Lily and Taylor

Overview


After her older sister is murdered in a horrific incident of domestic abuse, Taylor begins a new life in a new town. She meets Lily, whose open, warm manner conceals a difficult personal life of her own, coping with her brain-injured mother. The two girls embark on a tentative friendship. But just when life seems to be smoothing out, Taylor’s abusive boyfriend, Devon, arrives on the scene, and before they know it, the girls find themselves in a situation that is both scary, and...
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Overview


After her older sister is murdered in a horrific incident of domestic abuse, Taylor begins a new life in a new town. She meets Lily, whose open, warm manner conceals a difficult personal life of her own, coping with her brain-injured mother. The two girls embark on a tentative friendship. But just when life seems to be smoothing out, Taylor’s abusive boyfriend, Devon, arrives on the scene, and before they know it, the girls find themselves in a situation that is both scary, and incredibly dangerous.

Abetted by Conor, a friend who owes him a favor, Devon takes the girls to a remote cabin. There is no heat, no food, no water. There is a hunting rifle, which Devon uses to intimidate the others. As he becomes increasingly agitated, and Conor threatens to bail, the girls engage in a silent battle of their own. Lily wants to escape, while Taylor feels hopelessly trapped by her relationship with Devon and uses sex and flattery to try to keep the situation calm. The cabin becomes a pressure cooker, filled with tension as the four teenagers wrestle with their anger, fear, resentment and boredom — any one of which could tip the situation into disaster.

From the opening moments when Taylor witnesses her sister’s autopsy to the final cathartic scene after the two girls have survived their ordeal, the reader is glued to every page of this frank, gripping and beautifully written novel that raises questions for every teenager. Do you need to be a certain way to get a boyfriend? Can someone who loves you also hurt you? How can a million small compromises eat away at who you are? What happens when you don’t think you deserve to be treated well? How do you end up in an abusive relationship, and what keeps you there?

Elise Moser goes deeply into the hearts and minds of Lily and Taylor, who in the end save each other in unexpected ways.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The characterizations come across as completely believable, and the prose is absolutely gripping. An excellent and absorbing cautionary tale." — Kirkus, starred review

"Moser deals with abusive relationships in a sadly realistic manner. There are no happily-ever-afters here; there is only tragedy or melancholic hope. Lily and Taylor come off as authentic teens, and their friendship rings true. . . . [A]n important book for teens dealing with similar situations." — School Library Journal

"Devon stepped forward and held Taylor’s head as he gave her a long, soft kiss. She started to relax. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad. He did love her, really, was just lonely." — from the book

VOYA - Jane Gov
After her sister is murdered in a violent incident of domestic abuse, Taylor moves away to begin a new life. In a new town, she meets Lily, who, although also harboring difficult family issues of her own, inspires Taylor to be a better person. New teachers are encouraging; new friends motivate her to be stronger. Away from her old, frightening life, Taylor thinks she is safe from her abusive boyfriend, Devon. But one day, along with his friend Conor, Devon appears and forces the girls to go with them to a remote cabin. There is no heat, food, or water, and the situation becomes increasingly dangerous when anger and fear rise and Devon becomes unpredictable. No one knows they are there. The girls are trapped, and Taylor feels the only way to protect her friend is to control Devon with sex and flattery, and regresses back into her submissive self. This realistic and disturbing examination of teenage domestic abuse is both frightening and engrossing. The small cast of characters touches on multiple aspects of mistreatment—from absent or inattentive parents and child abuse to domestic violence. Each offense is treated carefully and displays evidence of a chain of abuse. The hopelessness felt by Taylor will cause readers to feel empathetic yet irrefutably angry. Some explicit descriptions and open-ended solutions add to the realistic narrative. Reviewer: Jane Gov
Kirkus Reviews
This no-holds-barred, suspenseful examination of domestic abuse serves as a powerful warning. High schooler Taylor stoically identifies her older sister's body and witnesses the end of her autopsy after her boyfriend finally beats her to death. The girl takes charge of her 6-year-old nephew, Mason, and moves away to live with her overworked grandparents. But Taylor herself is involved with a violent boyfriend. It's a textbook abusive relationship: Devon calls her constantly and threatens to beat her, imagining that she might be involved with another boy, and although fearful, Taylor believes she loves Devon and thinks she can control him with sex. She finally makes a real friend, Lily, who falls victim with Taylor when Devon and his friend Conor raise the stakes. The boys take the girls to a remote cabin with no heat, where they hold them hostage. Rather like Devon, Moser pulls no punches in describing a realistic situation of domestic violence, presenting an alternative to Taylor's submission in feisty Lily. The narrative frankly describes several sexual acts as the only power Taylor has over Devon. It touches on Devon's own experience of domestic abuse at the hands of his father, demonstrating the cycle of abuse. The characterizations come across as completely believable, and the prose is absolutely gripping. An excellent and absorbing cautionary tale. (Fiction. 14 & up)
School Library Journal
09/01/2013
Gr 9 Up—This raw, brutal story of abuse opens with Taylor observing her older sister's autopsy. It's a jarring scene that sets the tone for the rest of the book. After losing Tannis to an abusive boyfriend, Taylor tries to start over in a new town where she meets amiable Lily. However, Lily harbors some of her own domestic demons, namely a brain-injured mother whose ability to function is spotty at best. The two form a fast bond and life finally seems to be improving for both girls. Unfortunately, everything changes when Taylor's own dangerous boyfriend, Devon, shows up and imprisons the girls in a remote cabin in the woods. Despite being kidnapped, Taylor still finds herself caught between feelings of affection for him and flashes of insight that their relationship, which includes forced uprotected sex, is unhealthy. She struggles to come to terms with standing up for herself and must then face the truth about her life-or-death situation. Moser deals with abusive relationships in a sadly realistic manner. There are no happily-ever-afters here; there is only tragedy or melancholic hope. Lily and Taylor come off as authentic teens, and their friendship rings true. While this will be a heavy read for most, it is an important book for teens dealing with similar situations.—Kimberly Castle-Alberts, Hudson Library & Historical Society, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554983346
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books
  • Publication date: 9/3/2013
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 492,676
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Elise Moser was born in Brooklyn and spent her childhood in small-town New Jersey. She moved to Montreal to do an English degree at McGill University, and stayed on. She worked at Paragraphe Bookstore for twelve years and went on to become a long-time sales rep for American university presses with Lexa Publishers Representatives. Her short stories have been published in Canada and the US, and her adult novel, Because I Have Loved and Hidden It, was praised by the National Post as “[an] ambitious and artfully woven debut novel” when it was released in 2009.

She was president of the Quebec Writers’ Federation between 2009 and 2012. She presently divides her time between Montreal and Sauk City, Wisconsin.

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