Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Review: Some Boys by Patty Blount (@PattyBlount)
Some Boys by Patty Blount
Category: Young Adult
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Page Count: 339
Some boys go too far. Some boys will break your heart. But one boy can make you whole.
When Grace meets Ian she's afraid. Afraid he'll reject her like the rest of the school, like her own family. After she accuses the town golden boy of rape, everyone turns against Grace. They call her a slut and a liar. But...Ian doesn't. He's funny and kind with secrets of his own.
But how do you trust the best friend of the boy who raped you? How do you believe in love?
A gut-wrenching, powerful love story told from alternating points of view by the acclaimed author of Send.
GOODREADS . AMAZON . B&N
Review: This book is one of the 2014 releases that I had my eye on as soon as it came out, but I was not really focused on buying new releases at that time (I'm not sure why...), so I didn't pick it up right away and instead it was added to a long list of 2014 releases that I eventually wanted to purchase. Then about a month ago I was browsing the books at Target, as I do every time I take a trip to the store, and saw that they had this one there. I knew that I wanted to read it, but I was also trying to save money as it was Christmas time, and then after Christmas time. A couple of weeks ago I finally went back and picked it up, and after buying it, I couldn't really think of any other book I wanted to read. Every time I picked up a book on my TBR I realized that I wanted to read this one more, so last weekend I finally allowed myself to just give in and pick it up.
This is not the first book of this nature that I have picked up and read, though. Sexual abuse is not something that is covered a lot in YA for reasons, I suppose, but I do think that it is important. The statistics of sexual and physical abuse for women is very high. In fact, I think I heard on the radio this morning that 1 in every 5 women will experience some kind of sexual/physical abuse in their lifetime. That stat is way too high. Still, I read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson years ago, and since then it has been one of my favorite books, despite the dark and haunting subject matter and story. It handled the topic so well, and even though I tried not to focus too much on it, it was impossible for me not to compare the two books as I read this one. Still, I looked at this book independently, as it is much more recent than Speak, and I was sure had its own great messages to share.
Overall, I really did enjoy the main character, Grace, in this book. I think that she was much stronger than a lot of people would be in her situation. The fact that she has accused Zac, the golden boy, of rape is not making life at school very easy for her. Everyone has turned against her and is saying awful things, especially since Zac posted a video on Facebook of the two of them together, during which it did seem like Grace was a willing participant. Her best friends abandon her, sure she's lying, and even her parents struggle to believe what she says is true, though her mother is far more supportive and helpful than her father. School is hell for Grace as the other students call her horrible names and cause her bodily harm, and while her mother constantly suggests a study abroad program to get away from it all, Grace knows that she shouldn't run. She also knows that she has no reason to because she is telling the truth.
The struggle for her seemed so real and intense, and I really did feel for her as she had to deal with all of the negative things that came out of telling the truth, things that she never should have had to deal with. She was desperate to do anything she could to prove that Zac was guilty, and this seemed to add to the characterization in a very good way.
I also liked the character of Ian, and how he wanted to be the good guy but tended to struggle with it, because he was ultimately Zac's friend as well. He had liked Grace for a very long time, and had been very disappointed when Zac asked her out first. Naturally, he wanted to believe that his friend could never do what he was accused of, but as he and Grace have to spend their spring break together cleaning lockers, he started to second guess everything he seems to know about Grace. He doesn't believe that Zac is lying, but he also does not believe Grace is, either. Ian seemed to grow a lot throughout the novel, and in the end wanted to do anything to make things right, which he eventually did even though it was not easy or quick for him to do so.
The only negative I really had about the book was the characterization of some of the other characters. Sure, I know that guys in high school can be pretty awful, and do tend to think about sex a lot, it isn't the only thing they think about when it comes to girls. The way some of the guys acted in the book was pretty disgusting, as was the way some of the girls acted. Sure, I know some of these things really happened, but some of it seemed to stretch the realistic, so I had a bit of a problem with it. Also, I feel like Zac was a really, really big asshole. I mean, obviously, but it seemed to be so obvious and apparent that I didn't understand how his friends did not see it and realize right away that he was lying.
I do think that the ending was a bit sudden with some things that happened, but I didn't dislike it or anything. I am a big fan of the romance in contemporaries, and after everything Grace went through at school I certainly wanted her to have some happy times in the end of the book. I do think that the relationship was cute despite being fairly rushed and not completely developed. The ending overall did satisfy me, and it left me feeling a bit better about the story. I would not say that I enjoyed this book quite as much as I enjoyed Speak, but I did still like it very much. I think that it had some great lessons, and it would be a great read for anyone that may have dealt/is dealing with the same situation. It won't change things or make things better/go away, but perhaps Grace's strength and determination could be helpful in building confidence in ones self.
Rating: 4.0 / 5.0