“Punch like a girl” Karen Krossing

Rated 5 stars ***** ARC. Orca Book Publishers. (Published April 1, 2015).

PunchLikeAGirlSomething happened with Matt at Carmen’s party, but Tori won’t tell anyone about it. Her best friend Alena keeps trying to get her excited about going to the 11th grade anti-prom, but all Tori can think about is what happened the last time she went to a party. Unable to face up to her inner turmoil, and unable to speak about what happened, Tori shaves off her long hair and starts getting into arguments and fights. After an encounter that almost gets her arrested, her parents force her to perform community service.

While volunteering at a battered woman’s shelter she finds herself drawn to Casey, a little girl who hasn’t spoken a word since coming to the shelter with her mother. The bond she and Tori formed is shattered when Casey is kidnapped. Feeling immense guilt at not being able to save Casey, Tori soon begins to feel an inner strength which, finally, gives her the strength to do what she should have done a long time ago.

The theme of date rape in books like this one, along with Laurie Halse Anderson’s “Speak,” Courtney Summers’ “All the rage,” and Colleen Clayton’s “What happens next” is a truth that needs to be spoken again and again so women who have had their voices silenced can gain the courage to speak, and know that they’re not alone. I read this wonderfully written novel in one sitting, and couldn’t wait for Tori to speak her truth.

Highly recommended for ages 14 and older.

2 thoughts on ““Punch like a girl” Karen Krossing

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