It’s the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O’Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there’s a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma. The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can’t remember what happened, she doesn’t know how she got there. She doesn’t know why she’s in pain. But everyone else does. Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don’t want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town’s heroes…
Author: Louise O’Neill
Format: Hardback Copy – 352 Pages
Publisher: Quercus UK
I finished reading this book last night, and I can’t stop thinking about it. It was a hard topic to read about, and I assume it was hard to write about.
At the beginning I found Emma a bit bitchy and annoying. Her attitude of ‘nobody is allowed to be prettier than me’ pissed me off and she says she can’t be a ‘bitch’ to people, but there are parts where she acts like a bitch to her friends and doesn’t care.
The book became incredibly difficult to read after the rape happened, but I think it was handled realistically. Some people supported Emma, some didn’t, and I think that is what would’ve happened in the real world too (although she did deserve the support).
Personally, I didn’t like the end. Although I guess it was also realistic, I didn’t like the choice Emma made, and I despised the way her parents reacted to it. This didn’t make it a bad book though, it just made it more difficult to read. I honestly don’t know what else to say, so I’ll end the review with a quote from the Afterword of the book:
“We need to talk about rape. We need to talk about consent. We need to talk about victim-blaming and slut-shaming and the double standards we place upon our young men and women.
We need to talk and talk and talk until all the Emmas of this world feel supported and understood. Until they feel like they are believed”