Consent by Nancy Ohlin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Bea is floating along her senior year, letting her best friend, Plum. dictate their agenda: studying for classes, planning college trips to the best ivy league schools, and practicing for the SAT test. But Bea has a secret, she plays the piano like her mother who died when Bea was an infant. Father cries whenever he hears Bea play, so she has had to learn and practice on her own. When she is overheard playing by a new, young music teacher at school, Mr. Rossi, he is the first one to tell her just how talented she really is. Dane Rossi offers to introduce her to his teacher at Julliard, opening up opportunities, Bea had never even considered, because she and her father rarely talk and she feels abandoned by him. A weekend trip to play for the professor changes her future, and her relationship with her teacher, causing even more secrets and confusion. She thinks she’s in love, but is she really?
I think my girls will eat this book up, but I had to keep putting it down to take a break, it made me so uncomfortable, yet I had to finish it. The author does a great job of getting into Bea’s head. Bea is filled with survivor’s guilt and liar’s guilt. She can’t talk to her dad about her dreams because that brings up painful memories for her father. Bea’s brother doesn’t want anything to do with her because he views her as the reason, his mother is dead. It’s no wonder she is vulnerable. The ending wraps up almost too quickly, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. As a parent of a seventeen-year-old girl, the whole thing just makes me enraged, from Bea’s father’s distance to her teacher’s taking advantage. But if I were alone within my family, as a seventeen-year-old girl like Bea, I might find it all very romantic. Ugh! Four stars for keeping me so engaged and angry.
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