Tonight We Rule the World
by Zack Smedley
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Pub Date 12 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 18 Mar 2022
Page Street Publishing, Page Street YA
From the critically acclaimed author of Deposing Nathan comes an explosive examination of identity, voice, and the indelible ways our stories are rewritten by others.
In the beginning, Owen’s story was blank . . . then he was befriended by Lily, the aspiring author who helped him find his voice. Together, the two have spent years navigating first love and amassing an inseparable friend group. But all of it is upended one day when his school’s administration learns Owen’s secret: that he was sexually assaulted by a classmate.
In the ensuing investigation, everyone scrambles to hold their worlds together.
Owen, still wrestling with his self-destructive thoughts and choices.
His father, a mission-driven military vet ready to start a war to find his son’s attacker.
The school bureaucrats, who seem most concerned with kowtowing to the local media attention.
And Lily, who can’t learn that Owen is the mystery victim everyone is talking about . . . because once she does, it will set off a chain of events that will change their lives forever.
Heartbreaking and hopeful, this is a coming-of-age story that explores how we rebuild after the world comes crumbling down.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 11 members
Zack Smedley does it again. His first novel tore my heart a part and with Tonight We Rule the World, it was no different. Bisexual representation is so important in today's work and Zack does this so well. It's like his characters have such a relatable lived experiences as his readers and his writing is so transformative. BUY THIS BOOK TODAY! (well it comes out Oct 12th, so buy it then! But also preorder the hell out of this book!)
Okay way, this one hit really hard. I knew what I was getting into when I started it because it's clearly stated on the back. This is a story about sexual assault and rebuilding life after that.
This book had be on the edge of my seat. I didn't want to put it down because I needed to know what happened next. Owen's story compelled me more than I thought it would. I knew this would be a heavy hitter, I just didn't know it would break me down and build me up again with its honesty.
Zack writes this book with a carful eye to the story he is telling. It is a complicated and sensitive subject, and one that I believe he tackles with excellence and brutality. This is a story of overcoming ones fears of letting go, and rebuilding life when the word thing happens. What do you do when you feel everything you've worked so hard to achieve come troubling down around you? What would you be willing to tolerate to survive it? What lies will you be willing to tell yourself and believe from others?
It's emotional, but I was also never taken over that edge. Like a rollercoaster, the build up was there, but the drop was small. This can be a bad and a good thing. It was too much emotion that I was left sobbing, but I felt that telltale ping in my chest of empathy for Owen.
This is a book I highly recommend. Zack Smedley is a phenomenal write, and the work is proof of that.