In Leah's Wake

Adult
Rated 4.04/5 based on 30 reviews
Star player and captain of her soccer team, sixteen-year-old Leah Tyler has a bright future ahead of her. Though she’s only in her junior year of high school, several colleges have already expressed interest in recruiting Leah—including Harvard, where her father desperately wants her to go. But when she meets bad boy Todd Corbett, her life soon spirals dangerously out of control. More

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Words: 112,640
Language: English
ISBN: 9781458151841
About Terri Giuliano Long

Terri Giuliano Long grew up in the company of stories both of her own making and as written by others. Books offer her a zest for life's highs and comfort in its lows. She's all-too-happy to share this love with others as a novelist and as a lecturer at Boston College.

Her life outside of books is devoted to her family. In her spare time, she enjoys walking, traveling to far-flung places, and meeting interesting people. True to her Italian-American heritage, she's an enthusiastic cook and she loves fine wine and good food. In an alternate reality, she could have been very happy as an international food writer.

Terri loves connecting with people who share her passions!

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Reviews

Review by: Angela on Jan. 30, 2012 :
I’m aware it’s taken me quite long to finish this book. I find it very difficult to read long documents on a computer screen as it gives me a headache but I received a Kindle for Christmas so once I’d converted it to that I found it much easier to get through.

I have mixed feelings about this book. It was well written but the story in general is not something I would generally pick up myself (I’m going to get my mother to read it so I can have a comparative view) so I’m unsure whether my feelings about this book, now that I’ve finished it, are totally justified.

Like I say, this was well written for the most part. I noticed very few editing errors but I did find the odd and lack of use of quotation marks as well as the overuse of commas unbelievably annoying and distracting from the flow of reading. Other than that though (and that is most definitely a personal issue as opposed to problems with Long’s writing) this was an interesting read. When I first read the synopsis for this book, I assumed it was about different family members dealing with their collective grief over a deceased child/sister. Instead this is the story of a middle-class family trying to deal with a problem child. Therein lies my problem with this book.

I absolutely despised every single character in this book and if they were real people I would be more than tempted to slap some sense into each and every one of them. Perhaps more than just slap as well. The parents were simply awful; typical, overbearing pain in the arses who think it’s a good idea to buy their children’s love and respect with overly priced gifts but then spend the rest of the time bitching about how disrespectful and spoilt their child is. Justine, the younger sister, was just about bearable due to her naivety and only in comparison to the rest of the characters. I really have no idea why the character of the police officer (name escapes me and my Kindle is upstairs so can’t check) was written about with such depth when he only played a minor character to the general storyline. That leaves Leah, our protagonist. This girl just made me want to scream. She was a selfish, arrogant, immature, whiney bitch of girl and I was really hoping the book would take a twist and inflict some serious pain on her.

As I mentioned before, this isn’t necessarily the type of book I would usually pick up and that leaves me uncertain as to whether the characters were purposely written to be this bloody stupid and annoying in-keeping with this particular genre or whether the hatred I felt for these characters is rare in other readers of this novel.

Other than my intense dislike for every single character, I thought this was a well written and engaging novel and fans of the genre (a genre I’m unsure how to describe) will undoubtedly lap it up.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: SM Johnson on Jan. 14, 2012 :
Pacing was slow and depressing, without much redemption, with pages and pages of background/prose that had little to do with the plot.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: breezywriter on Nov. 25, 2011 :
It took me awhile to get used to the rhythm of going back and forth with several different characters, but once I did, it was easy to identify each of them immediately. The story was a rather depressing one most of the way through - showing the breakdown of a family and how easily it can happen to even the most unlikey people. The writing was very good and the characters were sympathetic.

There were really no 'bad guys' but only bad circumstances and bad decisions. The ending was upbeat (perhaps moreso than feasible).

I would recommend this book - especially to anyone with a family.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Sue Owen on Nov. 17, 2011 :
There were a lot of truths in this book and at times it was hard for me to read. Not because of the writing, but because the story hit close to home as it probably does for a lot of people. Troubled families are becoming the norm rather than the exception. Either that or we are just being made aware of them more often. This book was very well written and great care was taken to not label the rebellious, insensitive and scared teen as “the bad guy” because truly she isn’t.

I’ve read many books like this that try to portray the effects peer pressure and bad choices make on ourselves and the loved ones around us but few books have hit the mark. This one has. I recommend this book to anyone with a troubled teen to have your teen read this story. She/he will associate with Leah and what she’s going through and maybe penetrate their rebellious ways.

For the story itself, it was very touching and endearing but hard to read because of the truths. I highly recommend this book. I wish it had been around when I was growing up and when my kids needed it.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Alisha Robinson on Sep. 28, 2011 :
In Leah's Wake is a coming of age book for the main character Leah. And shows how the acts of one person can damage the whole family. They look perfect on the outside but each family member deals with their own personal issues. The mother feels unfulfilled, and although she helps families work out their own problems she is to close to the situation to handle her own family. The father is stressed when he's at home, worrying about work, and stressed at work worrying about home. Zoe suspects an affair as well but is she right? Will she confront him about her worries or continue to focus on their daughter Leah instead of themselves?
It seems to all start with Leah's new boyfriend Todd. Although this family had issues long before he came around, he is the catalyst that drives Leah forward. He's different from her parents, he expects nothing of Leah. At first she finds this liberating. She doesn't feel the pressure of having to succeed in soccer or school with Todd. Even Todd ends up being a source of Leah's aggravation, most of her time spent with him she wonders why she is, or is irritated by anything he does.
Being a drug dealer, and user himself it isn't long before Leah is experimenting with smoking, drinking, weed, E, anything she can get her hands on really. Justine, the youngest daughter struggles to keep her family together. Ultimately she gets overseen and becomes invisible in her sisters shadow.
In Leah's Wake is an interesting read and not one that I usually reach for but a good book nonetheless. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters were real, extremely real, in fact on how they interact with each other and how they display themselves to the world. This is a book for young girls, adults, people with children or even those who are considering children. The book appeals to a wide variety of people.
A great read, you wont want to stop until you reach the conclusion!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Sue Leonhardt on Aug. 25, 2011 :
I received this book "In Leah's Wake" by Terri Giuliano Long, through a free download from Smashwords.At first I thought I would not be able to relate to this book, as I am married with no children, but I was presently surprised.

Feeling the pressures that go along with being a teenager, and being pushed by her father to be the best high school soccer player around, Leah Tyler decides to choose her own path.
She starts dating a high school drop out who smokes weed, does coke, and parties. She falls in love with him. She quits hanging out with her old friends, stops putting soccer as a top priority and rebels. Leah's family is falling apart. Her parents aren't as happy as they used to be and Leah's younger sister is trying to bridge the widening gap between Leah and her parents. Leah's dad try's to help Leah but only ends up pushing her farther away.

I liked the book, but didn't love it. I would recommend it to those who like reading family dramas. It does a good job at capturing a family in distress with a teenager that feels the need to rebel. The family dynamics were interesting and there was truth to the story. It is a good example of how relationships are tested and ultimately how hard they can be to maintain. It reminded me of when I was a teenager and the stupid decisions that I used to make that seemed right at the time.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Sue Leonhardt on Aug. 25, 2011 :
I received this book "In Leah's Wake" by Terri Giuliano Long, through a free download from Smashwords.At first I thought I would not be able to relate to this book, as I am married with no children, but I was presently surprised.

Feeling the pressures that go along with being a teenager, and being pushed by her father to be the best high school soccer player around, Leah Tyler decides to choose her own path.
She starts dating a high school drop out who smokes weed, does coke, and parties. She falls in love with him. She quits hanging out with her old friends, stops putting soccer as a top priority and rebels. Leah's family is falling apart. Her parents aren't as happy as they used to be and Leah's younger sister is trying to bridge the widening gap between Leah and her parents. Leah's dad try's to help Leah but only ends up pushing her farther away.

I liked the book, but didn't love it. I would recommend it to those who like reading family dramas. It does a good job at capturing a family in distress with a teenager that feels the need to rebel. The family dynamics were interesting and there was truth to the story. It is a good example of how relationships are tested and ultimately how hard they can be to maintain. It reminded me of when I was a teenager and the stupid decisions that I used to make that seemed right at the time.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Sue Leonhardt on Aug. 25, 2011 :
I received this book "In Leah's Wake" by Terri Giuliano Long, through a free download from Smashwords.At first I thought I would not be able to relate to this book, as I am married with no children, but I was presently surprised.

Feeling the pressures that go along with being a teenager, and being pushed by her father to be the best high school soccer player around, Leah Tyler decides to choose her own path.
She starts dating a high school drop out who smokes weed, does coke, and parties. She falls in love with him. She quits hanging out with her old friends, stops putting soccer as a top priority and rebels. Leah's family is falling apart. Her parents aren't as happy as they used to be and Leah's younger sister is trying to bridge the widening gap between Leah and her parents. Leah's dad try's to help Leah but only ends up pushing her farther away.

I liked the book, but didn't love it. I would recommend it to those who like reading family dramas. It does a good job at capturing a family in distress with a teenager that feels the need to rebel. The family dynamics were interesting and there was truth to the story. It is a good example of how relationships are tested and ultimately how hard they can be to maintain. It reminded me of when I was a teenager and the stupid decisions that I used to make that seemed right at the time.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Andrea Guy on Aug. 23, 2011 :
This story was really moving. It chronciles a family in crisis, as the Zoe and Will's oldest daughter spirals out of control. Leah could be any girl, in any high school. She was perfect until she got mixed up with the wrong people and things go from bad to worse.

But the thing is...this book reads like real life. The perfect family with their lives collapsing around them. Work issues...parenting issues...it is all there, and it isn't all pretty.

Terri doesn't sugar coat things and though the book has a happy ending, in a roundabout way, fairy dust wasn't sprinkled on the story so that Leah could resume her old life.

In Leah's Wake reminds everyone that opens it that parenting isn't easy...mistakes are going to be made by everyone, and that your family should be the most important people in your lives.

Leah wasn't always the most likable teenager, in fact, most of the time you are hoping the cops would bust her and scare her straight, but it doesn't always work that way. Life is not easy, and In Leah's Wake life doesn't cut many people a break.

This was a truly amazing read.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Book Savvy Babe on Aug. 22, 2011 :
In Leah's Wake is a turn from the type of novels I usually read, but the story sounded interesting and I wanted to give it a try. From the beginning of the book, I was drawn into the Tyler family's drama. The issue's this family have are typical of most families, the parents do the best they can to try to raise their children at times putting a bit too much pressure on their kids. The teenager rebels against the parents and the pressure they are under, feeling that their situation is unbearable and unfair. Then there is the younger sibling who has to watch the family break down. It is so easy to identify with this family, and feel for each of the characters as the situation spirals out of control.
In Leah's Wake is told from each family member's view point. At times the mother's perspective, at time Leah's, etcetera. This gives the story more depth and it helped me to understand each character's perspective. Every one makes mistakes, and as Leah separates farther and rebels more, desperation hits the whole family. This is not an easy, happy story to read, but it is an excellent story. In Leah's Wake is beautifully written and I was enraptured with the story. I was a fairly rebellious teenager myself, so this novel really did hit close to home for me.
In Leah's Wake is a beautiful, thought provoking story and I definitely recommend reading this novel by Terri Giuliano Long.
I really enjoyed reading this literary fiction novel.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Tammy Gould on Aug. 22, 2011 :
There are many character’s that I could see myself in this book. When my daughter was in her young teens she was exactly like Leah in the book. Thankfully some of the thing's Leah does my daughter has not. Watching Leah act out towards her parents, and thinking some awful thought's about her parent's made me remember my teenage years and my daughter's before we began homeschooling her. I feel the way Terri describes Leah's actions and watching her go downhill; I feel that everyone will see a little bit of themselves in Leah. It is really easy to see the story as it unfolds; Terri did an excellent job of keeping on point and showing how a young woman can get herself into trouble before they know it.

The other character I was able to identify with would be Justine. She reminds me of my son, the one who has to sit back and watch his older sibling get in trouble; parents fighting over how to save Leah from herself. Also Justine wants to try and break free herself but at the same time try and hold together a family that is being torn apart. You can also see how a younger sibling wants to break free of the hold the family has of the older sibling, wanting the family to move on and fight no more; the agony of choosing sides either the parents or their sibling.

The way Terri started the plot was extremely good. I must say that I felt like the book dragged on a bit in places. I feel sometimes she spent too much time on Leah and her boyfriend instead of the rest of the characters in the book. I would have liked to see a bit more storyline for Justine, the mom and the dad and Officer Johnson. Besides that bit of story plot I believe she did wonderful, Terri made sure to keep you turning the page and wanting to know more. You felt for the kids in the story, and you wonder why the parent's let things go to far.

The book played with my emotion's throughout the book. There were times I was laughing and times where I was upset and one part of the book had me crying, again. Seems like all the book's I am reading of late is making me cry! I feel that Terri get's you within the book and you feel like you are part of the book, you are there within the story living it out as well as the characters within the book. This is a great book to get and put in your collection. I also feel this would be a really good book for young adults. If you were to allow a teenager to read this book I would have to give it a 13-PG book only because of swears, some drug action, drinking, and some sexual mentioning.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: DivaV on Aug. 21, 2011 :
Thoroughly enjoyed it. Each character is thoroughly believable and it was very well written.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sapphyria's Book Reviews on Aug. 19, 2011 :
Wow! This novel is exemplary. The writing style keeps you engrossed and the characters and their lives keep you captivated. I know this is a work of fiction, but wow, it parallels the real lives of parents, children, and lives in general. It is very easy to identify with various characters and their personality traits or lack thereof.

There is the absent father that travels for work, pushing his teenage daughter to play sports. Then the self-help mom who has a hard time instituting things she teaches into her own life. Of course, there is Leah....the teenager that is at the age of rebellion and boy does she do a good job at it. And there is the younger sister wondering why her sister doesn’t like her. Add in a loser boyfriend and friends from the wrong crowd and you have the makings of a wonderfully orchestrated view of what is probably a very typical American family, to some degree, regardless of the social class.

This book shows the perspectives of each character brilliantly.

Here! Here! For a job well done.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: aobibliophile on Aug. 16, 2011 :
Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. - Jane Howard


Leah Tyler is not your average teen. she is a star football player and her school work is brilliant . her father Will and her mother Zoe could not have been more proud to have a daughter like her. her sister Justine looks up to her, too. everything seemed perfect for Leah until she gets involved with Todd Corbett and his crowd. suddenly, her future and that of her family did not appear so promising anymore...
have you ever gotten to read a book that you could barely put down and that stays with you long after? i have and this is one such book. in her amazing debut novel, Terri Giuliano Long invites the reader to witness the ups and downs of a middle class American family. she takes us inside each major character's point of view and we become intimate with them as we learn about their feelings, dreams, hopes, fears and secrets.
i feel for everyone in this story. whether they did something that could be considered right or wrong turned out to be irrelevant to me because each had something significant to tell. moreover, i could relate to a few of these characters. as i continued to read, i was struck by how similar dynamics among family and friends could be wherever you live or come from and that some events can really spiral out of control despite one's good intentions. as the drama and conflict played out among the Tylers, i could not help but think about my own family, my relatives and friends and the problems and issues we lived through and those that we still face as well.
i highly recommend this book to everyone who has ever been a part of a family. my wish is that after reading In Leah's Wake, we all continue to learn to be more open, honest, caring, understanding, forgiving and loving individuals.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Shirley Deeds on Aug. 15, 2011 :
In Leah's Wake was a tough book for me to read. Not because it wasn't a good book, it was. It was just brutally honest, especially when reading it from my perspective, the mother of a teenager girl.
Leah is the oldest daughter of Zoe and Will and she has a younger sister, Justine. Leah is a good kid, she is a soccer star, a good student and is part of a great and loving family. Seems perfect, but nothing is what it seems. She feels pressured by her dad to be the perfect soccer player down to playing for the perfect college - Harvard no less. She is pressured by her mom to be the perfect daughter and student and then she has her bratty younger sister Justine looking up to her. Way too much pressure. Leah is looking for an escape, and she finds it in her older "cool" boyfriend Todd. All it takes for Leah to spiral is to make a couple of really bad decisions.
Terri gives all the family members a voice in this book, which really adds to the perspective. I think if you only got one point of view it wouldn't have been as powerful a book. As a parent it would be really easy to blame all of the unfortunate events that happen in this story on Leah. With the different perspectives you realize that every member of the family holds some blame in the events that unravel the threads keeping them in one piece.
Will blows up too fast at times and reacts rather than thinks, he's also rarely there, which doesn't help at all. Zoe is either too strict or too lenient and feels sorry for herself most of the time. Justine wants to make everyone happy and unwittingly justifies some of Leah's bad decisions. And Leah, of course, makes some really bad decisions and she can't seem to turn herself around. Through all of the bad actions and decisions made by these characters, there is good in all of them. There are times that you even find yourself sympathizing with Todd who obviously should have no redeeming qualities.
In Leah's Wake makes you stop, think and count your blessings, especially as a parent. It would be so easy for any "good kid" to travel down the wrong path with the wrong group of kids.
Terri's writing of Leah's perspective struck me the most I think. An unknowing reader may think that it was sometimes sporadic and didn't make sense. However, if you are reading it from the same perspective as I was, you completely understood. There were days that my daughters would change moods by the hour or even minute. As I read these little mood swings in Leah's voice I almost had to say "Aha!" out loud.
In my opinion, Terri did a wonderful job of capturing the dynamics of this family. Even though it was a hard book to read from an emotional standpoint, it was well worth the time spent and should be on every parent's TBR list.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sandra Stiles on July 22, 2011 :
The family that seems like they have it all together can be very dysfunctional. No matter what your profession, when your family is having problems, everyone in the family is affected. Leah was the member of the family who seemed to have everything. That is until she met her boyfriend. Instead of pulling him up to her standards, she lowered her own. She started drinking, smoking and doing drugs. Then she is kicked off of the soccer team. Leah makes one bad decision after another. She blames everyone around her instead of taking responsibility for her mistakes. You’d think Leah’s mom would have seen the signs since she was a family counselor. Unfortunately, she was too close to the problem.
I also think Leah was trying to please everyone. She didn’t want to disappoint anyone when it came to her playing soccer. Her parents were so excited for her. It became their dream for her to become a soccer star and not necessarily her dream. Those we think should have seen trouble heading their way often turn a blind eye to the problems. Another problem with a rebellious teen is that younger sibling might be tempted to follow in their steps. This is what happened to Justine. She wanted to fix things and help her sister and her mother. Instead she started down the same path. I think all parents should read this book before they ever have children. Parents can’t use the excuse that they have raised their children in the church or sent them to a private Christian school so they won’t rebel. I am here to tell you that under the right circumstances even those children can take a wrong turn. This was an excellent book, especially since it was her first. I do believe we will see more from this author in the future.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Judy Cox on July 20, 2011 :
A very intense well written book. So many families face this sort of problems especially in this day and time. I think the author did a fabulous job on the characters. I enjoyed going along for the ride with the problems and joys of this family.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: IndolentReader on July 17, 2011 :
Terri Giuliano Long paints a thoroughly believable portrait of a “perfect” family suddenly finding itself falling apart at the seams. When Leah, the previously high-achieving model daughter starts to rebel, the stress of her teenage rebellion upsets the family’s already fragile equilibrium, revealing buried resentments and highlighting their inability to communicate with each other.

The book alternates between the POV of each of the four family members (along with one other character), and this approach works well in that it allows us to get inside their heads, leaving little room for doubt as to where they’re coming from. All four of the Tyler family members are well-developed as characters, full of human insecurity and stubbornness. The author does a good job showing how even the most well-meaning people have a tendency to hurt the ones they love the most, and we see each of the characters in turn, including wayward daughter Leah, desperate to make things right, but not knowing how, and being afraid to make the first move for fear of rejection.

The family relationships painted by the author are painfully recognizable; the father so incapable of seeing beyond his daughter’s dubious choice of boyfriend that he risks alienating her altogether. The younger daughter doing her best to hold her family together, but finding herself becoming increasingly invisible as her older sibling goes further and further off the rails. The mother, wondering what the hell happened to her life and her family when she wasn’t looking. And at the center of the mess, the older daughter desperately seeking some way to prove herself to be “unique”, checking off every clichéed box on the bingo card of teenage “rebellion” (smoking, drinking, drugs, sex) as she does so. Demonstrating her individuality with musical tastes that flip-flop daily from one million-selling “alternative” act to the next as she tries to figure out who she is. Ditching the one thing she truly excels at, soccer (now uncool, tainted for her by the need to follow rules and its association with her pushy father), in favor of hazy ideas of becoming a rockstar. For all that, even at her worst-behaved and most ungrateful, there is something likeable about Leah, and as a reader I couldn’t help but sympathize with her as she longs to make things right, believing that it’s too late and she’s burnt all her bridges with the people who really matter to her.

This brings me onto the one area where the story fell down for me a little: the “God stuff”. I had a nagging worry throughout the book that I might suddenly find myself ambushed by an evangelical message, something that I’ve experienced on more than one occasion with some of the self-published books I’ve read and will admit I’m super-sensitive to as a result. Happily, that was NOT the case here (at least, not the blunt-object-over-the-head approach I was wary of), but the way the book ended and Justine’s repeated contemplations of “what it means to be a part of God’s family” and suchlike felt a little out of place for me, as I was more interested in reading about the dynamics between the family members themselves.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was reluctant to put it down once I’d started; it was an easy read that I got through in a couple of evenings. The story continually made me think; more than once, I’d find myself infuriated at the stubbornness of the characters in their interactions with each other, while recognizing that I’m guilty of the same behavior myself at times! For anyone who thinks the synopsis sounds appealing, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book. Go ahead and get a copy, you won’t be disappointed. Terri Giuliano Long is a talented writer, and I’m looking forward to finding out what she has up her sleeve for the future!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jeannette Walters on July 15, 2011 :
Terri did an excellent job of portraying the dynamics of a "normal" American family in crisis. The internal and external struggles of each parent, the teenaged main character, and her preteen sister were so realistically depicted that this book could stand as an analysis as well as an indictment of the modern family. As I read this book, I found myself identifying with each character in turn as well as their feelings of helplessness and frustration.
I look forward to read other books by this author.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Angi on July 14, 2011 :
In Leah's Wake was an excellent story, and far more realistic than some might believe. Having been a teenager spiralling out of control myself, and now a parent of my own teenager, I was able to relate to characters on both sides of the story. Nobody seems to ever understand how a "good kid" from a "good family" can have the kind of feelings that lead to self-destruct - the author really captures the complexity behind it all.

My only issues with the book had to do with editing and writing style. I actually had a hard time getting into the book a bit due to periods of conversation that happened outside of quotation marks. Early in the book it was extremely distracting, as I would end up having to re-read a paragraph for context and orientation. If it weren't for this, I would give a 5 star rating!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Becky on July 14, 2011 :
This book was not bad. I think the characters could have been developed a little more than they were, but other than that, the plot was pretty interesting. Maybe not to actual mothers who have teenagers and are going through this, but to an upcoming teenager daughter...this was a look at how very fast a "normal" family can come unraveled.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Lee Kadin on July 14, 2011 : (no rating)
This book is very well written and reminds me of books by Jodi Picoult . It is the kind of book that you don't stop reading once you start.

I would be glad to read other books from this author.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: DragonflyDeb on July 12, 2011 :
I read this book over a long holiday weekend; its the story of a family dealing with a teenage daughter who goes a bit over the top in terms of teen rebellion. The story goes into how one daughter's actions (Leah's) affect the dynamics of the family, and each individual in a different way. I enjoyed the book, but at times I got really annoyed with Leah. Ok, to be honest, sometimes her parents reaction was a bit ridiculous as well. I wanted to shake them and tell them to get a clue. Still, its a good book, somewhat reminiscent of Jodi Picoult in tone and theme. I got it as an ebook, so couldn't say how long it is in print; sometimes I got a tired of Leah's shenanigans and was ready to see how things all came out in the end.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: JML on July 05, 2011 :
Very well written. In Leah's Wake draws the reader in at the beginning and doesn't let you go. With it's many twists and turns, this is an incredible book about one family and the teen-age exploits that threaten to tear then apart.
I look forward to reading more by Terri Giuliano Long
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Ailin Chia on June 30, 2011 :
This book seemed so real; I felt as if was reading a biography. The characters were beautifully portrayed; they were so real, they seemed to be living flesh and blood.what I particularly loved was that every character seemed to be a work of love; each and every single one of them were flawed, yet there was some character trait that seemed endearing about them. While I couldn't help feeling that some characters were unnecessary, still, I could not hate any of them.

In short, I think this book would be liked by everyone who is interested in family sagas, though parents and teenagers would be able to relate more to this.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: John Poindexter on June 30, 2011 :
"In Leah's Wake" is a great depiction of what several teens are going through now-a-days. I see it happening all over the State I live in.

Reading this would help a lot of them to understand they are not alone and that help is within reach.

Great story, hope Terri can amaze us with her next selection.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sharon Gerlach on June 26, 2011 : (no rating)
This story was superb. This could just as easily be titled "Deconstructing the Perfect American Family." Giuliano Long creates the perfect storm in this family: take an already strained marriage suffering the long-term after-effects of infidelity, the colossal parental mistake of living vicariously through your children and pushing them toward your own unrealized goals, and a rebellious teen unable to handle the pressure, hellbent on racing toward every unhealthy thing she can, and you have this book.

Having been a rebellious teen, and having raised a rebellious teen, this story is dead on. When you hear about someone's child spinning out of control, you don't think about the ripple effect. You simply see the destruction the child is wreaking in his or her own life. But the effects throughout an entire family--sometimes even through an entire community--are far-reaching, and Giuliano Long captured that aspect perfectly.

There are no perfect people in this story who did exactly the right thing at exactly the right time, every time. Instead, there is a flawed husband and wife, both trying to stay faithful despite the tremendous stress of their daughter's behavior, trying to stay patient, worried out of their minds. There is a younger sister, as different from super-athlete Leah as she can be, desperate for her sister's approval, desperate to make her parents see their mistakes, desperate to hold everyone together. And then there is Leah herself, the anti-heroine, her logic tragically unsound, colored by immaturity and angst, whose splash in the rebellion pond causes a tsunami through her entire family.

I think every parent should read this novel--whether you're through your teen's rebellion and undergoing triage, or whether you're in the midst of your own perfect storm. And if you plan to be a parent, read this first. It's a succinct guide of what NOT to do.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Pauline Tilbe on June 25, 2011 :
Wow, this book was amazing!
A complex story with complex characters. I'm not a parent, my teen years far behind me but this story pulled me in completely.
There were times when it reminded me of Go Ask Alice which I read in the 70's when the story was told from Leah's perspective.
In Leah's Wake explores teen/parent issues in the current, tumultuous world. Drugs, alcohol, it also explores the impact of issues like the economy, education, pressure of athletics. So many things.
At one point, I felt like it was almost too intense...partly because I'm not a parent, I guess, and not used to dealing with all these issues.
As I was reading this ebook, I had to keep reminding myself that it was Terri's first book.
It's fiction but I can imagine similar scenarios taking place in many households across the country. I would go so far as to suggest this is a must read for parents of teens.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Audrey LeBourdais on May 31, 2011 :
"In Leah's Wake" is for anyone who has ever been a rebellious teen or the parent, friend, sibling or caretaker of one. Deeply loved and driven by her parents, Leah decides to choose her own path...far removed from the one chosen for her by her parents Zoe and Will. The pain, turmoil and fear of potentially loseing their daughter is palpable. Terri keeps you wondering...is a family's love enough to reign your child back in and prevent every parent's worst nightmare? The characters in the book are so real, their story so gripping, you'll forget it's a novel. You will NOT want to put it down!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Audrey LeBourdais on May 31, 2011 :
"In Leah's Wake" is for anyone who has ever been a rebellious teen or the parent, friend, sibling or caretaker of one. Deeply loved and driven by her parents, Leah decides to choose her own path...far removed from the one chosen for her by her parents Zoe and Will. The pain, turmoil and fear of potentially loseing their daughter is palpable. Terri keeps you wondering...is a family's love enough to reign your child back in and prevent every parent's worst nightmare? The characters in the book are so real, their story so gripping, you'll forget it's a novel. You will NOT want to put it down!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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