Modern Monsters by Kelley York
Publish Date: June 02, 2015 by Entangled: Teen
Source/Edition: Copy provided by publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, eBook (Kindle)
Summary provided by Goodreads:
Vic Howard never wanted to go to the party. He’s the Invisible Guy at school, a special kind of hell for quiet, nice guys. But because his best friend is as popular as Vic is ignored, he went…
And wished he hadn’t.
Because something happened to a girl that night. Something terrible, unimaginable, and Callie Wheeler’s life will never be the same. Plus, now Callie has told the police that Vic is responsible. Suddenly, Invisible Vic is painfully visible, on trial both literally, with the police, and figuratively, with the angry kids at school. As the whispers and violence escalate, he becomes determined to clear his name, even if it means an uneasy alliance with Callie’s best friend, the beautiful but aloof Autumn Dixon.
But as Autumn and Vic slowly peel back the layers of what happened at the party, they realize that while the truth can set Vic free, it can also shatter everything he thought he knew about his life
This is my first book by Kelley York and I am so impressed. It was such a powerful read. I’ll warn you though, it’s not exactly the fluffy, romantic contemporary novel but it will impact you. I really liked that she picked this topic. Teenage rape cases have risen and unfortunately, (a) not a lot cases are reported or solved, (b) double standards and lack of victim support or victim blaming actually happens, and (c) it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. I especially liked it that she had written it in the point of view of a suspect. More often than not, we read books like this in the victim’s point of view, so it was definitely a different kind of twist.
The writing was superb and easy to follow. I always enjoy when books are written in first person point of view. In this case, it really helps you understand how much Callie’s accusation is affecting Vic. Initially, I didn’t know whether to believe that he was innocent or guilty. Maybe he was being an unreliable narrator and skipped over details but I threw away that theory a couple of pages after the incident. I liked the characters, especially Vic, Callie, and Autumn. The three of them showed an incredible strength and loyalty throughout the ordeal. Vic, the accused, is receiving all the hate and getting bullied. That was really hard to read because through his POV, you know that he’s innocent and doesn’t deserve this. Callie, the victim, is going through the worst, not remembering what happened and not knowing who to trust. Then, there’s Autumn. The victim’s best friend, who blames herself for not going to the party with Callie.
The plot was fantastic and I love how York outlined the events. It created a sort of mystery and it also made me feel like a detective of some sort. I even took notes and everything. I had theories and suspects of my own — I had the right suspect by the way. I was so excited to find out I was right ha! I don’t think it’s predictable, I just deduced a lot and like I said, I had a lot of theories. Moving from that tangent, the plot was magnificent and the suspect was a real twist. It just kept surprising me as I kept going through the book. With the POV, you’re kind of going through the journey with Vic where he finds out more about himself and the truth of that night.
Final Thoughts: You really need to pick this up, even if you are on the sensitive side. It doesn’t go into any rape-like details so you’re safe from that but it’s a book that I feel everyone should read. It goes beyond just a novel. It exposes a real problem that teenagers go through in our society. Not to say that we don’t see enough of it in real life, though, I wish that things like this never happen to begin with. But it gives us an insight to the impact it has to the victim, the accused, their families, and the community. I even cried in the end — something I was not expecting. The title is so befitting to the book, it’s incredible. It just angers me because this happens in real life and people turn into these kinds of despicable monsters.
Modern Monsters is one of those books that run deeper than the cover and will get you thinking. It will be published this coming Tuesday, June 02, 2015. Be sure to pre-order a copy of it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or pick up a copy when it is released.