Saturday, December 10, 2016

THE WORD FOR YES BY CLAIRE NEEDELL - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

Today, I am back with a review of a book that I didn't really enjoy, The Word for Yes by Claire Needell. 



Well, it's been a while since I didn't finish a book, it feels kind of strange.

The story starts out easy enough, the parents of Melanie, Jan and Erika are getting divorced and their dad is moving out. Jan, the oldest is starting college in a few days, Erika the middle child finally gets her own room, and Mel is being the spoiled little sister brat she's been all her life. This book also deals with rape, but by the time I got to that part, I was so disinterested, so I can't really say how it was portrayed.

This probably won't be a super long review, just based on the fact that I only got 100 pages in.

The story was told from the three sisters, all in third person. But I felt like they all had the same whiny voice to them. Mel is complaining about everything and tyrannizing her older sister Erika all the time. Jan is complaining about her boyfriend and how he's always pinching pennies. Erika is complaining that she doesn't get any attention (except Julia, oh I'm sorry, her mother when she decides to hang out with the cool cats and go to parties). They all complain.

I just felt like this book was so painful, it was physically difficult to get myself to pick it up and try to read it.

I think the aspect that made me officially shut down the story was the aftermath of the rape. It was like the other sisters didn't really care or notice. Jan, while away at college, is having issues with her own boyfriend and pretty much responds by saying she'll talk to Mel about it. No, did you tell mom? Did you call the police? Who do I have to go kill? You know, the questions you are supposed to ask when you're sister is raped. Maybe part of it is saying something about rape culture, where, for so long, we haven't cared or paid attention. Even still, this book needs to make its mind up and not show that this is an acceptable way to react.

Not only that, but there was sexism, racism, slut-shaming, just so many bad things I couldn't bear to read. Someone dresses up in a Hitler costume for Halloween and one of the characters comments on maybe that's considered funny on the Upper East Side. A HITLER COSTUME WILL NEVER BE FUNNY NO MATTER WHAT SIDE OF NY YOU LIVE IN.

The three perspectives were abrupt and had little flow, there were perspectives for the rapist as well, which, while I only got to a couple, showed exactly what happened, at least to his perspective and makes it seem like Mel was coming on to him. Then, I would assume, that would lead to questions of if it was actually rape, did she say no, etc. which kind of defeat the purpose of a story about sexual assault.

Overall, I'm not a fan and am seriously mad that I spend $21.99 on this book. If you want a book that deals with sexual assault, pick up The Female of the Species, it is a million times better.