You know how you hear about a book that’s supposed to be so epic and amazing and important that when you think about getting your hands on it at last, you actually ache?
Yeah, well, this is that book. It’s an “issues” book, but it’s also so very familiar.
This is the book where the basically average girl meets the too-dreamy-for-life guy, who for some reason pays attention to her, and she gets kind of insecure and wonders why he’s into her. You know the type?
And then the guy goes out with the girl, and they’re madly in love and lust because he’s just so dreamy and thoughtful and romantic and perfect, and he cares about what she wants in life and really gets her like no one else ever has. You still know the books I’m talking about?
Sweet. We’re on the same page.
This girl is so wrapped up in her extra-super-dreamy guy that she spends all her time with him (friends? Oh yeah, she once had those…) and maybe he’s a little jealous but it’s perfectly reasonable for him to ask her not to hang out with other guys because, after all, she’s HIS GIRLFRIEND. And she wouldn’t want to be anything else. Sounding familiar?
Then you’re still with me on this.
And maybe the guy shows up in her room and scares the daylights out of her because she didn’t notice him sitting there for a minute. If that’s overprotective, well, he just can’t help himself. It’s all done out of his overwhelming love for her, the kind she’s always wanted. Right?
And then she tells him to get the hell out of her room because he’s a total creeper who’s way overstepped his boundaries and violated her personal space, trust, and sense of self.
Yeah, that’s this book.
This book is the answer to all those BUT IT’S ROMANTIC! books where authors are (certainly unintentionally) telling a generation of teens that it’s okay for a guy to ask to see a girl’s driver’s license under false pretenses, memorize her address, and show up at her house uninvited. That it’s not just okay, but romantic, for a guy to sneak into a girl’s room without her permission or knowledge, to tell her not to hang out with her guy friends, to take her NO as a challenge and try harder, and harder, and harder, until he wears her down and she finally relents. Once the girls in these books submit to this coercion (as they inevitably do), we’re told it’s love and they’ll live happily ever after.
THE GIRL WHO FELL takes that trope, takes everything that’s wrong with it, and makes it right. This book should be required reading for all teens and their parents. Girls need to know that is not acceptable behavior. Boys need to know that is not acceptable behavior. We’ve needed a book that accurately portrays this supposed “Prince Charming” for what he is. A book that shows the early warning signs and red flags of abusive relationships. This is that book. And it’s a beautiful thing. A steamy, sexy, consuming, twisted, spiraling thing.
Read it immediately.