Wrecked by Maria Padian
Published by: Algonquin Young Readers on October 4, 2016
Review Source: Publisher, Goodreads Giveaway
Genres: Young Adult, New Adult, Realistic Fiction
Plot: When a case of sexual assault occurs on a college campus, Haley and Richard are thrown together. Told from the perspective of the victim and accused’s roommates (with snippets of the night of the assault heading each chapter), readers will explore every angle of this sensitive subject.
Review: This book should get all the stars. Here’s what makes it so special:
- We need more books that spark conversation and understanding. It is a sad truth that sexual assaults happen every day. According to RAIIN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), a sexual assault occurs every 109 seconds in the United States. It’s a real problem that affects countless people and their loved ones constantly. With cases such as People of the State of California v. Brock Allen Turner gaining national attention, we need to talk about and understand sexual assault and push for positive change. Padian has given readers a perfect icebreaker for exploring things such as healthy sexual relationships, consent, and the repercussions of consent not being given, not just for the victim, but for everyone involved. She tackles the hardships that victims face, from emotional / physical damage to victim shaming. She explores how hard it is to maintain objectivity for those outside the situation too. The fact of the matter is understanding how complex these experiences can be isn’t always easy, particularly when the topic is often treated as taboo.
- We need to talk about these things, especially with young people. I won’t lie to you and say that I relished reading a book that focuses on raped, because I didn’t. It’s a heartbreaking and traumatic event to witness. I felt deeply for Jenny, and do not wish an experience like this on anyone. Having said that, I also do not want to give the impression that reading this was a grueling read. Truthfully, it was perfect. From the well-crafted characters to the plot pace, everything fell into place, and it definitely held my attention. So, even though the topic isn’t a joyous one, Padian’s execution was stunning. It is also important to recognize that you can’t fix something if you do not acknowledge there is a problem. One of the greatest disservices that we can do for young people is to ignore that at some point: a) they will become sexually active, b) not educate them on how to have healthy relationships, and c) what to do in unhealthy or dangerous situations. Addressing how everyone plays a role in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of themselves and others is a key component to combating sexual violence. It is important to shift the tone away from questioning what the victim could have done, and towards support, understanding, and prevention as a whole. Books such as Wrecked play a huge role in offering a vicarious reading experience that can do just that.
- We need to support authors who give us the tools to do these things, because they deserve it. It takes some true grit for an author to write a book like this. The amount of research, sensitivity, and care Padian gave to Jenny and her story is a testimony of Padian’s own personal character. When you read it, you can tell that she put so much effort and thought into this, and that deserves praise and respect. I also feel like when authors write books such as these they are taking a huge risk. The risk of backlash, censorship, or even a perceived lack of marketability can really hinder an author’s writing, but I am so glad that Padian has gifted us with Wrecked.
- There’s something you can do too. Here are three things you can do to lend your help and support:
- Educate yourself and familiarize yourself with resources. RAIIN is a wonderful resource to get you started.
- Talk about it. Have open, compassionate discussions about relationships, sexuality, prejudice, violence, anything. The more awareness and light we shed on these things, the more likely that we will create a more aware and inviting atmosphere for all.
- Buy and read books like Wrecked. Not only does it broaden your understanding of the topic, but it sends a clear message to publishing companies that books like this are wanted, respected, and needed.
One more time, I want to thank Padian for writing this book and celebrate its quality.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Who Should Snag It: Everyone
*I would like to thank Goodreads and the publisher for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review*