Title: Rape Girl
Author: Alina Klein
Publisher: namelos llc
Released: January 1st 2012
Pages: 132 (Kindle)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US
"Hey, look. It’s that girl. That rape girl, right?"
Valerie always wanted to be the smart girl. The pretty girl. The popular girl.
But not the rape girl.
That’s who she is now. Rape Girl. Because everyone seems to think they know the truth about what happened with Adam that day, and they don’t think Valerie’s telling it.
Before, she had a best friend, a crush, and a close-knit family. After, she has a court case, a support group, and a house full of strangers.
The real truth is, nothing will ever be the same.
Rape Girl is the compelling story of a survivor who does the right thing and suffers for it. It is also the story of a young woman’s struggle to find the strength in herself to fight back.
As soon as I read the synopsis of this book, I was hooked. One of my common rants is about rape - the word is completely taboo within society, but it does happen, so shouldn't we talk about it? Young girls often get told to not go out dressed in something skimpy and possibly suggestive - but shouldn't people be taught not to rape in the first place? It's a very controversial and tricky subject, and I genuinely find books about it interesting - especially since the author of this book is a rape victim herself.
Valerie was your average teenage girl - average until the day she got raped by her crush. Ever since the event, Valerie's life is turned completely upside down - her once-best-friend now won't even look at her, and her brother will do anything to avoid speaking about "it". And when the guy who raped her insists she willingly had sex with him, a whole new wave of lies and hate are directed at Val, and the list of people who believe her begins to dwindle rapidly.
I don't really know what I was expecting from this story. I'd never want to say to anyone that this story or that story wasn't as traumatic and hard-hitting as I was expecting it to be, because any story about rape is horrible and is just as serious as the next one. However, what I am going to say is that I expected a little bit more, in the sense that I thought Klein would write a little bit more about rape, and express Valerie's feelings a bit more than she did - there were only a few moments where the reader was exposed to the utter mayhem going on inside her, and I wanted to see that broadened somewhat.
Leading on from this, it is a short book, and I think it could have grown longer is Klein had spent some more time developing Valerie's character. I mean, I don't have a clue what she looked like - height, weight, hair colour, eye colour? In a way, this let the reader develop Valerie as how they saw fit - but for me, I'd have rather been given a bit more description. Same goes from Adam, the rapist, and Mimi. The person who got the most description was Wes, and to be honest, he was barely in it, so it was rather lost on the development of the story.
What I really liked must have been how Klein conveyed Valerie's guilt over the rape. It is often drummed into us that if rape occurs, you'll be beaten and bloody and hurt - Valerie wasn't, and therefore she felt as if she was making a fuss over nothing; that her rape wasn't as big a deal as someone who was badly hurt. That isn't true, of course - any rape is serious, and I liked how Klein put that message across.
I enjoyed Klein's writing style; it was simple, but good, and I found the story incredibly easy to slip into, and read it quite quickly. I finished it in three sittings, I believe? As I said earlier, the book was very short, and I would have loved for it to have continued and to be written with a bit more depth - the party scene was short, the rape scene wasn't written about, and afterwards we missed a lot of the scenes at school, and the court scenes were nonexistent - there was a lot of room for development, and I guess I'm disappointed that Klein didn't grab onto that and improve it.
Overall I enjoyed how easy it was to read, and I'm glad for the insight it gave me into the life of a rape survivor. However, it wasn't as dramatic as I was expecting, if that's the right word - I've read other books about rape, and they managed to convey a lot more emotion than this did. But nevertheless, it was still a very difficult and traumatizing experience, and Klein did manage to convey that. If the topic interests you, then I reckon this is a must-read.