From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-While her mother is out of town for the weekend, Valerie, 16, throws a party, gets drunk, and is raped by one of the boys the following morning. The rape itself is briefly described. Rather, the novel focuses on its aftermath-how Valerie adjusts to being disbelieved (Adam says they had consensual sex) and losing her friends-but especially her internal struggle as she wonders how much of the blame is hers. This slim debut novel offers insight into the victim, as well as others directly and indirectly involved, but it is not as compelling or as well written as Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak (Farrar, 1999).-Melissa Stock, Arapahoe Library District, Englewood, COα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Klein’s debut is an old-fashioned problem novel in the best of senses. Straightforward, tempered, and quietly emotional, it sets up a situation and offers possible avenues for character growth, but it stops short of letting the protagonist follow those—they are for the reader to imagine. Valerie is traumatized after being raped by Adam, the boy she was crushing on, but almost as bad is the reaction of classmates after she presses charges. Everyone saw her willingly follow Adam into the den, and so they accuse her of trying to ruin his life. As strange as her new enemies are, her new friends are even stranger, including the feisty Latina she once punched in a fight and that old standby, the Cute Coffeehouse Boy. There is not always a lot of art to the prose—anyone who’s read books of this ilk will be thoroughly unsurprised—but its short size means it can be swallowed like a pill by those who need it most. A side note: most of the characters are Mormon, an interesting tweak, though one that mostly goes unexplored. Grades 7-10. --Daniel Kraus
--This text refers to the