Author: Louise O’Neill Publisher: Quercus Release Date: 3rd September 2015 Genre: YA, Contemporary, Feminism Pages: 346
It's the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O'Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there's a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma.
The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can't remember what happened, she doesn't know how she got there. She doesn't know why she's in pain. But everyone else does.
Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don't want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town's heroes...
This book was a fantastic, well-written story of Emma O’Donovan – an eighteen-year-old girl who goes to a party and gets gang-raped by four of the most popular boys in her small town. When she wakes the next morning, lying on her front porch in serious pain, she can’t remember what happened the previous night. It’s only when the pictures of her emerge online that she remembers the real truth. “They are all innocent until proven guilty. But not me. I am a liar until I am proven honest.” This book was so amazing to show what society is really like, how they just brush over the victim in rape cases, e.g. Brock Turner SMH. Anyways, what I liked most about this book is the fact that O’Neill made the victim a despicable person. For me anyways, when I started the book, didn’t particularly like Emma as a person, I thought she was a vain and horrible person.
That’s what makes this book fantastic… it makes it harder to feel sorry for the victim for a bad person, but that shouldn’t be the case. Even if the victim, like Emma, is a bad person – NOBODY DESERVES TO GET RAPED. NOBODY. EVER. I felt really sorry for Emma’s friends in the story and I hated Emma’s parents ngl. Her dad just didn’t understand that she was raped and she was telling the truth. The whole town of Ballinatoom didn’t even believe her because her rapists were seen as the town’s heroes and idols.
Like I can’t gush about this book enough. I’m sad to say it but it’s needed. It’s so terribly needed and so important for every member of every generation to read it because they need to understand. We need to talk about rape. Anyways, I’m gonna end this review with some lines I found amazing and I hope this will have convinced you to read this and enjoy it like I have.
““My body is not my own any more. They have stamped their names all over it.””
““I am not falling apart. I am being ripped at the seams, my insides torn out until I am hollow.””
““What's wrong with what I'm wearing?" "I don't know, Em." Bryan takes a gulp from his water bottle. "It's a bit slutty, isn't it?" I stare pointedly at the FHM poster Blu-Tacked on the wall opposite the bed, of some topless model, one finger in her mouth, the other hand reaching into her knickers. "That's different.””
So, like, obviously, it goes without saying that this book deserves 5 [million] stars out of 5.