Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson has brought a lot of attention to rape victims. Chris Lynch’s book is different. It is told from the perspective of the rapist.
Keir is a fun loving senior. He is a football player and earns the name “killer” after he tackles and paralyzes another player during a game. He pulls the average teen pranks and has an interesting relationship with his father, whom he refers to by his first name. Keir also abuses drugs and thinks nothing of it. Afterall, he's still a "good guy."
The story is told through a series of flashbacks which all leads up to the rape, or supposed rape. Keir tries desperately to convince Gigi he “loves” her and that it wasn’t rape. She’s knows it was rape. Finally, in the last few chapters the reader is finally told what took place.
The topic is interesting and Keir is a very disturbing character. I know he has some problems, but even looking past his issues I cannot like him as a main character. He bothers me, but maybe that’s the point. Maybe I shouldn’t like him? Maybe I am supposed to hate him?
Overall, it was a decent read. It was a National Book Award Finalist, but I felt this book was more disturbing than award quality.
While book talking this novel I have told students that if they enjoyed Speak they may find Inexcusable interesting. I explain to them it is a book about rape and is from the guy's point of view. At first, students are interested in this novel, but the majority tell me that Speak is their favorite of the two.