I am so excited to get a chance to be a part of this book tour hosted by TBRandBeyondTours . Make sure you check out the rest of the posts that are a part of this tour by looking at the schedule for the tour found here.
Hayley Krischer has been an award-winning journalist for over 20+ years. She is a contributing writer for the New York Times, where she has covered feminist roller skaters, Instagram obsessed moms, profiled Gabrielle Union, Tatum O’Neal, and S.E. Hinton. She has also written for many publications about women and teenage girls including Marie Claire, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Lenny Letter, and the Hairpin. Her YA debut, SOMETHING HAPPENED TO ALI GREENLEAF will be released in fall 2020 from Razorbill. Hayley received her MFA in creative writing from Lesley University. Her first newspaper job was as an editorial assistant at the Boston Globe. She reads tarot cards.
Content Warning: Intense scenes depicting sexual assault and drug abuse, Reference to an eating disorder, Mental illness, Trauma, PTSD, Bullying, Victim blaming.
Ali Greenleaf and Blythe Jensen couldn’t be more different. Ali is sweet, bitingly funny, and just a little naive. Blythe is beautiful, terrifying, and the most popular girl in school. They’ve never even talked to each other, until a party when Ali decides she’ll finally make her move on Sean Nessel, her longtime crush, and the soccer team’s superstar. But Sean pushes Ali farther than she wants to go. When she resists–he rapes her.
Blythe sees Ali when she runs from the party, everyone sees her. And Blythe knows something happened with Sean, she knows how he treats girls. Even so, she’s his best friend, his confidant. When he begs her to help him, she can’t resist.
So Blythe befriends Ali in her attempt to make things right with Sean, bringing Ali into a circle of ruthless popular girls, and sharing her own dark secrets. Despite the betrayal at the heart of their relationship, they see each other, in a way no one ever has before.
In her searing, empowering debut novel, Hayley Krischer tells the story of what happened that night, and how it shaped Ali and Blythe forever. Both girls are survivors in their own ways, and while their experiences are different, and their friendship might not be built to last, it’s one that helps each of them find a way forward on their own terms.
Finished copy of Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf. The giveaway ends on October 13th. Click Here to Enter.
Thoughts and Themes: This book was a bit difficult for me to get through because of the subject manner but its a book that is needed. Though the book I was rooting for Ali to say something, to rely on her friends, and to turn away from Blythe so its hard to watch her do the opposite of all that.
I thought the contrast of consent between the rape scene with Sean and then the scene with the gynecologist was a good thing to include. I like how much the gynecologist made things about consent and made sure Ali was okay with things before continuing. I liked that this scene let’s Ali know she still has agency over her own body after what Sean did.
I just couldn’t stand Blythe through this whole story because she apologized for Sean. Then you think maybe, just maybe she understands and is done with it, turns out she just cares about herself. It was frustrating to watch as Blythe cares only about herself and how people will see her when there’s so much more to this story. I think that Blythe’s response is part of this story though, while frustrating I think it was important to see how everyone plays into rape culture. I thought it was important to see how Blythe plays into this too and how even when she wants things to stop, she doesn’t know how to do that or how to proceed otherwise.
Characters: I really enjoyed Ali as a character and the way she responded to so many things in the story. Her reactions and her emotions felt very real.
Blythe was a hard character to love and care about but there were moments that I felt for her. I felt for her as she wanted a life like the other girls, one in which she didn’t have to care for her mom. While I was angry at the excuses she made for Sean throughout the story, I could see her struggle to be okay with her feelings for him.
I thought the relationship between Ali and Blythe was well done. I liked that it was a relationship built around Blythe defending Sean but you get to see that these are the only moments Blythe is real with someone. I thought it was good to see this relationship in contrast to the friendship between Ali and Sammi, along with the friendship between Blythe, Sean and Dev.
Writing Style: The story goes back and forth between Ali and Blythe, giving you both of their perspectives on the events that take place. I thought it was great that we got to see both sides of this and we see Sean’s perspective a little through Blythe. I’m glad we never get his direct perspective and we get it filtered through someone who loves him but struggles with those feelings.