Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication Date: (First published) 14th April 2015 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Format: ebook from Pan Macmillan via Netgalley
Romy Grey wears her lipstick like armour, ever since the night she was raped by Kellan Turner, the sheriff’s son. Romy refuses to be a victim, but speaking up has cost her everything. No one wants to believe Kellan is not the golden boy they thought he was, and Romy has given up trying to make herself heard. But when another girl goes missing after a party, Romy must decide whether the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear.
I hadn’t really heard much about this book when I requested it, but the summary grabbed my attention straight away as it focuses on rape, and I have read very few novels on the issue. I have to say, I finished this in a day, I enjoyed it so much. It’s unique, includes twists that I didn’t see coming and really highlights the isolation that many victims express feeling.
It starts off focusing on how the protagonist, Romy, is viewed due to her claims of rape, and the way that she copes with what she is going through. At times it could be tough to read as she so clearly is seeking help and understanding, however I thought that the way it was portrayed was excellent. There are so many instances of misunderstanding and victims not being believed nowadays, and of rapists getting off lightly, that it’s important that this is highlighted, which is something that this book does fantastically. It really showed how victims need help and support, as Romy has none of this, and finds her experience even more difficult and isolating as a result.
I liked Romy, she could be somewhat irritating at times but overall I liked her. That, and her weak side was shown to the reader, despite it being hidden to all of the other characters in the novel. It made her a real and believable character, and much more interesting to read about. I felt that I could empathise with her easily because of the way her character was so well written, which made it a more thought-provoking read.
It was surprisingly fast paced and the storyline also went on to take turns that I honestly wasn’t expecting and I was hooked throughout. They made the story even more interesting and intriguing. I guess I was expecting something different, though I’m not sure what – definitely something slower – not that it being different to my expectations made it any less enjoyable. At first, I have to admit, I did wonder how the events linked to the main focus of the story (Romy) yet they moved the plot on and everything made sense in the end, which I really liked.
The ending was what let me down however, I felt as though there could have been more to it, and that the very final scene was not necessary and didn’t have such an impact as the part just before it. Maybe that’s just me though, as I really did love the rest of the book.
Would I recommend this? Definitely. I think it is an essential read as it highlights the impact that rape can have on an individual’s life, and I would argue that it does this extremely well in some areas. By all means, it is not the best account that I can imagine you could get, but if it helps one person to change their view then that’s beneficial.
Rating: 4 / 5.