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Prey    by Lurlene McDaniel order for
by Lurlene McDaniel
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2008 (2008)

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* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

A young teacher seduces a high school freshman. Why is that more of a shock than a male teacher seducing a teenage girl? McDaniel's research led her to write an all encompassing novel about Ryan, the boy who has an affair with his high school teacher; Lori, the teacher; and Honey, Ryan's friend since grade school.

World History teacher Lori Settles transfers from a private high school in Chicago to McAllister, an Atlanta high school. Immediately opinions and rumors begin to fly around the student body and her fellow faculty. While the male students lust for her, the female students roll their eyes at her tight fitting clothes and six inch stillettos heels. Settles isn't afraid to wear clothes that enhance her beauty and sexuality. She is a good teacher and soon wins over the students, if not the principal.

Told in alternating points of view by Ryan, Lori, and Honey, McDaniel follows the seduction of Ryan, his willingness to be seduced, and the results of the teacher/student affair. Ryan's entire life changes as things move full throttle from a covert flirtation to an affair that consumes them both. Ryan lives alone with a workaholic dad whose sales trips keep him out of town more than in. This allows Ryan's time to be monopolized by Lori, putting his school work and friendships in jeopardy.

When the affair becomes known, the author spends less time on the consequences than they deserve, but maybe there will be a sequel. This was a difficult novel to write and McDaniel has done a wonderful job of exploring this type of relationship while keeping in mind that each case is different.

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