Hi book friends!
Today's book review is extra special for me because the author, Maria Padian, came to our school last year. Every year we host an author who speaks to our students about their craft, experiences, writing, and more and, if we're lucky, comes to a few of our classes to work with our students. Last year I was one of the lucky ones and Maria Padian came to my room and worked with my students. It was an incredible experience that we all loved.
So, reading her latest book was really cool for me since I feel like I know her and her writing process a bit more. It's good to think about how a book doesn't just happen but is worked on for a long, long time. She also talked about how the cover art is totally out of a writer's control, which I thought was really interesting, but I think the cover of Wrecked is pretty good! (Though, of course, I haven't seen the other choices.)
Wrecked is told in two perspectives: Haley and Richard. They are both college students at the same school who fall for each other until they realize they're on opposite sides of a rape case on campus. Conflict ensues to say the least. This book is unlike many of my reviews because it's for an older audience or at least a very mature audience. It is similar to Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak in that the rape is described but not in an overly graphic or descriptive way. Plus there are issues of things like consent, culpability, sexual misconduct, underage drinking, and so on that, depending on the person, may be confusing or hard to deal with. Unlike Speak, the issue of whether or not it's rape comes up and everyone finds out because the girl comes forward and presses charges, at the college (versus criminal) level. There's also an investigation. For better or worse, this is not a part of Speak. It's also set in college whereas Speak is set in high school and so on.
Padian did a good job of balancing such a serious topic with humor and romance so that the entire book didn't feel depressing and overwhelming. Certainly the rape case is a central part of the book but not the only plot line and that sustained the book for me--if it had only been about the rape case I don't think I could have enjoyed reading it.
You would like Wrecked if you like. . .
*books told in dual perspectives
*books with a school setting
*debate over important issues or multiple viewpoints on topics
*Speak, All American Boys, or other books with serious issues / topics
What have you been reading recently?
"'Have you really read all those books in your room?' Alaska laughing- 'Oh God no. I’ve maybe read a third of ‘em. But I’m going to read them all. I call it my Life’s Library. Every summer since I was little, I’ve gone to garage sales and bought all the books that looked interesting. So I always have something to read.'" -John Green