Friday, January 20, 2012

Are You in the House Alone? by Richard Peck

Gail's life is pretty ordinary. She gets decent grades, has a good relationship with her boyfriend, and makes money by baby-sitting on the weekends. But then she finds a strange note in her locker. It unsettles her, even as her best friend tells her to just forget about it. Then the phone calls start, and it's clear that someone isn't just joking around. Is there anything Gail can do...before it's too late?

(Spoilers below)

This book is two scary horror stories in one. The first part seems like it's a standard thriller: obscene phone calls, random notes, a young girl left alone. But then partway through the story changes - or rather, continues. It doesn't stop with Gail being heroically rescued at the last minute. Instead, she's raped by her stalker and ends up in the hospital. Then there are pages and pages spent talking about how futile it would be to press charges against her assailant - a man that Gail knows and can easily identify. In addition to his being from a prominent family, Gail was on the pill and had previously had sex with her boyfriend, so arly she's unrapable. Not only that, but if she does press charges, her lawyer cautions her that the accused would likely turn around and sue her.   These passages were so infuriatingly frustrating, and made worse because I knew that it was not that exaggerated to how real life was (and, in many ways, still can be). This book doesn't flinch from showing how Gail's rape affects her family and relationships or from how the world pigeonholes women into certain roles. It's a book I came across sort of by accident at the library but it quite an interesting read.

Find it at IndieBound. 

Read it with:
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Babysitter by R.L. Stine
Amanda, Miranda by Richard Peck

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