Review: Rape Girl by Alina Klein

Title: Rape Girl
Author: Alina Klein
Publisher: namelos
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Source: NetGalley
Valerie always wanted to be the smart girl. The pretty girl. The popular girl.

But not the rape girl.

That’s who she is now. Rape Girl. Because everyone seems to think they know the truth about what happened with Adam that day, and they don’t think Valerie’s telling it.

Before, she had a best friend, a crush, and a close-knit family. After, she has a court case, a support group, and a house full of strangers.

The real truth is, nothing will ever be the same.
This book takes on the task of portraying the way in which society often victimizes a rapist and forces the one who was raped to prove innocence rather than the other way around.

I like that Rape Girl deals with a different aspect of rape - the tendency of society to place blame upon the victim. We so often see a girl who is quietly trying to heal from the trauma of her rape or gathering the courage to finally tell someone about it, trying to work through her feelings of shame and disgust. This book is the only one I've read to take on the task of showing how reporting a rape can affect the victim and make her feel like a pariah because the boy she accuses is well-liked.

Valerie is easy to sympathize with because of her situation, which is sad and infuriating. Nobody believes her story, including her friends. Her school principal takes her out of her class that she shares with her rapist, making it look as though she is the one who did something wrong. Her situation and the way that she is treated, not only by her friend but by authority figures as well, is absolutely unacceptable. There are a precious few people who are on her side - her family, her counselor, a girl at school who does believe her. Thank goodness for these characters who represent the good in the world.

Rape Girl is a really short book (124 pages). I felt like it should have been longer, because there are some things that are rushed or brushed aside that I would have liked to see expanded upon. For example, the reader doesn't really get a sense of the healing process. The healing side of rape isn't investigated or examined, like it is in other books dealing with this topic. This disappoints me because I feel like showing that emotional growth and healing is necessary in books like these, but in Rape Girl that process is rushed and is never fully explored. I liked it, but I wanted a bit more from it emotionally and plot-wise. I still would recommend it as a short, quick read that deals with the topic of society's response to a rape victim.


  1. Its a bit disappointing that there's not any of the healing process shared. I guess it makes me wonder if there's any closure.
    I think this is one that would get me very emotionally worked up. It would be hard to read. But this kind of thing happens and we NEED books like this. However if there's not hope or healing than I'm not sure... but I don't know how it ends so I cant say much really.

    1. There is hope at the end. I mean...things don't go wonderfully for her, but by the end she's dealing with it. I just wanted more depth and development, and the length probably prevented that.

  2. Have you read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson or Lucky by Alice Sebold? How do you think Rape Girl compares to that? Both those books really moved me.

    1. I've read Speak, and the emotional healing journey in that book is explored a lot more than it is in Rape Girl. Speak does a better job of taking its time to show the psychological effects of rape as well as character healing and growth, whereas in Rape Girl those things are a little bit rushed and therefore less emotional (in my opinion) and possibly less effective as a result. That is not to say that it is badly written - it isn't. But it also isn't as finely crafted as Speak is as far as emotional depth. I still recommend it as something to supplement other books on this topic, in part because its approach of the issue is an imperative one.


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