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May 2018 Debut of the Month | In a Nutshell: Intense exposé of extreme misogyny and male privilege
An unflinching novel about brutally toxic masculinity, male collusion and how justice systems and society at large are still appallingly rigged against women.
Life is tough for Ellie and her dad in their decrepit ghost town. Ellie’s mom ran out on them when she was still a baby, she’s cripplingly lonely and her dad never fulfilled his dream of becoming a filmmaker. Convinced – and told by her peers - that she’s ugly, Ellie’s dream is “to be pretty. That’s part of what makes a girl,” she remarks. “Girls who are pretty are likeable. Pretty is power.” So when privileged Caleb tells her she’s pretty, she craves him, even though she also “hated how he made me feel uncomfortable”. His attention legitimises and comforts her, even when he dumps her, even when he’s humiliates her. And then it’s too late. He and his family are monstrous, and Ellie can’t escape.
The brotherhood of abuse portrayed here will sicken and shock, while your heart will ache for Ellie, for her dad, and for the love and friendships she deserved to enjoy. Relentlessly raw and unusually framed, this is perhaps best recommended for fans of crime fiction with conscience. Bold in its bleakness, this steers well clear of any kind of happy-ever-after Hollywood ending. In real life baddies don’t always get what they had coming. In real life not everyone has a best friend to turn to. On a positive note, this might just enrage to the point of inspiring readers to take a stand on issues of systemic misogyny, and it makes a strong case for the need to take time to truly get to know people, to find friends you can open up to. ~ Joanne Owen
When the world breaks you into pieces, sometimes you find what's left scattered among other people's broken parts.
Ellie Frias has never wanted to be popular, she just wants to blend in, to be accepted. But then Caleb Breward, tells her she's beautiful and makes her believe it. Ellie loves Caleb, but sometimes she's not sure she likes him that much - his awkward smile, the possessive way he touches her, his harsh tone, how he ignores her one minute and can't get enough the next. And then, on one black night, Ellie discovers the monster her boyfriend really is. Ellie wasn't the first girl Caleb raped. But she was the first he murdered. Now, trapped, unable to move on, she witnesses him shatter the lives of other girls again and again. Powerless and alone, Ellie tries to keep hold of happier memories, always waiting - hoping - that someone will find her. But no one searches for a girl they never noticed in the first place.
The Lovely Bones meets Asking For It - this is the searing, heartbreaking story of a lost teenager, and the town she leaves behind.
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading teen/YA Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.
|Publication date:||19th April 2018|
|Author:||T. E. Carter|
|Publisher:||Simon & Schuster Childrens Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster Ltd|
|Suitable for:||13+ readers, YA readers|
|Genres:||Crime / Mystery, Romance / Relationship Stories|
|Recommendations:||Debuts of the Month, eBooks, Reviewed by Children|
|Other Categories:||Summer Reading|
T.E. Carter taught high school English for ten years and created a YA reading program to engage students in YA literature, collaborating with YALSA and the ALA on strategies. Now, she works as a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and contributes blog posts to career sites, offering advice on resume writing, job searches, and professional branding. Her interest in the topics of this story stems from her experience as a rape crisis counselor and her graduate studies in psychology. She has a BA in English/writing, as ...More About T. E. Carter
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