The Monday Review: Realistic Fantasy

Hermione Winters is going into her senior year of high school and she has it all figured out. She knows who she is and how this year will go, and then everything will change. But change comes sooner than anticipated when she gets drugged and raped during cheer camp. Suddenly nothing is how she thought it would be, and things may never be the same again.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I picked up this book. I’d heard a lot of hype so I anticipated that it would be good but beyond that I wasn’t sure. But I don’t think anything could have prepared me for this book.

It was SO good.

I know it sounds weird to say I read a book about girl that gets raped and I loved it! But honestly I did. And it’s not as weird as it sounds. This books isn’t painful or difficult to read. Its sincere and honest, but also heartwarming.
Hermione isn’t told that this is her fault or punished for what happened to her. And when she chooses to get an abortion she isn’t ever told that she’s making the wrong choice.

Honestly it was a relief. exit-pursued-by-a-bear

I feel that rape and rape culture are something that need to be talked about and addressed, in books and otherwise. But reading books that address it can be hard. This book however was so much more than that.
Instead of drawing attention to how society treats rape victims and pointing out that its wrong, this book just ignores society and shows how rape should be handled and rape victims treated. It was fantastic.
E.K. Johnston has even said that this is “the most fantasy of [her] books so far” because of the way handles Hermione and her rape.
(Read the article here: E.K. Johnston On Why She Let Her Protagonist “Get Away with It”)

On top of all that the relationship between Hermione and her best friend Polly was absolutely fantastic and handled beautifully. Hermione depends on Polly and Polly is there for her whenever she needs it. And when Polly reveals that she is a lesbian nothing between the two girls changes. And Hermione doesn’t worry about all the times they’ve had sleepovers in her bed, instead she worries that she has been a bad friend by not being observant enough to notice this about her friend and be there for her.

There’s just so much to love about this book.

This is the kind of book that everyone needs to read so that they can reevaluate the way they treat people and talk about rape.


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