Content Warning: Intense scenes depicting sexual assault and drug abuse, reference to an eating disorder, Mental illness, Trauma, PTSD, Bullying, Victim blaming.
Ali Greenleaf never thought her innocent crush on Sean Nessle would lead to a horrific night. While attending a party, Ali is confident that this is the night that she will get to be with her crush. But, Sean pushes Ali too far and will not take no for an answer. Sean rapes Ali. Scared and unsure of what to do next Ali runs from the party.
Enter Blythe. Blythe sees Ali run from a bedroom like a deer in headlights, looking like she had been through hell. But, Blythe pays it no mind, that is until a tearful Sean Nessle begs Blythe to fix things between Ali and him. As his best friend and one of his closest confidants, Blythe feels obligated to smooth things over with Ali, no matter the cost.
However, the friendship between Ali and Blythe reveal that Blythe may not be the composed popular girl that Ali always thought she was and that Blythe has horrific secrets of her own.
I would like to sincerely thank TBR and Beyond Tours and Razorbill (Penguin Random House) for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. To see the rest of the tour schedule click here! Also, stay tuned towards the end of the post to receive info about our giveaway!
This is a story that needs to be told. Everyone should read this book. The way that this novel handles many triggering topics is very well done. Writing about rape and the events that follow the victim afterward can be tough to stomach and difficult to get through, but reading about Ali reminds me of the constant struggles that victims face in our current society. They wonder “will people shame me for accusing someone of rape,” “will the police believe me”, “what if people don’t believe because I drank right before it happened.” A lot of this book is very sad, and rightfully so, but there is also hope and friendship within this story as well. We see a lot of support for Ali from her friends even though she may not follow their advice all of the time. And we do see a lot of growth from Ali as she struggles to understand what happened to her. This leads to the hope aspect of the story in a touching and heartbreaking way.
Krischer really knows how to write a teenager. While I never had to experience a social hierarchy while I was in high school, these girls’ attitudes towards life and their individual problems is spot on. They felt that they were better than everyone and that sexual experiences made them more mature and more important. But in reality these girls were all suffering from the pressure put on them to be popular and cool and someone to look up to.
Ali and Blythe could be very unlikable at times, but the more you read about them the more you understand why they act the way that they do and why they may not make decisions that you personally would’ve made if you were in their shoes.
I really appreciated the writing in this story. This story wasn’t written sweetly and romantically, it was written as if both Ali and Blythe had to hurry and finish their thoughts before they disappeared. There was a rush to the writing that fit perfectly with the topics involved. The inner monologue of both Ali and Blythe was very realistic and it really did hurt to read about what both of the girls thought of themselves. Krischer made it a point to paint this story as realistically as possible and it pays off with wonderful character development and surreal plot points.
5 Reasons to Read
- Krischer writes her characters beautifully, they’re frustrating, but they’re meant to be, they’re teenagers.
- Ali really puts perspective on how difficult it can be to come forward when something traumatic happens to you.
- This story pulls no punches when describing how horrific this experience can be while it’s happening and even after the event is over.
- Ali Greenleaf is a confusing and complex character who has substantial character development in her story.
- This is a hard book to read and it should be, given the content. But, it is so worth it in the end to see Ali survive what happened to her.
Meet the Author
Hayley Krischer has been an award-winning journalist for over 20+ years. She is a contributing writer for the New York Times, where she has covered feminist roller skaters, Instagram obsessed moms, profiled Gabrielle Union, Tatum O’Neal, and S.E. Hinton. She has also written for many publications about women and teenage girls including Marie Claire, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Lenny Letter, and the Hairpin. Her YA debut, SOMETHING HAPPENED TO ALI GREENLEAF will be released in fall 2020 from Razorbill. Hayley received her MFA in creative writing from Lesley University. Her first newspaper job was as an editorial assistant at the Boston Globe. She reads tarot cards.