Saturday, June 06, 2009

Book Review: Prey

Prey, by Lurlene McDaniel, is, in a word, disturbing.

It's a story about a 15 year old high school freshman, Ryan, and his knockout social studies teacher, Lori, and their secretive and highly sexual relationship. The story has every emotional pitfall you would expect when mixing a 15 year old and a 32 year old, not to mention betraying the teacher/student dynamic that is so highly regarded and respected in our society. The amazing thing to me about this story is that Lori had her eye on Ryan from the first day of school, and vice versa. Maybe I just always thought that things like this 'just happen,' but it was planned and carefully executed like a well choreographed routine on Dancing with the Stars.

A teacher myself, I found it sickening that sordid relationships like this actually exist. It's an abuse of power and a pathetic attempt to control something that you should have no right to control. Towards the end, the book addresses the well know fact that if the genders would have been reversed, all hell would have broken loose for the male teacher, but as the case may be, Lori was sentenced to only six months in jail and nine months probation, never to teach again.

Stories like this make my skin crawl. They also make my heart break for all of the emotionally weak and battered people in the world who look to things like this (or pornography, child abuse, drugs, alcohol, etc) to fill the void from their broken pasts instead of seeking after the One who can truly make them whole. Though this book was only 192 pages and I read it in a day, it's scary to me that it's classified as 'Young Adult' and that high schoolers (and younger!) are reading this book. Hits a little too close to home if you ask me.