Wednesday, June 13, 2012
RAPE GIRL by Alina Klein
I highlighted several passages on my Kindle that spoke to me. The first says, "They say that rape is the only crime in which the victim has to prove her innocence."
When our protagonist, Valerie, is attending a group counseling session, she can't help but compare her rape to that of another young woman who was burned with a cigarette. Valerie says, "I just felt less raped than you, and I think I might have ruined my life, (by telling), for nothing."
Another rape victim says to Valerie, "We wonder why it happened and how it happened, and blame ourselves just like you do, because all of us probably could have done something different."
Valerie's rape affected not only her, but her younger sister, older brother, and her mother. The author skillfully shows how each member of Valerie's family blames themselves for what happened.
I found myself wanting to slap the clueless school principal who treated Valerie as the guilty party. I shook my head in sympathy when Mimi, Valerie's best friend, abandoned her. But this book is not without hope. Valerie is a survivor, and by the end, I felt she could make a happy life for herself despite what happened.
I called my best friend after reading this book because I wanted to pose a question to her. It was, "If every woman we knew were completely honest, do you think each one would admit to being forced into sex, though sometimes subtly, as a child or teenager?" Sue's answer was "Absolutely." That's why this book is so important for teen readers. No means no.