Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf by Hayley Krischer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I just finished Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf by Hayley Krischer, and it left me thinking about all the girls who’ve been victims of rape and all the misery that comes after; the misplaced anger, the shame, guilt, self-doubt … all from someone else’s vicious actions. Every painful emotion on the painful emotion spectrum is laid open and raw and why? Because that girl dared to have a drink at a party, wore her skirt too short or maybe she thought that a kiss should stop at a kiss? The victim is often shamed into silence before they even have a chance to speak.
Hayley brought Ali’s story to life in a way that felt real, like it could have been any one of our stories. She explores the complexities of relationships but hones in on female relationships and just how misdirected loyalties can become in the mass confusion of gossip and rumor, the quest for acceptance when you haven’t quite figured out just who you are yet. She also shows the positive supportive side of female friendships and the strength that can be found there. The sharing of experiences that can bond and help heal.
While the story itself is one of inspiration, strength and redemption, the main focus is on the rape culture and the stigma attached to the brutality of rape – remarkably still present in this century. I think this is a powerful novel that should be read by everyone.
The quote below is of Ali’s inner dialogue while her best friend pushes her to report her rapist, her thoughts and the fear of having her life destroyed despite the prominence of the #metoo and #girlstoo movement:
“But I’ve seen to many news stories, too many articles, to know that in real-life situations, girls don’t get the chance to defend themselves. Especially not when it comes to the captain of the soccer team.” “My whole life is on the line here, that she can’t tell anyone because if she tells even one person, my whole life is going to explode. That Sean Nessel will ruin my life.”
I would like to point out to readers to please read Hayley’s epilogue! It is moving, insightful, and courageous.
5 stars for this insightful and meaningful novel. Thank you to Penguin Teen and Hayley Krischer for gifting me a DRC in exchange for my review.
CW: Rape, drug/alcohol use
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