Take it as a Compliment by Maria Stoian

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Book cover courtesy Edinburgh Feminist Review. Cover has a pink background and drawings of a crowd of people in purple and gold tones. The back of one woman is shown with a man pressed against her and she is struggling, not wanting to be touched (though at first glance it looks like they’re dancing).

***Trigger warning: the stories told in this book deal with sexual harassment, assault, rape, etc

 

This book is amazing, and it should be read by anyone who will not be triggered by such a topic. I appreciate that the stories were told not just by women who have experienced rape or harassment; there were at least two stories shared by men. Most of the stories make my heart ache. The last few pages of this book include a guide of “what to do” to support the people in your life who may have been raped or harassed.

Only the Good Die Young by Douglas Trueman

dieyoungFive Stars *****

Trigger warning: Potential trigger as rape is discussed (not in detail)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Just Listen. Love Letters to the Dead. Music is a powerful thing, as each of the books I’ve just mentioned show.   Only the Good Die Young is another book to add to that list.

Rebecca is a single child raised by her recently divorced mother. Relocating from Toronto to Vancouver, Rebecca tries to find her place in a new school. She’s a classically trained piano player who ends up joining the high school’s jazz band, where she becomes friends with Kyle, a guitarist who is intent on broadening her musical horizons. And because this is a young adult novel, Rebecca develops a crush on the ‘hot drummer with the hot girlfriend’ (not a criticism, just a fact).

Throughout the book Rebecca shares glimpses of the reasons why her mother and her left Toronto and why they have different last names. She also illustrates how one lie can have a snowball effect on not just the liar, but also those around her. Douglas Trueman does an excellent job with more than one difficult topic. His characters are realistic and people I want to either hang out with or slug.

It has been quite some time since I’ve read a book that’s kept me up all night because I simply could not put it down. Only the Good Die Young did that, though, and that’s why it’s going on my “Best of 2014” list. I highly recommend this book for readers of all ages, not just the young adult/new adult group.

 

I received a copy of this book via a LibraryThing member giveaway in exchange for an honest review.