‘No Virgin’ – Anne Cassidy

No Virgin

Anne Cassidy has written some fabulous novels for Young Adult readers, and isn’t shy of tackling gritty subjects. Touted as perfect for fans of Louise O’Neill’s ‘Asking For It’ this book explores what happens when Stacey Woods is raped.

Stacey is the victim of a terrible attack, and the novel opens with her telling us that her best friend, Patrice, is the only one she can talk to about what has happened. With Patrice’s encouragement Stacey writes down what has happened to her, as she takes the first step in coming to terms with the experience.

Although there is never any question of Stacey being anything other than a victim, Stacey clearly holds herself responsible for what happened to her. Initially this is what I think makes her come across as somewhat unsympathetic as she gives us a lot of detail that makes her seem quite unpleasant, though her circumstances warrant our sympathy.

In Stacey’s account we are given a rather laborious back-story as she attempts to explain the circumstances that led to her attack. Though the details are not pleasant to read about, they are not gratuitous and help us to understand why Stacey reacts in the way that she does. What I found less successful was the behaviour of the characters that Stacey comes into contact with – the lack of detail given to the portrayal of these characters meant I was less convinced by the story than I feel I should have been.

I am grateful to the publishers and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my review and although I don’t feel the story had quite the impact I feel it could have, I do think it will go down well with teenage readers.

‘No Virgin’ is due for publication in November 2016.