Published February 23, 2012
RAC , Realistic Fiction
Tags: doubt, gossip, lies, rape, rumors
Genre: Realistic Fiction
# of Pages: 228
Samantha has had a crush on her best friend for as long as she can remember, but since he is unavailable she decides to try and strike up a conversation with Carter at his senior party. Carter is the unofficial king of the high school and everyone loves him. However, when Sam approaches him she is met with embarrassment and ridicule. As she stumbles out of Carter’s room a girl sees her disheveled and crying and comes to the conclusion that Carter raped her. Soon the rumors start flying and Sam is caught unawares until it is too late. At that point several girls come forward and reveal that he has done heinous things to them as well, but never to the point of physical or sexual assault. Sam is unsure how to stop the terrible rumors that everyone was quick to believe and she wonders if she owes it to his previous conquests to keep up the facade. Meanwhile, Sam starts getting threats toward her by the small inner circle that believes Carter’s story. Will Sam reveal that although he was cruel, Carter did not attack her physically? Will Sam be able to face her small town if she comes clean?
This is an almost haunting book because it is so believable. This misunderstanding could easily happen and once the rumors start it can be hard to stop. Carter’s character is deplorable in many ways and he has done terrible things to many girls in the school, but is that a reason to let him suffer for something he didn’t do? The reactions of everyone around Sam are believable and the ending is accurate, which many readers may struggle with. Fans of Thirteen Reasons Why will love the harsh truth and reality of this story and will find themselves thinking about it long after they have finished. However, readers looking for a fun romance should keep looking. Recommended.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
# of Pages: 335
Alex Patrick is date-raped after a night of drinking and partying. She wakes up with no recollection of the night before, but quickly realizes how serious her situation is. Her friends coax the news out of her and convince her that if she was not conscious she could not have consented, but Alex is reluctant to go to police or the boarding school administration because they have failed students on serious issues in the past. She decides to seek the help of the student run justice system called “The Mockingbirds.” They agree to try the case and things get complicated when the accused vehemently denies any wrongdoing and proceeds to spread vicious rumors about her. Alex begins to wonder if she somehow led him on or was at fault in some way. Does she have the strength to stand up for herself?
This book discusses a very serious issue in an open and honest way. Alex’s flashbacks to that night help slowly piece together what happened and shed light on her mixed feelings regarding pressing charges. Her friends and supporters help her overcome obstacles, such as eating in the cafeteria again, and slowly she begins to find the strength she needs. The book is very frank about the nature of the crime and might be upsetting to some students, but it contains an important message and the student justice system is entertaining.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Level: 14 and up
# of pages: 288 p.
RAC Book: Yes
Clay Jensen is shocked to find a box of 13 audio tapes in a package addressed to him on his doorstep one afternoon. The note says that the tapes are to go to 13 people and if someone fails to send them on to the next person on the list then another copy of the tapes will be released publicly. As Clay begins to listen to them he learns that they are spoken by Hannah Baker, a fellow high school student who recently committed suicide. Each tape discusses one of the reasons that led to her suicide and which people were involved. As Clay anxiously awaits to find out how he played a part in her suicide he can’t help but notice how terrible high school can be and how a bunch of little, seemingly insignificant, incidents can add up to a terrible high school existence for someone else.
This story is powerful and not for someone looking for a fast read. It reminds us all that sometimes when something is said or done to hurt another intentionally it can have lasting effects and can even lead to other major events in that person’s life. The theme of the story is that we are all responsible for our own actions. Hannah never denies it was her choice to end her life. However, there were many times where someone could have acted differently that may have changed that decision. Even though it is a fictional story, many students will identify with at least parts of Hannah’s high school career and may even know someone showing warning signs for suicide. A very good read with an important message that students will hopefully think about long after they are finished.