Prey by Lurlene McDaniel

Lurlene McDaniel’s newest book, Prey, honestly, disturbed me.  Nothing bad can be said about the writing or the pace of the plot.  The book told in three viewpoints zipped along to its climatic finish.  The thing that bothered me so much was that the book was about a teacher getting involved with a student. Disturbing, lurid, unethical – those are just three words that come to my mind when I think of a teacher getting involved with a student.  I am a high school teacher and I would never, not in million years, even entertain thoughts like that but it happens in schools all across America.  Prey is the second book I’ve read in the last year that touches upon this topic.  Boy Toy by Barry Lygos is the other one.  This book is a huge departure from what McDaniel’s normally writes.  Normally, McDaniel writes soap opera like books with characters dealing with all sorts of tragedies and sadness whether it is them directly or someone the4y know like a family member or friend.

   Lori Settles, the new American History teacher at McAllister High School is, without any doubt a predator. She is also easy on the eyes, wearing provocative clothing and stiletto shoes daily.  This allows her male student’s fantasies to become larger than life.  From day number one, she had her eye on Ryan.  She says “He’s beautiful. Dark hair, blue eyes, dimples – not yet a man, yet more than a child……I stare at him and the room seems to recede.  A halo of light encircles him and suddenly, I know….He’ll be the One.”   She planned everything out, from where he sat in class to their first meeting.  Ryan was more than a willing participant, his judgment clouded by the intensity of his feelings toward her.   Lori is very demanding of his time but Ryan is deep under her spell.  His grades start slipping and his friends, especially Honey who has a major crush on him, start questioning things.  It’s just a matter of time before two and two is put together no matter how careful he and Lori are.  The choices they made are sure to haunt them for many years to come.

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