Review: The Word for Yes by Claire Needell

The Word for Yes

After their parents’ divorce, Jan, Erika, and Melanie have to get used to the new world order: a father who’s moved to another continent and a mother who throws herself into moving on. Jan, off at her first semester of college, has plenty to worry about, including an outspoken roommate who’s kind of “out there” and an increasingly depressed and troubled long-distance boyfriend. Her younger sisters, left at home in New York City, and dealing with all the pressures of life in high school, aren’t exactly close. Erika is serious and feels awkward and uncomfortable in crowds, though her beauty tends to attract attention. Melanie is socially savvy and just wants to go out—to concerts, to parties, wherever—with her friends. The gap between all three girls widens as each day passes.

Then, at a party full of blurred lines and blurred memories, everything changes. Starting that night, where there should be words, there is only angry, scared silence.

And in the aftermath, Jan, Erika, and Melanie will have to work hard to reconnect and help one another heal.

This was a skimmy book, and even then I didn't finish it...

There seems to be a massive explosion of books focusing sexual abuse/rape/the blurred lines around it all. Whether that's because people have realised it's SUCH AN IMPORTANT ISSUE, or whether authors are just trying to tackle something new, or whether it's just about the fact that many of us YA reader/reviewers can't read enough of them, I don't know. There are good ways of doing it (All The Rage, What We Saw) and less effective ways (Every Last Promise)... then there are some books which completely miss the point (The Word for Yes).

Now, there are many reviewers that enjoyed this a heck lot more than me, and I definitely think they have valid points, but for me this book just didn't put enough development and emotion into the situation: Melanie came across as somebody using what had happened to her as a reason to become this voice, but actually there were blurred lines in the whole thing and I don't think that was focused on enough for me to believe any of it.

I felt that the characters all blurred into one to the point where I couldn't care less what happened in any of their lives, and Melanie was straight up a b*tch, so I just didn't connect with her enough to really be on her side, even in such a difficult time.

As I said though, many reviewers didn't feel this way. I would recommend that you go and read the positive reviews before you make a decision on this book. Goodreads is always a good place to start.

Overall Rating: DNF

Book released 16th February 2015 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

1 comment

  1. I'm sorry to see that you really didn't like this book. I found the premise kind of interesting, though I am not so sure if I'll enjoy it anymore. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian


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