Wow! I read this book and devoured every single word. It took me longer to read this book than it normally takes me to read a book but I read this one very deliberately and slowly; often times re-reading passages. This is a hard, emotional read but perhaps it’s the most important book I’ve read in my entire life. She put into beautiful words everything that is wrong with rape culture.
I don’t have the adequate vocabulary to describe how important this book is. It was the Stanford University sexual assault case that “went viral” in 2016ish. Everyone knew his name but she remained an “Emily doe,” living 2 separate lives. One as Chanel, trying to process and move on; one as Emily, in an endless, faceless and unsteady court battle.
She took back her voice and her name and wrote this book. I came into this book expecting to feel sad and uncomfortable.. I was not expecting to feel every single other emotion a human can feel. She made me feel enraged and empowered. She made me feel hopeless and hopeful. She made me laugh and cry. I felt it all. She is a role model, a phenomenal writer and a survivor. If any part of you wants to read this book I encourage you start it immediately. If you aren’t drawn to this book initially, I urge you think about it again and read it anyway.
This book should be required reading for every single high schooler. Have this conversation now before another Emily Doe has to beg a courtroom that “she didn’t want or enjoy it” that “boys shouldn’t just be boys” that “you are not entitled to sex just because you want sex” that getting blackout drunk is not worse than sexual assault.” Rape culture is here and it’s thriving.