Review: It’s Complicated by Laura L. Smith

It’s Complicated
Laura L. Smith
Playlist Fiction
Published March 26, 2013

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

When Claire meets a girl looking for a third and fourth college roommate, she takes a chance and accepts. Sharing a room with Hannah and her friends will be awesome. Hannah is bubbly and bright. Palmer, Hannah’s bestie is looking for friends to fill the gap that will be left when she moves away from her long-time boyfriend. Despite her excitement about being on the college soccer team, Kat is thrilled at the possibility of friends off the field. But just as roomie preparations are finally in place, the unthinkable happens, and one of the girls is raped. How can she face her new friends now? Maybe she’s too soiled to fit in with them anymore.

As the four girls juggle classes, homework, living space and boy interest, they learn they have more in common than they initially thought. And they’ll need all their strengths if they are to band together and help each other through the heartaches and hardships of freshman year at college.

When it comes to dating and relationships issues, author Laura L. Smith doesn’t mess around. Hitting heavy topics like date rape and peer pressure, she remains frank but not intensely graphic. The rape victim asks real questions and endures a grieving process. As the characters face peer pressure, they respond with realistic emotional confliction and growth. The spiritual journey by comparison begins deep for each girl, but doesn’t seem to undergo the same beautiful blossoming as the emotional journey of the girls. Spiritual themes may have been strengthened if the girls began their journeys at more varied levels of spirituality. Over all, this first novel in the Status Updates Series is a warm, fun read about having great girl friends.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
None.

Sexual Content
One of the girls is raped. The scene is brief and only a few graphic details are given. The boyfriend of another girl pressures her to have sex with him. Sexual tension between the two runs high and in a couple scenes, he touches the edges of her underpants before she stops him.

Spiritual Content
Each of the girls is a Christian, but since only two girls have known each other prior to becoming roommates, they don’t at first recognize their shared faith. Once they realize they are four Christians together, they believe God has placed them in each other’s lives to help them work through the issues they each face, particularly issues in their relationships with boys.

Violence
See sexual content.

Drug Content
A boy from the soccer team smokes something outside a coffee shop which leaves him pretty stoned. He justifies this behavior by telling Kat it’s completely legal and nowhere near as bad as some things other players do. Kat isn’t swayed by this argument. There are other brief references to college parties which include alcohol, but no central characters participate.

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

 

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About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she's not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.
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