It’s been quite a few weeks since my last comparison recommendation! I’ve been reading a lot lately and reviews have taken up a lot of my days. But, of all those reviews, I’ve read a few books that I can use in this feature! Two of those I read within a few weeks of each other and I’m glad that I can talk about them today. Before I go further though, I will say that these two books are NOT something I would recommend to everyone. If you are very young, or are triggered at all by rape or abuse, then please be careful going into these. If you aren’t in the right place emotionally, or are not old enough to handle/understand the situations, these books could be very difficult and even harmful. So please, if either of these books sound interesting (they really are fantastic and have very important messages in the end) then please do some research before jumping in. If you aren’t sure if these would be good for you, feel free to comment or send me a message and I can help you determine if these would be ok.
SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson
The first book I want to mention is Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. I haven’t had the chance to read the actual full length novel yet, but I did read the graphic novel and enjoyed it quite a lot. Maybe enjoyed isn’t the proper word. It is a sad and gripping story of a girl who was raped at a very young age and is struggling to deal with that assault. So I guess I wouldn’t say enjoyed so much as I found it an emotional and enlightening book. I have a daughter that’s almost the same age as she was at the time of the attack so it hit me on a level that I wasn’t expecting. I was focusing quite a lot on the parents and wondered if I would react in the same way. But it was a really great book and an important read for girls of all ages. My full review for this graphic novel can be found here in this link.
I STOP SOMEWHERE by T.E. Carter
This is a book that I will remember for years. It left an impact on my emotions that can’t be shaken. It’s graphic and detailed so this is NOT for everyone. It’s very triggering and if you aren’t able to deal with details of rape or murder, then this book could do you more harm than good. But for me, the discomfort of reading about it made the message of this book all the more powerful. It viewed assault of young women from such a large perspective. We see how each side handles things, such as the victims, the attacker, the parents, the friends, the media, the police, the justice system, and so much more. As hard as it was to read I feel like I learned so much. And I also feel like my understanding and empathy has grown as well. This book was just so well written! If you’re interested in learning more, you can find my full spoiler free review here!
HERE’S WHAT THESE TWO BOOKS HAVE IN COMMON:
- Abuse/rape – The main characters in each of these books has had the same experience. They were attacked without consent, and this is them dealing with the aftermath of that. Like I said, not an easy topic. In Speak (at least in the graphic novel) there aren’t details of that attack, but there are details in I Stop Somewhere. Even though this is a difficult thing to read emotionally, I feel like both of these have the ability to create a lot of empathy and understanding for those who have been in this situation.
- Feeling alone – A lot of the time, when we need people the most, is where we tend to pull ourselves further away. When things are hard we sometimes don’t want to admit them, or think that we can deal with it ourselves. Both of these books explain that this is not the case. It also shows that even though you may feel like no one cares, there are many people that actually do! And sometimes, as we crawl further into our pain, it’s us pushing them away and not the other way around.
- Highly emotional first person perspectives – Both of these books put you right into the emotions of the victim. It’s torturous and highly emotional. This is something that I myself have never had to face, and I hope I never have. I feel like this perspective gave me insight into the thoughts of a victim and may possibly help me be more sympathetic, empathetic, and understanding of someone who has.
There isn’t really a lot of specific things that tie these two books together. These aren’t the types of books that have plot twists, major elements, or anything else. It all has to do with the main topic of abuse and how the victims handle that emotionally and how they can move on. Not the easiest of recommendations, and not the type that will appeal to everyone, but all the same, I think books like this are important. Have you read either of these? What are your thoughts?
Until next time, happy reading!