Monday, June 20, 2011

Damaged: Natalie's Story

Damaged:  Natalie’s Story
By:  Talia Jager
ASIN:  B003X4M6R0
Published July 23, 2010
Available Format: ebook

My Rating:  ★★★★☆

Natalie Jarret is a bright, beautiful seventeen-year-old girl with her whole life ahead of her.  When the new boy, Josh, charms her, she can’t help but fall for him.  Behind his stunning good looks and sweet brown eyes lies a violent monster.  All too soon, Natalie finds herself trapped in the ebb and flow of an abusive relationship.  When she lands in the hospital with near-fatal injuries and permanent damage both physically and emotionally, she can no longer hide what Josh truly is.  This is only the beginning of her troubles.  Natalie must somehow learn to rise above her pain and live again.

I received a copy of Damaged from the author for review.

As this story began, I was a little worried by the, what I call, “matter-of-fact” style of writing. It didn’t take long, however, for me to be completely drawn into Natalie’s life.  I began to relate to what she was feeling with Josh.  I know all too well what it is like to love someone so much you do not want to see them for what they truly are.  I endured an abusive relationship many years ago, and although it never escalated as far as Natalie and Josh’s relationship, it still changed my life and me forever.   

This story will draw you in, terrify you, frustrate you, and break your heart.  You will want to reach out to Natalie.  You will want to shake her and tell her to get away while she can.  You will want to scream at her that she is taking herself down a terribly destructive path.  You will want to wrap her in your arms and tell her that you care—that you want to help her recover. 

Within the pages of this book, there are great lessons about young love, abusive relationships, teen pregnancy, family ties, friendships, and alcoholism.  Jager does a wonderful job of tying all these aspects together into one heartfelt story.  Recommended for ages nine and above, it is a perfect way to help teach young girls about the very real dangers of domestic abuse and alcoholism.