Nobody understands why Tori has suddenly become so moody and violent. When she attacks a stranger in a store, she ends up doing community service at a shelter for victims of domestic violence. She bonds with a little girl named Casey, but when Casey is abducted while in Tori’s care, Tori is racked with guilt, certain that she should have been able to prevent the abduction. During the search for Casey, Tori comes face to face with an ex-boyfriend who sexually assaulted her at a party. Only when she speaks out about the assault is she able to begin to heal.
After being sexually assaulted by her ex-boyfriend, Matt, at a party, 17-year-old Tori keeps the incident a secret, and her pain manifests as anger that she finds difficult to control. She shaves her head, alienates her family and her best friends, and begins to lash out physically. It starts with Tori defending her friend Jamarlo at the mall: she punches a guy who made a homophobic comment about him, after which her parents force her to do community service to avoid potential police charges. Threatening text messages from Matt and his new girlfriend only fuel Tori's anger, and another fight lands her temporarily in the hospital. The children at the women's shelter where Tori volunteers help her understand that speaking out can be "another way of fighting back," a tactic she has to use when one of the children is abducted. While Krossing (The Yo-Yo Prophet) acknowledges the importance of self-defense, the story makes clear that sharing one's pain is equally important. Tori's anger is palpable throughout, and her emotional evolution is empowering. Ages 12 up.