About the Book:
When her sixteenth birthday comes along, Maggie makes a wish: Please, Lord, let sixteen be a great year; let me be pretty and popular and let Webb . . . it’s too big a dream to even put the rest into words. Then she hears a noise in the woods that she can’t ignore and takes a path that changes her life forever.
What Maggie finds in the Woods is Webb's girlfriend. She's been bound, raped and left for dead. Maggie, of course, calls the police. Of course when she gets to school the next day, everyone wants to know what happened, and she goes from being invisible to having the in-crowd around. Then she realizes she doesn't even like these kids.
Maggie's mom committed suicide when she was four and she has been the de-facto housewife/mother at their house for a long time. When she turns sixteen, her dad shows up with something, or should we say someone new, a lady friend who happens to work at a rape crisis center and who tries to take over the household. She wasn't a very likable person, really she came off as a talking head and not much more, but she knew a lot about rape and sexual assault.
The book was interesting, if a little slow. It is clearly a "message" book--rape isn't the only form of sexual assault; date rape and molestation are much more common. Also, your body is yours and you don't have to allow someone access to it.
In some ways Maggie reminded me of myself--not sure where she fit, and not sure she wanted to fit in with the usual teenaged antics. The first time she goes on a real date with one of the popular kids he tries to touch her breast and she slaps him. The first time she goes to a party with alcohol she drinks one beer and gets drunk and has a hangover the next day. I'm a cheap drunk, but that's a little too cheap.
The book doesn't push purity before marriage so much as it pushes respecting yourself and making the decisions that are right for you. Characters in the book pray and go to church. It is said several times that God works things out for the best in the end.
In short, I give the book a B- . It has some good parts, but also comes across a little like a speech on sexual abuse and there are a lot of creepy people in her neighborhood. I purchased this one with my own money.