Monday, 16 July 2012

Review: Rape Girl - Alina Klein

Rape Girl
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.


You've seen the title, you don't need to read the blurb. You already know what happens. Question isn't when or where or even how. It happens. Rape happens, and this is a story of one survivor.

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.

4 stars

I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

Series:           N/A
Pages           126 Hardcover, 132 Kindle edition.
Publisher:      namelos
Imprint:         Myric Marketing & Media, LLC
Published:      June 4th
Source:          NetGalley, Publisher


36 comments:

  1. I'm really nervous about reading this but I think it will be worth it. Thanks for the lovely review-I bet it was hard to write.

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    1. I definitely think it'll be worth your time. Good reviews are always difficult for me to write, but when the subject is this important it somehow adds to the challenge.

      Delete
  2. Wow, this sounds intense.

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    1. It is. Especially if you read it at one sitting.

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  3. Ok I was intrigued when I ran across this and thought it would be a good read, but then I read a not so flattering review and passed, now I am sorry, sounds like this book has an important message. I will re add it to my list!

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    1. Do you have a link to the "not so flattering review"? I'm a little curious how they could make this book sound an unworthy read.

      Having an important message doesn't necessarily mean that the book is good or read-worthy, but I do think this one is.

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  4. If something like that were to happen in my own home I would have to believe that I would feel unsafe staying there. Overall though it sounds like it was a good read as you ended up giving it a 4. Have you ever read the book Lucky?? Excellent true story of a rape survivor.

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    1. No I have not. By Alice Sebold? I'll have to look into it.

      Four stars is a good rating from me, five is something exceptional.

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  5. Sounds like a powerful read. I have two friends that are rape survivors (over 30 years ago) and it still affects them today.

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  6. Rape is a horrible crime because the victims have to prove it actually happened. It is not easy. Sometimes the perpetrators don't leave any visible marks of violence and claim it was all consensual and peaceful; sometimes the victims think it must have been somehow their fault so there is no need to make a fuss. Definitely a book every teenager should read. A great review and thanks once again for sending me a link.

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    1. It is and it's something we still need to work on, changing the attitudes towards rape victims.

      You're welcome ;)

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  7. Wow, sounds like a really intense story. The thought of having to face someone who violated me as intimately as possible is terrifying, so I'm already a huge supporter of Valerie!

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    1. It was and I'm not even a rape survivor. I hope you'll like the book.

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  8. this sounds interesting and such a sensitive subject.

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  9. That must have been a hard moment to face, for the victim and the reader.

    Thanks for this beautiful, honest review. This might be an intense read, but it seems worth it.

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    1. I thought so. Thanks for reading the review.

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  10. Sounds like an intense book. Something that should be read in schools.

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    1. And it's short! Kids like that, still, right? It would definitely be a good book for starting a discussion.

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  11. Interesting book. Sounds intense.

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    1. It is, I hope you'll give it a chance.

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  12. The title is certainly very shocking and unforgettable. I agree that this subject needs to be talked about more and that the victims need encouragement and support to report the crimes committed against them.

    Have you read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson?

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    1. I have not read the book but I believe I've seen the film based on it.

      That's the thing, the title is shocking in a way the subject matter doesn't seem to be. We've become numbed by it.

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  13. I didn't know this one, and I don't think I ever read something about this topic. It must be difficult to write about that but I'm sure the story is intense.

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    1. There's a lovely author's note in the end of the book where the author mentions being a rape survivor but focuses more on the recovery and moving on, where to get help and things like that.

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  14. Nice review Rameau, but I will certainly not read it. I need to escape in my books from real life, not get depressed with a book that is undoubtedly necessary and good.

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    1. There's nothing wrong in escapism, I just need more occasionally. ;)

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  15. That's a very tough topic, I'm not sure I would like to read it because I'm easily affected by books. Great review.

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    1. I can definitely understand why people wouldn't want to read this book, but I do think it's worth it. Ultimately it's your choice.

      P.S. Hi!

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  16. This is a tough topic and I do agree they should have this book in school...they have completely useless books in some of these English classes. Thanks for reading this and reviewing it!

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    1. Thanks for reading the review.

      Tough subjects should be discussed too.

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  17. Do I need to put on an emotional armour to read this book?

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    Replies
    1. It depends. Is rape a trigger for you? Little buffering might help but I wouldn't want anything to interfere with the emotional impact of the story.

      Delete

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