The Word for Yes by Claire Needell

Posted February 19, 2016 by love2dazzle in Reviews, Young Adult / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from HarperCollins International, HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Word for Yes by Claire NeedellThe Word for Yes by Claire Needell
Published by HarperCollins on February 16th 2016
Genres: Adolescence, Dating & Relationships, Dating & Sex, Family, Siblings, Social Issues, Social Themes, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Format: ARC
Source: HarperCollins International, HarperTeen
Buy on Amazon

At once honest and touching, Claire Needell's debut novel is a moving look at date rape and its aftermath, at the love and conflicts among sisters and friends, and how these relationships can hold us together—and tear us apart.The gap between the Russell sisters—Jan, Erika, and Melanie—widens as each day passes. Then, at a party full of blurred lines and blurred memories, everything changes. Starting that night, where there should be words, there is only angry, scared silence.And in the aftermath, Jan, Erika, and Melanie will have to work hard to reconnect and help one another heal.The Word for Yes will inspire necessary conversation about a topical and important issue facing our society. The book includes a thoughtful author's note that provides resources for readers.

“The Word for Yes” by Claire Needell is an important read however I don’t think it was executed as it should have been. This story is about a not stranger rape. Jan, Erika, and Melanie are three sisters that are going through a big change. The girl’s parents are separating, Jan is off to college, Erika and Melanie are trying to figure out how to coexist. See the two of them have never gotten along. Melanie is always a bully to Erika, and it just gets worse when Melanie gets raped at a party. Erika and Jan have no idea how to deal with Melanie’s rape.

I was disappointed in this book because I feel like rape is such a big topic. Instead on focusing how it was changing Melanie, it kind of skimmed over all of that. The author directs all the outcome of the rape as hate between Melanie and Erika. I can see this happening in real life but I think the story would have been more effective if instead of skimming over how much the rape affected Melanie. Melanie is this unlikable character in the story. I wanted to feel for her but I just couldn’t. Granted I am not saying rape was okay. I hate that it happened to Melanie and I feel bad for that happening to her. She shouldn’t have treated the people that were helping her the way that she was.

This story seems to focus more on Melanie’s hate for Erika and the selfishness of Jan than it does on the even that happened to Melanie. Who treats people so horrible? I think Needell could have done a whole lot better with this book. The subject of rape was already brought up in the story why not work with that. instead the focus was on how hateful and selfish the characters are. Yes, rape was brought to the light in this book but nothing was really done with the information. I do like the fact that this story does show that it doesn’t matter if a guy is nice or if he is a friend that does things for you, he is not entitled to anything. He doesn’t get the right to do anything he wants with you. Though this story brings a sensitive topic to the light it could have been a much better book.


About love2dazzle

Ali Kiki is a reader, writer, reviewer, blogger, and photographer in Portland, OR. An avid reader since childhood, you can usually find her devouring a book or stalking the bookstagram hashtag in her lovely apartment surrounded by books. Ali has been blogging since 2006 and she created Dazzled by Books in 2012. Her most recent adventure is making bookish candles for Stub Tail Candle Co., which are sold on Etsy.

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