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  • The System

    Stacey Woods is Girl X and the time is now here for her to stand up for herself. You see, 9 months ago she was a fairly normal teenage girl - studying for her A-Levels, dealing with a broken home, parties with the girls and of course, a little extra-curricular drinking but she is nearly 18. Then she met Harry and everything spiraled out of control; she was raped. No Shame starts a few days before the commencement of the rape trial and is told entirely from Stacey's perspective. Her voice sounds legitimately that of a 17 year old girl, albeit one who has suddenly "grown up". She is lucky though she has parents who believed her and are supporting her, a best friend who is supportive but not intrusive and an extraordinarily patient SOIT Officer to guide her through everything. Even the school is providing her with everything they can without letting the whole sixth form know about what happened to her. Well written but somehow the endless optimism of the book and the overarching optimism about the judicial system and how rape is often seen within it just didn't ring true to me. The despair and helplessness that Stacey shows on the stand feels authentic but the outcome of the trial and it's ramifications are somehow glossed over in order to give an uplifting ending. As a YA/Teen novel this works exceptionally well as a cautionary tale. Maybe it will even help some girls to come forward about their own experiences of rape that they have felt unable to articulate until this book has given them "permission". It amply highlights that rape isn't something that only happens down a dark alley with a stranger and sends the strong "No Means No" message. A worthwhile read for a teenage girls but not as powerful s it could have been. I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK FROM READERS FIRST IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.

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