Reviews for Someone I Used to Know

by Patty Blount

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Blount's (The Way It Hurts, 2017, etc.) latest, a loose sequel to Some Boys (2014), again looks at the aftermath of rape, this time with a focus on secondary survivors.Told with flashbacks through the alternating perspectives of a brother and sister two years after one of his teammates raped her to gain points in a scavenger hunt, this sometimes-didactic all-tell, no-show story has a clear purpose and ultimately hits some genuine emotional notes. High school junior Ashley is a fierce survivor who turns to blogging and activism to fight her anxiety attacks; her older brother, college freshman Derek, joins a men's anti-rape group and finally gets it. Romance plays a significant role in character growth, and while the stated authorial intent was to show the effect of Ashley's rape on the whole family, the novel mostly plays out as two parallel narratives which pull together into a family drama only at the end. Characterization and polish take a back seat to message, and some of the dialogue is weak. However, the messaging in Derek's story is important: Toxic masculinity creates rape culture, and nice boys who do nothing to stop it are part of the problem. The book follows a white default.Heavy-handed, but there are readers who want this story and some who need it. (resources) (Fiction. 13-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 9 Up-Freshman Ashley Lawrence was a victim of a rape during Homecoming and now tries to face her fears of that trauma while leading a "normal" life. Her brother, Derek, is dealing with the remorse he feels for participating in the horrific scavenger hunt with his football team that ended in his sister's assault. Her parents are strained in their marriage, having been harassed for the football team's disbanding two years ago. Even her love interest, Sebastian, tries to express his feelings for Ashley without triggering her into a spiral of depression and PTSD symptoms. With chapters that jump back and forth between past and present, this narrative truly shows the life-changing ripple effect that rape can have on a person's life and on those around her. Blount has written a heartrending but much-needed view on this subject. This book provides a nuanced look at the toxicity of rape culture and the long-lasting and harming aftermath of sexual assault. -VERDICT Recommended for all YA shelves.-Danielle Jacobs, Las Vegas Clark County Library District Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

As a freshman, Ashley was raped by one of her brother's teammates during a traditional, but unconventional, scavenger hunt. Sex with a virgin was the top point-getter on Victor's card, so he targeted Derek's little sister. Now, two years after a trial in which Derek lobbied the court to give Victor a light sentence because it was just a game and justice acquiesced Ashley continues to experience myriad debilitating triggers. Away at college, Derek struggles with his role in the ordeal and as a participant in a toxic culture he hadn't realized he was part of. Through alternating points of view, Ashley and Derek work separately to heal themselves as their relationship and family crumbles and to influence and educate others. By not concentrating on the act itself, Blount effectively uses Ashley's reactions, introspection, and victim-impact statement to carry the story's emotional load. Despite being pedagogic, the book clearly emphasizes that rape culture's pervasiveness can only be mitigated by reexamining society at large. Realistic and relevant.--Jeanne Fredriksen Copyright 2018 Booklist