Author: Maria Padian
Rating: 3 - 3.5/5
Thanks to NetGalley and Algonquin Young Readers for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release.
Everyone has a different version of what happened that night at MacCallum College. Haley was already in bed when her roommate, Jenny, arrived home shellshocked from the wild Conundrum House party. Richard heard his housemate Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with. When Jenny accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard find themselves pushed onto opposite sides of the school's investigation. But conflicting interests fueling conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible—especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict.
Granted, I almost quit reading Wrecked after a couple of pages. And then again after a couple more, because I didn't see a story happening. At first, it tip-toed around nothing and things only take up on speed around half of the book. However, I didn't quit and I think teenagers, especially college students, should read this book. It contains a topic - rape - that is always up-to-date.
The author choose to write her novel in third person singular. Normally, I struggle reading those perspectives, because it makes me feel less of a reader that escapes into a story. It makes it harder for me to connect with the characters. Truth be told, I am kind of glad I didn't connect or relate to any of the characters in Wrecked and only concentrated on the things the story made me feel and think of. Not sure whether Maria always writes in third person, but it fitted this story perfectly, creating the needed distance to the characters, just telling a story.
I especially liked the short tellings about that night after each chapter. It made you doubt the whole thing, whether the guy Jenny accused of rape really did it or not. It captured the whole blurry college life perfectly, or at least how I imagine it. This perspective gave the book a new vibe, leaving the reader with goosebumps more often than not.
Yet, I didn't like the time jumps. Whenver Haley or Richard's chapters were up, we would read about the here and now and suddenly we were taken back to another conversation, to another event, that happened either in the past or just a few hours ago. That happened a lot, almost every chapter. And while I got used to it after a while, it still annoyed me. That is my opinion. I'm sure the author intended something here, but I just couldn't see it.
Basically, this book revolves around the question whether Jordan raped Jenny or not, whether he now bullies her on the Internet and whether he has got to face the consequences or not. Being a fan of the TV show Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, I always had that show on my mind while reading the book. I couldn't help it. You know, this is a very sensitive topic and I've got to admit that every once in a while I doubted something ever happened to Jenny. But I loved how detailed the author's work was. She wrote about friends Jenny went to a party with, for example, and then how these friends later tried to convince Jenny's advisor (that's Haley, her roommate) not to mention anything about them being together at the party. They abondened her and were too selfish to even realise. All they ever said was that Jenny's an adult and wouldn't need babysitting. Oh my! Like, the author created a really thrilling story, because things like that, mainly everything the people and witnesses say, makes you mad. It makes you want to crawl inside the book, grip them by the shoulders and shake them until they admit their mistakes.
And that's the important thing here. I don't know whether Maria intended on leaving a statement, a message with this book, but to me, it really does have an important message and that's why my rating might be low, but I still think very highly of Wrecked. SPEAK UP! That's what this book should teach you. Watch, report and have someone's back, not only your own. Rather often, you'll find yourself asking how you would have reacted if Jenny was your friend and was raped while you originally should have been with her at a party. This book is the perfect opportunity to reflect yourself. It also makes you see how much the victim has to go through and how easy it unfortunately is for the attacker to get away with what he (or she) has done. Something has got to change, so speak up!