Author: Alina Klein
Where I got it: From NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review
Hey, look. It’s that girl. That rape girl, right? Valerie always wanted to be the smart girl. The pretty girl. The popular girl. But not the rape girl.. That’s who she is now. Rape Girl. Because everyone seems to think they know the truth about what happened with Adam that day, and they don’t think Valerie’s telling it.. Before, she had a best friend, a crush, and a close-knit family. After, she has a court case, a support group, and a house full of strangers.. The real truth is, nothing will ever be the same.. Rape Girl is the compelling story of a survivor who does the right thing and suffers for it. It is also the story of a young woman’s struggle to find the strength to fight back.
Valerie never wanted to be “that girl who got raped,” but when she throws a party when her mom’s out of town for the weekend, everything goes horribly wrong. Even though it’s hard, she reports the rape and starts counseling. What she didn’t expect was for everyone, including her best friend, to turn against her. She may have made mistakes of her own that weekend, but she knows she said “no,” even though no one else believes her.
Valerie’s story is sad, but also probably fairly accurate with respect to high school response and behavior. It’s gratifying to see her form new support networks and believing in herself, even though she’s going against what everyone at school says. The book also does a great job of showing the impact of such a traumatic event on the whole family – Valerie’s mother and siblings also must deal with her emotions, guilt, and responses to the situation.
This is short but powerful book, and while it’s definitely not an easy read, it’s well worth the time.