All Sam Marshall wants is for Nick Davis, her best friend since forever, to notice her. She wants him to think of her as more than a friend. So she dresses up in a mini-skirt and heels for a party and tries to make Nick jealous by throwing herself at Carter Wellesley, the most popular and most athletic boy at Mossy Rock High School. Instead of welcoming her into his bedroom, Carter insults her and sends her crying out into the hall. Sam has already had too much to drink, so she doesn't think anything of it when Michelle Pattison asks her if she's ok. When she gets to school, Sam doesn't know why people keep staring and whispering about her. It's not until later that she discovers that her classmates think that she was raped by Carter. She cannot believe it, but she doesn't deny it, either. When she tells girls in her class that nothing happened, they want her to pretend until the school year is over. In her wildest dreams, she never thinks about how this will affect Carter, his family, and Nick. And when she does think about it, it's gone too far and she doesn't know how to get out of it. On top of all this, her father, the chief of police in Mossy Rock, is still trying to control her life. How can she gracefully get out of this terrible situation, continue to have a relationship with Nick, and find a way to go away to college?
In Too Deep is a fabulous read, filled with emotion and a girl's hopes and dreams. Sam, the main character, has deep self-esteem issues. She was been raised by a father who she thinks doesn't love or care about her. Her mother is long-gone, and her father seems to care more about work and controlling Sam's decisions than her well-being. Nick, who has been her best friend forever, is liked by everyone. He has an on-again/off-again relationship with a girl named Reyna, but is actually in love with Sam. Both of the main characters were extremely well-developed and very likable. Carter Wellesley, on the other hand, is the star athlete and golden boy, but is also a jerk and a womanizer. It is all too easy for people to believe that he raped Sam, and it spreads throughout the school and the town like wildfire. However, I find it strange that her father, the chief of police in an extremely small town, did not hear this rumor until it was too late! He seemed to know everything else that was going on in his daughter's life!
There were so many themes going on in this novel--gossip, small-town life, where everyone knows everyone, budding romance, underage drinking and partying, peer pressure, and father-daughter relationships. The humiliation, embarrassment, and rejection that Sam feels is real, as is the hopelessness and helplessness of her situation that she unwittingly, and then just as willingly, creates.
This novel is a real page-turner! I recommend In Too Deep for high school and public libraries!
**Note: The book reviewed was an advanced reader's copy received from Library Media Connection in exchange for an honest review.