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 Zac, the town golden boy, of rape, everyone turns against her. Ian wouldn't be the first to call her a slut and a liar.Except Ian doesn't reject her. He's the one person who looks past the taunts and the names and the tough-girl act to see the real Grace. He's the one who gives her the courage to fight back.He's also Zac's best friend.
I chanced upon Some Boys by Patty Blount one day during my lunch hour, drawn to its cover and excited at the prospect of watching a relationship blossom in the midst of tough odds. I love stories like that. What I got was a heartfelt story of a girl named Grace who is raped by the popular athlete in town, and his best friend named Ian who decides to go against the tide.
Grace, aptly named, is a wonderful heroine. She endures horrible persecution, after being violated in the worst way possible, with such strength, even in the midst of her own anxiety. She forges forward in spite of friends who have turned against her to gain popularity, and pathetic adults who turn their sights away from a girl crying for help, in favor of who may become the next lacrosse champion. Ian, on the other hand, sits back and observes Grace's pain, until he can't help but unscramble the jumble of scenarios gossiped in hallways. After long, Ian cannot shake the nagging feeling that there's more going on than a girls' vengeful fight to tarnish his best friends' reputation, and he must choose either to side with his friends comfortably, or to stand up and be ridiculed.
Patty Blount has crafted a great story with strong arguments about the sad reality a woman faces when she opens up about rape. Within the first few chapters, I found myself livid, not merely by the lack of support from her peers, but more of her teachers and parents. Perhaps it's obvious, that the adults in her life would have minds just as fickle as her peers, but God help every young woman/man who's ever in this situation if these are the adults 'supporting' them. It's unforgivable that anyone could turn their attentions away from a girl who's obviously traumatized and allow her to be taunted in the hallways of her school. Blount also crafted a wonderful character in Ian, realistically showcasing his conflict over believing Grace, or siding with his friend.
I wished that Ian and his friendship with Grace were more well rounded. Aside from being an athlete, I wanted more of what makes Ian tick. I'm told that Ian and Grace are drawn to each other, and right then, I'm ready for the ride, but I wanted to know what draws them towards each other. It would have been awesome to experience more in depth conversations. It seemed that aside from a few short occasions, they only really talked of the situation at hand. I just needed that extra punch.
Bare in mind: Some Boys contains allusions to disturbing scenarios, rape, and profanity.
There's are only a few things that can stir me up, and 'rape culture' is one of them. It's unfathomable that a man can sit back, his arms crossed lazily over his chest, claim to be strong, powerful, and intelligent, and yet in the same breath claim that any woman, man, or child made him lose control. It is unfathomable that men who are raised to be warriors somehow lack the propensity to control themselves sexually. I'm scratching my head right now just thinking, this issue doesn't need an eloquent dissertation, it only needs men willing to stand up and take responsibility for their actions, and learn to cultivate respect for the people around them. It takes people unwilling to perpetuate this disregard for others. To support their sons and daughters when they vulnerably open up in confidence. It hurts to know that there are people everywhere opening up about their experiences, and being treated as if it's all in their imagination.
Perhaps we have a long way to go, but that's all it takes.
If you, or anyone you know, have been the victim of sexual assault (or would like more information on how to help) please contact the wonderful folks at RAINN (1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
You're all always in my thoughts and prayers.