Trigger Warning: non-consent, suicide
Below is a summary from Louise O’Neill’s website:
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…
I got this book as an ebook from NetGalley.
It didn’t take me as long to read this book as I thought it would because I have been in a massive reading slump for months. However it did make a lot of powerful points.
“No one forced them to wear that. They’re just asking for something to happen to them like that.”
No one forced the perpetrator to do what they did either, but they did it because they wanted to do it.
The main point of his book is that no one is ever ‘asking for it’ because of what they wear, how they act, and so on. Victims of sexual crimes shouldn’t be made to feel punished for something that isn’t their fault.
When the main character, Emma, had that happen to her, she didn’t know how to cope. Yet no one takes her side and believes her (not even her best friends). This is because she wasn’t the nicest person (even to her best friends), she dressed what could be classed as inappropriately, and she had slept with people before. But that’s sort of the point – non-consented sex can happen to anyone of any age, race, gender, or personality type.
“They are all innocent until proven guilty. Not me, I am a liar until proven honest.”
This is a book that I urge you to read. This is a book that I urge everyone to read. Especially those in high school. It’s hit-you-in-the-face honesty that we live in a world like this, and Louise O’Neill doesn’t sugar coat that fact.
This is a book that will stay in your mind.