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Different Roads

Different Roads - Lori L. Clark I'm going to say right off the bat that I hate that I didn't like this book. I really wanted to like it, but--I just didn't. It was awful.

You guise have read the summary, so you sort of know what this is about. The story starts off with Jaqueline, known to her friends as Jaq, who has been dating her boyfriend for several months. They've been planning the night they would finally have sex (on her sixteenth birthday) for quite some time, but shortly before that, Jaq meets Seth at a party. She's attracted to him, and that makes her realize that her feelings for Rick are not strong enough to give up her virginity to him.

That's all fine and good. I think that girls often change their minds about when they are ready to have sex. Considering that Jaq was only 15, I'm really happy that she decided to wait. What happens next, though, is deplorable, and I feel that the author really did a disservice to women everywhere with the date-rape scene described in this book. Before that, though, Jaq's mother gives her a box of condoms and basically tells her to "have fun." I was shocked.

Even after she has decided to break up with Rick, she still allows him to believe that they are headed to a hotel to have sex when he picks her up for their date that night. He even mentions using "a dozen" condoms. She leaves with him knowing they are going directly to a hotel. Not to the theater. Not out on a date. Once they get to the hotel...she tells him that she is going to the bathroom to change into something more comfortable. She is miffed when he gets upset that it wasn't to take off her clothes. He gives her a drink that has been roofied. I don't think that her boyfriend would have drugged her when he knew they were going to the hotel with the explicit intent to have sex. when he's done, he tells her that's all he wanted from her anyway.

After that scene, there is a huge jump in time and Jaq is in college. She seems pretty promiscuous to me, quite unlike someone who would have a hard time trusting guys. Of course, I realize that not everyone is going to react to being raped in the way that I would think they would. But what I would expect is for her to have at least thought about what an impact Rick made on her life. We don't get to see any of the aftermath of her dealing with the rape, what she did or didn't tell her mother, or anything. Just...next trauma!

After meeting Damon, a guy she knows is bad news, she runs into Seth again and the two quickly become intimately involved. Then, with no apparent reason and no warning, he pretty much vanishes, and Jaq turns to Damon. Their relationship is pretty ridiculous and outright unbelievable. She tries to sort through her way in life without really dealing with anything that is going on with her.

I think that Lori L. Clark had some great ideas here, but definitely fell flat with the execution. There's drug use, date rape, domestic violence, the list goes on and on. But nothing is dealt with. Jaq just allows herself to be a victim with no thought or action to getting out of her situations. There's even an accident that involves a friend, but even that, though it's sad, barely makes sense in the way it fits into this book.

I felt no connection to these characters whatsoever. I didn't get a chance to root for Jaq to make things better for herself before something else terrible happened. I didn't like any of the guys she was with and honestly could not understand what Jaq saw in any of them, except Rick (the boyfriend at the beginning). It was a clusterfuck, to be honest. The ending was par for the course--shocking and sensational. Personally, I'm glad it ended the way it did.