BEAR WITNESS by Melissa Clark

BEAR WITNESS by Melissa ClarkBear Witness by Melissa Clark
Published by Sparkpress on April 7th 2015
Pages: 141
Genres: Fiction, General, Young Adult, Girls & Women, Law & Crime, Social Issues
Paperback provided by BookSparks

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What if you witnessed the kidnapping of your best friend? This is when life changed for 12-year old Paige Bellen. Just three years after her friend Robin s kidnapping and murder, Paige is expected to continue on with life as usual. Now, with her closest friend out of the country, a messy relationship with Robin s boyfriend, and a family that handles her with kid gloves, Paige isn t sure if she ll ever be able to move forward in life. "Bear Witness" explores the aftermath of a crime in a small community and what it means when tragedy colors the experience of being a young adult."

Reading time 3 mins

The book Bear Witness is an incredibly fast read. It is only 141 pages and I read it in one sitting. It only took me two-three hours of my life, and afterwards I felt like I had just been through a traumatic event. I felt like I needed a hug.

Paige’s friend Robin is kidnapped. Paige is not the only witness, but Paige is the only one left behind in the aftermath. Paige tries not to think about what happened, but everywhere she goes she is reminded of what could have been for Robin. We see Paige try to get past what has happened. Paige is young and it is a small town, so she can’t forget. People look at Paige differently, even Robin’s boyfriend takes on a new role in Paige’s life.

We meet several instrumental characters not only in Paige’s life but also people important for the case against the kidnapper. This isn’t a who done it, we know right away most of what happened. This book explores the repercussions for Paige. The focus of the books is not the family, or the school, but how this disappearance affects the best friend, and a young girl at that.

Paige’s story is told going backwards one year at a time starting with Paige’s sophomore year in high school and ending one year before the incident. The story itself is written well enough that I couldn’t put it down. When I was about sixteen pages in I felt like crying (and every thirty pages after I felt like giving her the hug that she probably so desperately needed). The subject of the book and Paige’s struggles come at you slowly, as you realize that what she went through, and what she’s going through, is more than meets the eye.

Since the book is written backwards, we see a regression of maturity of the main character. It affects the way the story is told and the worldviews of the protagonist. I have to say that the way it was written was unique, I have never seen this done before. Although this book was pretty serious, I found it very entertaining. This book just didn’t have a super satisfying ending. But it does give some sort of starting point, a base line to show how everything was before the incident happened, what her relationship was like with her friends and family. We got to see how happy she was before the kidnapping.

I would defiantly read this book again and I will surely look into Melissa Clark’s other books.

My Rating

4 stars

About Melissa Clark

Melissa Clark is an author, television writer and college instructor. She is the author of the novels, “Bear Witness,” “Swimming Upstream, Slowly,” and “Imperfect”. Her essay, “Rachael Ray Saved My Life” is included in the anthology “The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage.” She is also the creator of the animated television series, “Braceface,” starring the voice of Alicia Silverstone which aired on the ABC Family Channel. She has written scripts for “Rolie Polie Olie,” “Totally Spies,” “Sweet Valley High,” among others. Melissa teaches creative writing and literature courses both privately and at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.


I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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