In Too Deep
by Amanda Grace
Expected Publication: 02.08.12
I never meant for anyone to get hurt. All I wanted to do that night was make a play for Carter Davis. His heartless rejection was mortifying, but people got the wrong idea when they saw me leaving his bedroom, crying. That’s how rumors of rape started.
Now girls at school are pouring out their sympathy to me. Guys too. But not everyone’s on my side. The school has become a war zone and the threats are getting scary. What began as poetic justice has morphed into something bigger-forcing me to make a terrible choice.
My Thoughts: There are two major story lines in this book- one is about a misunderstanding that morphs into a lie that spirals out of control, and the other one is a sweet love story between the boy and girl next door. Put together and you get a pretty powerful novel, although don’t look for a tidy, happy ending here.
Sam is in love with next door neighbor and best friend Nick, but because Sam is extremely passive about her life, she decides to try to make him jealous instead of just telling him that she loves him. Which is how she ends up in Carter’s bedroom, which leads to the imploding of her life.
Sam has a very strained relationship with her over protective law enforcement dad, so she’s fairly unused to alcohol. By the time she get’s to Carter’s room, she’s pretty trashed. Carter is a flirt, but it turns out he’s not very nice, and when Sam comes stumbling out of his room crying, gossip girl Michelle assumes Sam’s been raped. The weekend goes by without Sam realizing that the entire small town she lives in is discussing what happened at Carter’s party. Nick finally makes the move on her, and for once Sam is feeling happy.
Monday brings Sam’s happiness crashing down. Unaware that most people assume Carter raped her, Sam instead thinks he spread a rumor that he bagged her, or told everyone how he put her down. By the time she realizes what’s really going on, she feels helpless to correct the lie. Soon even Nick believes that she’s been raped, and afraid of losing him, Sam continues to keep quiet.
Is a rumor really that powerful? Is my rumor really that powerful?
The school is divided, those that support Carter (mostly the jocks he hangs out with) and those that easily believe Carter capable of sexual assault. Sam suddenly finds herself with new friends, Tracey- Carter’s ex whom he dumped after she put out, Macy- who Carter dumped for not putting out, and Sam’s old friend Veronica- who Carter spread rumors that she was a lesbian after she wouldn’t date him. Even after admitting to the truth to the girls, they convince Sam to keep quiet, feeling that since school is almost over that Carter deserves to suffer a little. Sam’s unsure, but having been passive her entire life, she keeps mum.
I really understood Sam, and while I don’t think Carter deserved the stigma of sexual predator, it’s easy to see how someone like Sam could quietly go along with the rumor. As she points out, she never actually told the lie, she just didn’t correct it. Carter is a very unpleasant golden boy, used to getting his way, and he and his friends make Sam’s life very uncomfortable. Sam is afraid to tell the truth, and she’s afraid of what will happen if she doesn’t tell the truth. She’s very aware of the suffering Carter is going through, even if he’s not the nicest person on the planet.
What In Too Deep really exposes is quick we as a society are to make judgements. It happens all the time, in the news, in the media, and in our own towns. It’s not just that most of the school is quick to believe Carter raped Sam, it’s also that some of his friends are quick to dismiss the possibility and threaten Sam. It really makes me want to go back and watch the movie Gossip. I honestly think this would make a great book club selection, but also a good book for teens to read along with their parents. Everything in this book worked well for me and I’d definitely recommend it.
In Too Deep gets a Midnight Book Rating of:
The cover of In Too Deep gets a Midnight Cover Rating of:
I think it fits the story well, and illustrates how alone and trapped Sam feels.
*I received a copy of In Too Deep through Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for my honest opinion.