Author: Kate McCaffrey
Publisher: Freemantle Press
Date of Publication: August 2016
Source: Review copy courtesy of publisher
Jasmine Lovely has it all – the looks, the grades, the friends. But when a house party spins out of control, Jazz discovers what can happen when your mistakes go viral ...
We know our kids are at risk of becoming victims of cyberbullying. But do we know how at risk they are of becoming perpetrators? This controversial new novel tackles cyberbullying from a whole new perspective.
This book is told as a series of blog posts. Jasmine, or Jazz, is writing about events that happened a year ago. She opens by telling us she is a rapist, which is quite confronting, and then she goes on to explain her thinking. Jazz and her best friends, Annie and Jack, went to a party, got very, very drunk, and did things they never would have done otherwise. A girl is assaulted, photos and videos are shared around, and lives are ruined.
This book deals with interesting, and pertinent, issues, such as sexual assault, under age drinking and rape culture. It also looks at emotionally abusive relationships and family breakdown. It follows Jazz from the events leading up to the party to university and beyond. It tracks her emotional journey, her guilt and ultimate redemption.
Towards the end of the book Jazz becomes victim to sexual harrassment, which she doesn't recognise as such, and it moves on from the original issues to deal with this one. For me, this was an issue too far and I could no longer suspend my disbelief.
I really liked the relationship between Jazz and her aunt, but I didn't really connect with Jazz at all. I found her to be an unlikeable character, who wallows in her sense of guilt, but still gets everything she ever wanted. Jazz finds her redemption, but she is the only one of the key players to do so.
This is an interesting book which raises issues that should be discussed, and for that reason I would recommend it to older teen readers, but I didn't love it.
If I gave half scores, then this would be a 3.5