Every day Romy puts on her war paint: bright red nail polish and lipstick. Her shields, however, are no defense when she is constantly bullied at school. No one in her small town believes she was raped, especially when the rapist is the sheriff's son. When another girl disappears, however, Romy has to decide whether it's worth it to tell her story one more time in the hopes another girl might be spared.
The description of this book makes it sound a lot like Speak, and that was one of the main reasons I picked it up. Unfortunately, aside from a rape that occurred before the story began, the two books could hardly be more dissimilar.
I didn't like Romy at all. I didn't sympathize with her, I didn't root for her the way I rooted for Melinda in Speak, I didn't cheer for her or really understand her at all. Also, the "spooky intense mystery" aspect of the book included in the blurb, where Romy had better tell the truth NOW or no one will find the missing girl, that isn't even accurate. Romy tried to tell about her rape after it happened, and everyone covered it up or chose not to believe her. The townspeople and Romy's classmates especially are all a bunch of jerks, but Romy isn't that saintly, so there isn't much to make her stand out. When I read Speak, I wanted to walk in front of Melinda and be her bodyguard against all of her horrid classmates; with Romy, I just want to sit her down and force her to actually deal with things instead of stuffing everything inside.
This is an important story, as there are girls who are raped and not believed or who are raped and don't tell right away, and as a rape survivor myself I am glad this story was told. I just wish it was told in a way that made me like the main character more.
Recommended for: teens
Red Flags: fairly graphic description of rape, language, bullying
Overall Rating: 2/5 stars
Read-Alikes: Speak, Inexcusable, Girls Like Us