Author: Kristin Butcher
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
First Published: August 27, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: ARC, eBook
After accepting a ride home, sixteen-year-old Emma Kennedy is raped by a boy from school. But handsome, popular Ross Schroeder tells everyone the sex was consensual, and Emma is immediately branded as a slut. Even Emma's best friend, Jen, doesn't believe Emma's version of events. In fact, she is angry with Emma because she feels betrayed. After all, she liked Ross first.
But when Ross starts showing interest in Jen, Emma knows she will have to find a way to get Jen to believe that she really is in grave danger.
Before it's too late.
Girls Like Me is a startling novel about rape and slut-shaming in high school. The pacing of this book moves like a runaway train and never slows down at any point, it is a very easy book to read in a single sitting. The book is aimed at younger readers and uses simple language that is easier to follow, it will definitely appeal to its target audience.
“This kind of stuff doesn’t happen to girls like me.
Except that it did.”
The subject matter presented in this story is troubling, and I wonder if it sacrifices believably in exchange for a dramatic plot. There are almost no character personalities beyond the immediate trauma they have faced, so you never get much of a sense of who Emma and Jen were before the opening of the novel. Everything takes place a couple of months after the event, and it starts off with Emma suffering from trauma and bullying as she grapples with what has happened, it actually started off decent all things considered. After that things just sort of drop off, the rumors and bullying literally vanishing completely overnight. It just didn’t make any sense if I were to be honest.
Even so, with the easy readability of this novel, I think that it does highlight some important topics. It can be the right book for the right reader that can bring awareness of rape culture and slut-shaming that is an unfortunate reality for many people. It has a good message about believing victims and seeking help because a danger for one person can quickly become a danger to all.
Warnings: bullying, miscarriage, sexual assault