In Leah's Wake

Adult
Rated 4.04/5 based on 28 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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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!

Learn more about Terri Giuliano Long

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Reviews

Angela reviewed on 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 8 months after purchase)
SM Johnson reviewed on 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 22 days after purchase)
breezywriter reviewed on 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 5 months after purchase)
Sue Owen reviewed on 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 4 months after purchase)
Alisha Robinson reviewed on 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 60 days after purchase)
Sue Leonhardt reviewed on 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 35 days after purchase)
Sue Leonhardt reviewed on 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 35 days after purchase)
Sue Leonhardt reviewed on 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 35 days after purchase)
Andrea Guy reviewed on 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 21 days after purchase)
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