ABOUT PHOENIX, by Nastasia Rugani, Annick Press



Should you get into the car of someone you barely know? Hard to resist when the driver is Jessup Smith, the most handsome teacher in school. That night, he drives sixteen-year-old Phoenix and her little sister Sasha—both brilliant misfits—home. A few days later, their mother, Erika, lets herself be seduced by Mr. Smith. Not long after, he’s moving in, filling the empty space left by Phoenix and Sasha’s father, who left the family without warning last summer.

At first, Mr. Smith seems too good to be true. He can be a little strict and controlling, sure, but nothing to worry about. Until it begins: first a kick, then a slap. Soon Phoenix is descending into a violent nightmare, afraid of making the least mistake and desperate to protect her little sister. As Phoenix and Sasha feel their world closing in, help may come from an unexpected place.

Out October 2016

204 Pages


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

I’ve read this book three times.  I just had to. What a brilliant, well-written amazing story about a family caught up in abuse.  The worse and best part of the book shows the reader how abusive people silence innocent voices and how those innocent struggle but rise above the horrible treatment and survive.

I read this book because it hit me so hard the first time through and I wasn’t sure if I’d read some sections correctly.  Then I gave it to a friend to read and she was equally impressed. We both thought it deserved a better cover.

This book brings to light how easy it is to fall, the victim of bullies, and where people who look for situations ideal for their corrosive behavior to exploit their strength against those weaker. The end result is abuse, cruelty, insecurity, and fear.

I was rooting for Phoenix and her sister and wanted to slap, yup sorry but I did, her mother for being such an idiot. <sighs>

It’s a translation piece of work, originally written in French.  The translating of the story is done very well and nothing was lost because of it.  I recommend this book to all.

It’s brilliant and a fantastic read.

I gave it:


five star rating

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