Barren by Elizabeth Miceli
Publication Date: October 2015
Publisher: Swoon Romance
*** PUBLISHER’S ALERT: MATURE CONTENT WARNING ***
Recommended for ages 16+. Includes scenes that depict drug use, teen sex, and sexual assault.
This book contains mature content and depiction of a seventeen-year-old girl’s rape at the hands of another student. It is a chilling first person point of view account of something that occurs across the country at parties just like the one depicted in this story, and we wanted the fictional account to feel raw and as devastating. We also understand that these scenes may be difficult and uncomfortable for some. We recommend this novel for readers ages sixteen and older.
“I cried, praying for him to finish. I closed my eyes and tried to envision myself somewhere else… somewhere where I was happy. I thought of my family all piled around our tree on Christmas morning. I thought of singing with my band. I thought of Caitlin and me baking cookies and watching movies together. But after just a few seconds of pretending, Mike would hit me or thrust deeper, and I would be back in reality. I was being raped. I was all alone. I was a damsel in distress. And there was no one there to save me.”
Seventeen-year-old Stacey Lorenzo’s poor self-esteem has always consumed her. When significant weight loss leaves her still feeling powerless and with an eating disorder, she turns to partying to cope. Things go from bad ot worse when she is raped, a crushing blow to her psyche from which she may not recover. Stacey drugs, cuts, and hooks up with countless guys in an attempt to dull the pain. But if Stacey doesn’t find a way to face her demons and overcome her fears, she might find herself in a hole so dark, even love won’t be able to pull her out.
Guest Post – Deleted Scene
After I got home from seeing Clare at dinner, I was feeling really depressed. Some part of me felt better about telling the boys and Clare, but another part of me felt like telling them made it real. And I didn’t want this to be my life. I was in denial and I was barely holding myself together as I went into the shower that night.
When I stepped in, I couldn’t help but think about Hamlet. One of my favorite plays said “to be or not to be- that is the question.” This question was about suicide and I’d been pondering it long before the rape had even happened. Now that I was sexually assaulted, it was pushing me farther toward the edge.
As the water dampened my once dry skin, I tried to breathe through the pain. Breathe through all of the thoughts floating around in my head.
“Stop thinking about it,” I told myself. “Think about your Mom.”
I had taken a psychology class a few years before and in the class I’d learned that psychologists start to get concerned about suicide if the client actually makes a plan and decides how they’re going to commit the act. In my attempts to stay alive, I made a deal with myself. I could ponder the question as much as I wanted, but I could never make a plan.
When I got out of the shower, I got a text from Eli.
Eli: Hey Stace, I’m thinking about you and hoping that things get better. I love you and I will be here whenever you need me.
As I decided how to respond I realized that yes, things were bad, but I had to keep fighting. There were more people that loved me than I realized.
Barren is written by debut author Elizabeth Miceli. It is a devastating and dark account of one girl’s plummet to the very bottom of the human experience and the horrific and petrifying road to recovery and self-worth.
ABOUT ELIZABETH MICELI:
Elizabeth hails from the smallest state with the biggest heart. She started off at The University of Akron and then transferred to the University of Rhode Island. She is a double major in both Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies. Although she loves writing- she also has a passion for helping others which is why she is studying to become a sex therapist/couples counselor. Elizabeth loves spending time with her family and friends, singing, eating everything Italian, and baking cookies. She is “in love with love” which is probably why the driving force in almost everything she writes is romance. When she’s not getting lost in her characters she can be found waiting for her prince charming in her North Kingstown, Rhode Island home.
Giveaway Information: Contest ends October 23, 2015
- One (1) winner will receive a digital copy of Barren by Elizabeth Miceli and a $10 Amazon GC (INT)
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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl