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This book is one of the worst books you will ever read and I mean this in the best way possible. This is a HORRFYING READ and one that will shock you and amaze you. This is a read that will make your eyes water if not make you outright bawl about how unfair things can be.
This is my first ever book by Courtney Summers and if this was anything to go by, I know all of her other books will be amazing.
I went into this book expecting my heart to be torn apart and it was. IT WAS SO TORN APART. I was constantly taking breaks to watch a sitcom (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt if you are wondering) to find some comedic relief and to ease the pain I was feeling.
One of the ways in which this book was slightly easier to read was that we are dealing with the aftermath of the rape instead of a before/after kind of situation (although there is a before/after timeline).
Romy is the main character. She is such an amazing character too and I don’t know where to begin describing her. It’s so hard to be inside the mind of someone who is being bullied because she ‘cried rape’ and someone who feels like they would be better of dead. To be in the mind of someone who is filled with so much self-loathing is hard but given the way people reacted to the situation, the way they refused to look at her side of the story, it’s hard to blame her. All you want to do is hug her and tell her it’s going to be okay but how do you expect her to believe that?
What I adore about this book though is that even though everyone is a complete asshole to her, her mom and her mom's boyfriend were there for her. They don’t treat her like crap. They feel her pain and you can feel their helplessness as they try to find a way they can make this right for her. But how do you do that? How do you right something when the most powerful person in town is involved and will prevent you from doing so? It’s heartbreaking but I love that they are there for her in any way they can be.
There is also a beautiful creature named Leon in this book who I love. He is perfect. And I think one of my favorite things about him is that he has no clue what Romy has been through. So his beautifulness(and I am not just referring to physical beauty), and the fact that he is so considerate isn’t because he already knows what Romy is dealing with, it's beacause he is just a kind and considerate person in general and I love that! I love that when Romy tells him to stop, he stops and then the way Romy reacts to that action is beautiful. It’s a little hard to be understanding of the way Romy sometimes treats Leon, and I wish she would give him a chance, but it’s so hard to blame her considering what she goes through on a daily basis. The shit she has to put up with is ridiculous.
This book touches on so many important subjects like bullying, and victim blaming and it handles them beautifully, with the respect they deserve. I keep using the word beautiful when this book is anything but. I just don’t know how else to describe the way, and with the delicateness, in which Courtney treats these issues. She does not play around. We are not thrust into a world where the main character hasn’t told anyone or is hiding from what happened or even has a lot of people supporting her. She is alienated because she dared to tell someone what happened,and people constantly pick on her in the most subtle of ways as a result. But Romy, Romy still keeps her head up and marches through this. She is filled with self-loathing but somehow she still manages to get through this and I love it!
I love this book! I don’t want to say I do because I don’t love what happens but I love how the author has dealt with the issue at hand.
This is a painful book to read, I am not going to lie. It’s going to frustrate you that all of these fucking douchebags REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE HER PAIN and MAKE FUN OF IT. It’s fucking ridiculous that she gets mocked about it but this is what happens in our society. There are not many perfect situations where people are supportive of what happens. It’s disgusting that we live in a society where women are terrified to report cases because of their fear and it hurts but the most wonderful thing about this book is that while it’s completely realistic in it’s portrayal of the situation, it also leaves us with a sense of hope. This is not a book about happily ever afters but this is also not a book that is about the hopelessness of the situation. It gives us something to hold on to because there will always be hope no matter how bad the situation and it is SO IMPORTANT to remember that.
This is a gorgeously written book that everyone, and I mean everyone, needs in their life. It is so crucial for people to read and for people to understand that these are things that happen. It isn’t some big bad thing you hear about on the news and can forget about a day later, they are real things that happen.
I love this book and I love Courtney for writing it and I just hope that someday, we will live in a world where we don’t constantly sham or victim blame women for the pain they have been through.