Valerie always wanted to be the smart girl. The pretty girl. The popular girl. But not the rape girl.
That’s who she is now. Rape Girl. Because everyone seems to think they know the truth about what happened with Adam that day, and they don’t think Valerie’s telling it. Before, she had a best friend, a crush, and a close-knit family. After, she has a court case, a support group, and a house full of strangers.
The real truth is, nothing will ever be the same.
This is a story about how that one moment changes everything. How it changes people around you, strangers as well as family and friends. How it turns reasonable explanations into malicious comments. How gifts aren't simple gifts anymore but something more distressing.
The rape itself isn't shown, but Valerie relives through it as she tries to cope with the ramifications. She has her family around her, her mother, little sister, and even her somewhat absent big brother. She has friends, and she doesn't have friends. There are other adults involved as well. Everyone has an opinion of what happened or didn't happen they either want to share with her or shove it down her throat.
And that's how it is in real life. Rape is everyone's business. No wonder so many--too many--go unreported.
While I loved the realistic touch of the story, the simplicity of the events unfolding, and Valerie's reaction to them, I also thought it could have been done better. For example, I doubt Valerie's little sister could have escaped the situation as unscathed as she appeared to both in school and at home. It was strange that the house, her home, where it happened never felt unsafe to Valerie, not even for a moment. I bought the anger, the hurt, the depression, guilt for feeling like a normal teenager for two seconds, and every other feeling, just not the ease of it.
I'm not a rape survivor, I'm one of the lucky ones, and yet one of the scariest moments I've read was in this book--the moment when Valerie has to face her rapist. I wanted to scream and shout how could it be?! when I know--or think I know--how easy it is for man to think like that.
I saw Angela suggest in her review that this should be compulsory reading in high schools. I have to agree:
Now repeat after me: no means NO! No exceptions.
I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
Pages 126 Hardcover, 132 Kindle edition.
Imprint: Myric Marketing & Media, LLC
Published: June 4th
Source: NetGalley, Publisher