Header Image

YA Review: Someone I Used to Know by Patty Blount

Title: Someone I Used to Know

Author: Patty Bount
Year published: 2018
Category: YA fiction
Pages: 384 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location: (my 2023 Google Reading map)USA (OH, NY)

SummaryIt's been two years since the night that changed Ashley's life. Two years since she was raped by her brother's teammate. And a year since she sat in a court and watched as he was given a slap on the wrist sentence. But the years have done nothing to stop the pain.
It's been two years of hell for Derek. His family is totally messed up and he and his sister are barely speaking. He knows he handled it all wrong. Now at college, he has to come to terms with what happened, and the rape culture that he was inadvertently a part of that destroyed his sister's life.

When it all comes to head at Thanksgiving, Derek and Ashley have to decide if their relationship is able to be saved. And if their family can ever be whole again.

Review: I saw a review of a book with this title by a totally different author, accidentally got this book and I am so glad that I did!

This book is raw and I should warn you that it deals with and describes rape, harassment, anxiety/panic attacks, and the trauma from all of this on the victim and their family and friends. The things that are most difficult to read in this book are the things is does so well. I felt the emotions, the anger, the fear, the repercussions deep in the pit of my stomach. 

The story is told in alternating chapters by Ashley, the rape survivor, and Derek, her brother. Blount deftly shows the reader how the system works when a rape occurs and is reported, the treatment of the survivor, what friends and family can do that helps and hinders, the ripple affect of a rape on the greater community, and actions that that community can take (Take Back the Night rallies, etc).

One thing that I thought was super powerful was starting each of Ashley's chapters with sections of her victim statement that she read out in court.

Another powerful element is showing Derek's transformation to a man who speaks out against misogyny and rape culture. 

Challenges for which this counts: none

No comments