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Please join us for the TLC Book Tour of teen authored memoir series Louder Than Words! Know a teen who is interested in writing for the Louder Than Words series? Have them submit their story here.

Reviewed by Jennifer J.

In her senior year in high school, Alexis felt disconnected from her friends and her parents. The previous year in school left her feeling friendless and without anyone to talk her through her rough moments. She turned to the one place where she felt she belonged and was accepted by others, an online forum she referred to as The Board. Most of her time outside of school was spent on The Board talking about everything from music to politics to life in general. There was always one person on those forums that intimidated Alexis; at the same time, she was fascinated by this older man.

Then there was the instant message from that member that would change the course of her life. She knew she should ignore it and log off, but her curiosity got the best of her. Soon Alexis became dependent on the 37-year-old married man whom she knew only as “Phil”. She relished in the attention he gave her, and grew depressed when he ignored her for days on end. Alexis learned how to manipulate the situation, providing revealing and obscene photographs of herself in order to gain more of his attention. Though she knew her behavior was destructive, Alex did not know how to stop herself. She became careless in erasing the evidence of her illegal activities, and was eventually caught by her concerned and angry mother. Even as she received the help she needed, Alexis still longed for Phil. Alexis: My True Story of Being Seduced By an Online Predator is the story of these events in her own words.

I have always felt that writing is a great outlet for any type of pain. It allows the writer to put down all of his or her thoughts and feelings to paper and release it from the inside. In writing this gripping teen memoir, Alexis was able to finally let go of some of that pain and give other teens the opportunity to learn from her mistakes. [amazonify]0757315291[/amazonify]Online predators are more common than we think, and as a parent it’s important to know the signs that might indicate something isn’t right in our children’s lives.

I absolutely love the concept of the Louder Than Words series because it is about teens speaking to teens about their real life events. Programs such as Dateline appeal to parents, but I don’t think it’s a show I took seriously when I was the same age as Alexis. I would recommend this book to any parent of teenagers who spend a great deal of time online and interacting with perfect strangers. While there are some really wonderful people out there online, not every single one of them has the best of intentions, and it’s important to be able to tell the difference between those types.

Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.

Giveaway:
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This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents only. Deadline to enter is midnight on August 30th.

Look for our review of Rae: My True Story of Fear, Anxiety, and Social Phobia on August 17th for a chance to win all 3 books in the series!

Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by HCI Teens. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.