Booklist Reviews 2018 February #2
Meet two teens who become friends at a misogynistic, patriarchal private school, even as they are both drowning in secrets. Jamie Baxter, a football-player-turned-hockey-player, needs to keep it together for one last year or else miss his last shot at a scholarship. Meanwhile, Jules Devereux is trying to be a bold feminist in a school where girls are told to "not make a scene." Their secrets spill out when a teen party goes horribly wrong, and Jamie has to decide if he will support Jules in her time of need, thereby breaking a long-standing tradition of silence. Kiely bravely explores rape culture and how it intersects with class and privilege, along the way making his characters speak to those in privileged positions "in a language they cannot ignore." Kiely, coauthor with Jason Reynolds of All American Boys (2015), takes on an important, sensitive topic that should help connect readers to burgeoning social-justice movements; readers will find themselves rooting for the world not as it is, but as it might yet be. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2018 Fall
In this dark and timely novel, two teens confront the dangerous sexism entrenched in their elite, formerly all-male boarding school. After Jules Devereaux is sexually assaulted by her influential ex-boyfriend, new (platonic) friend James Baxter, a hockey player, resolves to stand up for her. Together, they hatch a daring plot to make a public statement. Alternating chapters from these equally compelling narrators detail two distinct paths toward activism. Copyright 2018 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2018 #4
In this dark and timely novel, two teens confront the dangerous sexism entrenched in their elite, formerly all-male New England boarding school. James Baxter joins Fullbrook Academy as a hockey player on an athletic scholarship. A brutal football accident back home in Ohio has left James wary of the chummy violence that team sports breed, but as a scholarship student he feels obligated to assimilate. Jules Devereaux is a legacy student, but her open criticism of Fullbrook's male-?centric social hierarchies isolates her and makes her peers uncomfortable. The two forge an unlikely (platonic) connection, but their bond is tested when Jules is sexually assaulted by her rich, influential ex-boyfriend. In alternating chapters James and Jules are equally compelling narrators whose stories detail two distinct paths toward activism. Jules speaks up about her assault, opening herself up to judgment but empowering others to share similar traumas. James exhibits empathy toward his new friend; he hesitates to provoke his moneyed classmates but is resolute in his decision to stand up for Jules. Together, they hatch a daring plot to make a public statement; although their act of rebellion isn't as destructive as the ominous tension threatens, it serves as a poignant catalyst for change and a bittersweet resolution for Jules and James. This is a bleak depiction of toxic prep-school culture, but one that feels all too real. jessica tackett macdonald Copyright 2018 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
PW Reviews 2018 March #2