Review: Taint by Janet Kelley

Title: Taint

Author: Janet Kelley

Pages: 316 Pages

Publisher: Atmosphere Press

The Blurb

Rebecca White, a senior at the top of her class at Plains High School in 2001, is a Kansas girl going places…until the rape. She wants the rapist to pay for his crime and go to jail. Unfortunately, nothing is that simple, and she wasn’t the one raped.

This is the story of how Rebecca seeks revenge for her best friend, Luke Warren, who was raped by the principal’s son, Weston. While the senior class chooses corsages and boutonnières for prom, Rebecca plots revenge against Weston. She must find a way to make him pay without revealing Luke’s secret. The solution she finds is chilling.

Set in a small town in the American Midwest when the terrorist attacks in New York City brought life to a standstill, Taint by Janet Kelley portrays how friendship and justice are tested when the unthinkable happens.

The Review

Oh dear. Well, I’m going to try and be fair with my critique of Taint because 1) I didn’t make it all the way through it and 2) I respect the intentions behind the book release.

I didn’t love this book. I know that probably sounds unfair because I didn’t make it all the way through the book but I have a strong rule that if a book isn’t hooking me by 10-15% of the ay in then I will DNF it. However, I finished earlier than this with Taint. I really didn’t bond well with the writing. It was over-written. I felt that Kelley didn’t trust her readers to read between the lines or figure things out for themselves. Why use 20 words when the same message can be made in 10? It jarred with me and therefore I had to DNF it. However, I am impressed by the generosity of the writer and how she wanted the a portion of the sale profits were going to be donated to the Trevor Project. Janet Kelley has brilliant intentions and I’m sure her novel will find the right audience. Unfortunately, it wasn’t me.

Taint by Janet Kelley is available now.

For more information regarding Janet Kelley (@hutchkelley5) please visit

For more information regarding Atmosphere Press (@atmospherepress) please visit

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