I'd heard about this book on goodreads.com and became really interested in reading it. So when I headed to the library last week I saw that it was in stock, I picked it up and carried it home! This was a really fast read; I read it cover to cover in a day.
We see the world through the eyes of Melinda in your ninth grade year, her Freshman year in high school, how she deals with being raped the summer before by an acquaintance from school. It's shocking and horrible, really. Her parents don't seem to notice that there could actually be something wrong with their daughter since she's become withdrawn, sullen, depressed. They just assume she's acting out for some reason to hurt them. All of her former friends have ceased being her friends this year, none of teachers care. Except her art teacher, he seems to notice she has a talent for art and he encourages her talent throughout the year. It's a story of how she's been silenced through this horrible and traumatic experience and how she eventually finds her voice to speak out and to speak up for herself.
It's an amazing novel and can clearly see why it's becoming a modern classic. Everyone should read this in order to gain better understanding not only for rape victims, but those victims of any kind of abuse, those who are depressed. Let's reach out to those in need. Let's be informed and educate and talk about sexual abuse, how it's horrible, how to prevent it.
The author, at the end of her book, talks about how she's gotten a lot of letters from boys that really liked the novel, but don't understand why the character Melinda was so disturbed about being raped!!! She was shocked and appalled as I am. It just goes to show how our society sends the message that sex is no big deal and thus why we have so many sexual assault cases. I'm a mother of a little boy and I want him to grow up knowing why sex IS a huge deal, the impact it can have, I want him to realize that despite what our culture says about women, it's wrong...we're important, we're real, we have feelings. If I can help him learn that essential part of humanity, I'll have accomplished my one true mission on this earth.
*Part of the Women Unbound Challenge