Wrecked by Maria Padian
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Synopsis: Everyone has heard a different version of what happened that night at MacCallum College. Haley was already in bed when her roommate, Jenny, arrived home shell-shocked from the wild Conundrum House party. Richard heard his housemate Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with. When Jenny formally accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard find themselves pushed onto opposite sides of the school’s investigation. But conflicting interests fuelling 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.
Review: So i got this book for review from netgalley after the synopsis grabbed me. I'm usually not one for contemporary young adult fiction, especially one thats guaranteed to bring tears but this actually caught me and I found it really insightful.
It obviously comes with a few key trigger warnings for rape and abuse which definitely should be considered before reading, but I think it's a very interesting insight into the way that rape is dealt with in college. This book grabbed my attention and made me want to keep reading, and the ending left me feeling infurated and a little angry at the system which is proabably what the author intended to do.
What makes this book truly unique is the fact that the book isn't told directly from the victims perspective, and instead told by the victims roomate and a friend of the accused; which serves to create this atmosphere of doubt surrounding the victims story. Jenny, the victim, was very drunk at the time so the book deals with issues surrounding consent, and the fact that not being able to say no is not consent. It looks at what happens to the victim and the accused if a rape is reported, and honestly it'll make you so incredibly angry about the way that Jenny is treated that you'll want to scream; but this book presents a truthful, gritty look at the way an accusation of rape is dealt with within American colleges, and gives a look at just what blaming the victim can do to a person.
The only downside of this book for me were the two narrators, Haley and Richard, in some ways I felt that they grounded the book, and reminded me that this is real life and it could happen to anyone. I especially loved the fact that as soon as Richard even mentioned the fact that Jenny may be mistaking Rape for rough sex, Haley shut him down and I loved that. I just found that I had no real interest in them as characters, it was a classic role reversal, Haley the rough around the edges jock, and Richard as a deep, hopless romatic type of guy and their relationship just didn't grab me. I had no real interest in the romantic subplot that was running alongside the story, and I almost wanted to skip the parts where they weren't discussing Jenny.
This book is a fantastic contemporary literature novel that has taken an issue that is incredibly tough to write about, and has made it so gritty and real that I think it will make anyone angry at the treatment of women who report rape.
Recommend: Yes! but only if you are prepared to approach a book that discusses rape, and leaves no room for a traditional happy ending.