Book Review – Abuse of Discretion by Pamela Samuels Young

 Abuse of Discretion
Pamela Samuels Young
Print Length: 354 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Goldman House Publishing (September 25, 2017)
Publication Date: September 25, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English


A Kid’s Curiosity … A Parent’s Nightmare
The award-winning author of Anybody’s Daughter is back with an addictive courtroom drama that gives readers a shocking look inside the juvenile criminal justice system. Graylin Alexander is a model fourteen-year-old. When his adolescent curiosity gets the best of him, Graylin finds himself embroiled in a sexting scandal that threatens to ruin his life. Jenny Ungerman, the attorney hired to defend Graylin, is smart, confident and committed. She isn’t thrilled, however, when ex-prosecutor Angela Evans joins Graylin’s defense team. The two women instantly butt heads. Can they put aside their differences long enough to ensure Graylin gets justice? Unbeknownst to Angela, her boyfriend Dre is wrestling with his own drama. Someone from his past wants him dead. For Dre, his response is simple—kill or be killed.


Reading this book I learned a great deal about how the juvenile justice system works, and so does Angela Evens when she joins Graylin’s defense team. As an attorney, Angela has only worked in the adult system and she is shocked that, “A 14-year-old can’t drink, drive, smoke, vote, or even sign a contract, but the law says he can make up make his own legal decisions?”

There were many other surprises such as the fact that in many states children can be questioned without a parent present, and people will get quite an introduction to the juvenile justice system by reading this book.

There is a list of discussion questions at the end of the book and they all raise interesting points for a book club to consider. The last question is, “What are some of the things you liked/disliked most about Abuse of Discretion?” And I think that is a great lead into this review.

One thing I liked most about this story was the interactions of the characters dealing directly with the trial of Graylin who had been arrested a numerous charges after having a picture of a naked classmate on his cell phone. When the story focused mainly on the attorneys and the trial, I had a real sense of drama and urgency, hoping that the boy would be found not guilty but also knowing that the laws were stacked against him because of the antiquated pornography laws on the books today.

Educating me about those laws was something else I appreciated about this book. I had no idea that those apply to children the same way they apply to adults, even though they were originally written just to deal with adult pedophiles.

I also really like the character of Angela. She was strong and yet vulnerable enough to let her emotions show. Her love for Graylin, as well as her deep desire to help him no matter what made her a character to whom I could relate.

What I didn’t like very much about the book was the way it was formatted, introducing numerous points of view in alternating chapters. I think for readers who have the time to sit down and read the book quickly in a day or two that might not be a problem. But for people who read in short increments of time it may be hard  to keep track of all of these different characters and how they contributed to the main plot of the story. At least it was to me, and I think some of those minor characters that were given a voice in the book could have been handled a different way.

Still this was a very engaging story and I think it’s one that everybody should read and take note of the seriousness of the issues of sexting that affect so many young people today. Kids as young as ten and eleven are doing this, and the practice could possibly put many of them in jail and have them stamped as a sex offender for the rest of their life.

BUY LINK  For Abuse of Discretion 


Pamela Samuels Young is an attorney and award-winning author of eight legal thrillers. Her most recent courtroom drama, Abuse of Discretion, tackles a troubling sexting case that gives readers a shocking look inside the juvenile justice system. Pamela is also the recipient of an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction for her thriller Anybody’s Daughter. The former journalist received a bachelor’s degree from USC and earned graduate degrees from Northwestern University and UC Berkeley School of Law. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of child sex trafficking, online safety, fiction writing, and pursuing your passion.

To read an excerpt of Pamela’s books or to invite her to a book club meeting or speaking engagement, visit her website You can follow her BLOG, meet her on FACEBOOK or TWITTER or INSTAGRAM  or YOUTUBE  or LINKEDIN

Please come back on Wednesday, when Pamela will be my guest with a post about why she writes Mysteries That Matter.

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