Published on: September 13th 2016
Published by: Second Story Press
Genre: YA Contemporary
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(summary from Goodreads)
She hadn’t told anyone. Not a single soul. Not one word about that night and what had been done to her had ever passed Maddy Malone’s lips. She’d thought about it at first – had been desperate, even frantic, to tell. But then had come the shame, and the intimidation from the boys who raped her – and the one who held her down.
Now it’s the beginning of a new school year and Maddy is hoping that she can continue to hide, making herself as quiet and small as possible. She is consumed with keeping the memories at bay, forcing them down through small cuts and the burn from the end of a cigarette.
But when her English class is given the assignment of writing a collaborative novel about a fifteen-year-old girl, The Pain Eater, fact and fiction begin to meet up. When the boys spread rumors about Maddy, she realizes that continuing to hide the truth will only give them more control, and she slowly gains the courage to confront them.
Last week after reading Asking for It I decided that I was going to take a mini break from any books featuring sexual assault and maybe read a couple of fantasy books instead. Then the next day I got an email from Netgalley saying that I had been approved for this book and I just couldn’t not read it!
“The necessary words felt enormous, like tombstones leaving her mouth. They would change everything: she knew this. Nothing would be the same ever again.”
I really liked Maddy. She was a genuinely nice person who just didn’t know how to deal with what had happened to her. Having to spend her days at school in the company of the boys who raped her is torturous for her and so she has ended up internalising her pain and self harming. My only negative for Maddy would have to be that I feel like I would have connected to her and her emotions more if the story was told in first person, rather than third person.