From the author of the critically acclaimed, Looking For JJ, shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize in 2004 and the Carnegie Medal in 2005. A raw, powerful, moving tale about a girl attempting to deal with the aftermath of a sexual attack.
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.
A tautly told and important book, perfect for readers of Asking for It by Louise O’Neill.
I was so excited for this book. I was looking forward to a YA novel which finally focused on rape but this book unfortunately did not live up to my expectations. It was unnecessarily short, not very nuanced and did not address the issue of rape with the extensiveness I wanted. So when I first received the book, I was very taken aback by it’s small size. It’s 180 pages. For a big issue, it’s a very small book.
I thought that the novel would follow the victim on their journey of facing the rape, perhaps telling the authorities, or struggling to move one with life. Instead this short novel simply recounted the event leading up to the rape as well as the rape itself. ‘No Virgin’ also lacked a lot of emotion for me. I really wanted to empathise and feel connected to the character but I really struggled to do it. She was almost recounting the events like they were just facts and at the same time, she was very immature. She does things spontaneously simply because she’s tired of being the good girl and wants to feel wanted. I wished that this book dealt with this huge topic in a much more detailed, emotional and complex way. Instead the book fell dull with the very simple story-telling and passive character.
Furthermore, I really hated how it seemed like Stacy had no support system. Her sister is a bitch, her mother sides with her sister and her father is busy with her new girlfriend. It felt like Cassidy tried to cook up a really vulnerable victim and then place her in an even more vulnerable position. There was no nuance to the situation, it was just very plain, very predictable.
All in all, not the complex novel I really wished for. Instead it’s very straightforward and unemotional. I do really appreciate Cassidy’s efforts to create a powerful novel but it just didn’t do that for me I’m sorry.