Veronica Mars meets William Shakespeare in E. K. Johnston's latest brave and unforgettable heroine.
Hermione Winters is captain of her cheerleading team, and in tiny Palermo Heights, this doesn't mean what you think it means. At PHHS, the cheerleaders don't cheer for the sports teams; they are the sports team - the pride and joy of a tiny town. The team's summer training camp is Hermione's last and marks the beginning of the end of...she's not sure what. She does know this season could make her a legend. But during a camp party, someone slips something in her drink. And it all goes black.
In every class there's a star cheerleader and a pariah pregnant girl. They're never supposed to be the same person. Hermione struggles to regain the control she's always had and faces a wrenching decision about how to move on. The assault wasn't the beginning of Hermione Winter's story, and she's not going to let it be the end. She won't be anyone's cautionary tale.
"Johnston's clever - but never precious - update of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale is unflinching but not at all graphic in its treatment of sexual violence.... Middle and high school readers will pass this powerful, engaging story around and around." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Fierce and gorgeously drawn, this is a rape story that doesn't focus on victimhood." (Booklist)
"A beautifully written portrait of a young woman facing the unthinkable, this is a must-buy for high school collections." (SLJ)
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An interesting change in a YA novel
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in YA novels or in feminist literature. This is one of the few book I have ever read that dealt with rape in such a 'in your face' way. In most books, the person who is raped takes on a victim's mentality, which is understandable. However, in this book, the protagonist moves through the stages of grief to take control of her body and life. I wanted to cheer for the girl. She was strong without losing her humanity. I would wholeheartedly recommend this audio edition.
I think that is some ways this book felt like a modern Judy Blume.
When I finished the book, I actually wanted to clap for the author and the narrator. The author did such a good job bringing the protagonist to life. I loved that the girl was strong and still humane to herself. Without spoiling the ending, I was surprised at what Hermione decided to do and why.
- Lara Weinheimer
Difficult topic excellently done