[Book Review] NO SHAME by Anne Cassidy

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.

DETAILS:

TITLE: NO SHAME

AUTHOR: Anne Cassidy

GENRE: YA , Fiction , Personal & Social Issues

EDITION: Paperback

PAGES: 192

PUBLISHED BY: Hot Key Books

PUBLICATION DATE: 21 September 2017

ISBN: 9781471406782

PRICE: £7.99

STORY:

NO SHAME continues Stacey’s story which we were introduced to in Cassidy’s previous book, NO VIRGIN; a raw, powerful, moving tale about a girl attempting to deal with the aftermath of a sexual attack.

Written as companion books, both can be read as stand-alones, so don’t be put off picking this up if you haven’t read the other.

In NO VIRGIN, Stacey is the victim of a terrible sexual attack. In the beginning she does not feel able to go to the police, or talk about it to anybody other than her best friend, Patrice. Patrice, outraged, when she cannot persuade her to go to the police, encourages Stacey to write everything down; and the first book is Stacey’s story of how she starts to come to terms with what happened, and her eventual decision to report the crime.

NO SHAME returns to Stacey’s story nine months later, and a week before her attacker; who was subsequently arrested and charged; is to be tried.

Finding it difficult to move on with her life, she has put her social life on hold and is thinking about deferring her university place for the next year.

Although she has the support of her family, best friend, headteacher and Annie; her assigned police officer; she is struggling to come to terms with the impending court case and is increasingly aware of how confused her feelings are for her rapist’s brother, a young man she barely knew but felt intensely attracted to.

The prosecuting team warn her that without evidence or witnesses, it is going to be difficult in court but everyone assumes that justice will prevail.

Putting on a brave face, Stacey attends court but finds her composure rattled when she comes face to face with her attacker; the press become interested in the case, and then she has to go through a brutal cross-examination in court; leaving her scared of the possible outcome.

THOUGHTS:

Anne Cassidy approaches a sensitive and important subject matter head on.

Overall Stacey is shown as a strong character rather than being seen as a a victim and ultimately becomes empowered by the court process; immaterial of the actual outcome. Her strength in adversity and ability to see her quest for justice through to the end is also seen as empowering to others who may find themselves in similar situations.

The court proceedings are relatively true to life and the inclusion of detailed contact information for a number of helpful organisations who offer advice, support, counselling, advocacy, and legal services for anyone affected by rape or sexual assault shows a desire to empower and equip survivors with the tools they require to rebuild their lives.

Whilst frustrating to witness, Stacey’s clouded judgement when it comes to Harry and her belief he was in someway also a victim of his older brother seems like a normal human reaction. Understandably it seems better for her to believe he was not a willing player in Marty’s devious plans.

Before I started reading this book, I assumed that it would be a somewhat harrowing and unsettling read; but I can honestly say that I finished it feeling uplifted, both by Stacey’s decisions to restart her life and not let her experiences define her future, and by the positive support network surrounding her.

RATINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS:

A thought-provoking, and at times uncomfortable read, I rate this ultimately empowering book 5 out of 5 stars.

Recommended for both readers of Cassidy‘s companion book NO VIRGIN, or Asking for It by Louise O’Neill; as well as fans of Juno Dawson and Malorie Blackman.

THE AUTHOR:

Born in 1950s London, Anne Cassidy spent many years in teaching before becoming a full-time writer in 2000, specialising in crime stories and thrillers for teenagers.
Many of her works have been shortlisted for various literary prizes, including LOOKING FOR JJ (shortlisted for both the 2004 Whitbread Prize and the 2005 Carnegie Medal) and MOTH GIRLS (nominated for the 2017 CILIP Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the 2017 Sheffield Children’s Book Award).

She can be found on Twitter using the moniker @annecassidy6.

I received an advanced reader print copy of NO SHAME, via ReadersFirst, for the purpose of supplying an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Hugs,

Crafty xx

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[MailCall Monday] 31st July 2017

This week has been a bit of a mixture in terms of mail, some days there was lots of fun mail whilst others there wasn’t so much as a junkmail flyer popped through the door.

It started off well on Monday, when I came home from work to find my monthly Boxcitement subscription box waiting for me….

Boxcitement

As usual; the Boxcitement box is a wonderfully eclectic collection of stationery, jewellery, accessories; all curated around a central theme, which this month is DRAMA QUEEN

There is certainly plenty of drama, and more than enough special treats to leave me feeling royally spoiled.

It’s Fabulous, Dahlings!! But you’ll have to wait for my unboxing post to see just how fabulous.


BookMail

Lots of Bookmail this week…

 

SEEING RED is a harrowing semi-autobiographical novel written by Chilean author Lina Meruane and published by Atlantic Books.
It tells the tale of Lucina, a young  A Chilean writer, who; whilst living and working in New York; suffers a life-changing eye haemorrhage.

As she begins to adjust to a very different life of reliance on others, so too do those who love her find themselves learning to adjust to a very different woman.

 

Crime Thriller, KILL ME TWICE, written by Simon Booker and published by Bonnier Zaffre ; tells the tale of Anjelica, a victim of domestic abuse who finds herself imprisoned for murdering her husband. Forensic experts attest to finding his charred remains after an arson attack and so she turns to Morgan Vine, an investigative journalist for help to prove her innocence. 

The whole world knows Karl Savage is dead. It doesn’t matter that he was abusive. Or that Anjelica has a baby to care for. Or,  indeed, that she is petrified of fire.

Then he turns up outside Morgan’s window….

I’m intrigued to know more, but I must admit to hoping that in the end the only possible resolution is not for Anjelica & Morgan to kill him.

Rosie Fiore’s WHAT SHE LEFT , published by Allen & Unwin , is billed as Contemporary Fiction. 

When Sam Cooper’s wife Helen disappears, noone understands why. She has a charmed life; she’s beautiful, accomplished, organised; but she chooses to abandon her home & family. She hasn’t been abducted or murdered, she just walks away.

Tormented by all the questions of why, where, what? ; Sam finds he is losing his grip on work and family life; he sees Helen’s face everywhere and he’s losing control.

But then one day, it really is Helen’s face he sees…

I received ARCs of these novels, free of charge via ReadersFirst , and you will be able to read my review of each nearer their publication dates:

  • Seeing Red : 3rd August 2017.
  • Kill Me Twice : 24th August 2017.
  • What She Left : 17th August 2017.


Pen Mail (& a Panda) 🐼

I signed up to a notebook and pen swap recently, over on , and my swap partner mentioned she liked smooth writing pens with easy on the eye ink colours.

I’ve bought some of these pens from Tiger Pens before and personally find they write beautifully; they also look rather stylish, and the colour of the swirly tattoo print corresponds to the colour of the ink (except for the black ink one, which has a silver grey pattern). 

I thought they would be ideal for adding to my swap package, and I might have added to my own pen collection. I lose/lend pens at an alarming rate so tend to overstock!

I also noticed that there are refills available for these, so I think I’ll be adding a few sets to my next  order.

There was also a special offer where you could claim a free Panda squishy with orders over £15 from this particular range.

So, I got a Panda

Tiger Pens stock a huge variety of pens & pencils, everything from left handed fountain pens to everlasting metal pencils, and UK shipping is free on orders over £10.

Fabric Samples

I love when a company do samples right, and furniture and homewares purveyors loaf certainly do!

New sofa discussions have been ongoing for sometime but so far I have yet to see anything locally that has made me think “Yep, that’s the one!” 

I recently stumbled upon the loaf website, and as a few of their offerings caught my eye, I promptly requested some fabric swatches.

At the moment our sofas are dark chocolate brown leather and we’re swithering between sticking with leather or going for something fabric (in some misguided belief that as the kids are now grown, we no longer have to worry about jammy handprints; like it’s them that regularly knock glasses of red wine over…. actually, it’s the cat; but that’s another story!)

The sample mailer arrived quickly and I was intrigued by the dinky little box.

Then I opened it….

 Alongside the swatches I had requested, they had enclosed a witty little intro booklet, a blind measuring guide & templates, and a sachet of hot chocolate; to enjoy whilst perusing their offerings. 

Stamps

My attempts at used postage stamp collection and collation have somewhat fallen by the wayside but every now and then I receive an exchange bag returning home, or one of these Forever Stamp Exchange sheets. It’s essentially a chain letter (something I normally have no time for!) But they were handy to stick in envelopes I was sending to other collectors and in the beginning was a good way to ‘meet’ new people to exchange with.

Susanne from Austria found my details next on her sheet and so sent me the required 50 stamps(actually, she sent far more), and an updated copy of the sheet. Next to receive is Claudio in Italy, so I’ll dig out my stamp box and send some off this week.

Stationery Savings

I received a mailshot from Paperchase with a coupon for 20% off Back-To-School stationery. It seems rude not to….

I’ve already been instore recently for a sneak-peek and so far my favourite back to school ranges are:

  • FLY AWAY which is full of whimsical pastel unicorn & rainbow illustrations. 
  • BANANAS which is bright blue and yellow and features a fun graphic print.

and, of course,

  • The new HELLO KITTY collab!

      Beauty Box

      You can read my full July Birchbox review here ; but for now you can have a sneak peek!

      In the meantime, if you’d like to try a Birchbox for yourself, you can save £5 off your first box by using my referral link .

      The full link is: https://www.birchbox.co.uk/invite/thecraftylass

      (Birchbox credit my account with a small amount to spend in their online store each time someone signs up using my link)


      So, all in all, it was a pretty busy week for my mailbox! What about yours?

      Till next time,

      Hugs, Crafty xxx