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No Virgin

No Virgin should be essential reading for teenagers regardless of their gender, as it highlights social issues that happen all too often, but very seldom see the light of day, when teens feel they are no longer part of the family, that they don’t count.

A powerful statement is made with the words ‘My name is Stacy Wood and I was raped,’ which puts you on notice for what is to come. Stacey’s home life is anything but perfect, in fact far from it. Her parents have divorced some time ago and her beloved father has recently begun a new relationship. Her younger sister Jodie has fallen pregnant at 14 years of age and expects Stacey and their Mum to look after her son Tyler, while she does as little as possible.

The situation at home comes to a head when Stacy discovers not only has Jodie been in her room she has also been through her things.

She storms out, deciding staying overnight at her father’s house. Rather than go on to school the next day she makes the fatal decision to go into Shoreditch instead, where she meets Harry, who it would also seem, is wagging school but is from a very different element of society altogether.

By meeting Harry she immediately feels like she is moving on with her life; that she is grown up enough to take a risk and enjoy what he has to offer, at least for today, as it all seems to be harmless enough. But as the day moves along she discovers that perhaps things are not as they seem and the people she is meeting seem to know something she does not.

Things do not turn sinister until Harry shows little interest in her in a sexual way and she overhears a conversation with someone she presumes to be his brother, Terry, whom she has met earlier, with Harry saying he really likes her, calling her sweet, and nice.

Terry turns up at the flat, which would seem to be not so unexpected by Harry, which is when the situation gets out of control, with Stacey realising what a colossal mistake she has made, electing to spend the night and time with a boy she knew nothing about.

Hard hitting and very true to life, Anne Cassidy has laid bare the very real issues that many young girls face, when life changes perhaps a bit too rapidly for them, the basis of their world is not stable and they face life head on, from an emotional perspective. It also showcases what happens when children and young women are groomed for sexual purposes and emotional pressure they face to be able to talk, to tell, what has happened.

‘My name is Stacey Wood and I was raped.’ This is my story.

AuthorAnne Cassidy
PublisherBonnier/hotkey
ISBN9781471405785
Websitehttp:/www.allenandunwin.com
DistributorAllen and Unwin
ReleasedJanuary 2017