Title: IT’S NOT ABOUT ME
Author: Michelle Sutton
Publisher: Sheaf House
Annie Myers has it all. She’s beautiful, dating one of the pastor’s sons, and has lots of friends. She’s been accepted at the college of her dreams. Annie cares a lot about what people think about her, and tries not to cause any problems. Her boyfriend, Tony, has asked her to marry him when they both graduate from college (in four years) and even though Annie has reservations, she accepts, because she doesn’t want Tony angry. But Tony is pressuring Annie for sex and she’s having increasing difficulty saying no.
When Annie is brutally stabbed, robbed, and left for dead, Tony refuses to visit her in the hospital because he blames himself. In an effort to be supportive, Tony’s brother, Dan, starts visiting Annie in the hospital. Dan has always loved Annie, but he’s tried to stay in the background, so he wouldn’t hurt Tony.
Now Annie has two brothers fighting over her. And even worse, she loves them both. When her friendships start failing, Annie starts losing it all. Will she find the one who truly loves her—scars and all?
IT’S NOT ABOUT ME is Ms. Sutton’s debut novel and it is powerfully written. There is a warning label on the book (first I’ve ever seen on an inspirational novel) stating that this book has mature content and is recommended for mature teens. I was kind of hesitant about reading this book at first, because I didn’t know what I’d find hidden in the pages that would require a warning. However, the book is tastefully written, and while gritty and sometimes uncomfortable, it handles the issues that, unfortunately, many teens have to face today.
The faith message is extremely strong and even could be considered preachy, but considering the audience Ms. Sutton is hoping to reach, I feel it is appropriate. I enjoyed getting to know Annie, Tony, Dan, and the cast of secondary characters. There is a lot of melodrama, but that is also true to life among teens. This is a book that all teens, males and females, need to read. An excerpt from Ms. Sutton’s second book, coming in 2009, is included at the end of the book, along with a discussion guide. $12.99. 351 pages.