Friend, Natasha

The Wolves Are Waiting

(2) YA The morning after attending a fair run by (fictional) Faber College's fraternities, fifteen-year-old Nora wakes up on the golf course without any memory of how she got there. Her best friend, Camille, is by her side and explains that the night before, three guys removed Nora's underwear and hung it from a flagstick at the course before their classmate, Adam, chased them away. As Nora grapples with the implications of what ­happened--and what could have happened if Adam hadn't intervened--Cam and Adam decide to find out who the guys were. Their investigation leads to unsavory revelations about one of Faber's fraternities and about the college's charismatic, beloved athletic director--who is also Nora's dad. The victim-shaming that follows is depressing but familiar; the novel unflinchingly exposes the sexism inherent in excusing men's assaultive behavior while blaming women because of how they're dressed or how much they drank. More subtle but equally devastating is the fall from grace of Nora's father, "her favorite person in the world"; his refusal to accept responsibility adds a layer of trauma and makes it more difficult for Nora to speak out. Her eventual decision to formally accuse her attackers is a powerful one as she courageously reclaims her voice and her story: it's a small, satisfying step toward justice.


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