No Shame by Anne Cassidy
Publication Date: 21st September 2017
Publisher: Hot Key Books
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.
No Shame is Anne Cassidy’s companion novel to No Virgin and let me tell you, neither books are a picnic to read, but what they are is important. Not a lot of books deal with rape, and they especially don’t deal with the actual aftermath of rape – the synopsis mentions the court case Stacey has to go through, and it’s just horrendous. I found No Shame so hard to read – and even harder to review, but for girls like Stacey, real girls who go through stuff like this and keep quiet, this is the book that tells them to find their voice, that there’s no shame to reporting a rape, even if it opens you up to a court case, media attention, etc. Because people shouldn’t be able to get away with abuse, ever.
Like I said, this is so tough to review – Stacey is such a brave character and I know that’s probably such an asinine thing to say, but she is. She not only has all the rape stuff to deal with, but she’s still at school and has family problems and it would all be too much for me, of that there’s no question.
For such a short read, it doesn’t half pack a punch. It leaves you with so many questions and it is really, incredibly effecting. This is most definitely a novel for older teens, but it should most definitely be taught to all Year 11s or sixth formers. Because it’s so eye-opening and harrowing, but also the way Stacey takes a stand makes you want to stand up and applaud her. Yes, what happened to her is vile, but she empowers herself in the way she deals with it and you have to be there to see that.