As you’ve probably clocked on by now if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I love a good YA novel as much as the next person. YA is probably one of my favourite genres (you can find out why here) and Wrecked by Maria Padian is one has stood out for me. I’ve never read anything specifically on the subject of rape before, so I will put out a warning here and say that if the subject is a trigger or you’d feel uncomfortable reading around the subject, this review (and the novel) is probably not for you. Stop here!
The novel follows the story of Haley, a soccer star and Jenny, a quiet and hardworking college student. The two girls are roommates in their college dorm. One night, Haley is awoken by an incredibly upset Haley and no more is said of the matter. A few days evening, Haley is informed by a volunteer for the college Rape helpline that Jenny was sexually violated while out at a local fraternity party. From here, the story follows the process that Haley undertakes to get justice for what has happened her and the difficulties that a victim of rape encounters as a result of reporting the crime. It addresses the fact that often, in the case of rapes being reported, it is the victim that is treated as the perpetrator, with them being socially excluded and having vast amounts of abuse sent in their direction. The novel focuses on the psychological and physical effects that reporting a sexual violation can have on a person and also the injustices of a system which follows an innocent until proven guilty (as opposed to a belief in the victim) attitude towards rape.
The subject is one which I honestly believe has a place in the social sphere and a lot more should be done to ensure that people are aware of what victims of this horrendous crime actually go through. Such a crime can happen to anyone- any gender, any age, and any race- it doesn’t discriminate. The book deals with the issue sensitively and fairly and I really enjoyed the book in spite of its pretty dark topic. The ending was a bit of a tricky one to deal with but that is obviously echoed in real-life situations so I understand the decision that Maria made here.
Thanks so much to the guys at Algonquin Young Readers for sending me an ARC of the book! You’ll have to wait a wee while to get hold of your own copy of it, as it’s not published until October but definitely, keep it in mind for the future!