Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Number of Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
Description from Goodreads:
Everyone on campus has a different version of what happened that night.I was seriously impressed with WRECKED. Campus rape is a huge topic in the news right now and I love that books like WRECKED are helping to bring even more awareness to it.
Haley saw Jenny return from the party, shell-shocked.
Richard heard Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with.
When Jenny accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard are pushed to opposite sides of the school’s investigation. Now conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible—especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict.
I loved that WRECKED handles the subject in a unique way. The main characters aren't the ones directly involved. Instead they're both linked to the two people that the rape case pertains to. Haley is roommates with Jenny who came home from a party one night and several days later she reported that she had been raped. Richard is housemates with Jordan, the one Jenny has accused of raping her. We don't get to see Jenny's and Jordan's direct perspectives, but instead get to see things from Haley's and Richard's POVs which helps highlight how difficult it can be to get to the truth. In between chapters, Maria Padian has added an omniscient perspective which shows us exactly what happened at the party without any bias, so in the end we know exactly what happened. This combination allows us to see so many different perspectives and also see how big of an issue consent is.
I also felt that their backgrounds made Haley and Richard great characters to tell this story through. Both Haley and Richard were pretty average students, and they were very realistic. Richard is a nice guy, a little bit immature, and raised with a typical white male attitude (i.e., entitled without realizing he's entitled at all), and Haley comes from a middle-class background where she was fairly protected and sheltered by her parents. Because of these backgrounds both Richard and Haley are pretty unaware of the nuances of consent, and neither of them have ever encountered rape before this, so their ignorance provides an ideal setting for these story. It allows the author to subtly educate the reader, and I found it extremely well done! It isn't the type of story where you deliberately feel like an author is trying to educate you while reading, but it does leave you with a much greater understanding of campus rape, how the truth can be easily distorted in rape cases, and how rape victims can be continuously victimized throughout the proceedings of cases such as the one detailed in WRECKED.
I'm trying super hard not to spoil the finer details of this story because I think going into WRECKED without knowing the unbiased truth makes it even more interesting. I will say that I loved this book though and I think it handled campus rape very well. It was both a wonderful story and extremely informative and even a bit educational about consent which I really appreciated. I wholeheartedly recommend this book!
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