Valerie always wanted to be the smart girl. The pretty girl. The popular girl.
But not the rape girl.
That’s who she is now. Rape Girl. Because everyone seems to think they know the truth about what happened with Adam that day, and they don’t think Valerie’s telling it.
Before, she had a best friend, a crush, and a close-knit family. After, she has a court case, a support group, and a house full of strangers.
The real truth is, nothing will ever be the same.
Miss Riki’s Review:
This book is a difficult read. Although the depiction of the rape itself is not overtly graphic in any way, the emotional fallout of the victim is devastating. What struck me the most was the complete lack of support for Valerie after her attack. Not only can the police not seem to put together a case, based on a technicality, but her best friend also turns on her and the entire school thinks she’s lying. To add further insult to the situation, the school removes Valerie from a class she shares with her attacker and then later forces a meeting between the two of them.
Although the book is not long at just over 125 pages, it packs an emotional punch. Klein does an excellent job of raising questions about how we treat rape victims and pushes boundaries with her writing. For all the pain that Valerie goes through in the novel, it does end on a note of hope. When forced to face her attacker, Valerie turns what could be an emotionally devastating moment into one of personal triumph. She is finally able to tell him that no means no.
I recommend Rape Girl as a novel for opening the lines of communication. It’s all too easy to brush the topic of sexual assault under the table, and this novel does a wonderful job of reminding us that it’s an important topic that needs to be discussed. The book is gritty and real and forces the reader to examine the way that we treat victims.