I had trouble rating this book; it is definetly a pageturner, so why only two stars? I found the storyline riveting, but the writing style took me many pages to get used to overly simplistic at times I also felt that it had too many frivolous descriptions; I found myself skimming to find actions, feelings, anddialogue During the first half of the book, I was saying, I do not like this book at all, but as I read further, I discovered the value of it as a lesson to be learned about how one poor decision can be tremendously devastating to so many lives, and what a snowballing effect each action and reaction has Perhaps the reality of the choices (of both the adults and the teenagers) as a sign of the times was too depressing for me! As another reviewer mentioned, I agree that this could be a useful book for a high school class discussion, but some teachers may have trouble getting through the first few pages in a classroom setting I am usually a Shreve fan, but this one gets a three for plot; a one for style; hence, an average of two. I really enjoyed the book Testimony by Anita Shreve Once I started reading I found it very hard to put down and finished it within 2 days The story revolves around Avery Academy, a small private High School where a sex scandal involving the students was captured on video tape and has shocked the small community A retelling of the events leading up to the tragic night told by many of those directly and indirectly involved I was quite drawn in to the characters sadness and pain I felt for them as their mistakes and poor decisions drastically affected them and many others A very well written and well paced book I found it easy to keep up even though there were many characters with a variety of personalities I found the characters very well developed and their voices added quite a lot to the book This book shows how sometimes the decisions we make can alter and impact our lives as well as many others lives forever Anita Shreve tells a truly interesting and compelling story that has stayed with me long since I finished the book. This was a bookclub read and would not be my usual choice in a book as I am not a fan of Anita Shreve and having read the blurb on this book thought the story sounded different and interesting.The story is about a sex scandal involving 3 boys and one 14yr old girl and is told from the prospective of all those involved and affected by this scandal The opening few pages shocked me and I wondered how Shreve would handle the rest of the story how in depth she would go with her characters and their reasons for their actions But unforunatly that is about as much impact this book had on me and I was so disappointed with the developments of this story The story is told from several characters points of view and while I loved this idea I felt it did not work as Shreve's characters were never fully developed and as I thought I was getting to know one a little better it was on the next chapter and the next character and I was left feeling I neededinformation I think to be honest I never really cared about any of the characters to make me have any great love for the story.I wanted answers and never seemed to get them and felt the book fell short especially on the characters of Sienna and Mikes wife.On the plus side this novel really makes you think What If it was my daughter, my son, my neighbour how would I feel, how would I deal or cope with the situation, I kept thinking the whole way through the story that every action has a consequence and how you deal with the consequences can change the rest of you life and there is no going back A very thought provoking novel and a great round the table bookclub discussion book but for me not a page turner and not enough character development and therefore a 3 star read. I really looked forward to reading this book, but ended up being disappointed I liked the plot, and I liked the idea of hearing the story from different characters' points of view, but ultimately I feel that the format caused a breakdown in the action and prevented the plot from clearly being executed There were too many characters and descriptions that didn't do anything for the story, and too many parts that didn't fit Two big points of contention for me were Mike and Anna's relationship, and the mystery of the cameraman The affair between Mike and Anna felt out of place, and I think the format of the book is responsible The individual testimonies didn't allow for the reader to sense that a relationship between Mike and Anna was developing, and for me it seemed kind of rushed and poorly explained This was especially disappointing since the affair was the catalyst for Silas's actions I also was disappointed because I felt that by the way characters kept wondering who the cameraman was, the identity of the cameraman was actually significant Overall, I liked the story but I feel it would have been better served to be told in a traditional format The separation of all the testimonies weakened the storyline and prevented me from really caring about the characters and what happened to them. Librarian's note: An alternate cover edition can be found hereAt a New England boarding school, a sex scandal is about to break Even shocking than the sexual acts themselves is the fact that they were caught on videotape A Pandora's box of revelations, the tape triggers a chorus of voicesthose of the men, women, teenagers, and parents involved in the scandalthat details the ways in which lives can be derailed or destroyed in one foolish moment Writing with a pace and intensity surpassing even her own greatest work, Anita Shreve delivers in Testimony a gripping emotional drama with the impact of a thriller No one compellingly explores the dark impulses that sway the lives of seeming innocents, the needs and fears that drive ordinary men and women into intolerable dilemmas, and the ways in which our best intentions can lead to our worst transgressions I made it to page 83 and in the middle of a random paragraph asked myself Why am I reading this?The writing style flipping between characters and times is a tad confusing There are too many people involved, which meant I didn't give a flying leap about any of them I suppose we're meant to feel sorry for some, but I didn'tThere are too many GREAT books out there waiting for me to read them, so I'm not going to force myself to finish this one. I wasn't at all sure I was going to finish reading this book when I first started it The idea of a graphic sex scandal involving a very young teen did not appeal to me I hate reading about that stuff I ordered it just because it was a new Anita Shreve, not even really paying attention or caring about the premise This author always manages to draw me in with her writing, however, and this book was no exception Within the first few chapters I was hooked and stayed that way The graphic stuff is dealt with in the beginning and the rest of the book deals with the fallout This isn't just a book about a boarding school sex scandal It's a book which shows just how farreaching the acts of an individual or individuals can be Instead of one narrator, there is a myriad of them Though that might seem confusing, it isn't It is a brilliant way to get the point across that life's ripple effect is broad and repercussions may be incalcuable It is a sad, sad book and not for what may seem the obvious reasons Well worth the read. 4.0 out of 5 stars Sextingthis story is taken right from today's headlines This review is from: Testimony: A Novel (Hardcover)This was a sad but interesting novel about 3 boys who were caught on videotape committing various activities that were labeled a sex crime because the girl involved was only 14 and the boys were 18 and 19 years old The scandal and resultant fallout from the event affects the young female victim, the boys, their families and friends, the students, as well as the entire community of Avery where the private school is located.The disconcerting thing about the book was that it was told from many different points of view and sometimes was confusing as it went back and forth in time Those changing voices also reflect the fact that perspective is everything when looking back at an event or situation The characters in the story all suffer in various ways as the boys face the consequences of their drunken night of debauchery.No matter how you feel about teens, alcohol, and sexual activity it becomes clear that when those three exist in combination there will be tragedy and innocent victims resulting from those poor choices.UPDATE I have used this book for my upper level high school book club that had both female and male members It was so interesting to hear their thoughts about everything that happened in the book and which characters they identified with, the ones they hated and why, and how they felt about the consequences and conclusions RIP Anita Shreve 32918 This one's a definite sleep stealer I stayed up until 3:30 a.m to finish it, then couldn't get to sleep for thinking about it! It's quite a departure from Shreve's usual style and content, so give it a try even if you think you don't care for her work The story revolves around some drunken sexual antics in a boarding school dorm room that are caught on video tape.Shreve uses a large number of voices or points of view, which has the potential to be cumbersome I thought she handled it very deftly, and the style works for this story Taken as a whole, the book explores how different people view the same shameful event Some are cavalier, some blame themselves, some want to blame others, and some just want to use scandal to further their own goals Some people are able to pay for their mistakes and then move on with their lives, whereas others use this one misfortune to define the rest of their lives with regret and inaction I found the conclusion very satisfying and plausible. Although I've read many books that alternate between narrators, I found this one a little confusing at first The first few chapters seem to jump around a lot, but it doesn't take too long to get used to the style This was a very interesting book and I liked how it showed the event from so many different angles However, at the same time I also found that with so many voices involved, some of the characters got a little lost in the shuffle It would have been nice to hearfrom certain key people (Sienna, for example In fact, it was a bit disappointing how little Sienna was in the book, as her view of the event would have been one of the most interesting) At times, it felt like there were too many characters that were unnecessary and that overshadowed some of the main players What I actually found most interesting was that the book didn't really focus on the event itself Instead, it focused entirely on the aftermath and how that was experienced by everyone Through all the shifting narration, the reader is essentially left to work through what happened in the same confused manner as the characters, and decide which side to take The book brought up some very important issues about teenage relationships, consent, etc There seemed to be a few plot threads that were emphasized and then given little attention, which was a bit confusing Ultimately though, it is a story about actions and their consequences and how even one event can alter people's lives If nothing else, the story really shows how a life can be defined by one poor decision and how the consequences of it can radiate and affect so many others.