Everyone in town is under the impression that Kellan Turner, the sheriff’s son, is a great guy who can do no wrong. Romy Grey knows the truth. She tried to speak up against him but everyone sided with the golden boy over the girl from the wrong side of town. Now Romy’s only safe place is the small diner she works at outside of town where no one knows her story. When a girl goes missing from a party and there’s news that Kellan had assaulted another girl in a different town, Romy has to decide if she wants to get involved again. No one would listen the first time but can she live with herself if she stays silent?
The title of this book fit it very well. It was the type of book that one can easily become very angry while reading it because you just want to scream at the victim-blaming characters. There were so many issues the book touched on and it managed to do so without losing focus on Romy’s character and her struggle to deal with the past assault, the consequences of her speaking out, and if she should speak out again.
Romy was not a perfect character, which was what made her so great. She was struggling to survive high school, and that’s hard enough under normal circumstances, after accusing a top athlete of assault and she lost everything because of that. She had trouble accepting that people would want to help her and she made some terrible and rash decisions. She did have people who cared about her who would have helped her in a second if she’d asked but that would have meant letting them in. I like how she got protective over the people she cared about and that even when she was scared, she never backed down.
There were so many characters in this book that I wanted to scream at. Kellan and his father were the main two but also the teachers and counselors and every adult and teenager, every person who was old enough to understand the assault and cover-up, and still chose to make Romy feel like it was her fault. It was a ‘throw the book so hard I hope you felt that through the pages’ type of rage. If they weren’t looking down at Romy for daring to tell the truth, they were looking down on her mom’s new boyfriend for not working even though he suffered from chronic pain.
Thankfully there were also good characters. Romy’s mom and Todd, her mom’s boyfriend, tried their best to help Romy. The people she worked with at the diner all cared about her. Leon, the love interest, was so sweet and patient and exactly what Romy needed, if she would let him.
There was a bit of time-jumping, which was a little confusing at the beginning. Other than that, it was a very fast, suspenseful read. It was short but it used the pages to make a memorable statement, one that will stick and one that needs to be said. It was a terrifying and disturbing read because it does happen and not everyone has a Leon to help them.