Review Detail

5.0 1
Young Adult Fiction 407
powerful and thought-provoking YA contemporary
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
THE WOLVES ARE WAITING is a powerful and thought-provoking YA contemporary. The last thing 15-year-old Nora remembered from the charity event known as the Frat Fair was ordering a cup of root beer. The next thing she knows, her BFF Cam is waking her up on a golf course, and she is throwing up everything she ate the day before. She soon figures out that she had been drugged by some college guys who had removed her clothing and were clearly planning to do more before they were scared away by Adam Xu.

Nora wants to forget what happened, but her mind is full of the memories she has and those she is missing, as well as all the feelings they have left behind. Her life is now divided into before and after, and while she knows all the things that say this was not her fault, she also cannot help but remember the things people have said about the way she dresses and the choices she made. Cam also cannot let it go and begins to investigate, uncovering bigger secrets that Nora cannot ignore.

What I loved: This was such a thought-provoking and powerful read about assault, the aftermath, and the ways it is handled when it is brought to light. Beyond what happened to Nora, the story of other girls and young women is discussed, particularly with regards to troubling patterns with colleges, college athletes, and the ways they investigate assault when reported. These themes as well as those around generational problems with the historical context being seen as a pass on considering them further, the importance of belief in victims, and victim blaming, such as comments on clothing choices, drinking, and decisions to go to parties, are really important.

The book is mostly told from the perspective of Nora, but also includes those from Cam, Adam, and occasionally Nora's brother, Asher. All of these perspectives in understanding the broader implications and societal/cultural issues surrounding assault. Nora is a particularly compelling character as she tries to understand the un-understandable and re-evaluate those around her, particularly as things become out of her control with who knows what.

This book raises a lot of important questions and would make for a great pick for a book club or discussion group. The implications of the story merit deeper consideration from different perspectives, including those who have not experienced assault firsthand but also those who offhand comments fall into these problematic cultural themes and those who are in power to do more.

Final verdict: With critical themes and compelling characters, THE WOLVES ARE WAITING is a powerful and thought-provoking YA contemporary. Highly recommend for book groups and further consideration.
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