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Wrecked Hardcover – October 4, 2016
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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From School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—A sobering, compelling, and realistic view of campus sexual assault. Haley is a college freshman whose life revolves around soccer. She's just been sidelined by a concussion when her roommate Jenny is raped at a party off campus. Jenny asks Haley to be her adviser in the campus investigation, giving her a front-row seat to the mounting pain and trauma Jenny goes through. Told from two points of view—those of Haley and Richard, a housemate of the accused—this work submerges readers in the aftermath of a campus sexual assault. Without feeling heavy-handed, the narrative lays out how the school administration handles the investigation and the various ways the students react. This is an important and, unfortunately, timely novel. In the midst of the details of the crime and its effects, readers are also given a sweet and genuine love story between Haley and Richard. This isn't just a book that all young men and women should read; it's gripping and human enough that many will want to. VERDICT Shelve and display alongside Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak and Courtney Summers's All the Rage.—Emily Moore, Camden County Library System, NJ
“Padian’s latest boasts a swift, excellently crafted plot, exceedingly readable prose, and painfully relatable characters. It is especially surprising to find an affectionate involvement as believable as Haley and Richard’s in the middle of a story centering on a rape investigation. Particularly relevant for high school seniors and college freshmen”
—Booklist, starred review
“Powerful, suspenseful and illuminating . . . With intriguing, flawed characters and a gripping storyline, Wrecked by Maria Padian offers readers a view of a college sexual assault case that is as engrossing as it is important . . . valuable, riveting.” —Shelf Awareness for Readers, starred review
“Rape on college campuses is a massive issue right now (hopefully not forever), and Maria Padian’s new novel Wrecked delves into not just the emotional and physical toll it takes on survivors but the bureaucracy and red tape that exists within the structures that are supposed to be stopping it.”
“Padian excels at showing the messy aftermath of a sexual crime in a college community . . . This is a novel about truth and the damage done—to a community, to a person, and to relationships—when hard truths are hidden . . . Wrecked should be assigned to all incoming freshman, especially fraternity members. It’s not enough to have students sit through lectures about sexual assault and rape. They need to learn about it through a story where they see humans instead of statistics, and, as in Wrecked, the very real ripple effects that such a crime can have on an entire campus.”
—Portland Press Herald (Portland, Maine)
“Outstanding, powerful, and important . . . This is, hands down, one of the best sexual assault reads in YA, and it’s a book that high schoolers of all genders should read.”
—Kelly Jensen, Book Riot
“In the face of recent college rape trials, readers will be rapt and emotionally spent by the end. An important, devastating new perspective on an all-too-timely subject.”
“Revelatory, deeply real, and urgently important.”
—Nova Ren Suma, author of The Walls Around Us
“This is an important and, unfortunately, timely novel . . . This isn’t just a book that all young men and women should read; it’s gripping and human enough that many will want to. Shelve and display alongside Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak and Courtney Summers’s All the Rage.”
—School Library Journal
“Padian avoids oversimplifying or stereotyping as she explores one such assault and its aftermath, telling a story that combines the most painful, everyday, and emotionally intimate aspects of college life . . . Padian’s expansion of the story to include friends and family lends it visceral realism, allowing readers to imagine themselves in a similar scenario without asking them to envision themselves as either victim or perpetrator.”
“Padian’s boldest effort yet . . . a powerful, dramatic story with strong messages.”
—Morning Sentinel (Waterville, ME)
“A fast-paced read . . . With down-to-earth characters and a relatable setting, Wrecked hits close to home for many high school and college students.”
—The Bowdoin Orient (Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME)
“Padian’s characters come beautifully to life in this enthralling and powerful novel. They allow us to step into their shoes and wonder how we would act, what side we would choose and if right and wrong can be defined as sharply as the world wants them to be.”
—Middlebury Campus (Middlebury College, VT)
“A refreshing look on a subject many of us are unfortunately all too aware of. It keeps the reader enthralled and curious until the very end . . . This book is an easy read for any college student looking for an enlightening, emotional and relatable story.”
—The Royal Purple (University of Wisconsin—Whitewater)
“Chapter after mesmerizing/engaging/compelling chapter. . . I absolutely could not put down this timely, poignant and thought-provoking novel. Wrecked should be required reading for every rising college freshman.”
—Pinestraw Magazine (Southern Pines, NC)
“Terrific . . . It is a nuanced account with superbly realized, realistic characters, and a compelling story-line. This is a book made to be discussed . . . a great book on an important issue.”
—Daily Bulldog (Farmington, ME)
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Top customer reviews
Told in alternating chapters between the survivor's roommate and a housemate of the accused Maria Padian's novel is at times heavy-handed, feeling like a primer on consent or a lecture on taking care of victims. The writing lacked voice and the prose read as clunky.
None of the characters felt fully fleshed out. I think the story would have been stronger in first person rather than third. The narrators had been those directly involved in the (alleged) rape.
I didn't feel that the romance between the narrators was interesting or had chemistry. I couldn't figure out what they saw in each other.
I wish WRECKED had been told differently, because the story of how college students react to (alleged) rape, the taking of sides, victim blaming, not wanting to get involved are topics that merit exploration in a manner that tells a story instead of beats the reader over the head.
It's clunky and disconnected, and partly, that is good: it has the feel of real life.
However, the told-in-different-voices trick, meant to show us how people look at the same things differently, doesn't work well because the author has not taken the time to get good at talking in different voices. Everybody sounds pretty much the same, and without the chapter heading there's just no way I would have known who was "talking."
I do like that the story wraps up with a not quite happily ever after. Just like real life.
Not thrilled with the romance, which seemed pasted on and contrived. Then again, that's another casualty of the alternating voices technique. No on person gets enough stage time to really plumb the depths of that person, so the romance is kinda "eh."
I do like that, rare for YA, an adult is flawed but caring. Now that I think of it, the adult, the Dean in charge of the investigation, is probably the most real person in the book--and that is not so good for a YA novel.
Love the protagonist. Well, if she IS the protagonist. Hard to say when, mostly, people are talking about her, rather then her talking for herself. But anyway the person the book is mostly about is relatable.
I very much like that the author messed with us in the first chapter, going on and on about character X's love for soccer. I thought it was going to be another one of those awful sporty-kid-finds-herself books and I like that the author had us caring very much for another character before introducing the one that the fuss was all about.
Let's start right off the bat with the topic at hand the trigger warning that is laying in the central plot. Wrecked tackles the subject of rape. This will not be for everyone. I need to lay that out there for my readers. Because, it is a sensitive topic. Remember, as always, to look into the novel and protect yourself from triggering any memories. Although it tackles the topic, it is not in the usual way--the story is not narrated by the victim, instead, it's a bit of an outsiders view of the aftermath.
That being said, Maria Padian has a realistic way of approaching the topic and breathes a life into her story that makes you feel deeply from page one until the end. It's deep, it's a bit of a painful experience, there's humor and it just remains true to itself in a way that most novels cannot manage. Wrecked isn't an after school special but a frank look into the characters' we meet and their lives. You look into the community of a college and the all-too-real look at sexual assault.
One of the biggest requirements for preparing yourself for this novel is a box of tissues--trust me, you're going to need it. It paints a picture that is emotional and to the point, something that will make you feel a great many things. I don't think I've ever felt so deeply for the overall prose of a book like this one--there were a few things I didn't care for, but for the most part this is one of the most incredibly heartfelt examples of the aftermath of assault. Padian really captures the highs and the lows in Wrecked and it's often a read that will make your heart ache and the wheels of your mind turn.
What makes it so different from its contemporaries, as you know by now, is that it isn't narrated by the victim. It takes a look from the outside looking in and it is portrayed quite well. Like last years The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith, it takes on the task of tackling sexual abuse in a way that is true-to-life and at times painful to read. It's brutally honest but in a league of its own and this fact may not be something that everyone is going to be keen on.
Ultimately, it's an interesting read that gets the reader thinking. Balancing out an outsiders perception of the aftermath of rape--the theme of consent, alcohol coming into play, etc etc, it leaves you wondering. I don't know that I'd consider it the best novel on the subject for obvious reasons, but I did find the voice behind it to be fresh and new. There were many topics at play and it was a mix of day-to-day life at school, relationships, sexual assault.
There was this "did it happen?" or not element to it that messes with your head a bit. I find myself questioning if it's going to be a problem, though, at the end of the day. Because there's undeniable area of gray to the story that I wasn't overly fond of but still saw it as an important take on campus assault. I think that's what made me enjoy the novel as much as I did--I wasn't sure what to think or feel, even as the emotions came full force.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it to the occasional person. There are great characters in Wrecked and it's a fast, thoughtful read.