No ShameTitle: No Shame

Author: Anne Cassidy

Pages: 192 Pages

Publisher: Hot Key Books/Bonnier Zaffre

The Blurb

The powerful companion to NO VIRGIN.

From the author of the critically acclaimed, LOOKING FOR JJ, shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize in 2004 and the Carnegie Medal in 2005.

Stacey Woods has been raped and now she has to go through a different ordeal – the court trial. But nothing in life it seems is black and white and life is not always fair or just.

Suddenly it seems that she may not be believed and that the man who attacked her may be found not guilty . . . if so Stacey will need to find a way to rebuild her life again . . .

A tautly told and important book, perfect for readers of Asking for It by Louise O’Neill.

The Review

For years, my good friend Shirley has encouraged me to read books by Anne Cassidy. Now due to an ever growing TBR pile Cassidy’s books were always put on the backburner. That was until last year when I read a review copy of No Virgin. In No Virgin we follow the story of Stacey Woods during a difficult period in her life which leads to her being raped.

No Shame, No Virgin’s sequel follows the story and introduces the harrowing element of dealing with the eventual court case. In many ways, No Shame is a much more powerful novel because we see the udder degradation that rape victims have to go through even though the ordeal of rape is over they have to relive it and have it twisted and torn apart. Victim shaming seems to be the way of these cases. I have said it before on reviews that deal with this challenging subject, in most cases you are innocent until proven guilty. With rape victims they are liars until proven otherwise.

Cassidy has handled this subject with compassion and confidence. With Stacey, Cassidy tries to show the cocktail of emotions that she is feeling and deal with it in a sensitive way and it is with her years of experience writing for the YA audience that Cassidy absolutely nails this.

No Shame is definitely my sequel of the year. You can read both books now.

No Shame by Anne Cassidy is available now.

For more information regarding Anne Cassidy (@annecassidy6) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Hot Key Books (@HotKeyBooks) please visit www.hotkeybooks.com.

For more information regarding Bonnier Zaffre Books (@BonniereZaffre) please visit their Twitter page.

4 Stars

No Virgin

Title: No Virgin

Author: Anne Cassidy

Pages: 192 Pages

Publisher: Hot Key Books

The Blurb

From the author of the critically acclaimed, LOOKING FOR JJ, shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize in 2004 and the Carnegie Medal in 2005.

A raw, powerful, moving tale about a girl attempting to deal with the aftermath of a sexual attack.

My name is Stacey Woods and I was raped. 

Stacey is the victim of a terrible sexual attack. She does not feel able to go to the police, or talk about it to anybody other than her best friend, Patrice. Patrice, outraged, when she cannot persuade her to go to the police, encourages Stacey to write everything down. This is Stacey’s story.

A tautly told and important book, perfect for readers of Asking for It by Louise O’Neill.

The Review

Anne Cassidy’s latest book No Virgin was hard to read. Don’t get me wrong, it was so well written and I could not put it down. It was the subject matter of the story that was difficult.

Rape. For such a big, life altering and soul destroying thing four little letters hardly sees adequate. But this is what happens to Stacey Woods, the protagonist in No Virgin.

What Cassidy does so well is depict the state of mind of the victim: the shame, the guilt, the blame. In a way No Virgin is almost scaremongering its readers into not being naïve and to be wary and it is this that detail that has me in two minds. I agree with Cassidy, people need to be more wary, less trusting and also know how to defend themselves in those situations. However, I worry that someone who is young and impressionable will read it and believe everyone is a bad person. I personally felt that it needed more of that balance. It had some of this in the form of an ex-boyfriend of Stacey’s but I still felt it needed more.

What No Virgin does highlight is the power and privilege of the white middle class male. Something that sadly is relevant in too many rape cases – in particular cases that have hit to news in the past couple of months.

No Virgin is brilliant. No one could ever accuse Anne Cassidy of shying away from hard, difficult but important issues and No Virgin is a prime example of this.

No Virgin by Anne Cassidy is available from 3rd November 2016.

For more information regarding Anne Cassidy please visit www.annecassidy.com.

For more information regarding Hot Key Books (@HotKeyBooks) please visit www.hotkeybooks.com.

5 Stars