Asking For It

“They are all innocent until proven guilty. But not me. I am a liar until I am proven honest.”

Title: Asking For It

Author: Louise O’Neill

Series: Standalone

Publication: September 3rd 2015 by Quercus UK

Pages: 346

Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

It’s the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O’Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there’s a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma.

The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can’t remember what happened, she doesn’t know how she got there. She doesn’t know why she’s in pain. But everyone else does.

Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don’t want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town’s heroes.


My Thoughts:

I had a hard time reading this book, but not for the reasons you might be thinking. Yes, Asking For It is powerful and a much needed story, but it is far from the best book on the topic that I’ve ever read – actually, it is far from the best book I’ve ever read, period. I didn’t like it, not in the slightest. I support the deconstruction of rape culture within these pages, I support its stance and its message – but as a book? Not very high up there on my read list.

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Exit, Pursued by a Bear

 

“You’re okay with asking a nice girl who was wearing a pretty dress and had nice hair, who went to the dance with her cabin mates, who drank from the same punch bowl as everyone else – you’re okay with asking that girl what mistake she made, and you wouldn’t think to ask a boy how he would avoid raping someone?”

Title: Exit, Pursued by a Bear

Author: E.K Johnston

Series: Standalone

Publication:  March 15th 2016 by Dutton Books for Young Readers

Pages: 248

Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

Hermione Winters is captain of her cheerleading team, and in tiny Palermo Heights, this doesn’t mean what you think it means. At PHHS, the cheerleaders don’t cheer for the sports teams; they are the sports team—the pride and joy of a tiny town. The team’s summer training camp is Hermione’s last and marks the beginning of the end of…she’s not sure what. She does know this season could make her a legend. But during a camp party, someone slips something in her drink. And it all goes black.

In every class, there’s a star cheerleader and a pariah pregnant girl. They’re never supposed to be the same person. Hermione struggles to regain the control she’s always had and faces a wrenching decision about how to move on. The assault wasn’t the beginning of Hermione Winter’s story and she’s not going to let it be the end. She won’t be anyone’s cautionary tale.


My Thoughts:

I have a lot of feelings about this book. Not only was Exit, Pursued by a Bear more than I was expecting, it was also everything I hoped it would be. It was powerful, poignant, and it brought a viewpoint on sexual assault that I’ve never seen in a book before. Exit, Pursued by a Bear is a hard book to read, and I had to get up on multiple occasions and walk away simply because I felt too much. This is a book I will never forget.

“Of course, if I were dead, they could just bury me, and move on. Broken is harder to deal with.”

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#ReadADessen Campaign: Just Listen

Hey all you lovely folks! I’m so excited to be participating in the #ReadADessen countdown/campaign as one of many  #PRHPartner’s. Today’s post is going to be a short review of Just Listen – perhaps my ultimate favorite my Sarah Dessen book. In addition, the bottom of this post will contain a link to the huge giveaway going on as part of the count down. YOU CAN WIN A WHOLE SET OF SARAH DESSEN BOOKS!

“There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you’d better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s saying.”

Title: Just Listen

Author: Sarah Dessen

Series: Standalone

Publication: April 6th 2006 by Viking Books for Young Readers

Pages: 371

Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:

Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything” — at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store.

This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

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The Female of the Species

But boys will be boys, our favorite phrase that excuses so many things, while the only thing we have for the opposite gender is women, said with disdain and punctuated with an eye roll.

Title: The Female of the Species

Author: Mindy McGinnis

Series: Standalone

Publication: September 20th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books

Pages: 341

Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.


All the Feelings:

The Female of the Species is too powerful for mere words. I cannot explain everything about this book or why I love it so much. It is dark, horrible, brutal, and amazing. It is everything it needed to be and more, and I can’t ask for anything other than that. So, I leave you with the evolution of my internal fangirling:

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Wrecked

These lists are about… point of view. Who tells the story. Ms. James gives us a list of narrators and Mr. Bockus gives us a different one. All in an attempt to grasp that great, elusive, bothersome thing: the truth. I wonder, Richard, why Mr. Bockus doesn’t want you to tell his side of the story?

Title: Wrecked

Author: Maria Padian

Series: Standalone

Publication: October 4th 2016 by Algonquin Young Readers

Pages: 368

Source: Publisher in exchange for a honest review

Summary from Goodreads:

Everyone on campus has a different version of what happened that night.

Haley saw Jenny return from the party, shell-shocked.

Richard heard Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with.

When Jenny accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard are pushed to opposite sides of the school’s investigation. Now conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible—especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict.


My Thoughts:

Wow. I had to step away before I could even begin to sit here and try to write these words. I’m still not sure if what I have to say can be articulated through words alone. Wrecked is powerful, poignant, and provocative. It is the kind of book I needed to read in doses, I often found myself wandering away and trying to process the sheer magnitude of what I was reading. Wrecked is the type of book that demands to be read.

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