(TW: this review discusses rape and sexual assault.)
Title: No Shame
Author: Anne Cassidy
Published by: Hot Key Books
Publication date: 21st September 2017
Pages: 192, paperback
Genre: YA, contemporary
Stacey Woods has been raped and now she has to go through a different ordeal – the court trial. But nothing in life it seems is black and white and life is not always fair or just. Suddenly it seems that she may not be believed and that the man who attacked her may be found not guilty . . . if so Stacey will need to find a way to rebuild her life again . . .
A tautly told and important book, perfect for readers of Asking for It by Louise O’Neill.
I read Anne Cassidy’s No Virgin earlier this year, and I was thrilled to discover that this sequel was coming out – the story hadn’t felt finished to me, and I was left in a mild state of shock after I finished. I would definitely say that No Shame is even better than the first book, and tackled this sensitive subject very well. Today, as part of the Blog Tour for this book, I will be reviewing this book, and discussing exactly why it is such an important book (and thank you so much to the lovely people at Hot Key Books for sending me a copy of No Shame!).
This book explores both the court case itself, which was very detailed, and covered so many aspects of the process (making the whole thing seem horrifyingly real), and how Stacey herself was impacted. Besides the heavy content of this book, I think it was written in a way which made it simple to understand and empathise with the characters – making it suitable for younger readers as well as older ones, in my opinion. It is hugely important that the subject of rape is available for younger teens to read about in the form of fiction, so long as it is done with immense care, and I think Anne Cassidy handled it brilliantly.
Honestly, Stacey often frustrated me immensely, due to her feelings towards Harry and the difficulty she had seeing him as a villain; that said, I thought she had extremely strong characterisation and was very realistic. As a teenage girl who went through a hugely traumatic experience, I think it’s justifiable that her feelings and emotions would be a bit scattered, and I loved how, throughout the book, she slowly took control of her own life again.
The ending of this book was, in my opinion, very powerful. Obviously I do not wish to spoil it for anyone who has not read this book yet, and of course it’s not an easy story to resolve – it’s pretty much impossible to have a ‘happily ever after’. Nonetheless, I felt satisfied with the ending, and I thought the message it imparted at the end of the book was excellent. It was hopeful – and that’s all I’m going to say about it (so I guess you’ll just have to read it to find out more?).
This unflinching story is something that everyone needs to read. Yes, it hurt to read a lot of the time, but I felt the importance on every page, and I am so glad this book was written, and is available for people (especially girls) of all ages to read.
Make sure to check out the other stops on the blog tour!