To My Hero by Danielle Sibarium
Publisher: KFR Communications
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Rating: 3 stars
Source: Copy sent by the author
Summary (from Goodreads):
It would've been different if I had courage, even an ounce of it. But I was a coward from the day I met you, Ryan Crowley. I still am. In the end, it doesn't matter. The bottom line is the same. It’s my fault.
When the unthinkable happens, Carly Cavanough is left beaten, betrayed, and devastated. Her best friend doesn’t understand. Her parents won’t listen. Everyone in her life turns against her. She’s completely alone, except for Ryan Crowley, the boy she’s been crushing on for years. She won’t admit to him what she can’t admit to herself. But he understands without words. He knows more about what she’s going through than she can possibly imagine and he knows what it will take for the healing to begin.
With Ryan’s help, Carly begins to piece together the fragments of her once perfect life and embark on a journey of love and healing, just long enough for the rug to be pulled out from under her again. Can she find the strength and will to pull herself together to save Ryan and herself when their lives are on the line?
What I Liked:
You all know that I struggle with "tough-issue" books - especially the ones that deal with rape. This book is a book dealing with a girl who has been raped and beaten by her boyfriend. It was a one-time event, at a party, but it happened. Carly didn't report the rape, or the abuse, or go to the hospital. She didn't want to say anything because her father and her boyfriend's father work together or do business together or something. It's like Carly and Will were encourage to be together, because their parents work together. But that makes Will possessive over Carly. At a party, he cheats on her, she catches him, she gets mad, he gets mad, he beats her and rapes her.
Carly has been in love with Ryan for a very long time, and vice versa, but Will pressured a relationship onto Carly (I know, it sounds ridiculous). Ryan finds Carly after the rape, and helps her, but begs her to go to the hospital. She refuses. She doesn't want to face the police or hospital, or risk her father's business going under. This blog takes us through Carly's surviving, her healing, and her relationship with Ryan.
Sibarium does a pretty good job of handling such difficult content matter. There is the rape, the abuse, the controlling, unloving parents, the psycho boyfriend, and the aftermath. I feel like Carly's reactions are very human, and while I dislike the vast majority of them, I'm happy to see how well Carly is characterized.
The romance is constructed in an interesting matter. Both Carly and Ryan love each other before getting close (which is part of this story), but both of them were dating different people at the beginning of the story. But this story, Carly's heartbreaking tragedy, brings Carly and Ryan together. In a way, the romance of this book reminded me of the romance in Fault Line, except in this book, Carly seemed more optimistic in general, and less psychopath.
A short but powerful story about one girl's survival of a horrible deed. I don't read too many of these book, because they make me really sad, but I'm glad I had the chance to read this one. My rating is fair (right in the middle), but I'm pleased to have given this book a shot.
What I Did Not Like:
I'm honestly not a fan of these types of books - "tough-issue" books. I've never been placed in such a situation as Carly (thank goodness), but I feel like the characters' reactions in these books are strange. People react weirdly to crises, and while it might be realistic, I find it ridiculous at times.
For example. Is it really reasonable that you DON'T report rape, or physical abuse, or anything like that, if it happened to you?! Are you really going to NOT DO ANYTHING?! In my opinion, it doesn't matter what the circumstances are. In Carly's case, she didn't want to tell the police because if she broke up with Will, her father and his father would stop doing business together (or something like that). Also, she wanted it to be "all over with", so that she wouldn't have to deal with that anymore.
That. Is. Bulls***. Unbelievable. You're telling me that you just lost your virginity, you were RAPED, you were beaten, and you don't want to go to the hospital? To a therapist? To a rape examiner? Is your health not important? Forget your father's business. Forget your a**hole of a boyfriend. FORGET THAT S***. Your health is more important. Or so one would think.
So, I really didn't like Carly's reaction initially, to the rape. The thing is, if you don't report the rape after it happens (like if you wait, if you shower or clean up), then your chances of people (i.e. the police) believing you goes straight down. It's horrible to say, but girls cry wolf all the time and falsely accuse boys of rape. At the same time, people get raped all the time. So. Report that s***. Forget about the shame. Report. That. S***.
See why I dislike some people's reactions to crises, such as Carly's to the rape? I just don't understand that. You can't even psychologically explain to me why that makes sense. It. Does. Not. I can understand a rape victim not wanting to be touched, or like in Fault Line by C. Desir, when the victim wants to be touched too much. But not reporting rape? Or going to the hospital. Smart. REALLY SMART.
Would I Recommend It:
Um, well, if you like this sort of book, that involves tough issues in a teenager's life, and a heartbreaking journey to recovery, then go for it! There are plenty of these books out there (from 2014, there is Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens, which most people LOVED, though I disliked it. In 2013, there was Fault Line, which was good). I probably wouldn't have picked this book up if the author hadn't sent it to me, honestly. But if you're interested, I'm giving it a good-ish rating!
3 stars. This is a good read, if you like "tough-issue" novels! April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, so I would actually encourage everyone to read a "tough-issue" novel this month. Even if you're like me, and usually dislike that kind of book.
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