Series Review: No Virgin and No Shame by Anne Cassidy

*Note: We received ‘No Shame’ from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

NO VIRGIN

Stacey Woods has been raped and this is her story. She lays out the circumstances that led to the horrific event and what happened immediately after. The story is unassuming at first, but tinged with something terrible that you can’t avoid thinking about on every page.

It’s powerful and important, with a positive message about seeking the support from friends, family and charities that specialise in helping rape victims. (The ending is particularly supportive, delivering the most hopeful speech when Stacey phones the Rape Crisis Centre.)

Obviously, every rape that you read about, fictional or real, is terrible, but ‘No Virgin’ certainly isn’t as harrowing and dark as the books of Louise O’Neill or ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. I’d really recommend picking up this series if you’re interested in exploring these themes and how they’re portrayed in YA, without being too heavy. ‘No Virgin’ is the perfect stepping stone for a dialogue about sexual assault and the effects it has on the victim.

NO SHAME

The companion is all about the court trial Stacey is convinced by in order to get justice. There’s further exploration into the way rape cases are perceived by the media/jury/eyes of the law. It’s actual terrible, and made my blood boil on so many occasions but it’s the sad reality for most cases. Reading ‘No Shame’ will hopefully open everyone’s eyes to the injustice of it all, and the wrongly placed blame and encourage people to get angry about the way court works.

If you enjoyed the third season of ‘Broadchurch’ or shows like ‘How To Get Away With Murder’, this is for you. The court room drama is real, but so are the effects on the defendants.

I really liked the discussion of ripple effects of rape cases and just how many individuals are harmed. As more and more women stepped forward, the more likely justice was to get served.

Again, by the conclusion, ‘No Shame’ is another powerful tale about speaking out against sexual violence and getting the support that one deserves. Both stories felt like two halves of the same whole, so while they can easily be read as two stand-alones, I’d really recommend both. (I mean, they’re under 200 pages each, so really, it’s one reasonably sized book put together!) Overall, it’s a hard-hitting, raw series perfect for lighting a fire in anyone who reads it to fight for justice.

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Review: Moth Girls by Anne Cassidy

27766357Moth Girls by Anne Cassidy
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Published by: Hot Key Books
Pages: 304
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★★★★

I was sent Moth Girls by Hot Key Books in exchange for my honest review.

WOW. Just wow. I was drawn to this book like a moth to a flame. Anne Cassidy has created a story which is compelling, character driven and impossible to put down. I wasn’t expecting much from Moth Girls after having read so much in this genre last year, but I was completely blown away by how beautifully this story was crafted and how invested I was in these characters. I just could not stop reading. Moth Girls follows Mandy five years after two of her friends Petra and Tina are presumed dead after sneaking in to a old house owned by a reclusive man. She blames herself for what happened to the girls and has struggled to let them go, and move on with her life. Until the house is being knocked down and it looks like one of the girls isn’t gone after all.

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