The Choice – Allison Kennedy.

Many thanks to Booktrope, via NetGalley, for an opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review!

3.5/5 stars.

This book was a hard one for me to read — and probably a hard one for Kennedy to write — because rape is a tough topic to write about. Although it reads fairly quickly, due to the subject matter, I found that I had to read only small bits at a time.

As aforementioned, I know that rape is a tough topic to write about — but it’s even more difficult to write about it in a sensitive, non-judgmental way. I admire Kennedy for being able to accomplish this. I also admire her for two other reasons — first, because this novel was based partially on her personal experiences, and she explains this in the author Q&A at the end of the novel. That’s a hard thing to put out there. And the second is that she makes it clear, at both the beginning of the novel and in the Q&A section at the end, that in writing this book in the way she did, she is not trying to sway her readers in one direction or the other, regarding such questions as “should I stay silent if I get raped? should I tell? if I get pregnant, should I abort? should I not?” that are raised throughout the book.

I did enjoy this book. However, the reason that I am giving this book a slightly lower rating that I would otherwise is because yes, although it was a realistic story of a girl getting raped, and having to make decisions that she wouldn’t have had to otherwise — it was not an empowering story.

One thing I really liked about the relationship between May and Alex is how utterly honest with herself that May was. She realized that she was looking to Alex to be her savior — to fix her, to put her back together after the rape. And she knew that that was what she was doing, and she had the wisdom to let Alex know. Granted, that does seem a little wise beyond her years, since May is 17 for most of The Choice, but far be it from me to say that 17 year olds can’t be wise beyond their years at times. 🙂

Definitely would recommend, but I would want the readers to be aware of the things I’ve pointed out in this review. This is not a cheerful book. It’s a book about surviving a horrific event that really never should happen to anyone — in a perfect world. There are probably a lot of people who can relate to May’s situation, who are her age and/or younger (and also older). Well done, Ms. Kennedy, for being willing to write about such a harsh topic in an honest, yet gentle, manner.

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