‘He Said, She Said’ | Tradition | A Review

There’s a reason that some feel that January is so bloomin’ long. We’ve just had Christmas, possibly some time off and many are back to the 9-5, Monday to Friday style of work.

Personally, I feel like January is flying by. I haven’t read as many books as I wanted and I’ll be back at uni before I know it.

Speaking of uni, here’s a review for a book set in a private school, about the #MeToo movement and seen from the point of view of both sides – guys and girls.

Blurb

Prestigious. Powerful. Privileged. This is Fullbrook Academy, an elite prep school where history looms in the leafy branches over its brick walkways. But some traditions upheld in its hallowed halls are profoundly dangerous.

Jules Devereux just wants to keep her head down, avoid distractions, and get into the right college, so she can leave Fullbrook and its old-boy social codes behind. She wants freedom, but ex-boyfriends and ex-best friends are determined to keep her in place.

Jamie Baxter feels like an imposter at Fullbrook, but the hockey scholarship that got him in has given him a chance to escape his past and fulfill the dreams of his parents and coaches, whose mantra rings in his ears: Don’t disappoint us.

When Jamie and Jules meet, they recognize in each other a similar instinct for survival, but at a school where girls in the student handbook are rated by their looks, athletes stack hockey pucks in dorm room windows like notches on a bedpost, and school-sponsored dances push first year girls out into the night with senior boys, the stakes for safe sex, real love, and true friendship couldn’t be higher.

As Jules and Jamie’s lives intertwine, and the pressures to play by the rules and remain silent about the school’s secrets intensify, they see Fullbrook for what it really is. That tradition, a word Fullbrook hides behind, can be ugly, even violent. Ultimately, Jules and Jamie are faced with the difficult question: can they stand together against classmates—and an institution—who believe they can do no wrong?

Netgalley Review

Heart-breaking, gut-wrenching, real look at high school and ‘he said, she said culture’ from the point of view from both boy and girl. Made me sad, wished for a happy ending, although this is probably truthful, there very rarely is.

Star Rating2.5 Stars

So as mentioned in my Netgalley review, this book is pretty heart-breaking. It’s a snapshot of school life in a private school, where there’s this tradition that the senior boys take the freshman girls to their dance and well… you can only guess the rest. (Caution: this book does contain reference to sexual assault).

It’s also tradition for freshman guys to take senior girls to the dance but it’s not got quite the same reputation.

It turns out that the school is surrounded by this ‘what they don’t know, doesn’t hurt them’ and it’s only when one, or in this case, two, students take a stand, does anything truly happen.

The ending is bitter sweet and it’s a mirror to what goes on in our current system. But it’s a talking point and it’s a start, and that’s all that matters. The spark that starts the fire.

As always, let me know in the comments below if you’ve read the book and what you thought of it. And if you haven’t, will you be adding it to your TBR pile?

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