Monday, July 30, 2012

Book Review: Rape Girl by Alina Klein

Title: Rape Girl
Author: Alina Klein
Publisher: Namelos
Release Date: June 4, 2012
Rating: 5/5

Cover Impressions:
I will be honest, the cover didn't wow me.  It was the title and synopsis that got me interested.  Perhaps it looks different on the physical copy, or perhaps there is some symbolism behind the cover image that I missed.  Either way - do not judge this one by it's cover!

The Gist:
Valerie wanted to throw a fun party and maybe flirt with her crush.  She didn't know that within 24 hrs she would be labeled as The Rape Girl and that she would lose her friends, her reputation and her sense of self. 

Rape Girl is one of those rare books that wraps it's tendrils around my heart and refuses to let go.  I read it in pretty much one sitting, over a few hours and am still left with an overwhelming need to re-examine and discuss it.  I want to make my friends read it, I want to bombard the author with my questions and, more than any of those, I want to get multiple copies for my classroom. 

The first few chapters of this book are divided into Before and After.  This is incredibly effective and reflects the way that many victims will always structure their memories.  While we follow Valerie's rape and the aftermath, we do not get the graphic descriptions that can be common in other books on this subject and this allows it to maintain appropriateness for teens.  Throughout this novel, we are privy to Valerie's inner thoughts and feelings as her friends desert her and her family struggles to deal with their own sense of guilt.  The pain from each of these people is palpable and poignant.

The actions on the part of Valerie, her mother, best friend and even her rapist feel incredibly realistic.  At one point, we hear from this young man and my stomach turned to ice simply reading his justifications for his crimes, knowing that a person with this deluded sense of entitlement as a man will most certainly assault another woman.  While his words are chilling, they seem typical of a person who has convinced himself that he has done nothing wrong.  I was also seriously disturbed at the actions of the principal.  As a teacher, the thought that a man in that position could so blatantly side with the perpetrator of a rape makes me ill.

Rape Girl has easily made my list of top books for 2012 and is one that I highly recommend to both teens and adults. 

Teaching/Parental Notes:

13 and up
Gender: Female
Sex: Kissing, Talk of Sex
Violence: Rape - No Graphic Descriptions
Inappropriate Language: Bitch, Fuck, Ho, Dildo, Ass, Whore, Shit, Bastard
Substance Use/Abuse: Underage Drinking


OathBound said...

Very interesting! I take it the story is about teenagers who are in school? Not your usual teen fiction.

Zabet said...

Yes it is, OathBound. It is a very well written account of date rape and its aftermath.

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