“Some girls say no. Some boys don’t’ listen…
…I can’t help thinking of a stupid riddle—if a girl’s attacked in the forest and no one’s around to see it or hear it, did it really happen?”
Some Boys by Patty Blount is another golden cautionary tale for the new YA culture. Growing up we all went to parties where perhaps we did things that our parents would ground us for life, but lately people have been commenting on how teenagers these days have more freedom and are exposed to serious issues much earlier than teenagers from a decade ago ( I was a teenager a decade ago). The first book I read of hers was Send, where she explored technology and the misuse of it, and how teens are not aware of the implications of their actions via texts, emails, or social media. While I think people should read for enjoyment, there should always be cautionary tales mixed in, especially in YA. Some Boys is the cautionary tale of dating in high school, girl code, and underage drinking.
Grace is having one hell of a month. After going to a party and getting trashed, she is raped by the golden boy Zac. No one believes her, why should they? Grace dresses provocatively, she’s in your face, and frankly she did date Zac, clearly she feels jilted and is spreading lies to get back at him. But why would Ian, Zac’s best friend, find Grace in the middle of the woods with her underpants around her ankle, unconscious, and alone? Why would she insist to go to the hospital, if it wasn’t rape? And why have her once bright eyes gone dim and frightened?
Ian is Zac’s best friend and teammate. He knows Zac since he was little, and he knows that Zac will always have his back. Zac’s a ladies man and sometimes girls don’t realize it’s all about casualness with Zac. But why did Zac have to ask Grace out first? Why did she date Zac? And why is she lying about what happened that night? After spending a week of forced labor together, aka detention, Ian starts questioning that night, Zac, Grace, himself, and how people treat each other. Why would a girl let two guys touch her at once, is it because her best friend needs a wingman? Why do girls insist on wearing too much make-up?
Blount explores teenage angst, teenage romance, and how society treats victims like criminals. It is just one big he said she said, and until solid proof is found most of the time the girl is labeled a slut. Does a girl deserve to be raped because she wears what she wants, because she drinks too much, because she flirted? Do adults act/react better than students when faced with a rape crime? Why do we all feel the need to bash people until it’s too late, and once the truth is out there is no taking back the words, the gestures, and the crime? I would say I really liked this book, but at times I found myself so angry at the adults in the novel. I am still a “new adult/young adult” and I work with young adults (high school students), I cannot believe the way the adults reacted to Grace’s situation and the constant flow of insults. Even if they had to remain un-bias since no evidence was given, they are the one group of people that must make children feel safe not ignored and defeated. I liked the message and how it was presented to the YA world, and frankly more books need to keep questioning the WHY people act the way they do to a crisis like this. I think that is what Ian represented. He wasn’t perfect, but boy did he learn a lot from this experience.
4 out of 5 stars, than you NetGalley!