//I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley. That in no way affects my opinions of the book.
Title : Wrecked
Author : Maria Padian
Genre : YA Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Releasing on : 4th October, 2016
Goodreads Summary :
Everyone has heard a different version of what happened that night at MacCallum College. Haley was already in bed when her roommate, Jenny, arrived home shell-shocked from the wild Conundrum House party. Richard heard his housemate Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with. When Jenny formally accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard find themselves pushed onto opposite sides of the school’s investigation. But conflicting interests fueling conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible–especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict.
This was brilliant. Brilliant in an underlying, non-obvious way, but yet, brilliant. I’ve not read a lot of YA books about sexual assault, and among the ones I’ve read, All the Rage by Courtney Summers stood out. The realness, the raw sentiments and the poignancy of that book, along with the haunting feels of reading about such horrificness is something I’ve never found in another such book. And Wrecked, which silly me thought would be just another random contemporary, came this close to making me feel exactly like All the Rage did. It was equally real, equally raw, equally poignant, if not as thrilling or creepy as All the Rage.
The story follows a sexual assault on a college campus, and how something which is one thing to one person can be something else to another. How there are different versions of the same truth, how rumors and gossip can really have an impact on the truth but most importantly, how necessary fighting for justice is.
The book is told from a dual perspective, interspersed with really creepy visuals of the real incident which took place, and over the length of the book, we follow both stories : a)the actual incident of the assualt and b)the aftermath. Haley is the victim’s roommate and Richard is the assaulter’s, and they both meet and become fast friends, unknowing of both their connections to the case. Things progress from there and a lot of stuff happens which I’d rather not tell you because I don’t want to give away spoilers, but my basic point : read this book!
I love how this book dealt with other high-school things too, instead of focusing solely on the assault. Whereas All the Rage was written from the victim’s perspective, which gave it an extremely haunting, chilling feeling, this book doesn’t personalize us with victim, and instead is written from an external POV, which actually helps a lot. Because the majority of the book is written from an external POV, the little snippets we get about the real incident, they appear to be even more scary and creepy, I guess. As slowly and slowly, we go further into the story of what actually happened that night, I couldn’t help feel a little bit creeped out, and could also totally see this happening in the real world. That’s the beauty of the book. It’s so realistic.
The romance in this book was so realistic, SO GOOD. I really dislike books in which seventeen-year olds meet their soulmates and have this huge, otherwordly affair and end up to be destined for each other and blah blah blah. Well, honestly? That’s not what happens in high school. You meet someone, you like them, you start dating, things are cute, and that’s it. And that is exactly what happened in the book. Gahhh, the romance was SO realistic, I wanted to cry. (Also, before people start shouting at me : if you are someone who has married your highschool sweetheart, you are extremely lucky. But if you take a look at highschoolers of this generation, that is really not likely.) So yeah, I hate it when authors show characters who meet the love of their life at such a young age and they already seem to know that they are meant for each other and all that jazz. Well, the portrayal of a teen relationship in this book was super realistic (I know I’m stressing way too much on this but it really was good) and the relationship was simple and cute and lovely.
[And before people accuse me of this (because I’ve been told this already once) : NO, I do not mean to say that teens don’t have feelings. Even I’m seventeen, and I have feelings and seventeen year-olds are capable of loving someone. But I don’t think that you can be seventeen and in love with someone, and have such an otherworldly romance that you already decide that you guys are ‘soulmates’ or whatever. That takes time.]
The writing of the book was really strong, and it was to-the point and had a good flow to it. However, it wasn’t beautiful or poetic writing either, it was just normal writing done well. The characterization was spot-on. We get flawed MCs and almost every other secondary character portrayed in a very realistic way. I mean, I could almost imagine some of these characters loitering around in my school’s hallways.
As for the actual plot, it was interesting, had a strong, clear message and keeps you thinking for almost throughout the length of the book. However, it’s not always tension and thrilling, it has its light and fluffy moments, and the fact that the author could wrap it all up so well is astounding.
Overall, I highly recommend this book. I think it was strong, raw, real and important.