Due for release in February 2020, I’m pretty convinced that this will be a hit read.
Plunged straight into the life of our main character, Izzy, it takes a while to establish quite what’s going on. We see Izzy get drunk at a party and she is threatened by someone in her college who vows to send round an embarrassing picture from the party unless she does what he asks her to. There’s no doubt that Izzy would be perfectly in her right to ignore this and call him out – but we see how insidious such attitudes are, when even his mates try to justify his behaviour by calling it ‘banter’. As a parent this horrified me, and I am really scared that anyone could ever think such behaviour is okay.
Izzy finds herself in a difficult situation. She fears just what this boy could do, so she goes to his house. He rapes her – no matter what name he gives it – and continues to try and threaten her into doing what he wants her to through her fear of what others will say.
Izzy says nothing. This is totally believable – however much you wish it weren’t. Against the backdrop of Izzy’s home-life it becomes even more relatable. She sees her once vibrant mother as a shell of herself. Her step-father controls everything and we are, slowly, given details that chronicle a horribly abusive relationship.
Eventually Izzy’s mother leaves, and Izzy gets the opportunity to reflect on her experiences and how to move on from them. Some elements of this are easier than others.
There was a lot packed into this read, but I am sure it will strike a chord – in some way – with many readers. Though elements of the story felt resolved far too easily, there were some positive outcomes that did inspire hope.
This is just another example of why NetGalley is such a great thing – getting to see new books before publication.