Jun 30, 2015

Review: '89 Walls by Katie Pierson


Title: '89 Walls
Author: Katie Pierson
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Publisher: Wise Ink
Paperback, 264 Pages
Published June 2015
Add it on Goodreads!
Summary: College is not in the cards for Seth. He spends his minimum wage on groceries and fakes happiness to distract his mom from the MS they both know will kill her. It’s agony to carry around a frayed love note for a girl who’s both out of his league and beneath his dignity. Quinn’s finishing high school on top. But that cynical, liberal guy in her social studies class makes her doubt her old assumptions. Challenging the rules now, though, would a) squander her last summer at home, b) antagonize her conservative dad, and c) make her a hypocrite. Seth and Quinn’s passionate new romance takes them both by surprise. They keep it a secret: it’s too early to make plans and too late not to care. But it’s 1989. As politics suddenly get personal, they find themselves fighting bare-fisted for their beliefs—and each other—in the clear light of day.
I received a copy of '89 Walls from author Katie Pierson in exchange for an honest review. When I read the summary of this book, not only was I intrigued by the line that "politics suddenly get personal" for the main characters, and I wanted to know why. Another reason I was curious about this book was that my parents are both high school graduates (and high school sweethearts) of the year 1989, so I wanted to see what high school life was like for them back in the day. (And yes, I did fact check a lot of parts of this book with my mom and dad about 80's culture for teenagers. xD)

In this book, Quinn is pretty much the "it" girl. Top of her class, pretty and smart, smart boyfriend, well-off parents, and a perfect life. Seth is the complete opposite - struggling for money, his mom is sick with MS, his father died in the Vietnam war, and - to Quinn's dismay - he's a Democrat.  (There are a lot of politics in this book, which I'm glad I understood since it was only last month that we were covering the 1980's in AP U.S. History.) Anyway, Seth has been in love with Quinn since the tenth grade - he even wrote her a love note that he never had the guts to send. Until, one day, he does.

Everything changes after that. Quinn's relationship with her boyfriend takes a drastic turn, Seth and Quinn's relationship takes some more drastic turns, and something happens to Quinn that makes the politics of the 1980's much, much more real. (I won't spoil this for you, but I'm sure you can guess what I'm talking about. Read the book anyway to find out!)

There are a lot of sex references in this book, so this is not for younger eyes! But the book itself really was good, and I really liked it. Even if at times, Quinn seemed like a raging b*tch and I just wanted to backhand her once or twice (or three times). I'm surprised nobody in the book did it to her. However, watching her family dynamic was interesting to see, too - how crucial winning debates against her father (regarding politics) seemed to her, even if in reality it wasn't something all that important in family life. Watching Seth struggle in his own ways with his sick mom was interesting, too - I never knew anybody with MS, so I had no idea what it would even be like. 

The ending of the book totally took me by surprise - there's definitely a major plot twist in there that I had no idea was ever even coming. (Again, I'm not going to spoil it for you - read the book yourself to find out!) I actually gasped out loud because I couldn't believe it. Pierson definitely is good at plot twists and shocking the reader, unlike E. Lockhart. (I'm still bitter over the ending of We Were Liars and how sucky of a plot twist that was.)


All in all, '89 Walls was a really enjoyable book about love, struggles, sickness, and 1980's life in general, politics and pop-culture wise. This was a book that I really liked and I'd like to thank author Katie Pierson for sending me a copy! This is definitely a book that I think anyone interested in YA contemporary should pick up, because it's an interesting viewpoint from a totally different decade that most of us never experienced firsthand. I really liked it!

Rating: 

Jun 29, 2015

Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Title: Tiger Lily
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Publisher: HarperTeen
Paperback, 292 Pages
Published July 2013
Add it on Goodreads!
Summary: Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair...Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell. Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter. With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.
I bought a copy of this book at The Strand after BookCon this past May, and when I did, I didn't remember what it was about. Margot Wood was gushing over this book during an episode of #TeaTime last summer, and she explained the synopsis then, and I remember being intrigued and deciding to add it to my To-Read list. Well, that was almost a year ago - and when I came across a copy of this book at The Strand I remembered that it was on my TBR, but there are so many books on that list that I honestly can't remember what's what.

Anyway, I bought the book, and when I started it a few days ago I was so excited to find out that it was about Peter Pan pre-famous story. The best way to explain the time period of this book is that it's after the time period shown in that new movie Pan (which describes how Peter got to the island and became who he was) and the time period covered in our favorite Disney fairy tale. It's definitely an interesting topic and I found it intriguing because it wasn't a retelling, per se, but it was in the same ballpark and it sounded great. 

And it was great. Hold tight to your seats, because everything you thought you knew about the infamous story of Peter Pan is about to fly out the window. We've all been wrong this entire time. Dead wrong.

I enjoyed every second of this book, and I was surprised that Peter Pan was not a main character in this book, but rather a supporting character. The main focus of the book is a teenage girl named Tiger Lily, dark and strong and fierce and quiet. She's viewed with an odd mix of fear and superstition and pride by her fellow villagers, being that she is the only daughter of the village's shaman, Tik Tok. Throughout her entire life, she's been treated crappily by the other kids. Basically, her and the good things in life just aren't in sync. So she spends a lot of time by herself, ostracized by the other kids. She has a handful of companions, though, one being my ultimate favorite - and I'm about to tell you who.

The point of view of this book is my absolute favorite thing about it, because it's not who you'd expect. Not Tiger Lily. Or Tik Tok. Or even Peter Pan. The narrator of this book is my favorite character of all - good 'ol Tinkerbell! (You learn that there's a reason she's all sullen and angry when it comes to Wendy in the famous Disney movie, and it isn't actually because she's jealous that Wendy steals all of Peter's attention.) 

The book being from Tink's point of view contributed in several important ways. First, we got to see everything, because Tink was everywhere - we saw what happened in Tiger Lily's direct vicinity, and what happened across the village without her knowing. The fact that Tink isn't able to talk to anybody in Neverland (because apparently all faeries lost the ability to speak somewhere in their evolution) seems like a minor, unimportant fact, but as the novel progresses it actually becomes a key difficulty, especially when Tink knows something that Tiger Lily or Peter doesn't and has virtually no way of telling them.

This book also didn't paint Peter as the perfect young man, smart and strong and wise and the keeper of all of the answers, as the movie does. Wendy isn't all kind and perfect and the heroine of the story, either - not by a long shot. Long story short, before Peter fell in love with Wendy, his heart belonged to another. A girl who was set to be his wife. Tiger Lily. 

If you're thinking to yourself right now, Oh crap, you're totally right.

Oh crap.

Which is totally why you guys need to pick this book up right now and read it, whether or not you're an avid fantasy reader!

All in all, Tiger Lily was a riveting retelling (quite, but not quite - still not sure what to call it) of a famous story of a famous boy that we all know and love. Everything you thought you knew about this story turns out horrifyingly and undeniably wrong, which makes it even greater - what fun is reading when popular thoughts and ideas aren't challenged? Even if you aren't a big fantasy fan, this book will capture your attention and refuse to let you go for all 292 pages. I definitely would recommend it to anybody looking for a good and super-riveting read. Hats off to Jodi Lynn Anderson, because I really really enjoyed reading Tiger Lily!

Rating:

Jun 28, 2015

Get Ready for the 2015 Summer Blogger Promo Tour!

Current Hosts of:

Just one more week to go until the 2015 Summer Blogger Promo Tour officially kicks off! We have 57 awesome bloggers lined up to be promoting one another all summer long - plus some awesome Twitter chats and fun activities! It's going to be a fun summer of meeting new bloggers and friends - so if you're on the tour, get ready to make some new lifelong blogger buddies! And if you aren't on the tour and you're just along for the ride to meet tons of new people, get ready to meet some awesome people!

Here are the eight bloggers that you'll be meeting here at The Book Bratz all summer long!


But that's not all! Here are the rest of the awesome bloggers that will be participating in the 2015 Summer Blogger Promo Tour! Follow them on Twitter and on their blogs to keep up with them throughout the tour, too, or subscribe to the 2015 Summer Blogger Promo Tour Twitter list here!
(* - SBPT '14 Alumni!)


Get ready for the kickoff of the tour, which is next week! :-)

Jun 27, 2015

Let's Talk Tough: Drug Use in YA


Welcome to Let's Talk Tough, a week-long series here at The Book Bratz where we discuss some hard topics in YA literature. Today's topic is the use of drugs in YA books.

So, today is the last day of the Let's Talk Tough mini series and today's topic is, as we just mentioned, about drug use in YA. It's a topic that doesn't show up in every YA book, but a decent amount. Think about how many YA books you've read where the main character (or a friend or sibling or parent) takes pills. Smokes pot or cigarettes or meth or crack or takes heroine. The whole nine yards - you know what we're talking about.

Do the YA books that feature these problems do them justice? We definitely think so. These books show the firsthand struggle of characters in regards to the actual addictions themselves and the struggles that led them to reach that point - insecurities, a loss, or something far worse. In Crank by Ellen Hopkins, the main character is modeled after her own daughter.

These struggles do happen - and they aren't always struggles. Some main characters use drugs and cigarettes for recreation. Which, despite how it seems okay, isn't. Why is it okay to show young readers about smoking and alcoholism can be a suitable passtime for teens? Yes, it happens, but no, it is under no circumstances ever okay. The argument that "teenagers will be teenagers" doesn't even work because you don't want to turn young readers onto these practices - rather, away from them.

As for the addictions, these books definitely provide firsthand insight on these problems. As someone who has never dealt with these types of problems, when you hear about people addicted to drugs you may just think to yourself, "Why don't they just stop? Like, seriously. They can just not let their feet walk out the door and take them to these stores and dealers. It can't be that hard."

Well, plenty of YA books show you that it can be that hard. And it is that hard. (Again, we don't have any personal experience with this topic, but from all of the YA books we've read that claim to accurately depict these struggles, it seems that way.) You can't just wake up one morning and say, "I'm going to stop taking cocaine today. I really mean it. I'm done, as of right now." To shed a thin light of humor on the situation, it's the same way with dieting. You don't wake up one day and declare that you will never eat a single processed or unhealthy thing for the rest of your natural life. How many times have you failed? More than you'd like to admit, probably. We have, too. 

Long story short, it is important for YA books to properly depict the struggles behind drug abuse - from the horrors that led them there to the horrors that occur during the addiction and even the horrors that may occur afterward. Each teenage addict has a certain event that pushed them to the point where they felt helpless, and although that doesn't excuse their actions in any way, it shows the reader how important it is to hear the full story before assuming that people just wake up and decide to be crack and heroin and meth addicts. It just doesn't happen that way.

These YA books turn fictional struggles of fictional characters until real stories that, even though you may not personally relate to, you benefit from as you learn and understand the true horrors of drug addictions among teenagers in society.

Just Some YA Books That Deal With The Topic of Drugs:

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We hope that this post makes you think and discuss the unrealistic expectations of sex, and also rape, in present-day YA Literature. The purpose of these Let's Talk Tough topics are to get you thinking and to start discussing the things viewed as "taboo" discussions when talking about YA. So start a conversation in the comments below (or Tweet us @thebookbratz) and help to make these tough topics easier to talk about. Check back the rest of this week for a new Let's Talk Tough topic each day - and join us in helping to start the conversation.


Jun 26, 2015

ARC Review: Crystal Kingdom by Amanda Hocking

Title: Crystal Kingdom (Kanin Chronicles #3)
Author: Amanda Hocking 
Genre: Fantasy 
Source: NetGalley 
Publisher: St. Martin's Press 
Publication Date: August 4th 2015 
Add it to Goodreads / Pre-order it on Amazon 

Summary:
Bryn must decide: follow her head or her heart. Thrown into a world of suspense and intrigue, Bryn has to fight to clear her name. But she's not alone. With help from the Trylle - including Finn Holmes - she's on a quest to discover the truth. With her life and her world on the line, will Bryn be able to risk it all?

Liked:

  • It picks up right where Ice Kissed left off. 
  • I liked Bryn, she is fierce and kick ass. Even though half the time she wants to charge into stuff half blinded. Which was about half of this book. 
  • Konstantin played a HUGE role. We have heard about him and seen him briefly for two books. I was ready for a whole book with him in it. Amanda delivered him to us. 
  • I especially loved the Troll world. Amanda made all the tribes talked about well developed and talked about. 
  • A few characters from the Trylle trilogy return for some parts! It was great seeing Wendy, Loki, and Finn again! 

Disliked:

  • I feel like all the characters ran around and chased their tails for portions of this book. Like weren't they there doing the SAME thing in book two? 
  • Love triangle? Sort of? It is Obvious that Konstantin has feelings for Bryn, I am pretty sure she knew too. But it is thrown out there in two sentences. Not developed at all. It is obvious who Bryn was going to end up with, but it was like Amanda was like "Oh! let me add another love interest...Actually nevermind." 
  • The plot lagged in several places, and a lot of things were unnecessary or overly predictable. 
  • There was really no climax to the story. Yes, there was a rising action but it fell flat after that. The problem was taken care of in a few paragraphs. That was it. There was nothing else.
  • I am VERY unhappy with who Amanda killed off. Two of my favorite characters! *sobs* 

I am torn with this one. I either really liked it or I really didn't. I guess in this case it is safe to go with three stars? I had some expectations for this one and it fell short. I rated the second book three stars and had my concerns entering this book. Honestly, I'm not going to tell you not to read this series but I am not going to push it at you. The first book was strong and I LOVED it. But the series went down hill from there. 

Rating: 
(More like 2.5 stars)


Let's Talk Tough: Abuse


Welcome to Let's Talk Tough, a week-long series here at The Book Bratz where we discuss some hard topics in YA literature. Today's topic is abuse - how they're written about, what's unrealistic about them, what is realistic, etc.
*This post contains spoilers of The Good Girls by Sara Shepard*  

What is abuse? treat (a person or an animal) with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly. With that being said there are so many forms of abuse, that this post could easily turn into a novel about it. The main forms of abuse I've seen in YA is a physical and emotional abuses. Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States. What is child abuse? Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver, whether through action or failing to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm or risk of serious harm to a child. There are many forms of child maltreatment, including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, and emotional abuse.

Recently, I read The Good Girls by Sara Shepard. The main character Parker, was abused by her father. At first it started as emotional abuse. He would say terrible things and then apologize. It was a viscous cycle. Eventually he started getting physical with her. One night she came home from a party high (Long story short: She was drugged) and her father beat her to death. I use the Good Girls as an example because it is the most recent I have read. But this is one example of many in YA. As I said in previous posts, not authors are right or wrong in what they write. It is how it is executed is how to reader reacts to it. 

Here are some statistics related to abuse:

  • 1 in 10 children suffer from child maltreatment. 1 in 16 children suffer from sexual abuse. Nearly 1 in 10 children are witnesses to family violence.
  • The youngest children are the most vulnerable to maltreatment. 
  • Over 25% of abused children are under the age of three while 
  • Over 45% of abused children are under the age of five. 
  • While boys and girls are equally as likely to be victims of abuse and neglect; the rate of child fatality is higher for boys. (In a 2012 report) 
  • Number of reports of child abuse every year in the United States: 2.9 million
  • Of the children who experienced maltreatment or abuse, nearly 80% suffered neglect; 18% suffered physical abuse; and 9% suffered sexual abuse.
  • About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.
  • Children whose parents abuse alcohol and other drugs are three times more likely to be abused and more than four times more likely to be neglected than children from non-abusing families.
  • As many as two-thirds of the people in treatment for drug abuse reported being abused or neglected as children. 
I talk more of child abuse in the post because YA mainly deals with people under the age of 18 or 19. It is an occasion we read a YA book where the main character isn't abused but a parent, or an older friend. Abuse can affect anyone at any age. It isn't just towards children. I would loved to see more books that focus on abuse and the effects it has on people. It is something as a reader I don't see often. 

Here is a list of books that contain abuse as a subject or is talked about:


   
    


Here is what is up for the rest of the week!


6/26: Abuse 


Jun 25, 2015

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Title The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling 
Publisher:  G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 12th 2015
Add it to Goodreads / Buy it on Amazon 
Read Jessica's Review!

Summary: 
A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights. Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend. She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

Review: 



This book. My goodness. I only just finished it before sitting down to write this review and I am still trying to process everything. The Wrath and the Dawn is simply beautiful. Renee has a knack for sucking her readers in with beautiful descriptions and an enchanting romance. 

When Shahrzad (Shazi) marries Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan she doesn't expect to live the night. Each day Khalid takes a new bride, only to kill her at sunrise the following morning. Shahrzad's best friend Shiva, was killed by the boy king weeks earlier and to avenge her death Shazi offers herself up to be his next bride. She doesn't go into it blind though. She has a plan. Or had one. Shazi doesn't die the first sunrise as Khalid's wife. She lives. Shazi had managed to do something that none of the other girls have done. But eventually Shazi begins to fall in love with her friend's murderer, a boy with secrets tightly held. 

Biggest thing I learned in this book? Don't mess with Shazi. She is fierce. Favorite quality to her? Her wittiness. Shazi was able to take a serious moment and insert a witty comment. It was a real joy to see what would come out of her mouth next. Shazi didn't go into her marriage with Khalid with out a plan, her plan was clear cut. Kill him. Things didn't go according to plan though. I loved getting to see her internal monologue and begging Shiva for forgiveness and promised to avenge her after realizing she had falling in love with Khalid. There isn't much to say about Khalid, he is really a troubled boy who wasn't ready to be a king. He didn't have the easiest life and has been punished horribly for things that were out of his control. The growth he goes through from page one until the end of the novel is amazing. I can't wait to see more of him in the next book. 

The romance in this book is stunning. If I could have a romance like this in every book I would. It was slow burn. Not to the point of boredom, but enough to actually give it a realistic feel. Shazi and Khalid are two complete opposites that they balanced each other out. One had what the other needed. 

I had no prior knowledge of A Thousand and One Nights when I went into The Wrath and the Dawn so I wasn't sure what I was getting into. I expected this book to be high fantasy, not a historical fiction set in the middle east. With that being said, Renee did a beautiful job at world building and developing the culture for her readers. (Do take advantage to the glossary at the back of the book. It will be a big help with a lot of the word meanings!) This is definitely a world I am excited to visit again with the book sequel. 

Overall, I loved this book! It will be definitely something I will push on everyone who hasn't read it yet. The ending was a knife in the gut but I think I will be able to manage until next year for the sequel. Great part is: it is only a duology so the story won't get dragged out like it tends to happen in some series! 

Rating:




Let's Talk Tough: Sex and Rape in YA


Welcome to Let's Talk Tough, a week-long series here at The Book Bratz where we discuss some hard topics in YA literature. Today's topic is rape and the unrealistic expectations of sex in YA books - how they're written about, what's unrealistic about them, what is realistic, etc.

First of All, Sex in General: How Realistic is it in YA?

Lately, it seems almost as if a YA book isn't a YA book unless there's some sort of sex scene. There's no denying it, and it's pretty predictable - a young virgin girl who's a bit shy and awkward finds love for the first time, decides to take the leap, and it ends up being blissfully perfect and only slightly painful and they all live happily ever after. Wrong. It doesn't necessarily work that way. Sex in these books seems to always be thrown in because without it, authors seem to think that the book is lacking something. Which may not be true at all. Why is it that in just about every YA book, the female protagonist has to lose her virginity, or lost it before the story started?

Take a look at your bookshelf right now and try to count how many books you have where the main character either lost her virginity prior to the story's starting or remains a virgin for the entire book or series.

Now count how many books have main characters that lose their virginity throughout the book. You should definitely come up with a surprisingly higher number. And we aren't bagging on authors who write sex scenes in their books. YA books revolve around teenagers, and it's just something that teenagers do. The question we pose, though, is why? Why is it seemingly necessary to add sex scenes to YA books? If they're there for the purpose of the story, that's one thing. But why add them when they're not needed? Do people think that the book would be "missing something" without a sex scene, no matter how hot and steamy or sweet and passionate? 

Because, in reality, it wouldn't. Books can be fantastic books without having a sex scene. Like we said, if they're necessary to the story, all the power to the author - but it isn't a staple of a story. A book can't be complete without a main character, a conflict, a setting, a climax, etc. But it does not need a sex scene to be complete. It is not a life-or-death defining moment that the story would crumble without.


BookTuber EmmmaBooks Discussed This Topic in One of Her Videos - Here's Her Take on Sex in YA




Second, The Specific Topic of Rape: How is it Portrayed in YA?

The legal definition of rape is a tough pill to swallow: 
The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. 
This is the legal definition used by U.S. Courts to justify what serves as a rape and what doesn't. If you're well-read in regards to the more modern feminist movement, you've definitely heard this slogan once - Only Yes Means Yes. Or the more popular poem gracing the Twitter world at the moment:

No matter what we wear,
No matter where we go,
Yes means yes,
and No means no.

California has just passed legislation deeming an actual law with criminal punishment for Only Yes Means Yes, which helped the modern feminist movement grow leaps and bounds. Before this, if a person (no matter male or female, because rape is perfectly capable of happening to either gender) went to court saying they were raped, the defendant would say something along the lines of, "Well, he/she was drunk, and she didn't say yes but she didn't say no."

That's seriously what these horrible, cruel people use as their defense. They believe that they technically didn't violate the consent rule because the victim may not have outright said it was okay, but in their eyes, the important part was that they didn't say no. But it doesn't work that way!

Here's an example: Let's say that I'm waiting in line at a store and you come up behind me and steal my wallet out of my back pocket. (This isn't a big enough deal to take to court, but we're going to pretend that it is for the sole reason of this explanation.) When we went to court for it, your reasoning would be that I didn't say yes, you could have my wallet, but I didn't say no, that you couldn't. I didn't say anything at all - not that you could have it or that you couldn't. But you try justifying your actions by saying that the most important part was that the words I don't want you to take my wallet never came out of my mouth.

When you put it in perspective like that, it's incredibly stupid and not even the slightest form of a solid defense. So why was it an acceptable thing until now? Severe cases of rapes - where it was on a large scale or inflicted a lot of damage - almost always ruled in favor of the victim.

But that's where rape in YA is discussed. Rape cases involving teenagers tend not to be reported/handled correctly, out of fear or assumptions. We've read books about it before. We've heard the phrases, right? She was asking for it. She didn't say no. We were drunk. She asked me to do it - she was getting so into it.

How many of these YA books had rapists that were confident, good-looking teenage guys with a swagger in their step and the popularity of the entire neighborhood behind them? People that, when the case was made public, rallied behind the rapist because that girl is such a slut and she was asking for it and he's such a kind and well-loved guy so there's no way he could have done such a thing. It must have been her.

I don't detest YA books about rape. I think they're very important, and I read as many of them as I can. Because ONLY YES MEANS YES AND NO ALWAYS MEANS NO. These books paint a realistic picture of how horrifying and scary the actual act is, and then the fear and silence that the victims have to deal with for days, weeks, months, years, and even lifetimes to come. Either these victims suffer in silence, tell somebody and aren't believed, or make it public and have everyone persecute them. 

The scariest part of all of this? It happens in real life. Rape happens. Victims living in silence and being stuck impregnated and not being believed and being bullied happens. And for the most part, none of us are any the wiser.

This is an undeniable problem that needs to change.

Just A Sample of YA Books That Deal With Unrealistic Expectations of Sex and/or Rape:

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Here's What You Had To Say About Sex/Rape in YA:


We hope that this post makes you think and discuss the unrealistic expectations of sex, and also rape, in present-day YA Literature. The purpose of these Let's Talk Tough topics are to get you thinking and to start discussing the things viewed as "taboo" discussions when talking about YA. So start a conversation in the comments below (or Tweet us @thebookbratz) and help to make these tough topics easier to talk about. Check back the rest of this week for a new Let's Talk Tough topic each day - and join us in helping to start the conversation.