Content Warning: Intense scenes depicting sexual assault and drug abuse, Reference to an eating disorder, Mental illness, Trauma, PTSD, Bullying, Victim blaming.
Ali Greenleaf's story is complex and beautifully told; full of fury, heartbreak, and hope." --Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces and How to Make Friends With the Dark
Ali Greenleaf and Blythe Jensen couldn't be more different.
Ali is sweet, bitingly funny, and just a little naive. Blythe is beautiful, terrifying, and the most popular girl in school. They've never even talked to each other, until a party when Ali decides she'll finally make her move on Sean Nessel, her longtime crush and the soccer team's superstar. But Sean pushes Ali farther than she wants to go. When she resists--he rapes her.
Blythe sees Ali when she runs from the party, everyone sees her. And Blythe knows something happened with Sean; she knows how he treats girls. Even so, she's his best friend, his confidant. When he tells her it was a misunderstanding, she decides to help him make things right.
So Blythe befriends Ali, bringing her into a circle of ruthless popular girls, and sharing her own dark secrets. Despite the betrayal at the heart of their relationship, they see each other, in a way no one ever has before.
In her searing, empowering debut novel, Hayley Krischer tells the story of what happened that night, and how it shaped Ali and Blythe forever. Both girls are survivors in their own ways, and while their friendship might not be built to last, it's one that empowers each of them to find justice on their own terms.
REVIEW: Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours, Penguin Young Readers Group, Netgalley, and Hayley Krischer for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Most importantly thank you to Hayley Krischer for writing such a raw, relative, and inspiring book. This is a debut novel for Krischer and she's coming hot out the gate. This book deals with so many different issues that teens and young adults are dealing with today. Sexual assault, mental health issues, broken families, and substance abuse. While it seems that it might be overkill for a YA novel, the truth of the matter is, this life starts young for many kids. My heart broke for Ali again and again seeing the way her trauma played out. Hating herself and pushing others away. As a victim of sexual assault I see myself in this character and I know so many other will too. My heart breaks for Blythe because she is a victim herself even thought I don't think she really sees herself that way but it's heard not to hate her because of her complacency. Blythe is the "boys will be boys' voice in our world that we hear so often in these days of high school and college boys who think they can take what they want because of who they are. The substance abuse seen in this book is terrifying.......but sadly....the reality. I knew these people in high school, so high on whatever they could get their hands on they could barely stand or open their eyes. Passing out or "dozing off" here and there because they took too many. This character gets help......while so many do not. The way Ali finds her voice is nothing short of inspiring. I wish I would have found mine back then.....it took me until adulthood to be able to even say the words......I was raped. There are resource included in this book if you or seomone you know has been sexually assaulted, has a substance abbuse issue, or is struggling with depression and anxiety which I think is incredibly important. Even the author's notes were empowering. While this book does obviously need to comes with some trigger warnings, I hope this inspires girls and women to speak out. Remember that it's never too late to find your voice, to speak your truth, and to set yourself free.
"I told you to stop," - Ali
"Look, I've had experience too," "Experiences that I'm not so happy about. Do you know what I mean?" - Blythe
"Well, can't you just talk to her?" - Sean
"I know girls care before me and they came after me." - Blythe
"She took her f*@$ing clothes, and when I didn't profess my love to her, she flipped out."
"Sometimes being out of it is a symptom of something else." -Ms. Tapestry
"She's going to ruin my life!" -Sean
"They don't know what it is to be like us." -Donnie
"Everyone wants something from you, Blythe. You might and well give it to them in advance, because that's when you have the control." -Amanda
"You know when you just have no more left?" -Donnie
5 Reasons to Read Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf
#1 - If you are a survivor.
This book will help you to realize that you are not alone and that it's never too late to find you voice and speak your truth.
#2 - If you are a parent.
If you have a teenager and you had carefree teen years, read this book. If you have a teenager and had a rough time in high school, read this book. Prepare yourself and your child for the types of situations they might find themselves in. Keep an open line of communication without being judgmental so they now they can always talk to you about anything.
#3 - If you are a teenager.
I think this is an important book for teens to read. Yes it's graphic and yes it's intense, but this is the way the world is. Prepare yourself for the things you may encounter. Talk to your parents about how to deal with these types of situations. Get advice from older siblings or parents about how to avoid these things. Speak to someone if you need help coping if you are suffering.
#4 - If you are a teacher, school counselor, or librarian.
I think a lot of times school employees are blind to these things happening right under their noses. Maybe they just don't want to get envolved. Maybe they don't know how to get involved. Maybe they turn a blind eye to the star athlete or the popular girls. These things are happening in every school, in every town, everywhere.
#5 - This book is raw and real. No sugar coating included.
This book tells it like it is. The good, the bad, and the ugly. It shows that everyone responds differently to trauma, and that's okay. It shows that even teenagers are manipulative and devious. It shows that girls can be bullies even to people they call friend. It shows that boys will be boys is NOT a thing that should ever be uttered. It shows that every victim can be a survivor, if they are just giving the opportunity to find their voice and use it.
Publication date: October 6, 2020