Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review-Rape Girl by Alina Klein

Goodreads Summary:

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.

Publication Date: June 5, 2012

Due to the subject matter, this book was definitely a tough read. However, since it was only 126 pages and had plenty of tension I finished it in one sitting. This book explores the emotions of a young teenage girl as she deals with the aftermath of a rape. The novel had plenty of discussion points that would make it an ideal addition to a classroom or book club list. A few things I felt could have added more to the story, but overall a highly recommended read.

What I Liked: This was actually the first YA novel I've read that dealt with rape. I really felt that since the novel was told from Valerie's POV, readers were able to connect with her. She's not perfect, she drinks, flirts, gets into fights, and I felt that helped bring home the point that no matter how she acted, she didn't deserve to be raped. Her emotions were described in rich detail, especially where she blamed herself for the attack and had to learn to take back her life. The conflicts with her peers were unnerving and made the horror of her attack continue on well after the actual act. The ending was very different than I was expecting and the non-resolution gave it an even more realistic feel.

What I Didn't Like: The bluntness of the title made me think the actual rape would be described in a similar manner. However, very few details are given and I think a more unfettered look could have helped drive home the themes in the novel. Also, the story takes place in Utah and the conservative ideals of the Mormon community are touched upon in relation to Valerie's rape. I think this theme could have been explored even more. The actions of the principal seemed slightly unrealistic (I kept thinking of the lawsuit Valerie's family could have against the school), but it did make him another terrible villain for the story.

Star Rating: Four out of five stars


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