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- Publisher: namelos
- Publication date: 8/1/2012
- Pages: 132
- Source: eARC from NetGalley/Namelos for review
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.
Rape Girl is the compelling story of a survivor who does the right thing and suffers for it. It is also the story of a young woman’s struggle to find the strength to fight back.
Okay this is going to be a really difficult review to write. Not because I didn't like the book, because I did, but it's a very tough issue to tackle and being that I have never been in the situation I didn't know what to think about a lot of it. I kept feeling like if I was in the situation I would have gone about things differently after or felt different, but that is my outsiders perspective. This was written with first hand knowledge so the feelings the character is feeling are based upon very real feelings. That being said, I think that it's great that this subject is being tackled in YA because there are not many books (at least that I know of) that really go into the subject of rape like this one does.
Valerie was not a character I could connect with, but it doesn't mean that I didn't understand her. She is just a normal girl who wants to have cool friends and be popular. She has a boyfriend that is good looking and some really great friends. She decides she wants to throw a party while her mom is away and the next day while passed out and hung over, her boyfriend comes over and rapes her. She tells him no, but he does it anyways. She tells her mother about it and they go to the police. She loses her friends and has to go to group therapy. She feels guilty because she didn't fight him off and she wasn't beat up. She learns in group therapy that some of these girls have had much harder times, but discovers that it doesn't matter. She was still violated and she said no.
The thing that was really missing for me while reading this book is that I wanted to feel her emotions, I wanted to know how embarrassed and hurt she felt. I wanted to have my heart break with hers when everyone including her best friend turn their back on her. When her mother is starting to break down with the stress of the situation. When her brother and sister start to feel guilt about not being able to do anything to stop it from happening. I didn't feel any of that. I was just reading her story and finding out what happened and where it all ended up. It starts going back and forth from the past to the present until it's all in the present and I did like that, but it was lacking the feeling that I really wanted.
Overall, I think that this was a good book. It does have a good message and Valerie does find her strength. I think that she was brave to be able to tell her mother and the police about it. I know that a lot of girls wouldn't because they are ashamed even though they shouldn't be. Was this an emotional book for me? No. Was it a darker book about a serious issue? For sure. I do think that it's worth reading if you like issue books. It is not a very long book. This is one of those books that councilors and psychiatrists should keep on hand for patients who have been through a situation like this. I want to give it more stars because it's an important subject, but it just didn't pull me in. I still did like it though. 3 out of 5 stars.