From the award-winning author of Some Boys comes an unflinching examination of rape culture that delves into a family torn apart by sexual assault.
It’s been two years since the night that changed Ashley’s life. Two years since she was raped by her brother’s teammate. And a year since she sat in a court and watched as he was given a slap on the wrist sentence. But the years have done nothing to stop the pain.
It’s been two years of hell for Derek. His family is totally messed up and he and his sister are barely speaking. He knows he handled it all wrong. Now at college, he has to come to terms with what happened, and the rape culture that he was inadvertently a part of that destroyed his sister’s life.
When it all comes to head at Thanksgiving, Derek and Ashley have to decide if their relationship is able to be saved. And if their family can ever be whole again.
A timely novel by Blount (Some Boys) examines how a rape continues to affect a survivor and her family years after the assault. High schooler Ashley Lawrence was sexually assaulted freshman year by her crush her brother Derek's football teammate, who was trying to score points for a sort of sexual scavenger hunt. Now filled with rage, pain, and confusion, she tries to find a new normal, while Derek, away at college, struggles with guilt for standing up for his teammate, instead of his sister, when the rape case went to trial. Meanwhile, their parents' once-happy marriage is dissolving, Ashley's oldest brother has moved back home, and the siblings' mother wants the whole family together to share a meal for Thanksgiving. Although the story is formulaic, the alternating viewpoints between Ashley and Derek deepen readers' understanding of their inner lives, and the story sends a powerful message about rape culture and the ways it's perpetuated by survivor shaming, toxic masculinity, and the tacit acceptance of harassment. Ages 14 up.