*This is a spoiler-free review.
♡ Book Title: Wrecked.
♡ Author: Maria Padian.
♡ Series: Standalone.
♡ Page Count: 368 Pages (Kindle Edition).
♡ Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary & Romance.
♡ Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 and a half stars.
*I received a copy from Algonquin Young Readers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Everyone has heard a different version of what happened that night at MacCallum College. Haley was already in bed when her roommate, Jenny, arrived home shell-shocked from the wild Conundrum House party. Richard heard his housemate Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with. When Jenny formally accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard find themselves pushed onto opposite sides of the school’s investigation. But conflicting interests fueling conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible–especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict.
Trigger Warning: Rape.
I’ve been reading loads of novels lately that deal with the sensitive topic that is rape, I love to explore these books as I think it is very important to be made aware of rape and rape culture and also to inform people that it really does exist. Wrecked was better in portraying this message than some recent novels that I’ve read, but it still failed to pack quite as big a punch as I’d have liked.
But Richard, you don’t know Jenny. Something bad happened to her. She was okay and now she’s…wrecked.
It deals with your average, nerdy girl going out to a party, basically getting wrecked and then getting raped and pressing charges against the boy that raped her. But weaved in between the rape story is the love story of Haley and Richard – friends of the victim and the accused, respectively. At times I felt that the romance was overshadowing the rape and that the story focused more on their relationship, than on the actual rape investigation. YA contemporaries are full of relationships and romance, but rape is not discussed nearly enough in this genre and I felt that it should have been the main focus.
The writing is average, it’s nothing brilliant, but it does manage to get the message across in a clear manner. The narrative was told in duel POV’s that sometimes turned out to be a bit confusing and hard to keep track of. What I really loved was how the novel hammered on the point that “no means no” and that consent should be given before any sexual acts occur. I loved that the author focused on this, hopefully it will get the message across that consent is everything and that if someone says no, it actually means no. The author was also not ashamed to discuss things in detail, rather than just float around it and just mentioning it in passing.
The characterization was where I deducted most of my stars. We never really learn more about Jenny besides that she is the quiet, nerdy girl in the corner that no one really ever pays attention to. Hayley was more of our main character as she definitely overshadowed Jenny with her own problems. Hayley really wasn’t a particularly interesting character and most of her narrative was spent complaining about something, if it wasn’t about soccer then it was about what an inconvenience it is to her that there is constantly people in her room that is trying to help Jenny. I wouldn’t describe her as selfish exactly, but there was just something about her that I didn’t like.
As for Richard, he is described as the nice guy, but he sure messes up a lot for a nice guy. He keeps information from the Dean regarding the rape investigation and he constantly voices contrasting opinions that really makes it hard to believe that he is a nice guy. As for the romance it wasn’t really something that I would dub a “romantic relationship”. It just felt a bit forced and awkward.
I really feel that Wrecked does get the message about rape across much more clearly than other books, but I would’ve like for it to be the main focus of the book.
- It focuses a lot more on rape and consent which is a great message for younger readers.
- The plot was interesting and kept me entertained even if I did have a few faults with it.
- The writing managed to get the message across very well.
- I felt that the romance overshadowed the true message of the book – the rape.
- I really didn’t connect with the characters and I felt that they were average.
If you like more controversial topics with a little bit of a light touch then I would definitely recommend you give Wrecked a go.