Review: Some Boys by Patty Blount

Some Boys by Patty Blount NG 08/01/14

When Grace meets Ian she’s afraid. Afraid he’ll reject her like the rest of the school, like her own family. After she accuses the town golden boy of rape, everyone turns against Grace. They call her a slut and a liar. But…Ian doesn’t. He’s funny and kind with secrets of his own.

But how do you trust the best friend of the boy who raped you? How do you believe in love?

Title: Some Boys
Author: Patty Blount
Source: ARC from NetGalley
Publication date: August 5, 2014

I received Some Boys from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Some Boys started out slowly for me. It took me until 25% on my Kindle before I knew for sure that I wasn’t going to DNF it. From there, it really picked up and moved along much more quickly. The book synopsis is a little misleading because Grace already knows Ian. She already likes him, even before she’s raped by Zac (which happens before the book begins). Ian likes Grace, too, and he wanted to ask her out but Zac “got there first.”

Part of my problem early on was that I didn’t like Grace.​ At first, all I knew about her were hints of what she experienced and that felt cheap, like it was being told to make me sympathize with her and like her. But I don’t automatically like someone just because she’s been raped, and unfortunately, I never did come to like her that much.

My issues with Grace stem in part from the fact that she seems to think the rules don’t apply to her. She throws around labels like “little witch” and “slut,” but cries foul when they’re used against her. She insults another culture when she appropriates the niqab and wears a homemade version to make her point. An Afghan girl in the school, a girl whose mother was beaten for wearing the niqab because part of her face showed, is so hurt that she cries. Did Grace think about anyone else’s feelings before she turned her previously unworn pink sweet sixteen dress into a niqab?

Nope.

And in the end, all of Grace’s tough talk through the whole book about being a strong woman turns out to be just that: talk. Grace turns into the doormat she’s spent the whole book claiming she isn’t and won’t be. She might as well have taken her mother up on her offer to send Grace to Europe for the semester. She didn’t want to run away, but it’s not like she’s ever going to see any of these people again after high school anyway. After the way they’ve treated her, why would she want to? And at least she would get to see Europe.

I have issues with Ian too. There are times he seems to be a nice guy, but his prevailing attitude towards rape and women proves that he’s the douchebag I thought he was in the beginning. As late as 74% in the book, this is his attitude:

“She was sick, man. Passed out, drunk. In her mind, that’s rape.”

In her mind? Only in HER mind?

And this is the guy Grace likes? She’s liked him for quite a while, but I can’t imagine what she sees in him. He’s wishy-washy and he blames Grace for her own rape. I know what he sees in her though; there are repeated mentions of her “assets” as he watches her walk down the hall. He’s pretty horrible to her throughout the book, especially when he’s around his friends. When it’s just the two of them cleaning lockers, he’s usually more tolerable — and those are some of my favorite scenes in the book — but that doesn’t make him an admirable person. It makes him a weak one because he can’t won’t stand up to his friends.

Ian’s dad, on the other hand, is awesome. He’s way better and more supportive than Grace’s own father, in fact. He’s pretty hard on Ian, but but that’s never really explored. I wonder if Ian has given him reason to distrust him or if his dad has always been that way. At first it seemed like he was going to be a jerk because of the way he talks to Ian, but Mr. Russell is probably my favorite character in the whole book.

It’s hard to believe that not a single character in the book — in town even — believes Grace’s rape accusation other than Grace’s mom and Ian’s dad. Surely there would be someone. Other women — teachers, maybe — who have been raped? People who know people who have been raped? Other girls in the school have been subjected to Zac’s attentions? He might or might not have raped before, but I’m willing to bet he’s been crossing boundaries for years. He may be popular, but not everyone worships the popular crowd.

By the end of the book, every single storyline in this book is wrapped up neatly and tied with a little bow. I appreciate the closure, but the way it happens is unrealistic. People’s opinions change way too quickly. Even in the face of evidence, some of the people supporting Zac would continue to make excuses for him. Grace forgives every slight as if she hasn’t just gone through weeks of hell.

Some Boys could be an important book about a controversial subject. There are people who believe that women are asking for it when they wear short skirts and tight clothes, just like the people Grace knows. The message, however gets lost in the weak characters and storytelling.

2 1/2 stars
addtogoodreads

Jenna

Comments

  1. I have the feeling this story would really, really frustrate me. Between Grace, the use of “slut” (I really hate that word), the disbelief about her rape and the overall tone of it all, I don’t know if I could have made it all the way through. Well-thought-out review!
    Mary @ BookSwarm recently posted…Hot Cover Alert, Mini-Review and Giveaway: Nalini Singh’s Rock AddictionMy Profile

    • The use of the word slut doesn’t bother me, but Grace was a total hypocrite about it and if I can’t like the main character, I won’t like the book. I definitely got the feeling I was supposed to like both Grace and Ian.
      Jenna recently posted…Weekly Rewind: August 17-23My Profile