Rating: 2.5 stars
Some boys go too far. Some boys will break your heart. But one boy can make you whole.
When Grace meets Ian she's afraid. Afraid he'll reject her like the rest of the school, like her own family. After she accuses the town golden boy of rape, everyone turns against Grace. They call her a slut and a liar. But...Ian doesn't. He's funny and kind with secrets of his own.
But how do you trust the best friend of the boy who raped you? How do you believe in love?
This book deals with a very real and prevalent issue in our society: rape. Not only just rape itself, but rape culture as a whole.
Examples of rape culture that most people see in their own lives:
- Slut shaming a.k.a. When a boy sleeps around he gets high-fives and fist bumps, but when a girl does it she is disgraced by everyone and is called a slut.
- Blaming the victim of sexual assault i.e. If she doesn’t want to be raped, she shouldn’t dress like that.
- Women are objectified by society.
America is pretty guilty of participating in rape culture, and this book really addresses a lot of these problems well. Grace is a strong role model for any young girl reading this book. She is who she wants to be and won’t let what happened to her define her.
She has some anxiety issues and does not trust men (who would?), but she still lives her life as well as she can, and that is just awesome.
Parents usually never make it into a young adult novel. If they do, they are unhelpful and maybe even a hindrance, but this book really portrayed caring parents fabulously.
Grace’s mom acts exactly how she should in this situation. She is always there for her daughter no matter what is happening. Ian’s father was exactly the same. They were such strong adult role-models that I could not help but admire them.
That brings me to Ian. He is the love interest and HE IS THE PROBLEM WITH THIS BOOK. He is why this book does not get a high rating. I liked parts of his personality, but he followed along with the rape culture that everyone else was caught in.
He shames her, blames her, and objectifies her in front of his friends.
And she still likes him.
Yeah, you read correctly. She likes that jerk!
After she had been objectified by a man in the most brutal way a girl can, she still likes this dirt bag. I just can’t handle that. Ian is horrible to her sometimes and says really horrible things. He also doesn’t believe her! How could she like someone who doesn’t believe her??
SO MUCH ANGER I CAN’T EVEN.
She also lets him kiss her. Only a few days before that, she couldn’t bring herself (understandably) to even turn her back on him. Then she lets a man—you know? That gender that she is currently scared of and hates being alone with?—kiss her.
It was just unbelievable and her feelings for Ian made me like her less even after she was inspiring.
This book brings to light lot of issues in our culture and deals with many of them well, but the way that Grace let Ian treat her, even having strong feelings for him in spite of that treatment, really diluted the message in a lot of ways.