My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won’t find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could’ve been better or what worked or didn’t work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it’s here I probably think it won’t injure your brain if you read it.
When Ani moves to town Ben is fascinated by her. She doesn’t play games like other girls. She’s an honest straightforward girl who refuses to go to the movies for a date because then she can’t talk to him. Days walking at the zoo or looking at strangers and guessing where they’ll be in ten years has Ben deeply in love for the first time in his life.
Then everything changes. A party that Ben misses and Ani goes to alone ends in a panicked phone call from a mutual friend. Ben arrives at the ER to find Ani with a rape counselor and no memory of what happened at the party… even though someone left something behind for her to remember them by.
Humiliated and in pain, Ani refuses to talk to the counselor or tell her mother about what happened. Baggy sweatshirts take the place of her normal clothing and Ani recedes into herself, only to re-emerge suddenly in much tighter clothes and with sexual demands on Ben that make him uncomfortable. The rape counselor assures Ben that victims sometimes need to reassert their control over their own bodies after an attack, but Ben can’t ignore the fact that he’s not the only boy Ani is paying attention to.
As Ani reels out of control and Ben finds himself searching for answers from anyone that might be able to help, he still refuses to acknowledge that maybe the only person who can help Ani is herself.