Genres: Young Adult, Romance
Publication Date: September 8th 2015
1 OUT OF 5 STARS
“Batgirl could do this. So can I.”
Disclaimer: A copy of this novel was received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Mariam is new in town. When she meets Tya, a fellow nerd, they decide they have to go to a convention together. Family obligations keep Tya from going and Mariam decides to go alone. She ends up finding a group cosplaying the rest of the characters from her favourite show. Unfortunately she realizes that for one of the boy’s these are more than costumes. Their characters are meant to be in love and he’ll take what he has to.
This book reads more like a cautionary tale than an enjoyable story. The characters fit well known tropes; the shy innocent girl, the extremely pushy best friend, and frighteningly overprotective single mother. The anime and comic references are tossed around but feel more like a thin veil to try and cover up the very Lifetime movie story line.
The set up for the event takes far too long without adding anything important. The book is at it’s halfway mark before the convention promised in the synopsis even happens. While these sort of things do happen at cons the whole set up seems terribly convenient. Not to mention the glorification of terrible choices like taking on angry, dangerous men yourself instead of getting help from the law.
The story attempts to tie itself with a nice bow. Everything is clean cut, none of the real drama that’s always involved with these sorts of situations. However, Mariam’s mother and Tya both get off withut ever living up to their actions. Tya puts a huge amount of pressure trying to force her friend to wear revealing clothing she isn’t comfortable with. She manipulates Mariam the same way Rick does but is never dealt with properly. Mariam’s mother on the other hand is a whole different beast.
Mariam’s mother keeps her child on a leash so short she’s choking. Mariam is seventeen, and not allowed to go anywhere without supervision. Is not allowed to have any autonomy, not allowed to have a real job or friends of the opposite sex. Calgary is a big city, but this style of parenting was going to cause Mariam to lie eventually. This issue is dealt with lightly but Mariam’s mother never accepts any responsibility for what happened even grounding her daughter after a traumatic experience. She did lie but a parent should be able to recognize when they were part of the problem.
Over eighty percent of the book can be picked up from the official synopsis. It tells you everything but the ending, which is far too neat. It attempts to be a critical look on sexual assault but doesn’t look into any of the problems girls face when trying to prove their cases. It’s convention background also make it inaccessible to a large number of readers. It’s just an uncomfortable read with an ending that nullifies any good discourse it could have started