by Janet Kelley
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Pub Date 03 Dec 2021 | Archive Date 04 Jan 2022
Rebecca White, a senior at the top of her class at Plains High School in 2001, is a Kansas girl going places…until the rape. She wants the rapist to pay for his crime and go to jail. Unfortunately, nothing is that simple, and she wasn’t the one raped.
This is the story of how Rebecca seeks revenge for her best friend, Luke Warren, who was raped by the principal’s son, Weston. While the senior class chooses corsages and boutonnières for prom, Rebecca plots revenge against Weston. She must find a way to make him pay without revealing Luke’s secret. The solution she finds is chilling.
Set in a small town in the American Midwest when the terrorist attacks in New York City brought life to a standstill, Taint by Janet Kelley portrays how friendship and justice are tested when the unthinkable happens.
A Note From the Publisher
You can connect with Janet on Twitter at @hutchkelley5 or at writenowjanetkelley.com.
"A stylish & bold YA literary novel unafraid of tackling big issues" - Independent Book Review
"Author Janet Kelley brings to light a new perspective on the aftermath of sexual assault, that is both riveting and thought-provoking." - Feathered Quill
"The adult themes of this story make it recommended for mature teens who will find in Taint a powerful narrative that will lead them to reflect on issues, both social and sexual, that injects terrorism into daily life. Its hard-hitting story should be in any collection seeking to address these topics" - D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review
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Average rating from 14 members
Taint is unlike any novel I have read. It is very skillfully written and tells the story of a female best friend dealing with the aftermath of her male friend's rape and the lengths she goes to - to obtain 'justice.'
Rebecca is a high school student and along with her best friend Luke, they are preparing to move onto their next chapter - college - when Luke calls Rebecca, telling her that he has been raped by one of the popular boys - who happens to be the headmaster's son.
Rebecca is academically gifted, at the top of her class, but begins to spiral in her ever-consuming quest for justice. However, Luke doesn't quite see it this way.
The novel doesn't end in the way I expected which was surprising and it had a clever twist.
Well written - I look forward to reading more of Kelley's work.
First of all huge kudos to Ms. Kelley for tackling such a heavy topic. I think that bringing awareness to the commonality of men/boys being raped is so important. I liked this book overall but some of the characters just fell flat for me. I did not anticipate the ending which was a great twist.
I couldn’t put this down. It covers an incredibly sensitive topic in a way which shines a light on the impact which society’s perceptions and responses to rape have on how survivors perceive themselves and the crime. More than that, this book is a complex analysis of friendship and of love in all its different guises. It will test your views of justice and what is right while making you reflect on what it is like to be a young person coming to terms with trauma.
I enjoyed Taint.
It kept me reading till the very end as I really wanted to know what was going to happen.
I also think the book dealt with trauma really well and I haven't read a book before dealing with this specific topic before.
The only reason I gave this book a lower rating is because I really didn't like the main character.
I really loved the twist at the end though!
Thank you netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
I'll start by saying I really appreciated this book's willingness to tackle such a heavy but important topic. It did a good job of showing the impact that rape/sexual assault can have on people, including the friends and families of survivors. The story follows Rebecca, he learns that her best friend Luke was raped, and she becomes consumed with hatred and a desire for revenge. I liked the overarching plot of the novel, and I liked that it ended with a bit of an unexpected twist.Thank you to the author
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