So to celebrate International Woman’s Day, I wanted to do a book review on something that is dealing with issues that are topical today more than ever. This book, for me is a crucial read for anyone and everyone but particularly young females. I think it highlights the amount of pressure that is on young females today, how it is heightened by social media and the mindset of small towns including how they deal with shame. The book brought me to tears and I found reading it deeply moving. I read it cover to cover within 24 hours and felt slightly empty once it was over. I won’t sugarcoat it, it is a shocking read but it is so important that this book is read.
The book follows Emma, a beautiful 18 year old, before and after she is raped by several local boys. At the start of the book, Emma isn’t someone the audience grow to love, she is critical of her peers, jealous and mean. All of this changes though. This book exposes the way that rape is dealt with by her small community and her family along with the psychological transformation of a confident young girl into an extremely vulnerable, isolated individual. In the second half of the book, we grow to respect Emma, how she is trying to deal with what has happened, whilst also protecting her family.
What makes this story particularly heartbreaking is the way in which is highlights the debate on Consent. Whilst on the night of the attack, Emma was wearing a low cut top and had consumed both alcohol and drugs, she still in now way deserved to endure what happens to her both physically and psychologically. However, the male characters are described as being good people. They play on the local football team and they don’t think they have done anything wrong. It is crucial that young people, both male and female, start to receive an education about these issues and more importantly that we continue to talk about them. It is not an easy topic to talk about, but we must not bury our heads in the sand.
This book is an information piece and hopefully if nothing else it is a conversation starter, something that allows us to discuss these harrowing topics rather then ignore them as they will not be going away anytime soon.