Iíll admit that when I first read The Forbidden Game trilogy I was not all that impressed with Jenny Thorntonís boyfriend Tom Locke. It wasnít until I went back recently and reread the trilogy that I realized that Tom was a decent character in his own right. This can be difficult to notice though because Tom isn't present during much of the trilogy.
In the beginning of The Forbidden Game trilogy Tom appears as a self confident guy, great student, great athlete, e.t.c. Though itís obvious he cares for Jenny, itís hard to get into his character at first. Then we find that heís basically been running Jennyís life since he met her when they were kids. Whether this is intentional or not isnít necessarily clear, though I would guess some of it is since Jenny said plainly in The Chase that Tom wouldnít let her wear a gold dress that she has with him. Tom seems to take Jenny for granted a bit at the beginning. By the end of The Hunter though, heís learned to treasure her more. Then he still has the problem of being overprotective. This is when he watches her in The Chase, almost seeming to stalk her at times. He learns during the chase that sheís independent enough to help herself. We donít see him again until the end of The Kill when Jenny saves him and Zach. We can tell heís changed though. When Julian has died and the group is standing around and Jenny is wearing the ring Julian gave her, Tom doesnít say a word about it. He doesnít seem to mind. Jenny says ďHe understood.Ē This is a big step for Tom who before always became awkward or made some sort of statement when he saw Jenny wearing the ring. Jenny puts it this way ďHe didnít take her for granted anymore, and he didnít need to be possessive either. Jenny thought that maybe he had changed the most of all.Ē So we learn that Tom has indeed changed, into a guy who understands his girlfriend better now and her need for independence. Itís a good change and hopefully one that will continue.
The Forbidden Game trilogy by L.J. Smith
Reflections on LJ Smith