WARNING: RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT ARE VERY MUCH PRESENT IN THIS BOOK!
This book was difficult to read. I’m not going to lie.
As someone who feels very strongly about the inequality between genders in our society, some parts of this were absolutely spot on and brought light to the double standard that does exist even if some say it doesn’t.
This book takes place after the events of a party at a popular boy’s house. All of a sudden a few days after this party, four boys are taken away in handcuffs due to charges of rape and sexual assault against a female classmate who was impaired. Our narrator, throughout the book, tries to piece together what happened even though she herself was impaired as well.
Hartzler doesn’t shy away from showing the “double standard” thinking that most of us have today. In one scene, a female character states that the girl who was allegedly assaulted should be to blame as she went against “the rules” for girls (not wearing skimpy clothes, not getting drunk, etc.).
This double standard is explored throughout the book as we see our narrator, Kate, try to defy it and look at both sides of this story to see what really happened.
I loved Hartzler’s no holds back attitude when discussing the incident in this story, which did make it a little hard to read at some points. I also loved his exploration of the way we automatically assume the male side in a case and chalk it up to “boys will be boys” instead of thoroughly exploring the case. The eerie feeling was also a nice touch.
The only thing I found lacking was the pace in the beginning, but other than that, this book was really great!
Release Date: September 22nd,2015. Published by HarperTeen.