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White Chalk

White Chalk

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White Chalk

5/5 (1 rating)
390 pages
5 hours
Jul 7, 2013


Praised as a modern and edgier "Lolita" meets "The Catcher in the Rye," award-winning "White Chalk" is the eye-opening realistic look into the minds and actions of adolescents. Far from sugar-coated and rose-colored, this novel captures the raw, dark side of growing up.

Hardened, awkward, and self-deprecating, Chelle Whitney wouldn't know a fairytale if it swooped down and saved her from a burning tower. She has spent her life hurting from the choices she's made, the scars she's created, and the bruises that identify her.

She's one of the unlucky ones whose life is made up of demons that haunt her adolescence and threaten her adulthood.

Chelle grasps desperately at whoever can rescue her from herself and her pain. Reaching for comfort from her best friend, who's outgrown her, and gripping naively to a teacher who takes entirely too much interest in her, she longs for someone who understands her. So when Troy Christiansen walks into her life, Chelle believes he could be the white knight who will finally save her.

Her salvation.

But can Chelle find salvation on her own terms, digging herself out of the Hell her life has created? Or will she forever be a victim of her circumstances, never breaking free of the restraints that define her?

EVOLVED PUBLISHING PRESENTS an intimate glance inside teenage angst and confusion, and one troubled girl's attempt to make sense of life, in this coming-of-age tale by award-winning author P.K. Tyler. [DRM-Free]

Books by P.K. Tyler

  • "The Jakkattu Vector" (Jakkattu - 1)
  • "Avendui 5ive" (Jakkattu Short - 1)
  • "Twin Helix" (Jakkattu Short - 2)
  • "Two Moons of Sera"
  • "Moon Dust" (A "Two Moons of Sera" Short Story)
  • "White Chalk"

More Great Literary Fiction from Evolved Publishing:

  • "Cassia" by Lanette Kauten
  • "Yours to Keep or Throw Aside" by E.D. Martin
  • "All the Tomorrows" by Millu Nasser
  • The "Borderline" Series by Taya DeVere
  • "Participant" by Carmen Kemp

Jul 7, 2013

About the author

P.K. Tyler is the bestselling author of speculative fiction and other genre-bending novels. She is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher. She graduated Smith College in 1999 with a degree in Theatre. After graduation, she moved to New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off Broadway. When not writing Speculative Fiction she twists her mind by writing horror and literary fiction. P.K. Tyler also writes under the pen names Pavarti K. Tyler (Erotic Romance) and Kara S Tyler (Children's Books).

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White Chalk - P.K. Tyler





Copyright © 2013 P.K. Tyler

Cover Art by P.K. Tyler with Mallory Rock


ISBN (EPUB Version): 162253297X

ISBN-13 (EPUB Version): 978-1-62253-297-1


Editor: Melissa Sawatsky

Senior Editor: Lane Diamond

Interior Designer: Lane Diamond


eBook License Notes:

You may not use, reproduce or transmit in any manner, any part of this book without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations used in critical articles and reviews, or in accordance with federal Fair Use laws. All rights are reserved.

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only; it may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, please return to your eBook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.



This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or the author has used them fictitiously.

Books by P.K. Tyler

Consumed by Love - A Short Story

Dead Girl - A Short Story

Moon Dust (A Two Moons of Sera Short Story)


Shadow on the Wall

The Jakkattu Vector

Two Moons of Sera

White Chalk


And Writing as Pavarti K. Tyler:

The Sugar House Novellas

Book 1: Sugar & Salt

Book 2: Protecting Portia

Book 3: Dual Domination

Special Edition: The Sugar House Novellas 1-3 - Omnibus


And Writing as Kara S Tyler:

Ninja and Bunny’s Great Adventure




What Others Are Saying about P.K. Tyler’s Books:


White Chalk:

Tyler has taken a brave position; this gripping novel breaks every rule and escapes customary boundaries.Ann Pearlman, Pulitzer Prize Nominee and Author of The Christmas Cookie Club

"Tyler combines shades of Lolita and Catcher in the Rye in a completely new way, drawing you in with poignant characterizations." – Rachel Thompson, Award-Winning Author of Broken Pieces


Two Moons of Sera:

The author has created a story that is so much more than just what is contained in the narrative. Books should not only serve to enchant and excite, encouraging you to look forward to more installments with the same characters, but they should leave an impression. This is a winner on all fronts....Gaele (Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer)

Tyler does an amazing job of setting the scene and developing the characters in this story. Pavarti's writing is flawless, and the story flowed beautifully with vivid scenes and plenty of build up. I was instantly and completely drawn in to Sera's world after just a few pages.Karen Toz


The Jakkattu Vector:

Jakkattu is the first book in a saga that ultimately becomes a metaphor of humanity itself as it struggles to find its role in a world where humans are defective, aliens are taken into slavery, and priests engage in cruel genetic experiments. With Jakkattu, Ms. Tyler has created a new genre where she takes old traditions and myths and projects them onto a future, that, despite its high technology, it’s still polluted by slavery, prejudice, and exploitation. Her strong world building is made even more extraordinary by the exquisite detail and attention in creating new people and culturesMidwest Book Review


The Sugar House Novellas:

The best written erotica I’ve ever read. - Tahlia Newland, Editor and Author, Awesome Indies


We’re excited to offer not one, but TWO Special Sneak Previews (first 4 chapters of each) at the end of this book. To get your peek, just click on the links below the covers.


CASSIA by Lanette Kauten



Table of Contents

Title Page


Books by P.K. Tyler


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30


Discussion Questions


About the Author

More from P.K. Tyler?

More from Evolved Publishing


SPECIAL SNEAK PREVIEW: Yours to Keep or Throw Aside

Chapter 1

Troy Christiansen came for me.

I knew it the moment he first walked into Northwoods Secondary School. I watched, transfixed, as he glided right through the crowd of popular kids who hung out by the front door—like someone used to being ignored, slicing through the throng like a ghost. He had a black Mohawk pulled tight into a ponytail, and smelled like cigarettes and delinquency. A black T-Shirt and long-sleeved hoodie clung to his hunched shoulders.

Something about him looked so perfectly fragile.

He looked up only once and, by the smirk on his wide full lips, I knew I’d been caught staring. It didn’t really matter. I’d fallen instantly and obsessively in love, but not the kind of teenage drama crap you might expect. No, this was the real soul-wrenching kind of love. I’d never be the same again.

The whole school trilled with gossip. Morgan heard he’d moved here to live with his dad after his mom got arrested. Sebastian said he’d been in Juvie and just got out.

I knew better, having spent that entire day wandering the high school between classes, getting more tardies in one afternoon then I’d received so far that year. But I didn’t care. I was determined to figure out a way to talk to him, whatever it took. Something about the way he’d looked at me, the way the world fell away, taking with it the dread sitting in the bottom of my stomach. Like getting shock therapy, or jumping in the lake in winter, suddenly I felt alive—thanks to him.

Two days later at lunch—one of the few events not segregated by grade—I finally saw him.

I’d been held after class in Algebra; too many days of missing homework. Teachers seemed to think we possessed this unlimited amount of time between getting home and going to bed for all this work, and every one of them gave enough homework to fill the whole night. This assumed I bothered to even try. Between cleaning up the house, trying to keep the reality of my life from caving in, worrying about Dad coming home drunk or Ma crying over bills, Earth Science homework just didn’t seem like that big of a fucking deal. At least I didn’t have to worry about homework in History—it paid to be Mr. Harris’ star student.

When I finally got out of there, I trudged down to the cafeteria, ignoring the insults the boys tossed, or their occasional moo call. Fuck them. I retreated to my usual spot in front of the vending machine, looking for something sugary before finding Morgan on the front steps with her friends.

Cheetos or cupcakes or a Rice Krispies Treat... the options for processed fat and sugar proved endless.

The machine gave me two, you want one? A low rumble came from around the corner.

I stepped to the side and looked around the clunky machine blocking my view. There, on the ground with earbuds dangling around his neck and one hand offering up a HoHo, sat Troy Christiansen.

Umm, Yeah.

I took the treat and shifted my weight to the other foot. I wanted to tell him I’d seen the way he’d looked at me, that this place didn’t suck too bad, that I could be something—maybe something special—if he wanted. Instead, I just crinkled the plastic wrapper between my fingers.

He shrugged, put the earbuds back in, and picked up the book on his lap—something old, with tan pages and a cracked spine.

Dejected, I turned away.

You can sit here if you want, he said, without looking up.

A swelling in my chest made it difficult to breathe, and, for a minute, I floundered. I wasn’t even sure if I could find the strength to sit, but when he glanced up and raised one eyebrow, I shivered and stepped closer.

Um... yeah... sure. My mouth went dry and my tongue felt stiff as a diving board, but my legs managed to lower me to the floor without falling. Little miracles shouldn’t be taken for granted.

The waist of my jeans cut into my middle and made it tough to figure out just how to sit, but I didn’t want to fidget too much. With one leg bent and the other curled under me, it wasn’t comfortable, but I couldn’t cross the other leg. I left it bent, my knee poking out at an angle.

Thanks. I peeked through my hair, afraid to look right at him. When he smiled, a thrum of excitement started in my chest, speeding up my breath.

What’s your name?


He nodded. I’m Troy. His eyes shone in the florescent glare of the cafeteria, and he passed me one of his iPod’s earbuds. When I took it, he leaned his head back and closed his eyes, not bothering to eat the HoHo balanced precariously on his knee.

The earbud was still warm, and shrill, fast music crashed into my brain. It clamored around in my head, abusing the parts of my mind normally reserved for coherent thought, but I didn’t care. Troy Christiansen and I listened to the same thing, shared the same sensations.

I didn’t eat the HoHos he’d given me, despite a tingling at the back of my mouth anticipating the decadent mixture of chocolate and cream. I leaned against the wall, enjoying how every breath he took moved the air around me. The hairs on my arm reached out to him, and I vibrated with the fantasy that he might touch me.

When the warning bell rang, chairs scraped against the linoleum floor as everyone rushed to finish their conversation, stuff in one more bite of processed meat, and dump their trash before heading to class.

Troy and I just sat, him with his eyes closed, me trying desperately to look at him... without looking. His sharp features were symmetrical, and sitting side-by-side, we weren’t too different in height. But my figure was thick, his lanky, and where I curved, he stuck out in angular points. He wore the same tight jeans as the first day I saw him. His lip ring dangled from the center of his bottom lip, pulling it out into a pout that made me shiver and look away.

The class bell rang and even though I couldn’t afford another tardy, the mere idea of moving away proved inconceivable. I’d spent all week searching for him; no way I’d get up first. Every minute we sat—the cafeteria now cold and barren—the knot in my stomach grew. I tried not to fidget, to keep my hands still and not worry about needing to go to my locker before class.

Finally, he opened his eyes and pulled out his earbud. He set the iPod on the ground before standing up and stretching.

From where I sat I could glance at the swatch of skin above his pant line, pale and smooth. I fumbled with the earbud and gathered the cord around the iPod to keep from staring.

You smoke? He stuffed the iPod and uneaten HoHo into his bag.

Yeah. I scrambled to pull myself up as he slung it over a shoulder.

You didn’t eat. Aren’t you hungry? He pointed to the HoHo in my hand.

Nah, I’ll eat later. I hoped he couldn’t hear my stomach growl, or the crinkling of the plastic wrapper as my hand shook.

He shrugged and walked away, out of the cafeteria and down the long hall leading to the main door.

Aren’t you going to class? My voice reverberated in the empty hall, too loud as I rushed to keep up with his long legs.

No. Why would I ask you to smoke if I was going to class? His response made so much sense, I felt stupid for asking.

Well, you can’t go out front, I offered, lowering my voice a little, trying to make it sultry or something. I knew something he didn’t, and despite the fact I was essentially skipping class for the first time in my life, I desperately wanted him to keep me around. We have to go out back, behind the loading docks. None of the teachers bother going there.

I don’t give a fuck what the teachers do. He glanced down at me, his eyes cold before softening into a teasing smile. But if you do, we can go.

Thanks, I mumbled, embarrassed to have cared, to assume he would care about getting in trouble. He was a junior—he didn’t have to give a fuck.

We turned and walked back past the cafeteria, beyond the foreign language hall and out the side door. He followed me, not speaking as I jumped over a pile of unmelted snow left over from the last storm.

He chuckled—laughing at me or with me? Didn’t really matter, given the smile that brightened his face.

When we rounded the shed to the unofficially designated smoking area, he pulled out a cigarette, lit it and inhaled deeply. His thin face appeared even more drawn as he held in the smoke before exhaling through his nose.

I rubbed my hands on my pant legs. I didn’t have my bag with me, so no cigarettes.

Troy didn’t seem to notice, though. He just gazed out over the parking lot, tapping his foot as he smoked.

I wrapped my arms around my middle, trying to keep warm.


Skipping earth science turned out not to be the best decision I’d ever made, and it landed me in the office. I sat in the outdated green chairs with wooden arms that were too low for anyone on the planet to actually sit in comfortably, waiting for Ms. Perkins, the Vice Principal.

I thought about that stupid spelling trick they’d taught us in elementary school: principle... princiPAL... yeah, whatever. My mind ticked off all the adults who’d said they were my friend or my pal, or on my side, or some other bullshit they feed to kids, thinking we won’t realize it’s all nonsense. Even Mr. Harris wasn’t really on my side. Everyone wanted something.

Chelle Whitney? The secretary called out my name like a question, even though the other seats sat empty. I rolled my eyes and grabbed my bag from beneath the chair.


Vice Principal Perkins will see you now. You can go on back to her office. The small-framed woman didn’t bother looking up.

Thanks. I took the familiar path back to the VP’s office.

I ended up there a lot. I’d never been in much trouble. I usually got called in because someone else did something, like when Kiley Flynn threw an apple at me. Ms. Perkins had called me in to tell her what happened. I just sat there with a black eye forming and lied, so Kiley never even got detention. What was the point? If they got in trouble it would only make things worse.

Chelle, come in. Ms. Perkins stood tall—taller than most men. I wondered if she was one of those post-surgery transvestites. She had big hands, too.

I sat in the chair across from her, but instead of remaining in her seat, she came around and leaned on her desk, brows pulled together as if some kind of pain had struck her. I studied her throat for an Adam’s apple as she talked.

So what happened today? Mrs. Gibson tells me you weren’t in science. She crossed her ankles and laid her hands on the edge of the desk, balancing her weight at an uncomfortable-looking angle.

I shrugged, not meeting her eyes.

You know you had class? It’s not like there was some confusion about that, was there?

No. My voice squeezed out at barely a whisper. I hated the way she looked at me, as if she expected something. I clutched the bag in my lap and stared at the pins attached to the shoulder straps, just wanting to get out of there.

So why didn’t you go?

I shrugged again.

Chelle, if there’s something going on you want to talk about.... She leaned forward, bringing her man-face closer to mine.

I recoiled, pulling further into myself, hiding behind my hair.

All right then. She sighed and straightened her back. Without some kind of explanation of where you were, I have to give you detention. This will be after school, and I’m also going to make a call to your parents about your behavior.


Ms. Perkins stood up, went back behind her desk and pulled out a detention slip. Give this to Mr. Harris. He’s in charge of scheduling your detention, but it must be done within one week from today. This isn’t a good way to make your transition into high school, Chelle. Do you understand that? You don’t want this kind of behavior to become something you’re known for, especially not next year.

I nodded, but if Troy didn’t care, I didn’t either.

This is the last time I want to have this talk with you.

Yes, Ms. Perkins.

I stood and took the detention slip.

As I opened the door to leave, she spoke again. Are you sure there’s nothing you want to talk about?

Nope. Thanks, Ms. Perkins. I left her office and hurried to History.

I slipped in just as the bell rang and took my seat next to Morgan.

Where have you been? she hissed. I waited for you after lunch and was late for earth science.

Sebastian leaned back in the seat in front of me, cocking his head in our direction. So very subtle.

Yeah, I skipped. I kept my voice nonchalant, like it didn’t matter, even though the news about Troy sat coiled, ready to burst from my lips.

What? Since when do you skip class? She pulled her seat closer to my desk, but Mr. Harris cleared his throat at the front of the room.

Tell you later, I whispered, with a mischievous smile, and both Morgan and Sebastian grumbled their complaint.

Class began with its usual tediousness: someone did something really important at some point in the past, and I totally cared. Really.

Mr. Harris barely looked at me. I could always tell when he wanted me to meet him on the back road, because he ignored me in class—about as subtle as a sledgehammer. Fortunately, my fellow eighth-graders were painfully stupid.

Troy occupied my thoughts. Dred Scott really had nothing on him.

He’d talked to me. I hadn’t even had to chase after him or come up with something to say—guaranteed to embarrass myself. He’d just talked to me. So easy. Everything he did was so understated and he made it seem so natural. He probably didn’t even get in trouble for skipping. He was a junior, after all.

Class droned on and I stabbed a line of tiny red dots on the inside on my arm with the end of a stretched out paperclip. I traced the lines of old scars, pulling the raised flesh until it puckered and splotches of red appeared beneath the thin layer of skin. I mulled over my conversation with Troy, replaying it a hundred thousand times in a million different ways. Every time he looked at me, every time his hand extended toward mine, it took on paramount meaning. Troy Christiansen had talked to me. On purpose.

As soon as Mr. Harris gave the okay for us to start working on our assignments, Morgan slipped a piece of paper onto my lap.

Why did you skip class??

I was talking to someone.

I wrote it with a coy smile, knowing it would drive her insane.

She groaned at my response and glared at me before scribbling and passing it back.


If Mr. Harris noticed, he didn’t say anything, but he probably didn’t—too busy not looking at me.

Troy Christiansen.

I liked the way his name looked printed in my handwriting. I didn’t have girlie writing—no curlie q’s or hearts over the i’s. It looked right, written that way.

The new kid? In HIGH SCHOOL?

My smile and blush were the only response she needed. Morgan vibrated in her chair, desperate for details.

Mr. Harris’ face twitched as he tried to ignore us.

Yeah, he’s nice.

Holy shit-balls, Chelle! How did you meet him? When did you start talking to him? Is he as gorgeous up close? DETAILS.

Mr. Harris raised an eyebrow in Morgan’s direction as she frantically scribbled on the ripped piece of paper we were passing back and forth.

I decided not to tempt fate and scribbled a quick note to her.

We’ll talk later.

Morgan’s disappointment produced a pout as amusingly palpable as her excitement. She huffed in my direction.

When we were younger, Morgan’s mom would watch me when my mom had to work. Now I was old enough to stay home alone, so we didn’t see each other as much. Morgan lived in the nice part of town, and walking from my house would take forever. I could take a bus, but we saw each other every day in school and she always made time for me, even though her other friends were cooler and more like her. Somehow, she always managed to include me in everything she did. Almost like she wanted me there.

The bell rang and the class broke into chaos. Nothing like the chance to get the fuck out of school to motivate a group of teenagers.

I packed my things quickly, wanting to get out of the classroom before Morgan started her barrage of questions. Mr. Harris didn’t need to know who I spent time with, so long as I kept meeting him after school.

I hoisted my bag over my shoulder and walked out the door. In the small hall, where the majority of the eighth grade classrooms were located, I waited for Morgan.

Sebastian approached with a smile, shuffling his feet until Chazz walked up behind him and smacked the back of his head. The two degenerated into a wrestling match on the carpet until Chazz’s bag opened and his books went cascading down the hall.

So spill it, seriously, how did you meet Troy Christiansen? Morgan spoke so fast she would have been unintelligible if I didn’t know her so well. I hadn’t even heard her approach; she was a virtual teenage gossip ninja.

He was sitting by the vending machine. We just started talking. I shrugged, trying to be casual about what had to be the single most exciting thing that had happened to me since I stopped believing in the tooth fairy. It was amazing what the sight of your father passed out on the floor of your room, with your tooth in one hand and a dollar bill in the other, would do to a girl’s faith in magic.

So, what did he say? What did you talk about? Did you tell him about me?



We started making our way through the throng of students. At the stairs leading up to the locker bay, Troy’s tall and thin frame leaned against the railing. His perfectly structured face looked at something on the ground. The way he held himself, like nothing in the world mattered, took my breath away.

Oh, my God! Is that him? Morgan squealed, grabbing my arm with both hands.

Yeah. My voice filled with awe as I took him in.

Is he here for you?

No, no way. Why would he be here for me? I shook my head and tried to look away, not wanting to act like I expected him to talk to me. Who was I, anyways? Just some eighth grader who went out to smoke without a cigarette. Stupid.

Hey. Troy stepped away from the wall and lifted his eyes to mine. With casual perfection, he shrugged his shoulder and hiked his backpack higher.

Hey. I looked down, unable to meet his gaze. If my bangs were longer they’d hide my face completely, and I kind of wished they were.

Can you believe they totally pulled me in for missing class?

Me too.

Shit, I’m sorry about that.

I shrugged. What did he have to be sorry about? It wasn’t like he did anything.

I’m here for one week and I’m already getting a call home. My dad’s going to flip.

Yeah, I have detention.

His appearance turned hard. Something about the lines of his face solidified and his jaw clenched tight.

Whatever. It’s not a big deal. I didn’t want him to be mad.

Um, hi! I’m Morgan. My best friend nudged me aside and batted her eyelashes at Troy in a pathetic play for attention.

For the first time in my life, I wanted to pound her face into the steps.

Hey. He didn’t look at her, just nodded in her direction. His eyes were still focused on me.

I smiled.

So, what are you doing now? he asked. For once, someone wanted to know more about me than Morgan.

Ok... umm... I’ll call you later, Chelle. Morgan pouted and walked away. Once she’d retreated to a safe distance behind him, she turned around and winked with a smile.

Just going home, you know. Whatever.

Yeah, me, too. Do you need to go to your locker? I’ll walk with you.

We made our way up to the locker bay and my hands shook as I spun in the combination. It took me two tries to get it right. I pulled my books out and stuffed them in my bag, not sure which ones I’d taken, too distracted by Troy’s proximity to care.

He looked so casual, leaning against the lockers next to mine, as though his bones didn’t have the same density as everyone else’s.

When I pretended to be done, and pulled on my backpack, he headed toward the front of the school where the buses lined up. As much as being with him thrilled me, I trailed behind. Mr. Harris expected me to meet him, and I’d never not shown up before.

So next week I’m getting a truck. It’ll probably be some piece of shit my dad gets from the junkyard, but it’ll be freedom from the bus.


So maybe I could drive you home or something.

Yeah, that’d be nice.

All right, umm, yeah.... He shuffled his feet for a moment. So, give me your number and I’ll call you.

Flushed and about to hyperventilate, I wrenched my backpack off my shoulder and dug in the front pocket for something to write on. A WaWa receipt. Classy.

After folding my number into quarters and stuffing it into his pocket, Troy ran off to catch his bus.

I snuck back inside and made my way out back to wait for Mr. Harris.

Chapter 2

Friday after school, Mr. Harris’s sweaty hands moved up my leg, gripping my upper thigh hard as he drove. He drove faster than usual, his eyes frantic. I rode in the little brown car with my large red-haired teacher, his breath wafting across the small space, filling the whole cab.

Teachers always seemed less than real—not quite people—and sitting here with him always thrilled me. The first time he brought me here it’d been raining.


Too cold for me to be out, drenched in a thin sweatshirt, I trudged home after school. November had betrayed me with its promises of clear skies, and I’d skipped the bus.

Mr. Harris pulled up, his oversized body squished into the too small car. When the window rolled down, warm air tinged with the scent of coffee invited me in.

It’s a little cold for you to be walking, isn’t it, honey? He peered out the window, brows pulled high to his forehead, appraising my appearance.

Can you drive me home, Mr. Harris? My teeth chattered as I spoke.

"Come on, get in. But you know teachers aren’t supposed to pick up students

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What people think about White Chalk

1 ratings / 3 Reviews
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  • (4/5)
    Chelle is a thirteen-year-old from a severely dysfunctional family. Her home life makes being bullied at school almost preferable. She has no hope, and in her own mind, no future.

    She gets a shot of hope when Troy comes into her life. He’s the first boy to really show her kindnesses she hadn’t had before. Unfortunately, Troy is older, and unbeknownst to Chelle, is not interested in her in a romantic way.

    The chaos in Chelle’s life ramps up when she discovers that Troy has a girlfriend. Her shaky emotional hold on life causes her to do many things that she wouldn’t have otherwise. But, as the book moves forward, we discover that her emotional instability has deeper roots that have been growing for much longer than we, the reader, anticipate.

    Don’t be fooled. This is not a light and puppy-dogs type of YA story. Full of grit and sadness, this is not a tale for the lighthearted.

    That being said, I did find that some tropes in the story were a little cliche. One specific line concerning rape offended me, and may offend others. I’ll not state it here.

    The book is well-written by a very talented writer.
  • (5/5)
    Which did you find more appealing, the introduction or the conclusion? The introduction. Pavarti Tyler offers hints about how bad Chelle's life is and nothing prepares you for what is to come so when it does hit you, it breaks open like a dam, and this reader was sitting thinking, oh wow.

    Why would you recommend or not recommend this book? I will definitely recommend this book and it is extremely well presented but some people also get offended easily. So if you are one of those who are sensitive about "how things are SUPPOSED to be" then this book isn't for you. But if you want a slice of truth with a lot of raw emotions and a book that will make you think, this is one of the best books I've read in 2013.

    Did the book description relate to the story? Yes, it doesn't prepare you for the surprises in the story but of course that is the author's intention.

    Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author.
  • (5/5)
    This book has been on my list of books to review for a long time. I remember clearly how this book affected me when I finished the last page. It stayed with me for weeks. A piece of fiction that is so realistically written, and I KNOW there are young teens (and older) who had, do, and will experience very similar to Chelle's.Chelle is the main character, a 13 year old adolescence girl. I know what her home life felt like, because I went through similar. My mom was always working and I had a step dad that rarely work but spent his waking hours getting drunk. As a male, my story is quite different than hers but this book makes me emotional and heart-sick, especially with the shared experiences. As you can probably guess, this book was a difficult read, not because it was poorly written. That is far from the truth. This book was so well written and the emotions, angst, depression, need for love, and the despair, in my opinion cannot aspire to better prose. I wanted to be an adult that recognize what Chelle was going through, not a betrayer like her teacher, I wanted to be her saving angel, to see her and assure her of her worth, and love her as a parent should. I wondered multiple times if the author went through the same, or was close to someone who did. This is a fictional account of true experiences that might be more common that people suspect. This was a difficult book, and I highly recommend it for parents of teens, even preteens.