by Anne Eliot
Three years ago, Jess Jordan was almost raped.
Three years ago, Gray Porter almost testified to jail the senior who almost raped Jess.
Now, Jess is almost normal, at least to the outside world.
Now, Gray is almost ready to tell Jess the truth about what he knows.
But promised must be kept and bargains must be made.
In order to convince her parents that she's normal, Jess decides to get a "pretend" boyfriend.
In order to protect her from herself, Gray becomes Jess's "pretend" boyfriend.
Now they are getting closer, both to each other and to the truth.
Final thoughts: Very compelling story about the aftereffects of rape, even "almost rape". While Jess was saved on the night of the party, her sanity wasn't and this book effectively puts the reader into the mind of the victim. With the large number of rapes in this country, most of which go unreported, girls everywhere need a book like this to help them see that there is hope even if it takes years to get to it. This is a good companion to Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak. The only real problem I had with this was the unwillingness of the characters to prosecute the attacker. "Protecting the victim" is a fairly lame excuse in this book and the dad's reaction in the hospital after the attack was the wrong one, especially his refusal to get his daughter tested for rufies and other drugs. It furthers this story, but it's not a decision that should be promoted.
It is also a true shame that the cover looks like it was designed in the 70's by someone on psychedelic drugs. A new cover could really help get this book into the hands of the people who need it.