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The Word for Yes

2.73  ·  Rating details ·  215 ratings  ·  67 reviews
After their parents’ divorce, Jan, Erika, and Melanie have to get used to the new world order: a father who’s moved to another continent and a mother who throws herself into moving on. Jan, off at her first semester of college, has plenty to worry about, including an outspoken roommate who’s kind of “out there” and an increasingly depressed and troubled long-distance boyfr ...more
Hardcover, 242 pages
Published February 16th 2016 by HarperTeen
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Average rating 2.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  215 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Something real had happened last night. Something horrible had happened to Melanie.”

I’m in two minds about this book, because it dealt with an important topic, but for me, it didn’t deal with it well.

I found it quite difficult to connect with the characters in this story, and while I felt sorry for Melanie and what happened to her, she wasn’t an easy character t
Lala BooksandLala
Dec 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: hard-hitting
This book was weird. It basically read like a short story you'd get in English class and then are asked to write a response to. You know those stories, right? Ones that read very dry and emotionless, offer you a conflict with a few different characters points of view, but don't provide an opinion of their own? And you're supposed to answer study questions like "how does this story make you feel?" and "what could Melanie have done differently?" and "how do you think society contributes to rape vi ...more
Mar 29, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Please note that I gave this book half a star, but rounded to 1 star on Goodreads.

Please note that this review discusses date rape as well as the book.

I have things to do and not a lot of time to go over what made this book a truly awful book that looked at date rape.

Focusing on three sisters (college age Jan and high schoolers Erika and Melanie) who live in New York.

What can I really say. Ms. Needell did a very bad job of developing any of the characters in this book. For such a serious sub
Read InAGarden
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book meandered a lot and could have been so much more. The writing made the characters dull and uninteresting. I gave up at 55% of the way through the book. A girl who got drunk at a party engages in sex (maybe it was rape/maybe not - they were both drunk and neither said no or yes) and goes about her life for a week like nothing happened. Then an off-hand conversation with a stranger makes her decide she was date-raped and she turns into being a crusader. Now don't misinterpret me, I'm not ...more
Nov 25, 2015 rated it did not like it
I thought that this was very cliche and that the whole situation was just sort of glossed over and not fully dealt with. Very disappointed in this one.
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
Sep 17, 2015 marked it as abandoned
Shelves: yabc, arc
This book. I can't. It's utterly boring and can't capture anywhere near the emotion this situation of date rape brings up. Weak characters, third-person narrators that number at least four, honestly terrible writing like "He was buff and good-looking in that gay-guy way" and the description of a black man as having coffee-colored skin, and general disinterest sealed the deal.

Real talk? I don't think there was a way to put this novel together that would have worked. I always try to think of other
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
This book broke my heart. I mean in a good way because I have an older sister and I can't imagine going through what those sisters went through. I mean I laughed and I cried and I had to put the book down because I just couldn't handle one of the topics raised in the book.

***Please beware that this book has Date Rape in it***

In this story we meet three sisters Jan, Erika, and Melanie. They come from a divorced family. The mother is a little off because she is looking for love in the wrong way an
Sep 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
I know that this book deals with a very important issue, such as: non-stranger rape, but I could not even make myself to care for any of the characters.

This books was mostly described from the viewpoints of three sisters whose parents split and their father moved across the world. There was no character development. There was not anything to feel for the characters. One sister was too full of herself, one was too much of a baby and another was too much of an asshole.
Pri Jay
How about no stars, wohoo for my lowest rating yet

terrible characters
terrible nonsensical plot trying to deal with serious issues in a complete nonsensical fashion.
Nuzaifa - Word Contessa
THE REVIEW - Visit for more reviews

The Word for Yes falls short for me because of multiple reasons - An anti-climatic ending, poor character development, lack of depth and a somewhat stilted writing style. The book itself felt like a emotionless narration of a series of events with no sense of direction.

I had high hopes for Needell's The Word for Yes partly because of the subject matter and partly because I hoped it would be a refreshing look at sibling relationships. Despite it
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review was originally posted on Latte Nights Reviews
I received an eARC from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.

In The Word for Yes we follow the story of three sisters named Erika, Jan and Melanie. Their family is going through a rough time because of the divorce of their parents. On top of that Jan is leaving for college, leaving her other 2 sisters in their home with their mom who is having trouble dealing with the divorce. Then one of the sisters gets raped at a part
Terri Robinette
Jan 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Three totally different sisters. Jan, the college student with longtime boyfriend, the peacemaker of the family. Eliza, the pretty, smart, albeit naive, middle sister who is well, rather clueless most of the time. Melanie, the baby, the mean girl, the angry, jealous and resentful one. The characters worked for me. I thought that they were good representations of people one may know in life. And just like real life, I didnt always care for the characters. Sometimes I wanted to scream and shake th ...more
Jun 24, 2015 rated it did not like it
Huge thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this for review!

I really don't like to write negative reviews, so I'll keep this short. I didn't like this. I didn't connect with any of the characters. I thought Jan was blah, Erika was annoying and Melanie was blah. The mother didn't seem to care that much AT ALL that her daughter had been raped. The actual subject for rape was like 40 pages of this entire thing. It was so glossed over that I just thought it was wrong for this book to be
Lauren R.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brandi Kosiner
Jan 09, 2016 marked it as did-not-finish
Genre: ya contemp
Source: Harper Teen via Edelweiss
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free.

I have done this several times on my blog. Books that just don't work for me. I know my reading style pretty well, and I can tell whether I will like the book or not accurately about 80-90% of the time. If I finish a book, then there are aspects of that book that I
Apr 27, 2016 rated it liked it
NYC sisters dealing with changes in their lives after Dad takes off for Hong Kong and Mom starts flirting with another guy. The oldest starts college at Brown and has to deal with her over-the-top roommate and her boyfriend turning into Eeyore. The middle is emotive, all wrapped up in doing the right thing (like being a vegetarian and tattle telling on her younger sister). The youngest is a bitch who can't stand her middle sister.

Then one night the two younger siblings grudgingly attend a party
Crystal | decorating.reader
This one gets to be my first DNF of 2016. From the first chapter I had a feeling this book and I weren't going to be compatible, then I stumbled across this line "Big people annoyed Melanie" and my *back away* flashers really started going off. Well I decided I would try anyways, I made it to 30% and I'm just done. The writing is rigid, and just not working for me, and the characters are unbelievably flat. After reading some reviews and talking with some people that have already read it I just d ...more
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
I made it over 50% with this book. many different point of views come up including Gerald. we see from Jan, Melanie and one other. an incident happens, and brushed by the topic. I couldn't get into the book anymore. just felt like more talking than anything else. also parents get separated during this book , girls are dealing with this. ...more
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book, loved reading about these sisters, and them dealing with the aftermath of the youngest being raped. Great story, though it felt like it ended abruptly without resolving half of what was started!
Jessica Folded Between the Pages of Books
Nope, I'm out. The writing style is awful and then there's this gem: "Big people annoyed Melanie." Ugh. ...more
Cyra Schaefer
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: February 16th, 2016
Rating: 2.5 Stars
Source: ARC from Miss Print's ARC Adoption
Pages: 208
Add it on Goodreads!!

Summary (from Goodreads):

After their parents’ divorce, Jan, Erika, and Melanie have to get used to the new world order: a father who’s moved to another continent and a mother who throws herself into moving on. Jan, off at her first semester of college, has plenty to worry about, including an outspoken roommate who’s kind of “out there” and an increas
Lori Schafer
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was glad to see that this book is not highly rated, because I really, really disliked it. First, I did not care for the writing style - it almost seemed like the author took a young adult topic and then wrote the book in more like a middle-grade style. Second, I felt no emotional involvement with any of the characters - perhaps because none of them seemed to have any emotional involvement with the events of the book. In fact, the only character who I thought was actually sympathetic was the gu ...more
Sydney (sydneysshelves) West
Ended up DNFing at 75%. Yes I made it THAT far. But I hated the main characters. None of them were interesting. In fact one of them was a raving bitch. Sadly she was the one who was raped, so it gave me guilty feelings to hate her while reading. But i really hated her and the way she treated her family and friends. It was just so uncalled for. RUDE. The writing was also just so... bland. For such an imporatant topic, I felt like the topic was just presented and then left like well this is bad. B ...more
Apr 24, 2021 rated it liked it
Favorite Quotes:
“It wasn’t true, what people said, about computers and cell phones keeping people connected no matter where they were on the planet. Where you were mattered. Especially with people. The people right in front of you were always the important ones.”

“-any of those descriptions for girls like her-girls who were pretty on a good day, but never beautiful, girls who were certainly smart, but never brilliant; thoughtful, but not radical.”
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it
The sentences were beautiful, and I think subject matter such as this needs to be addressed for young audiences, but this book had way too many characters and things going on for me to feel much of anything for each of them.
Katie Hurse
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dissertation
A good generalised look at rape culture, but at times it felt like a background plot device... didn't work for me. ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
DNF 47%
I should have read more reviews before starting.
Its a good book but not something I would read again.
Feb 14, 2016 rated it liked it
After their parents’ divorce, Jan, Erika, and Melanie have to get used to the new world order: a father who’s moved to another continent and a mother who throws herself into moving on. Jan, off at her first semester of college, has plenty to worry about, including an outspoken roommate who’s kind of “out there” and an increasingly depressed and troubled long-distance boyfriend. Her younger sisters, left at home in New York City, and dealing with all the pressures of life in high school, aren’t e ...more
Oct 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: prof
Jan, Erika, and Melanie Russell have never been especially close as sisters.

Eldest Jan is less present as she begins her first year at Brown where she struggles with lingering doubts that her life as an overachieving high school student will leave her stranded as a mediocre college freshman.

Effortlessly beautiful Erika with her science know-how and low social cognition has always been the beloved oddity in the family. Everyone worries about Erika being able to take care of herself in a world tha
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