The most commented upon lines from my books on Wattpad come from my Young Adult story, Freaks of Greenfield High: “Humans were lamentably prone to exaggeration. How bad could high school possibly be?”
Well, according to numerous commenters the world over, the answer to the question about how bad can high school possibly be is: Really. Really. Bad.
I don’t recall being particularly happy during my high school years, but aside from being the victim of some short-lived bullying, and feeling incredibly lonely a great deal of the time, I got off pretty lightly. My kids have had more harrowing experiences, unfortunately. But again, I feel we’ve been lucky, because some of the things that have happened to their peers? Frightening — a parent’s worst nightmare.
And here’s the thing: Once you become a parent, you never stop worrying about your kids. You never stop imagining the worst case scenario. Consequently, I sometimes find it very difficult to read certain issue-driven Young Adult books.
For example, DD highly recommends Ellen Hopkins’ Young Adult books. So, on her recommendation, I read a couple of the books inspired by Ms Hopkins’ real-life experiences coping with her daughter’s drug addiction… and that was it for me. They were too heartbreaking. Too devastating. So damned real I cried buckets and felt sick to my stomach.
So it was with not a little trepidation that I decided to give Patty Blount’s young adult story, Some Boys, a try.
Here’s the blurb for Some Boys:
Some Boys go too far. Some Boys don’t see you. Some Boys will break your heart. But One Boy can make you whole.
When Grace meets Ian she’s afraid. Afraid he’ll reject her like the rest of the school, like her own family. Call her a slut and a liar. But…he doesn’t. He’s funny and kind with secrets of his own. But how do you trust the best friend of the boy who raped you? How do you believe in love?
Was this a difficult book to read? Hell, yes.
Did I think Grace’s character, her reactions, and her growth, were realistically portrayed? Definitely.
Did I want to magically insert myself in the story, so I could smack Ian upside the head and scream at him to open his eyes to the truth, and grow up and gr0w a pair? Oh my freaking God, yes!
Did I despise Zac with the power of a million fiery suns, and fist-punch the air when he was finally held accountable? Yes, yes, YES!
This is a hard book for any parent of teenage daughters to read. But I’d encourage you to do so… and then do what I did, and pass it on to your teenage daughter, or a friend, or whomever. Because yes, a horrible, awful thing happened to Grace, and living with the aftermath was even worse in many ways. And yes, it’s horrific because it’s such a realistic portrayal of rape-culture and victim-shaming of victims that is all-too commonly played out on social media and news outlets these days. But as Karen Jensen’s review on the School Library Journal blog states: “[…] talking about them through the framework of story allows us to talk about them in a zone of safety; We’re not talking about real people, but we’re talking about all too real situations.”
Warning: Some Boys contains strong language, and deals with difficult themes such as rape and victim-blaming.
BTW, I’d like to send huge congratulations to Patty Blount because Some Boys has been nominated for a Romance Writers of America RITA® award in the Young Adult category — Patty, I’ll be rooting for you on award night!
Here’s my full reading list for June 2015:
- Highlander by Cathleen Ross
- Taken (Callisto, Book 1) by Erica Conroy
- Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh
- Never A Gentleman by Eileen Dreyer
- Hustled to the Altar by Dani Collins
- Waiting On You by Kristan Higgins
- Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
- Some Boys by Patty Blount
- Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews
- Magic Gifts by Ilona Andrews
- Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
- Magic Tests by Ilona Andrews
- Sizzling by Susan Mallery
- Irresistible by Susan Mallery
- Tempting by Susan Mallery
- Accidentally Yours by Susan Mallery
- True North by Liora Blake
- The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand
- The Chocolate Touch by Laura Florand