Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 2665
Modern Monsters
(Updated: May 06, 2015)
Overall rating
Writing Style
Vic Howard is invisible at his high school and tries not to be noticed. When his best friend Brett asks him to come to a party, he decides to go. Once there, he runs into Callie, a girl from high school, who is very drunk. Feeling bad, he takes her upstairs and leaves her alone in a room. Only later does this come back to haunt him as he's accused of rape. What's worse is most everyone believes he did it including his own mother. In his attempts to clear his name, he encounters Callie's best friend Autumn, who helps him set out to find out what really happened that fateful night. But the truth might be too much to bear.

What worked: This is an intriguing twist on the whole rape premise. Usually we read about victims of this horrific crime but in this case it's the nice guy who is falsely accused while others figure it's okay to use him as the scapegoat. Vic is an average teen who doesn't feel comfortable around his peers due to a case of stuttering. He would be that guy that most wouldn't even notice as he would blend into surroundings. He's also the type of boy that some girls might not take seriously other than being a friend. So I did like when there was a hint of a possible romance.

I admit, I felt bad for Vic for being accused of such a horrific crime and couldn't believe his own mother would turn her back on him. A terrible revelation later in the story gives readers a better understanding behind his mother's indifference.

The whole subject of irresponsible drinking and rape is a sensitive topic and one that needs to be addressed. I did like that readers are shown a teen that chooses to make better choices in this kind of environment. The harsh reality though is that there are those who don't do the right thing and then try to find someone else to take the blame. The author does a good job of showing how easy this can happen.

I did have some problems with a few things. One had to do with legal technicalities on an accused person being able to get in contact with the one who accuses him. I thought Vic would have reacted in a different matter or an adult would have commented on this. I couldn't help but wonder why Autumn would have been so fast to want Vic to help find the true rapist. Sure, she basically kicks his butt the first time he encounters her but after that? She was almost too quick to have him help.

I also felt the ending was abrupt with a lot going on all at once. I won't say what exactly as that would be a major spoiler but I think concentrating on the final reveal(which surprised me) and then go from there would have been enough. But that's just me.

An haunting glimpse into a party gone bad and the real monsters who chose someone to take the fall without caring about the consequences. But mostly this is a story of a teen who ends up finding his voice and the courage to right his name in face of almost unbeatable odds.
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