Johnston, E.K.: Exit, Pursued by a Bear
Booklist Reviews 2016 January #1
*Starred Review* Palermo Heights High School is cursed: in every graduating class, one student gets pregnant and another dies. Hermione Winters' rising senior class has already had their death—a girl killed by a drunk driver years earlier—but so far, no pregnancy. For Hermione, though, this is simply the last year she will spend as one of her school's elite cheerleaders (Kodiaks, like the bear). But at end-of-summer cheerleading camp, Hermione is drugged, raped, and impregnated. There's plenty of fallout: rumors abound at school, and her boyfriend thinks she was asking for it, though her friend Polly stands by her. Meanwhile, a police detective's career is made, and, somewhere, a boy has gotten away with it. But all Hermione wants is just to live her life. This takes many of its cues (and its title) from Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, but about halfway through, this Hermione's tale takes a much different turn. Fierce and gorgeously drawn, this is a rape story that doesn't focus on victimhood: Hermione suffers and abortion is portrayed frankly, but ultimately this is a story of friendship, growing up, and a girl who, despite trauma, has plenty of life left. Hermione pursues normalcy, adamant that she is not a warning, not a statue, not something to be whispered about. Just a girl. And, maybe, a bear. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2016 Fall
Cheerleading co-captain Hermione Winters is drugged and raped at cheer camp and terminates the resulting pregnancy. Since she can't remember the rape, it's almost as if it happened to someone else. Well-developed secondary characters--including her fiercely protective best friend, therapist, and coach--are a strong support system in a compelling, emotional story in which Hermione struggles to piece things together. Copyright 2016 Horn Book Guide Reviews.