By Laurie Halse Anderson
5 hours 1 minute listening time
This will be one of the only books that I am giving away almost everything in, so the following contains spoilers. This is your warning. Turn back now if you want to find out what happens on your own. But really.....even if you do know, it doesn't ruin the book for you.
Melinda is a freshman in high school and she starts off really rough. Over the summer she attended a party where she was only 13, got drunk, wandered into the back yard and was raped by a guy that is now a senior. When she went back into the house she called the cops, but she was in shock so instead of her being able to turn him in, the cops showed up and broke up the party, which is why everyone hates her now.
Anyway, I thought it was very brave of her to go back to school, face all these people, and stay brave for herself. She didn't tell anyone about what happened which, really is no wonder seeing how selfish her parents were and just how disconnected they were with their daughter. Then with all her friends hating her for calling the cops for what they thought was to break up the party, she really lost all allies.
In the end she gains the courage to tell her ex-best friend about what happened, only for her ex-best friend to accuse her of lying since the friend is now dating the guy that raped her. I just felt so bad for this character, but I loved the end. Freaking loved the end which I will not spoil, but just know, it was a great ending.
Here is the thing with this book; Rape happens. It happens everywhere. In dark allies, in homes, and at school. It is a terrible terrible tragedy when it does happen. It can ruin lives, it does ruin lives. I don't particularly like reading things like this, but I will tell you, I like when the hero overcomes obstacles and prevails. This book is short enough that you could get through it in a few hours in paper form and only 5 hours on audio. This is NOT a light book, but in the end, it is a feel good book. It just takes you 5 hours to get there.