BOOK REVIEW | Wrecked by Maria Padian

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Title: “Wrecked”

Author: Maria Padian

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Number of Pages: 368

Language: English

Synopsis (Goodreads):

Everyone has heard a different version of what happened that night at MacCallum College. Haley was already in bed when her roommate, Jenny, arrived home shell-shocked from the wild Conundrum House party. Richard heard his housemate Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with. When Jenny formally 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.

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. 

My Opinion (spoiler-free):

I enjoyed this book way much more than what I’d expected.

Starting with the writing style, this must have been the book with which I had less dificulties in ages. I didn’t understand some words, okay – let’s blame that only on me – but the writing is simple and straight. I found it very versatile too: when Haley was kind of narrating the story, her thoughts were mere sentences because she wasn’t feeling well, but we had enough details when they were needed. The most interesting thing was that I found in my own vocabulary things that Padian made her characters say.

Mencioning the narration, this book is told in third person, but we follow two paths: Haley’s and Richard’s. I think this is the best way to told this story, as we have two different perspectives, as they’re Jenny’s and Jordan’s roommates, respectively. Them being the main characters is also a pretty good thing, because this book is not only about a girl who was raped or about a boy who was charged of rape, it’s also about how people around them – specifically roommates – deal with it. Both Haley and Richard are misunderstood, and sometimes they say things they fear would be out of context, but while Haley is funny, Richard has a good heart. And things end up well for them.

Wrecked takes place in college, and so we experience problems related to college: how does it feel to be somehow kicked off the soccer team, the end of a relationship (both girl and boy), crushes, the pressure of school work, how parents fit in all that, parties that went really bad … and getting raped, because that’s the plot, after all.

And this book went really deep in the matter. Which I liked! Between chapters, we have little flashes of what happened at that party, so we can better understandd it, but the most important is what the author tried to do with the story. More than just a book, I felt this could be somehow a guide too. Haley supported Jenny through all that the best she could, because she’s like us – she doesn’t know what to do as I wouldn’t know what to do too. And throughout the story we have instructions of how we should support our friend, how the college (theirs, at least) works with the case, how the police works with the case … At this point, I can only quote part of one of the reviews in the backcover of the book.

“(…) As a mother, I want both my son and daughter to read it.” – CATHY BERNER, Blue Willow Bookshop 

Unfortunately, I didn’t find this book perfect. It had everything to be a 5-star-book to me (believe me, I wanted to rate this story with 5 stars, but then I thought better and reconsidered) because it deals with so much more important issues other than rape …

“Truth? An unwanted ‘admirer’ is like an unwanted pregnancy. I haven’t been busting my butt in college to get all entangled with some guy – I’m here for an education. If I were a man, people would call me career-focused. But instand, I’m, what? A tease? A heartbreaker?” 

… but Richard sometimes really got on my nerves, and although I don’t mind him that much, I really mind the ending. What? Just that? I don’t want to give any spoilers away, as I try to keep my reviews spoiler-free but it wasn’t the end I wanted. It was the end I wanted for both Richard and Haley, okay, but not for Jenny. She was really brave and strong for dealing with all that crap, and for trying to move on with her life, always doing the best she could, but she deserved better!

“She was okay and now she’s … wrecked.”

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Despite the ending, I still think people should read this book, even if only for the hilarious lines. It comes out October 4th, but you can pre-order it on Book Depository 🙂

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