Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.
But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same question: Where was Ben when a terrible crime was committed?
This story—inspired by real events—from debut novelist Aaron Hartzler takes an unflinching look at silence as a form of complicity. It’s a book about the high stakes of speaking up, and the razor thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time.
This book definitely deals with a sensitive issue, but at the same time it is such an important topic that I think everyone needs to be aware of.
I really liked how this book dealt with what happened, purely because it was so realistic, and I think that’s the scariest part of it. Because there are people out there who are actually that ignorant. I was mentally screaming at some of the characters in this book because their thinking and thought process seemed so ridiculous, I’m seriously scared if there are people who think like that (see below in the spoilery section to know in particular what I’m talking about).
There were a lot of controversial points touched upon in this book that I feel like a lot of people are afraid to talk about. I liked how this book didn’t skirt around the issue either. It was straight forward and realistic in the way that this is exactly what happens, whether it be online or in real life. You see those comments on Facebook with things like “she was asking for it the way she was dressed” or somehow blaming the assault on the victim. I believe that this book really showcases what it would actually be like in this situation.
Now with the writing, I felt like it was a little bit slow but there was a mystery about it that made me not want to put the book down. I really liked that it was told from the perspective of someone who wasn’t really connected to the whole incident at all. (GIRL) was just a bystander trying to figure out what the hell happened. When I first heard about this book and read that the main character was investigating what happened, I was worried that it would be about this girl thinking she’s the bees knees and can solve everything herself, but I am happy to say I was wrong about that!
I’d definitely recommend this. It wasn’t very fast paced but I think the overall message you get from the book is definitely worth the read. If you’re looking for a cute contemporary read, then this isn’t the book for you. But if you want to read something terrifyingly real, then this is for you. But honestly, I think that it’s something everyone should read, or at least be aware of because this stuff happens all the time, you just don’t hear about it.
Overall Rating: 4/5
SPOILERY SPOILERS: Seriously though, when you find out what happened to that girl, and the video is described. How could anyone possibly think that it was consensual?!!? The girl was so drunk she was practically unconscious and people were just watching while these four guys took turns. Then when the girl presses charges all hell breaks loose and the whole bloody town turns on her. It made me so angry, and to think that this actually happens to people it just makes me sick.
Publisher: Harper Teen
Published: November 23 2015
Format: Paperback, 336 pages
Genre: YA Contemporary
Acquired from: Harper Colllins
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**This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way affected my opinion of this book.
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