by Kimberly Marcus

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In the dim light of the darkroom, I'm alone, but not for long.
As white turns to gray, Kate is with me.
The background of the dance studio blurred, so the focus is all on her
legs extended in a perfect soaring split.
The straight line to my squiggle,
my forever-best friend.

Sixteen-year-old Liz is Photogirl—sharp, focused and confident in what she sees through her camera lens. Confident that she and Kate will be best friends forever.

But everything changes in one blurry night. Suddenly, Kate is avoiding her, and people are looking the other way when she passes in the halls. As the aftershocks from a startling accusation rip through Liz's world, everything she thought she knew about photography, family, friendship and herself shifts out of focus. What happens when the picture you see no longer makes sense? What do you do when you may lose everything you love most? Told in stunning, searingly raw free verse, Exposed is Kimberly Marcus's gut-wrenching, riveting debut and will appeal to fans of Ellen Hopkins, Laurie Halse Anderson and Virginia Euwer Wolff.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375897245
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 02/22/2011
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

KIMBERLY MARCUS lives with her husband and two children near the beach in Massachusetts, not far from the ferry to Martha's Vineyard. She is a clinical social worker specializing in the treatment of childhood and adolescent trauma. Exposed is her first novel. You can visit her on the Web at

From the Hardcover edition.

Read an Excerpt

Darkroom Photography, First Period

I am the first one here.
Viewing negatives on the light table,
I find one and itch
to open the chamber
that leads to the darkroom.
Soon, others stroll in:
Javier, the Hoopster.
Nathan, the Nuisance.
Brenda, star of The Brenda Show.
The bell rings as Mrs. Pratt
breezes through the door,
clapping her hands
to get everyone’s attention.
Everyone’s attention,
I should say,
but mine.
Because nobody needs to tell
Elizabeth Grayson,
to focus.
Bringing to Light

I slip the photo paper
into the developing solution,
sway it around with black plastic tongs
and wait.
The hum of air from the overhead vent,
the swish of chemicals,
and the sucking in of my breath
are the only sounds shifting
in the dim light of the darkroom.
I’m alone
but not for long.
As white turns to gray,
Kate is with me.
The background of the dance studio blurred
so the focus is all on her—
legs extended in a perfect, soaring split.
The straight line to my squiggle,
my forever-best friend.
In the Hallway, After Last Bell

The word bursts from my mouth
at the same moment my fingers poke
into each side of her from behind,
and Kate’s books drop with a thud.
She whips around in an attempt
to elbow her attacker,
but I’m prepared and jump back
out of her way.
“Liz!” she yelps , then laughs,
waving her hands at my face,
before we reach to re-gather her books
around and between Friday’s fleeing feet.
“Just trying to keep you on your toes,” I say,
touching her shoulder until it relaxes,
until she gives me a forgiving grin.
“I’m on my toes enough,” she says,
and I can’t help but smile
at this pointed comeback
from the Mistress of Modern Dance.
“I developed a shot of you dancing today.”
Kate shakes her head.
“I can’t believe I let you take
pictures of me sweating.”
But I tell her my begging paid off,
that this shot is going in my portfolio.
She zips her books
into the safety of her backpack,
scrunches her forehead,
and says I may want to rethink that—
that she would hate for her ugly self
to be the reason I don’t get into art school.
I take in her perfect, china-doll complexion,
look straight into her blue-green eyes,
and tell her, “Art schools now require
applicants to submit photos
of the ugliest person they can find.
So you don’t have a thing
to worry about.”
Friday Night at Salvatore’s

We’re at our favorite cheesy pizza place:
plastic-coated, red-checkered tablecloths,
Leaning Tower painted on one wall,
a vineyard, maybe Tuscany, on another.
Sal, behind the counter,
white mustache curled in handlebars,
huge belly threatening to burst
through his grease-splattered apron,
singing along to piped-in Italian music.
A walking cliché.
Amanda piles on
Parmesan cheese and hot-pepper flakes.
Dee Dee blots off extra oil with her napkin.
Kate uses a fork and knife
to cut her slice into bite-sized pieces.
By the time my three friends
are finished preparing their meals,
I’m ready for dessert.
“What time should I come by tomorrow?”
Kate asks as we leave.
“I’m staying on the Vineyard
for a few hours after work,” I tell her.
“How about seven?”
“Sounds good,” she says,
closing the door
on Sal’s serenade.

Most of the kids who work
for the Martha’s Vineyard Ferry Service,
in the parking lots, at the ticket booth,
or in the concession stands
on the boats, like me,
work during the high season.
A cool summer job.
But keeping my Saturday 8–2 shift
gives me spending money
and the chance to stay on the island
and hitch a later ferry home to Shoreview.
“See ya, Lizzie-Lou!” my father calls from the bridge
as I make my way down the ramp.
He’s just Dad to me,
but to everyone else he’s Cap.
Captain Robert Grayson,
King of the Ferry,
Noble Seaman of Nantucket Sound.
Photo Op

I get on my bike
and pedal right out of Vineyard Haven
until I’m winding down country roads
lined with old stone walls and grazing horses.
I lean my bike against an oak
tinted with autumn’s promise
and raise my camera to catch a shot
of a wistful woman,
gray hair in a long braid down her back,
patting sweat from her neck
with a green bandana
as she pauses atop her ride-on mower
and stares out across her big yard
at all the grass yet to be mowed.

From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Exposed 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
EllzReadz More than 1 year ago
My thoughts...This is one of those stories that will leave you thinking about right and wrong. Liz finds herself in an agonizing situation when her best friend accuses her brother of a horrible crime. As she tells the story, she experiences feelings like guilt, shame, fear, anger, and frustration. As the reader, you really experience each of these feeling with her. The story is told in verse, which makes the book interesting in several ways. First, it is a very quick read. Once you start, it's hard to stop reading. Secondly, the pages are short and to the point. You don't get a lot of filler or side stories. This really drove the emotions home. I noticed quite a bit of character development, but not in the traditional sense. Liz's passion is photography. It is through her pictures, or at times the lack of content in her pictures, that I really noticed the changes in her character. Exposed is an emotional story. It deals with tough issues and leaves the reader feeling raw and emotional. Exposed is also a powerful story, one that I would recommend.
OtotheD More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely captivating. I was a little hesitant when I picked this one up. The premise intrigued me, but I wasn't sure an entire book with this subject matter, written in verse would hold my attention, but it did. The book flows effortlessly, is wrought with emotion and every character is well-drawn. This book is very unique and perfect in every way. I cannot recommend it enough.
Eager_reader27 More than 1 year ago
A powerful, emotional, heartfelt book. Marcus cuts to the core of the heart with realism. Teens will eat this one up.
storiesandsweeties on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This amazing debut, written in free form verse, is a poignant look at how everything a person holds dear---their family foundation, their closest friendships, their own sense of self---can be shaken to it's core by one moment. It's beautifully written. One thing I've noticed about books written in verse (this is only the second that I've read) is that with so few words, and especially for this one, since its only 288 pages, each and every word packs this amazing emotional wallop. Each and every line has impact and perfectly conveys what the character is feeling and experiencing.Liz and Kate have been friends forever, and planned to keep it that way. No matter what else is going on, they drop everything once a month and have a sleepover. During one of these sleepovers, they have a fight, Liz goes upstairs to her room, and from that night on, everything changes. Kate won't talk to her, won't return her calls, avoids her the school hallways. Liz is dumbfounded---the fight they had wasn't that bad. The mystery is solved a few days later when she finds out through word of mouth what happened when she left Kate alone that night and Liz's older brother came home.I really felt for Liz being thrown into the middle of this, being left to try to decipher what really happened and which of these people that she loves is lying to her. Both sides have completely different stories. Her best friend in the world says she can't even look at her because when she does she sees her brother. Her brother says he did nothing wrong and is hurt that Liz doubts his innocence. Her parents are just barely holding it together, but also placing a lot on Liz's shoulders. Even Liz's one saving grace, her ability to lose herself to her photography and the future she had in it, seems to be slipping away. It was heartbreaking to read, brought me close to tears more than once. Everyone involved loses so much in these sorts of situations, everyone gets dragged through the mud. It's the kind of story that artfully and honestly presents both sides and gets you thinking. Definitely give this one a try.
booktwirps on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely captivating. I was a little hesitant when I picked this one up. The premise intrigued me, but I wasn't sure an entire book with this subject matter, written in verse would hold my attention, but it did. The book flows effortlessly, is wrought with emotion and every character is well-drawn. This book is very unique and perfect in every way. I cannot recommend it enough.
clogger56 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this novel. I found it to be interesting how, depending on how the reader looks at it, the title could mean different things. There were multiple times that I wasn't expecting the events that occurred to happen. I found myself not wanting to put this novel down!
libsue on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Liz and Kate are "best friends forever" until something forever breaks them apart. Kimberly Marcus has given us a beautifully written story written in poem form that will tear you apart.
JackieBlem on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up initially because it seemed to have a photography theme (the main character is a photography student), which is up my interest alley. When I saw that it was written completely in free verse, I almost put it down. But I read the first couple of pages...and didn't put it down until I read every last page. Some of them twice. Wow, oh wow, oh wow is this a fantastic book. This is a powerhouse of a debut novel for Marcus, who has a pitch perfect ear for the teenage mind and the dynamics of both family and friends at that age. The emotions are raw, they come crashing out of the sparsely worded pages in vivid waves that at times can take your breath away. I am stunned and awed by this novel and think that just about everybody should read this book, not just teens. It is remarkable writing, plain and deceptively simple. Magnificent!
wsquared on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Told in verse, this novel takes a nuanced look at a rape accusation that tears a family and a friendship apart. Elizabeth's story packs an emotional punch and provides lots of fodder for discussion in a brief, compelling story.
marcejewels on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
From my blogI really loved the fact that Kimberly M. got it right with young adults. The parental guidance, relationship with parents, school life, best friends and emotions during preparation time for college. This was a YA book that made me remember and appreciate that time in my life. During this time in Liz's life one thing goes wrong and life just no longer feels and looks the same and can she go on? Dealing with the what, when and if scenarios. The consequences of what you say. I think most females have a friend that they can say anything too and then out of blue its like you said the worst thing and you continue thinking, should I have said that or not. I enjoyed this feeling getting captured.This was a great Verse Novel, I like the in your face emotion with minimum words, very effective. I look forward to more from KimberlyM.
StaceyMacWrites on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kimberly Marcus brought us a fast pitched and deep novel in Exposed. Like Exposed, a novel in verse, a typically formatted review simply won't do. So while this will be short, don't let the word count fool you.So much about Exposed was predictable but the execution made it unique and it was the key focuses of the book that made it so much more then what I expected. I never expected the topic of photography to be such a deep rooted emotion and life lesson in Exposed. It truly took the title of the book and the main character's driving passion in life to another level. It wasn't just a hobby it was a way of life and a definition for what makes up real life, which was completely fitting for this slightly coming-of-age tale.The thing for me with novels in verse are the fact they paint a picture in a completely different light than other novels. An author writing in verse really only has one shot at making an impact and driving home the emotions we strive to feel while reading. Luckily for me, a reader who rarely picks up verse novels, Kimberly Marcus delivered her young adult debut effortlessly and with a style that read flawless of any seams.Kimberly Marcus didn't hold back where other authors could have. Exposed was extremely empowering, personal and raw. I will definitely be picking up all future works by 2011 YA Debut Author, Kimberly Marcus.
love_of_books on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Liz and Kate were the very best of friends and had been for years when suddenly the two have a fight and Kate begins avoiding her BFF. Liz worries abut the split and learns, to her dismay, that it¿s her brother who¿s at the heart of the rift. But it¿s impossible; Kate says Liz¿s brother raped her. That can¿t be! The book is told in verse and moves along very quickly, keeping the reader riveted. The impact on the teens is apparent but it¿s Liz we follow through her turmoil over losing her best friend, living with her parents¿ obsession with the rape trial, with her brother¿s behavior, with her loss of friends at school, and with her inability to function in her personal dealings with her own boyfriend. Her view on life has shattered, just as her passion for photography suffers, and it's her hold on who she really is that is slipping away. Marcus does a great job of getting at the psychological impact sexual violence can have on all ¿ not just the parties directly involved.
VykiC37 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Find this review and more at On The Shelf Exposed is a very open, poetic story about two best friends, Kate, a dancer, and Liz, a photographer, who have known each other for years. They are practically inseparable until they get into a fight at one of their monthly sleepovers and Kate starts to act oddly around Liz. That night changed both of their lives forever, and their friendship. This was the first book I ever read that was written in poems. It has a very different, artistic feel to it that has a nice flow that is unique to this type of novel and I thoroughly enjoyed this style of writing. It took no time at all to read it; I sped through it in about 2 hours. Obviously, it is a very fast read, which is precisely how I like my books. As for the story, it deals with a tough situation and your heart is yanked in two different directions just like Liz¿s. Liz is put into the middle and doesn¿t know which way to lean. It¿s a very strong story with honest words and a lot of turmoil for the main characters. As the title says, characters are exposed in ways they never thought they would be and they have to cope with what happened and how it affected them.Raw, honest, poetic, turbulent.
BornBookish on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is definitely on my list of top in-verse novels that I have read so far. It does contain some tough subject matter, especially for the younger audience. I don¿t want to go into detail because that would spoil the twist. I really liked the authors writing style. The verses were short and sweet, just how I like them.I felt like I was able to connect with the main character, Liz, very easily through her love for photography. I¿m no photogirl but I do love taking pictures, and I¿m actually taking darkroom photography this semester. I also felt like all her thoughts and emotions were spot on for someone going through her situation. It bugged me at some points because it seemed like no one else in Liz¿s life could understand her point of view or where she was coming from a lot of the time, and I just felt like, considering the circumstances, they should have been more understanding.This is the authors first YA novel, and all I can say is that I hope she writes more, preferably in verse =)
nlsobon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
¿Exposed¿ is a story about Liz ¿ photogirl ¿ and her best friend, Kate. During their Saturday Night Slumber, Liz and Kate get into an argument which results in Liz retreating to her bedroom, leaving Kate behind on the couch. Alone. When she wakes up the next morning to find Kate gone, she assumes she¿s still mad about their fight. Until Kate claims that Liz¿s brother, Mike, raped her.It¿s an accusation that changes Liz¿s life for good. Does she believe her best friend? Or does she believe her brother? How can she be his sister now? How can she look at her photographs of Kate now?Everything begins falling apart. Liz¿s friends side with Kate ¿ something she understands, but something that still hurts nonetheless. Her mother becomes a shell of the outgoing, friendly woman she used to be; refusing to believe her son could do something so terrible. Liz, who finds comfort with her boyfriend, Brian, soon finds herself alone. But the hardest part still is facing Kate when it¿s all said and done.¿Exposed¿ tackles a very difficult subject matter. I wasn¿t sure I¿d like it, but I did. It¿s a very powerful story worth picking up.
jjameli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Who is Liz? I don't really think I was able to get a grasp of who she was. I know she loves taking photos, and she's heartbroken about what is going on around her, but I just couldn't get a sense of her. I mostly blame myself for feeling that I am not getting enough content with verse. Snippets into someone's life just isn't enough for me. Everything happens and ends so quickly. Exposed is about a very serious matter, and dealt with in a very mature and realistic way..but darn if I could just let go of my hate for verse. I felt like I read a rough draft of a what could be a freaking awesome YA novel. To sum it up, I thought Exposed was lacking
miztrebor More than 1 year ago
I’m always looking out for more novels in verse to read. Ever since I read my first, I can’t get enough. I found Exposed through a random Goodreads search, and I’m glad I came across it. I’ll be looking forward to reading more from the author in the future. I thought the way the author chose to incorporated a X (real word omitted to avoid a spoiler) into the book, but not give X the main focus to be interesting. What could be the main plot line of another book was a “minor” plot point in Exposed. It helped to drive characters, family and friends, apart, but also allowed Liz, the main character and narrator, to show a view on X that isn’t often seen in literature. The view of someone caught in the middle, but not a main player. Aside from the main conflict, I also enjoyed the author’s ability to use the verse novel form. It’s one thing to write a novel in verse, but to use a form that’s more limited with words, that makes the words used have more emphasis, there were many lines in the book that made it feel like a book of poetry as opposed to a novel. There were many moments of pure poetry to convey Liz’s emotions, her view of a situation, and (a favorite part of her character for me) what she sees through the lens of her camera. This was a great young adult novel told in verse. It was also a great look into another view on an important issue we may all encounter at some point in life. Despite a few vague areas for me, I felt this was a great debut and as I said earlier, I’m looking forward to more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good book TOO SHORT.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lovergrrl More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was an easy read, very quick. The plot makes you think, "What would I do in this situation? How would I react? Whose side would I take?" Liz finds out her brother has raped her bestfriend. Brother says he did not rape her, but it was consensual sex and he would never hurt the best friend. Of course, the bestfriend's side of the story is completely different. I would definitely recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written without a single unnecessary word, this free verse book will captivate readers of all ages. With her background as a school crisis counselor, Marcus knows her characters and the topics from many angles. My only criticism is the new generic cover on the paperback version; the original hardcover picture helped create the mood before one even opened the book.
Nikkayme More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars Exposed is a quick reading, taking me just over an hour to finish, but it's also hard-hitting and emotional. Kimberly Marcus' use of verse wondrously illustrates how quickly 16 year old Liz's life falls apart. How her best friend, her brother, and her photography come crashing down around her. The thing I love about verse novels is that they're a fast read, but on top of that, they tend to be so well-written that the characters come to life vividly and with startling clarity. Exposed has that. Liz is a complete person in the novel, with a best friend, a family, and a future. She seems to have everything going for her, until she doesn't. I don't want to say exactly what happens, but it's something that tears her in two. The reader will feel how split Liz is about the situation, not knowing who to support and defend and who she should be angry with. The writing not only tells a good story, but it evokes a great deal of emotion. Liz's disintegrating world will pull the reader along, not sure who to believe or what to feel. Liz's photography within the story strengthens her character even as she's losing it. I love how Liz sees the world through a lens at the beginning, but as the story moves on, her lens becomes clouded, until she can't see anything anymore. The photography aspects allow for some great lines, as well as some great metaphorical musings. The other characters involved may not be completely fleshed out, but they each add to the story. I couldn't help but find myself angry at Kate, at Liz's brother Mike, at her parents, and her boyfriend, but then I was angry for them to; angry that they had to go through this, that they each have to suffer. Much like Liz, I was constantly torn between two states, not sure which side I was going to land on, or if I could straddle that line forever. Exposed is a deftly-written, emotional, and somehow hopeful verse novel about losing everything, but still making it. It tackles a hard subject realistically and from an almost outsider's perspective. Liz is outsider in the situation, but beyond close at the same time. The writing is phenomenal and had me near tears at times because this could happen, this does happen, and this is how most people probably handle it. If you're a fan of verse novels or contemporary young adult fiction, then this one is for you.
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