07 January 2013

(ARC) Book Review: Exposure by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

SYNOPSIS: Double, double, toil and trouble. Sometimes, the quest for high school royalty can be deadly! In this emotionally-charged twist on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a self-conscious shutterbug named Skye Kingston navigates a treacherous school year in Alaska fraught with unspoken secrets and tragic twists of fate. Along the way she encounters three strangely prophetic BFFs; one social-climbing, sociopathic cheerleader; and a heart-stopping hottie named Craig McKenzie: the man who would be Prom King. Can Skye save the boy she loves — and herself — before they get caught in the crosshairs?

REVIEW: In the second book of the Twisted Lit series, Kim Askew and Amy Helmes brings an interesting adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth. As I've said in my review of Tempestuous, I'm not much of a Shakespeare fan; I don't know much about most of his work. When I read Exposure I tried to do my homework by reading at least a summary of Macbeth. To be fair though, I read their first book and I can say reading Shakespeare isn't really a prerequisite. I just wanted to know if it would have an effect on my reading experience. Turns out, it was even better. Now I'm not sure if it's because I read a plot summary or I really just happened to enjoy Exposure more than Tempestuous. Okay let's get down to it.

I like how enjoyable Exposure was despite the tragic events. Don't tell me I spoiled it for you! The synopsis says, "tragic twists of fate" and well... it's Shakespeare. Some sort of tragedy is to be expected. Anyway, what captivated me from the onset was the mystery injected in the story early in the Prologue. From there, the story was told beautifully in a mixture of constant suspense and drama. It's the typical highschool story wherein the cool kids fight over the "coveted" (it's in quotes because I never really believed in all that LOL) title of Prom King and Queen only more interesting because there's so much more involved. Aside from that, I like that the story didn't lose its YA touch because the teen romance was still there along with all the drama that comes with it - without giving readers the unnecessary stress that a lot of teen dramas give. (tee hee)

Since I only read Macbeth's plot summary, the only similarities I saw between the characters in Macbeth and in Exposure are their names. It's fun though, to actually get the play on names (play on words?). It was interesting to read how incredibly diverse the characters were and how they developed throughout the story. I liked Skye and Craig's chemistry in particular. I liked them so much that even if things ended that way, I was okay with it. In fact, I liked how everything turned out. I really liked how Askew and Helmes wrote the (inevitable, slightly tragic) ending.

Lastly, and this is rare, I love the cover of the book. I don't usually take the cover into account when I rate/review a book but this is really something. I don't know about you but I don't usually see/read books that have meaningful covers. Exposure's cover ties the whole story together and it's really cool that it made sense when I looked at it again after reading it. Snaps for that! *snaps haha*

Overall Exposure is a great read. It says so much about ambition, guilt, betrayal, and love in an enjoyable well-paced story that'll definitely leave you satisfied. ;-)

If you want to read a plot summary of Macbeth, I read the one at

There's such a thing as "cool beans"

And more "cool beans"


Kim Askew

Kim has been in love with Shakespeare's plays since middle school (and she's even dated several Hamlet-types). Her mom is thrilled that Kim is finally putting her BA in Renaissance Lit to good use.

A contributor to the anthology The May Queen, Kim's writing has appeared in literary journals and other publications, including the SoMa Literary Review, Kitchen Sink, and Elle Magazine. She is currently working on her Master's thesis on Henry James at Mount St. Mary's College, Los Angeles. With her friend and Twisted Lit series co-author Amy, she writes the popular blog about book-to-film adaptations, Romancing the Tome.

Amy Helmes

Amy Helmes is the author of Boys of a Feather: A Field Guide to North American Males and Voodoo You Love as well as collection of books for Cider Mill Press that includes The Bathtub Reader, The Good Wife Guide, The Good Husband Guide, Boyfriend Training Flashcards, The Wisdom of Nancy Drew, Lois Lane’s Guide to Life, Betty & Veronica, and Boyfriend Wisdom. She’s a West Coast news editor for the nationally published Soaps In Depth magazine, has worked as a writing consultant for the Oxygen network and is a weekly contributor to The Rundown, a free daily email service that keeps subscribers informed about what’s new and cool in Los Angeles. She has been sugarcoating Shakespeare from a young age, having rewritten Macbeth as an epic rhyming poem in junior high. She can still recite most of it by heart. 


***I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book for review.***
 This review is based solely on my opinion.


  1. Great review. I just got a copy of this one and I'm eager to read it. I had to read Macbeth in high school and I really enjoyed it so I hope I enjoy this retelling.

    1. Oh I hope you could do a bit of comparison when you get to review it, I really want to find out more. One can only get so much from a plot summary :( haha!