Review of Lily and Taylor by Elise Moser

When the Lily and Taylor meet at a local high school, they discover that they have something in common--both their mothers had been in car crashes. While Taylor's mother died, Lily's mother survived, but the head injuries she sustained often require Lily to act as the parent.

Taylor, too, has lived through more than just the death of her mother. After her mother's death, she goes to live with her older sister and her violent partner. Taylor witnesses the escalation in violence until one day her older sister is killed, forcing Taylor to live with her grandparents in a new town and be a surrogate mother to Mason, her sister's 5-year-old son.

Moving to a new town has an upside for Taylor. It means that she is far away from Devon, her intense and controlling boyfriend. Just as Taylor begins to flourish at her new high school, Devon shows up with a friend and insists on taking Taylor for a ride. Lily hops in at the last minute, and the four of them go for a drive that no one will soon forget.

Lily and Taylor is the raw account of two teenage girls negotiating a far from perfect world. In spite of their traumatic pasts and weighty adult responsibilities, the two strike up a fast and furious friendship--something to sustain them through their difficult moments and add some much needed light to their daily lives.

Author Moser takes plenty of risks with Lily and Taylor, never shying away from the realities and darkness of domestic violence. While this is fine fiction, it also provides an eerily accurate depiction of an abusive relationship as it ebbs and flows. This was an intense read, one that I could not put down. 

Lily and Taylor is considered a Young Adult (YA) book, but people of all ages will find some food for thought in this compelling Thelma and Louise-style adventure.

This review has been cross-posted at Rover Arts.

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5 Broken Cameras by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi
Detropia by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
Finding Dawn by Christine Welch
The Fruit Hunters by Yung Chang



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