Trigger Warning: Rape & detailed sexual assault.
Wrecked by Maria Padian is a YA contemporary about a very strong subject.
“Everyone on campus has a different version of what happened that night.
Haley saw Jenny return from the party, shell-shocked.
Richard heard Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with.
When Jenny accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard are pushed to opposite sides of the school’s investigation. Now conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible—especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict.”
This book NEEDS to be required as high school reading.
There are so many things that I want to say about this book, but if you can get anything out of my review, it is that YOU and EVERYONE you know needs to read this book from cover to cover.
Especially at the college age, being so-called on your own can bring many new challenges for those who are naïve to what could happen to themselves. Reading this book will change the perspectives of that. The author tells this very real story from the perspectives of two more-or-less acquaintances of the victim and the accused perpetrator of a college-campus rape case. I think these point-of-views allow us as readers to focus more on what is going on from BOTH sides than if we were to see the events from the two individuals involved. This way it feels less of a picking-sides ordeal of Him or Her.
We do however, get tiny passages of that night spread throughout the book and is fully explained by the end.
And this book captures the HE-SAID-SHE-SAID aspect of rape. We do get the two sides explained very well in this novel by the main characters. As a whole, the book not only shows the impact that a case like this has on the two individuals but also on the friends, family, and the outsiders who aren’t involved in the situation but have the urge to be in-the-know of it.
The setting feels very genuine and real. It is placed on a typical college campus and uses the average college lifestyle as the base of the story. Which if you think about it, is the base of any college rape case: life is normal until something bad happens. From there, the author introduces a harsh and powerful subject that NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED MORE in society. Not always, but usually when a rape case comes up, there are two sides that society takes on and it explodes from there.
In this book, it is more than that. It is understanding the psychological, physical, emotional, and social impact that a victim goes through in this situation. What I loved about this book was that it wasn’t TYPICAL. I could feel the raw emotions and the true nature of what REALLY HAPPENS. It is the stuff that you won’t hear about in the media, but it is the stuff that comes straight from the victim’s mouth. I cannot explain enough the emotional impact that is composed in this novel. YOU NEED TO READ IT to really know what I am talking about.
Another aspect of the case that I love that the author took on was the cyber bullying and the way that society reacts to the situation. We get to see such a wide variety of beliefs and viewpoints by not only those involved but also those who just read or hear the gossip and rumors. I can guarantee that this book will give you more information about what truly can come from a rape case then 99% of social media will ever cover. There are little pieces of all possible perspectives.
Even though this is the first book that I finished in 2017, I have a very strong feeling this book will be on the top of my list ALL YEAR. It receives a full 5 out of 5 stars. I cannot suggest enough how this book needs to be a required reading especially at the high school age as they are the ones that may be more likely to come across a similar situation whether themselves, a friend, or just from the news.
I think one of the many aspects that can be learnt from this is that DO NOT JUDGE any sort of sexual assault case UNLESS you are directly involved and know ALL the information. Because we learn that even those who are close to the situation may not even know what is truly going on. Only those directly involved do, but the novel also shows that being there for the victim can be the one of the best ways to support them. It is not about you; it is about him/her. Obviously this book is not exactly what every case entails, but it will give you a new perspective.
I highly recommend this book to everyone starting with those who are mature enough to fully take on the information and apply it to their lives when appropriate. No one is too old to read this. The reason I say it should be in every high school is that they will read the raw story and may be able to apply what they learned to help themselves not become engrossed in similar future situations. I think this can impact a person way more than a pamphlet or ad could since you are, in a way, forced to read all perspectives.
This book has a strong underlying message that is beautifully drawn out from a not-so-beautiful circumstance.
Published: 4 October 2016
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
How I Read It: ARC from BEA 2016
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