they have done anything wrong. They love each other. But what they don't understand is at their age, Anthony eighteen and Amelia seventeen, is that in showing their love to each other they trip a wire that runs a thin line back to the law. And even though they did something very personal and very private which they thought would only ever involve them, it turns out to have very real and powerful consequences for those that they love as well, and soon Anthony's mother Kim is just as knee-deep in the court system as they are.

    I felt the heartache these two teenagers were going through- the love they had for each other, the painful forced separation, the worry, anxiety and fear. Therese Fowler makes you feel every emotion acutely. Even though I could never condone what they did or what they're about to do I found myself rooting them on. And Amelia's father, though well within his legal right as a parent, needed a rude awakening that I sincerely wanted to be the one to give him.

    Exposure had me feeling far-ranging emotions with every page I turned and after my last book (good, but dry) it was a welcome feeling. I loved this timely and relevant novel so I am rating it 4.5/5 stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2011

    Now meets then

    I was frustrated with Mr. Wilkes' old-school ways of thinking...that he should have a grand plan for his daughter's life as he sees it. But, as most parents know, with children comes a yearning for indepence. Today's young adults also add a mix of an ever increasing social media presence. While this book shows the lengths parents and teens may go to get "their way" it also is a springboard for discussion on the media (texting, email, facebook, etc.) that are a part of our lives from now on. How different to parent today than when our parents raised us.......

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  • Posted July 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Woman's Point of View

    This novel should come with an advisory warning: Male lawyers are not going to like the way this book portrays them! Men in general don't fare too well either. The story is a soap opera of a tale about teens sending messages called "sexting" which include nude photos of themselves.It's a topic of conversation around the country, and for those who do not understand the popularity of it, take note that the book is of no help there. Sexting just is. As a story I rated the book 4 stars, both because it is heartfelt, and because it does have something to say beyond how ugly male lawyers are. Teens have been falling in love for centuries, and fathers have always been reluctant to see their little girl grow up. The author puts a new twist on this with the sexting angle and will perhaps deter some teens from doing it, or at least make them consider carefully before they do. And it is them that the book seems to address, not male lawyers anyway!

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  • Posted July 7, 2011

    BORING, don't waste your time or money

    This book was SO boring and the ending was pathetic. I have enjoyed Therese Fowler's other 2 books, I figured I would like this as well. NOT!
    I can't believe the Author put aside a book that she was writing for this.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2011

    An Exceedingly Emotional Story...

    Exposure by Therese Fowler is a boldly captivating, riveting and at times, haunting story of young love that is distorted and misinterpreted by outside forces. What makes Exposure a standout novel is the fact that the characters are so utterly real. I think that everyone can relate to these teenagers because everyone knows an Amelia and an Anthony. You can truly connect with the story, because you can get inside it. You feel a kinship with these teens, because they have such honesty in them.

    The story definitely has elements of heartbreak, especially in the way that the relationship between Amelia and Anthony is skewed and formed into something else by her father. As you read the passages narrated by the young adults, a vision of a all-consuming, genuine first love. When you see it from the fathers eyes and see what he tries to portray their relationship as - well it stirs up quite a reaction. Therein lies the gold-mine of Exposure - strong reactions and difficult emotions.

    Fowler expertly plays up these heightened feelings and forces readers to take notice of this difficult subject matter. She beautifully crafts this complicated tale of a young love that is cast in different lights depending on the viewer. Fowler throws many difficult questions at the reader and forces you to feel. This, I think is the mark of a wonderful book -something that pushes the boundaries, something that takes hold of you and puts you through a riveting emotional ride.

    The writing is superb, the storyline is captivating and the characters are honest. Honestly, I do not know what else you could ask for. Exposure is one of those rare novels that quickly grabs hold of you and never really lets go. If you enjoy challenging storylines that not only encourage thinking, but demand it - then Exposure is the book for you.

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  • Posted May 23, 2011

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    Real life romeo and juliet

    This book was great. The characters build that love that only eighteen year olds can have, true passion. The understanding mother and over protective father, its a must read. Loved the way it ended

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  • Posted May 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Exposure- You need to read this!

    Exposure, by Therese Fowler

    Exposure is a modern Romeo and Juliet; a teenage couple who are desperate to be together despite Amelia's father edict that she was not allowed to date, even at 17. Anthony and Amelia, who after their cumulating night of love, make a decision that has consequences far beyond what either of them could have possibly imagined. Amelia's father finds naked pictures of Anthony on her computer, and despite her protests, uses his influence on the local police to arrest Anthony, and to have the media label him a sex offender. Events continue to unravel out of control, and soon the story gains national attention. With the continued investigation, the "sexting" takes a wild turn, and the teens take drastic measures to clear their names.


    Ms. Fowler bravely takes from a personal experience that occurred in 2009 when her son approached her with dread and announced, "Mom. I'm in trouble and I'm going to be arrested.", and creates a work of fiction that feels uncomfortably real. The book, as the author states, "is fiction, the characters drawn completely from my imagination." All the reactions and fears are entirely real.


    As a HS teacher, I asked a couple of good students, average teens, about sexting, and their comments surprised me.

    Yes, it is happening, in good schools, in good families, in your area! Beginning in MIDDLE SCHOOL!


    And yes, these 'harmless' acts, even when both parties consent, if caught and convicted, will have to register as sex offenders. I too have personal knowledge of such events.


    Bravo to Ms. Fowler (as well as her son and family), for sharing, which as I can only imagine, must have heart-wrenching.


    Suffice it to say that I truly loved the book and will be HIGHLY recommending it to others!

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