Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rape Girl By Alina Klein

Just by reading the title of the book you know that Rape Girl by Alina Klein is not going to be an easy book to read. Klein was also a sixteen-year-old rape survivor like Valerie, the main character of the story, so she puts that much more emotion into the book. After looking into the book and reading about the hype I knew I had to give it a read, even though it is a very quick read, it was a emotionally heavy book.

Valerie is your average sixteen-year-old girl with the normal aspirations that someone her age would have, such as being pretty, smart and popular at school. Valerie's hopes and dreams are all of what you would expect from a high school girl. 

Then one weekend comes were Valerie's mom leaves town and leaves her in charge of the house and her little sister, Ainsley. Of course, Valerie jumps at this opportunity to throw a party while her mom is out of town, with the encouragement of her best friend, Mimi. The word about the party spread like wildfire around her school and eventually the whole school was there, including her crush, Adam, who seems to be crushing on her right back.

After a night of drinking Valerie wakes up hungover only to be awakened by Adam who let himself back into her house the next morning. Adam began to take off her clothing after Valerie tells him "no" but Adam continued on, resulting in Valerie getting rapped.

Valerie tells her mom what had happened and the police get involved. To Valerie's surprise, her best friends and all her peers at school ridicule her and say that she has made the whole thing up. She returns to a nightmare at school, walking through the halls hearing people now refer to her as the "rape girl"

The reader goes through the heartbreaking journey that a young rape victim would go through with sixteen-year-old, Valerie. Throughout the book you see Valerie's world fall apart. We see her live this nightmare at school and at home. Valerie begins to blame herself, she begins to doubt whether or not it was really rape since she was initially attracted to Adam and there was no violence. I think this is a very important book to read for teens and young adults because it shows that there are different forms of rape. Young adults should know this so that no one has to blame themselves for something so terrible happening to them.

As soon as a started reading this book I couldn't put it down because I was right there rooting for Valerie wishing I could be by her side supporting her and protecting her against those harassing her at school.  Although we see Valerie go through her weakest and lowest points in the book, the end leaves the reader hopeful because we see Valerie come out of the situation stronger than ever after she faces her best friend and Adam, after not even being able to make eye contact with them.

Alina Klein has been very vocal about her story as a rape survivor and this book is about reassuring that you can move on and "have the happy life that you deserve."

A portion of the proceeds from Rape Girl will go to Pandora's Project and RAINN


Leslie Shambo said...

This sounds like a really powerful story, and I am intrigued to read it after seeing your review. I cannot imagine what it must be like to walk a mile in Valerie's shoes, and I admire the author for putting the story out there for young girls to read, and perhaps draw courage from if they find themselves in similar situations. You hint at Mimi's refusal to believe Valerie's story, and I think that's a sad reality many young girls face, where their own family and friends don't believe they have been victimized because they look fine, or like Valerie, they had a crush on their attacker. I hope Adam gets what is coming to him in the novel, and I am glad to hear that Valerie moves on and has a "happy life." It sounds like a great read for high school students, male and female alike.

Laura Coyotl said...

This is a topic that many girls fear because it is something that scars them for life. I think that age is something that does not matter when it comes to rape, because of the emotional scarring. This book sounds very interesting, especially because it was written by someone who went through the same emotional effects of rape. Nice job on the summary, it seems that you liked this book, because you described it well. This would be a good book for young adults to read, because if they know someone who went through the same experience, they will be able to understand and give the emotional support needed to that person. The benefit of this book would be that whoever reads it will know how a person that got raped feels, what they think and how their lives change. Overall, nice job, I would recommend that you add more hyperlinks to provide more insight or information about contemporary issues that the text references or discusses.

Nickolas Armstrong said...

Wow. This book seems like one that will absolutely have an effect on the reader. This is a tough topic, and I think you caught a lot of important points such as victims tending to question whether the blame is on them, this is an issue our society is wrestling with to a large degree by blaming certain rape situations on the girl for wearing "provocative" clothing. I think it is both interesting and powerful that the author herself suffered through a similar experience, and I'm sure that it was interesting to read about a character that was no doubt crafted heavily by these real life experiences. Thank you for this awesome book review!

Tom Philion said...

Zia--this is very well done. If you can add in more links to relevant information on the web about topics mentioned in your text, you will have an excellent review.


Renee Thornton said...

I have only read one other book that honestly tells the story of Rape and never one that tackles the confusion that one is left with after a 'date rape'. This is sadly the most common kind and definitely the kind that teen girls end up dealing with. It is so important for them to understand that those feelings of guilt and blame are normal. I do worry about the consequences of showing girls that telling someone about it will result in such abuses by their peers but I imagine the author handled that well and in a way that still encourages girls to speak up. Great review, definitely plan to add this to my library.

Jessica Pagliara said...

This book sounds so powerful, but emotional as well. I can't even imagine writing a book about something this tragic that has happened to me. I give the author a lot of credit for being able to relive her story and put it into a book. I think this would be a great read for someone who has been or who knows somone who has been in this situation.

Tess said...

This book sounds so moving, and I plan on reading after looking over your review of the book. I think it is an important book for teens to read to spread awareness.

I must admit though, I am a little disappointed that the author has the rape happen after the party where they are no longer drunk, but rather just hungover. I think a more daring moove might have been to take on the controversial rape situation of having two under the influence partners. The law states that anyone under the influence of alcohol can not give sexual consent, but for some reason, when women have been drinking, proving rape becomes much more difficult and the tables are turned on the victims.

Overall, this sounds like an amazing book, and I think the topic is relevant to today's culture, and could impact all of its readers.