Transferred from my goodreads review, and slightly edited.
I don’t even think I can review this book properly. It hit home, as I knew it probably would from the blurb. If there’s one thing I don’t talk about often, if at all, it’s my junior high years. They are painful to even think about.
So it’s very reminiscent for me of my junior high years when I was bullied incessantly for something not so similar. I mean, being in that kind of environment, yes. Oh, yes. But bullied for something entirely different. But I know what it’s like to be ostracized from a Youth Group. And to have everyone think something is your fault just because you were there, you were present, and you didn’t say anything because you couldn’t. Then by the time you try, things have gotten so bad you don’t even try any more. The main difference between the book and my life being that my parents knew and they advocated the heck for me, even when no one else would.
This book obviously struck a chord for me because of that. It shows the hypocrisy of people in the church, which believe me I get because I’ve been known to live it. It shows how it’s the “girl’s fault” because she was “asking for it.” I know it’s not that way , it’s just the way I was taught to think and I’m trying to change that. Church culture can be very restricting depending where you’re at.
This is one of those books that some people will read and go “what is this? It doesn’t make sense.” But for me it’s totally one of those books I could have used ten years ago when my life was a living hell. That life gets better, because it definitely does. To learn to speak up for myself. Learn to fight and not take the crap given to you or to serve as a human verbal punching bag or otherwise.
I’d probably reread this book a million times to get everything out of it, but two things. The first is that they are stuck in the woods. It gets tough. I actually thought I wouldn’t finish – But the premise was good enough to keep me going. Thank goodness I did. The second thing is the writing style. Third person present point of view is not my thing and it grated. Some parts better than others.
I say read it, barring the fact that books with a setting like this one might be upsetting. You might be surprised.
Included below is one of my favorite passages from the book:
“But that’s not what makes me the maddest. What makes me the maddest is that I let it happen too. I didn’t stand up for myself, And when someone did tell me to stand up for myself, I got so mad -”
… ” I pushed her away. I told her she didn’t understand anything. But she was right. I became this girl who wouldn’t stand up for herself. The quiet girl. The nothing girl. I just wanted it all to stop, But from the outside, without me having to make it stop. And I wanted to get away, but I figured, hey, college will get here eventually and then I’l be away, I just have to get there, and all the while I”m miserable, and I’m letting you guys make me miserable, letting you make me think I”m supposed to be miserable, that I’m supposed to be quiet, and I’m shutting people out, people who maybe actually care, and I hate myself for it.”
*I have literally never found a passage that summed me or my life up so accurately.*