This book makes me speechless!! What a powerful, emboldened read !! This is a must read novel for this spring/summer, talking about a subject that is still taboo in many places of our society, this tells the story of teenager Em Morales and her older sister Nor (Elinor), who is the victim of rape. After taking the case to trial (something that is extremely hard for rape victims), the college student accused of the crime is found guilty, much to the relief of Em and her family, but then the shoe drops....he is not sentenced to any prison time!! None!! The judge determining that a lengthy prison sentence would have severe adverse collateral consequences for the defendant, which he did not deserve, the media having already impacted his life adversely. Now here is where I say what a bunch of bull s**t!! I know that this happens all the time in real life court cases of rape and that is what I think of it. The victim is made to feel as if they are the ones that did something wrong, and that just simply is wrong. I don't care about laws, penal codes and whatever, it is wrong.
This book has handled all of this with great prowess. It is written through Em's point of view, but also in prose when talking of Marguerite de Bressieux and her war against rape. It is very unique and I enjoyed reading every bit of this novel, even though the subject matter is extremely heavy. I must give warning that this novel includes the subject of rape, has violence, bullying, and trauma in it so reader beware. As I have said these subjects are handled with style and grace throughout.
I must recommend this book to adult readers, and mature young adult readers, I feel it is a subject that should and must be heard, thought about and discussed, so that in the future, maybe we can change, maybe the victim will be left to remain the victim and the defendant will get the sentence the crime deserves.
Thank you to Bookish First and the publishers at Penguin Random House for the free advanced reader copy of this book, in return I am giving my honest review.