Review: No Virgin by Anne Cassidy

My name is Stacey Woods and I was raped.

Stacey is the victim of a terrible sexual attack. She does not feel able to go to the police, or talk about it to anybody other than her best friend, Patrice. Patrice, outraged, when she cannot persuade her to go to the police, encourages Stacey to write everything down. This is Stacey’s story.

Goodreads

Publishing Date: 3rd November 2016

I responded to this book just so freaking predictably good grief.

Plot

This book follows a girl named Stacey who has a troubled home life and a dysfunctional relationship with her best friend. One day, after a fight with her mum and sister and after finding out that her best friend lied to her, Stacey finds herself in a cafe.

In this cafe, a boy named Harry comes up to her. It’s all really suspicious but Stacey goes along with it because this boy is giving her his attention and taking care of her and that is what she craves. And then, well, I think you can guess how her relationship with Harry ended.

I spent a majority of the book, up until the rape, just hating it. I thought it was so predictable and that anyone should have better sense then Stacey did. I mean going off with a boy and staying over with him after less then a day of knowing him is just plain stupid.

But then I really thought about it. Considering Stacey’s background, it’s unsurprising why she felt the need to find love outside and to grab on to whatever shred anyone was willing to offer her. I mean she certainly didn’t feel the love at home. Her best friend was ditching her for someone else. So she went out and this boy handed her everything on a silver platter and she took it without a word.

If I were in her shoes, I would have (and kinda have but nowhere near that extent) done the same thing.

First love is always so exciting and also so deceiving. That moment when you know you’ve captured a boy’s interest is quite possibly the most exciting and exhilarating thing. It can be so easy to forget to be smart. To remember that you actually don’t know much about this person except for the fact that he is paying attention at the moment. You mistake the attention for affection way too early and that’s when mistakes happen. You forget that it takes time and effort for people to fall in love. It is not a movie.

So no. I don’t blame her for blindly letting him sweep her off the feet because really, it could have happened to anyone.

Leading up to the rape, I think everything in me was screaming ‘THIS IS SO PREDICTABLE!!’ And that’s because it was. Everyone could see what this was leading up to and everyone could see Harry’s intentions. At that point, I was ready to give the book a three stars because I hated how simply predictable it was.

And then Stacey got raped.

Guys, I felt every word. Even though the rape was not described in gory detail (thankfully), I still felt everything that Stacey was feeling. The clamping fear. The dawning horror. The confusion. The repulsion.

I could feel her screams as if they were tearing right out of my own throat. I was in her head and I was there and I was so affected.

And after the rape, when Stacey went to Patrice and confided in her, I knew exactly why everyone needs to read this. Because everyone should know what to look out for. Because everyone should learn how to respond. Because everyone should learn what signs to look out for and how to protect yourself and your friends. Because everyone needs to know.

A few months ago, a friend of mine came to me and told me about how she was molested. At that point, I was screaming in my head. I wanted to protect her. I hated this disgusting slime that had put his hands on her with every ounce of my being. But above that, I was unprepared to deal with her. I was unprepared to listen to her tell me this and I didn’t know how to react.

After she told me, a few weeks later, she told me, through the horror stories of some other friends who reacted badly, that I had reacted appropriately. While I know I did not say everything that I should have, I’m glad that I was able to provide what she needed at that point in time. That said though, I was angry at myself for not equipping myself with the knowledge of how to respond when she first came to me.

Now that I’m reading this book, I realise that everyone needs to be prepared. You never know when someone is going to come to you needing help. You never know when something might happen. You need to be prepared always.

Side note: This friend of mine was as brave as Stacey in wanting to get help so that she could make sure it never happened to someone else again. She is one of the bravest and most selfless people I know.

Overall

Overall I think this book was just powerful. Sure the plot could have used work but I think the message came across loud and clear which was the main point. I would encourage everyone to read this. Guys and girls alike. Everyone needs to read this.

*A copy of this book was provided to me to read and review by Pansing. However, all opinions are my own*

My-Rating-4-Stars

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2 thoughts on “Review: No Virgin by Anne Cassidy

  1. Jessica Spencer says:

    This sounds so fab! I’m really into reading about sexual violence atm, because it makes me so angry and makes me want to talk to others about it. I’d highly recommend reading ‘Asking for It’ by Louise O’Neill if you haven’t already. It’s one of the best books on rape that I know of.

    Like

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