Monday, 20 August 2018

#SpotlightTour Someone I used to Know by Patty Blount

Today it is my turn on the Spotlight Tour for this great book Someone I Used to Know by Patty Blount. It's an important story, the type we need to tell over and over again until everyone understands what rape culture is.

If you live in the US or Canada don't forget to enter the Giveaway for 2 Copies of Someone I Used to Know below - Runs August 7th -31st ( remember - US & Canada only)

About the Author
Powered by way too much chocolate, award-winning author Patty Blount loves to write and has written everything from technical manuals to poetry. A 2015 CLMP Firecracker Award winner as well as Rita finalist, Patty writes issue-driven novels for teens and is currently working on a romantic thriller. Her editor claims she writes her best work when she’s mad, so if you happen to upset Patty and don’t have any chocolate on hand to throw at her, prepare to be a subject of an upcoming novel. Patty lives on Long Island with her family in a house that sadly doesn’t have anywhere near enough bookshelves…or chocolate.

Follow @PattyBlount  @SourcebooksFire on Twitter
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Buy Someone I used to Know

About the book
From the award-winning author of Some Boys comes an unflinching examination of rape culture that delves into a family torn apart by sexual assault.

It’s been two years since the night that changed Ashley’s life. Two years since she was raped by her brother’s teammate. And a year since she sat in a court and watched as he was given a slap on the wrist sentence. But the years have done nothing to stop the pain.

It’s been two years of hell for Derek. His family is totally messed up and he and his sister are barely speaking. He knows he handled it all wrong. Now at college, he has to come to terms with what happened, and the rape culture that he was inadvertently a part of that destroyed his sister’s life.

When it all comes to head at Thanksgiving, Derek and Ashley have to decide if their relationship is able to be saved. And if their family can ever be whole again.

When you leave aside all the heightened hormone induced drama courtesy of the YA genre, you will find a deeply poignant, emotional and painful read. It'a a wake-up call for everyone, not just the male gender.

The majority of rapists are men, but let's not forget there are female perpetrators too. Following on from that particular train of thought let's also acknowledge male and child victims too. Statistics give us a harrowing view of how many women are raped, bearing in mind that there is a suggestion that over 90% of rapes go unreported because victims feel they won't be believed, fear the repercussions and often may not even comprehend it was rape.

There are less statistics on male on male rape, women-on-male and women-on-women rape, often because of the stigma attached to it and the firm belief no one will believe them, or even ridicule them. None of those facts minimise the reality that in their lifetime every girl or woman will experience some kind of sexual harassment, assault or molestation.

The story is timely because the Me Too and Time's Up movement is trying to break the wall of silence and dismissal. It is asking the sisterhood to stand up and support one another.

Blount takes an introspective look at the family dynamics of the victim's family, after the rape of a teenage girl. How the men in her family react and speak to, about and on the subject of her assault. In particular how one of her brothers has to come to terms with being part of the rape culture and a rape apologist, even going so far as to help her rapist get a lesser charge.

Kudos to the author for not letting the story be dominated by the rapist, by his presence, his experience or his thoughts on his actions. This is purely and simply about Ashley - the victim and the survivor.

The reader follows Ashley, as she is dealing with the physical and psychological scars of her rape. This includes the atrocious behaviour of her peers, her teachers and the people in town. We as a society must ask ourselves why we always blame the victim of a rape and seek to protect the rapist, especially when that rapist is a just a normal popular guy. Why do whole towns protect frat boys, football players and good ol' boys, and blame and hound the victim, because hey gang-raping girls for fun is completely normal right?

While I am on the subject the law also needs to stop allowing lawyers and judges to present the sexual past of a victim, so they can imply any history of sexual activity equates to them being a whore and a liar. The rapists aren't subjected to the same scrutiny in the courtroom, why are the victims?

It is painful read at times, full of fear and anger. The author doesn't want the reader to feel sympathy, but rather an empathy towards Ashley and women like her. More importantly this is a call to arms for boys and men. It's a shout-out to make them acknowledge and comprehend rape culture, and to intervene and speak up when someone is crossing the line. Even the verbal line, the one that suggests and encourages the next move.

It's an important story, the type we need to tell over and over again until everyone understands what rape culture is. Parents need to raise their sons to respect and to understand consent. We need to teach all our children both boys and girls. It should be part of the school curriculum.

Buy Someone I used to Know at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Buy at Amazon com Barnes & Noble BooksaMillion !ndigo IndieBound
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Enter the Giveaway below to win 2 Copies of Someone I Used to Know - Runs August 7th -31st (US & Canada only)

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