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Bet Your Life
Jess Tennant Mysteries #2
by Jane Casey
Jess Tennant wants to stay out of trouble, but when Seb is found on the side of the road with serious injuries, she is pulled into the drama. At the request of Seb’s younger sister, Jess tries to find out what really happened to Seb, but the more Jess discovers, the more complicated Seb’s story becomes.
In Bet Your Life Jess enters the party world of the popular rich kids. However, she soon learns that the party scene isn’t glamourous, but dangerous. As Jess learns about Seb, she finds that most people think he had it coming and nobody wants the truth to come out.
Bet Your Life explores the topic of rape. Although the rapes are not described in detail, bits and pieces of the victims’ experiences are uncovered. One of the girls talks about how the police would not believe her story because she could not remember exactly what happened. Even though Jess knows that Seb was drugging girls, she decides not to tell anyone with the hope that being beat up and left for dead will cause him to change his ways.
Unlike the first book in the series, How to Fall, the second installment of the Jess tenant series contains more sexual content and the kissing scenes are described in more detail. The sexual content may be disturbing for some teens.
- Ryan unexpectedly kisses Jessie on the mouth. “My lips were parted and it was startlingly intimate, even if it was quick.”
- Jess watches Will and thinks, “I wanted to run my hand across his broad shoulders and down his back. I wanted him to turn around and press his body against mine. I wanted to remind myself what it was like to kiss him. . .”
- Will and Jess kiss several times. In one scene, Will sneaks into Jess’s house and surprises her. “I slipped my arms around his neck and he stepped between my knees, closing the distance between us . . . and then we were kissing and it made the room spin as if we were on a carousel. . . he dropped kisses down my neck. He trailed his fingers along my spine and I felt it in the pit of my stomach . . . He pulled the material off my right shoulder and leaned in to kiss my collarbone.”
- Jess discovers that a boy was drugging girls and then having sex with them. In one scene, a girl wakes up and is unable to move. The boy strokes her face and then she passes out. Jess finds the boy’s cell phone which has pictures of some of the victims. “The lighting in the picture was terrible, but I could see a girl lying on her back on a rumpled bed, one arm over her face. She was topless. I was also fairly sure she was unconscious.”
- While looking at a boy’s cell phone, Jess discovers pictures of him and his step-mom. “. . . in the picture he’d taken of the two of them kissing. And he was pretty obviously naked too, so it didn’t take a genius to work out what was going on.”
- A girl went to the police to report that she had been raped, but the officer said, “no jury would ever take me seriously, especially when I don’t’ know where it happened or even what happened.”
- A boy tells Jess that he was drugging girls so he could have sex with them. When she said it was rape, he replied, “There were no consequences for her. She didn’t even know it had happened, and neither did anyone else. I wore a condom. I was respectful. I didn’t take pictures or video. I didn’t make fun of them.”
- At a party, Ryan and Will fight, presumably over Jess. The fight takes place over several pages and neither is hurt badly. When Ryan is hit in the mouth and begins to bleed, the fight ends.
- Someone drugs Jess, locks her in a pool house, and then sets it on fire. She is able to escape without being seriously injured. However, the person who set the fire ends up dying.
Drugs and Alcohol
- Jess goes to a party where alcohol is served.
- When talking about a boy who was beat up, someone said, “There’s no justice in half killing someone because they’re a dick.”
- Profanity is used rarely. Profanity used includes damn and ass.