Wednesday, June 13, 2012

RAPE GIRL by Alina Klein

Author Alina Klein was raped as a teenager, but rather than bury that experience and pretend it never happened, she wrote a novel full of emotional truth.

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.  


  1. This sounds like an important and brave book, and I am going to read it. Thanks for showcasing the book.

  2. It is both those things. I'm not sure I would have had the courage to write it. Hats off to Alina!

  3. Hey Shannon, I'm repeating my comment here. I know I commented already, but Blogger is being irritable, I think.

    Anyway, this sounds like a powerful novel. I'd want to slap that principal, too. Thanks for the review.

  4. The principal should have known better, but her best friend was equally slap-worthy.

  5. I read this book recently and I'll post my thoughts about it on my blog next week. The book is well-written and made me angry in how people perceived and treated the victim. I'm glad the MC was a survivor and that the book ended on a note of hope.

  6. This sounds like an amazing book. Thanks for the great review.

  7. Medeia, I'll be interested to read your thoughts next week. And Michelle, if you read RAPE GIRL, I hope you'll stop by and tell me what you think.

  8. I think teenagers do need to be aware of books like this and even more importantly, the fact that 'no means no'.

    As you said above, the victim shouldn't be made to feel as if they committed a crime. Even in television series I see this all the time.

  9. I agree with you about television series. And back in college I knew a girl that was raped and her whole life was put on trial. It's maddening!