Hassinger, Amy. Nina: adolescence (a novel).

Author:Allison, Susan
Position:Brief Article - Young Adult Review - Book Review

HASSINGER, Amy. Nina: adolescence (a novel). Penguin. 304p. c2003. 0-425-19720-4. $14.00. A

An engaging coming-of-age novel, Nina: Adolescence relates the story of 15-year-old Nina Begley, who agrees to pose in the nude for her artist mother and then suffers from the unwanted attention she attracts when the paintings are made public. Nina's family is still trying to come to terms with the accidental drowning death of four-year-old Jonas four years earlier. Nina was taking care of her brother when the drowning occurred. Nina encourages her mother Marion's return to her painting as a cure for her deep depression, and Nina's participation helps to assuage her own guilt.

Clearly depicted is the fragility and insecurity of adolescence, which in this case makes Nina easy prey for sexual predators like Leo Beck, a photographer friend and former lover of her mother. Calling Nina beautiful, he lures her and photographs her in compromising poses, taking advantage of her naivete. Explicit sexual scenes are...

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