“In Too Deep” Amanda Grace

Flux, 2012. Paperback. 228 pp.

Sam had known her next door neighbor and best friend Nick for 10 years, but never told him she loved him. She’d suffered through his on again-off again relationship with his ex, always hoping he’d notice her waiting in the background. He didn’t, so Sam decided to make him jealous.

A week before they graduated from their boring little high school in their boring little town, Sam spiced things up by pretending interest in Carter, the school’s golden boy and all around athlete, at his home party. After drunkenly approaching Carter in his bedroom, managing to fall down, bruise her eye, and rip her top all at the same time, Carter rejected her. As Sam stumbled out of Carter’s room, a passing student misinterpreted her tears and condition, spreading the rumor she’d been raped by Carter.

The next day, Sam’s wildest dreams came true when Nick admitted to having feelings for her. At school the next day strangers came up to her offering their support, and Sam was perplexed by the attention. However, when the rumor reached her ears, she was afraid to tell the truth because she didn’t want to lose Nick and felt Carter deserved it for what he’d said to her and how he’d acted towards other girls.

A long series of consequences followed, which usually arise whenever a rumor is left to grow unchecked and its hearers believe and spread it without having all the facts. Despite knowing the direction in which the rumor had taken, Sam was still unwilling to tell the truth as the rumor took on a life of its own. Soon, both Sam and Carter’s lives were negatively intertwined more than she had ever planned and, as time went on and despite her best intentions to tell Nick and others the truth, it became too difficult.

Through Sam and Carter’s eyes, Amanda Grace allowed readers to see what a rumor does to all those involved as it spreads. Hopefully, high school readers will realize the power of a rumor before they undertake to be the ones to give it life and breath.

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