Angela S's Reviews > Rape Girl

Rape Girl by Alina Klein
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May 13, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012-book-list, tear-jerker, 5-star-favorites
Read in April, 2012

I've recently had the honor of reading an ARC of Rape Girl (release date Aug 15 2012). Rape Girl inflamed my anger, touched my heart, and gave me hope. Our main character, Valerie, is like so many girls we know - eager to please, willing to break a few house rules to gain popularity, and dying to get some attention from her crush. We see in her the girl who could be inside any of us. Except then she shows us a bit more. It's bad enough that she has to go through the process of pressing charges and all that entails, but when that is said and done, Valerie has to go through more. The people around her, who should be supportive, don't believe her. It is truly devastating, and to think that this happens daily (and we know it does) is just awful. Yet Valerie shows us how someone ordinary can become extraordinary. I wanted to reach through the pages and hug her, tell her that she was a wonderful human being who didn't deserve to have this happen to her, yet I knew that she was going to be okay when all was said and done. I wanted to tell her I was proud and happy that she had found strength in herself. She was beautiful and brave.

In addition to the wonderful main character, Alina B. Klein does a superlative job of bringing all the secondary players into sharp, and realistic, focus. From the flaky best friend to the un-supportive school administrators. To the loving, and unsure-of-herself mother to the rapist's crazy, and somewhat scary friends. Everyone had their role to play and even though the book is written in first person, we were able to see how they all handled it, sometimes for good, sometimes not. I think the secondary character I loved the most was Sandrina. She seems to come out of nowhere, a girl who Valerie thought was basically her enemy, only she proves to be one of the few friends that Valerie can count on. I loved her charisma and how her slips of Spanish melded into the story so smoothly and made me want to run out and find a best friend just like her. I also appreciated the character of Wesley and what he brought to the table. With the subject of rape, it's easy to assume that the victims become regressed, fearful and shy away from boys. But that's not necessarily the case, and Wesley's role in the story and how Valerie deals with her feelings toward him illustrated that point beautifully.

Spoiler: (view spoiler)

The writing. I can't leave a review without touching on the writing. I thought the prose here was simply marvelous. It had a natural flow and incorporated many unique details that made the scenes come alive. It was witty and to the point. The book itself is rather short, but it says all it needs to say and then some.

This book deserves five stars, hands down.
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