REVIEW: No Virgin by Anne Cassidy

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Title: No Virgin
Author: Anne Cassidy
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication date: November, 3rd, 2016
Genres: young adult, modern, realistic-fiction
Pages: 192
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy the Book (Amazon) | Buy the Book (Waterstones)

Synopsis:

My name is Stacey Woods and I was raped.
Stacey is the victim of a terrible sexual attack. She does not feel able to go to the police, or talk about it to anybody other than her best friend, Patrice. Patrice, outraged, when she cannot persuade her to go to the police, encourages Stacey to write everything down. This is Stacey's story.

four-stars

A heartbreaking and haunting tale, No Virgin follows the story of Stacey Woods, a girl who was raped. No Virgin is the account of Stacey's journey before, during, and after her rape, and it is honestly one of the most gripping tales that I have read this year. Cassidy's newest novel brings such a taboo subject to light, and it leaves you speechless by the time you've finished reading this book - it's an emotional roller-coaster that will give you the sense of what some victims of rape go through.

Stacey Woods isn't your typical teenager, her sister is fourteen and has a kid, and quite often Stacey is left to care for her young nephew. Alongside this, Stacey struggles to keep up with her A Level studies, which makes Stacey become stressed, and she eventually runs away from home. Cassidy has created a stunningly real protagonist, who is consumed by stress, something of which we find ourselves trapped in. The overall development of Stacey didn't drastically change throughout the novel, although by the end of No Virgin it was clear that the event that she had experienced had affected her.

Unfortunately, however, I couldn't really feel a connection with all the characters, including Stacey. I also felt that the characters didn't connect with each other, they all seemed distant from each other, so overall on the whole character side, I was disappointed. There was little or no development of the ensemble, and I felt quite upset that I wasn't able to see how the other characters were affected by Stacey's actions after she was raped. I would've liked to see more development as I feel like that No Virgin would have had a greater impact overall.

No Virgin is quick and easy to read, but as you progress through the book, you begin to develop a new opinion on the subject of rape: you begin to understand why some victims don't come forward; how a person completely changes - Cassidy's No Virgin is an eye opener. The plot will draw you in and not let you go - it will stay with you for a long time.

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