Release Date: June 2, 2015
And wished he hadn’t.
Because something happened to a girl that night. Something terrible, unimaginable, and Callie Wheeler’s life will never be the same. Plus, now Callie has told the police that Vic is responsible. Suddenly, Invisible Vic is painfully visible, on trial both literally, with the police, and figuratively, with the angry kids at school. As the whispers and violence escalate, he becomes determined to clear his name, even if it means an uneasy alliance with Callie’s best friend, the beautiful but aloof Autumn Dixon.
But as Autumn and Vic slowly peel back the layers of what happened at the party, they realize that while the truth can set Vic free, it can also shatter everything he thought he knew about his life…
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via Entangled Teen.
+++Triggers: Deals with subjects of rape and suicide. While not explicit/graphic, discussed throughout.
Modern Monsters is a thought-provoking glimpse into the life of the accused. Kelley York succinctly delves into the psyche of the accused and the reactions of those around him. Hurt, confusion, trauma, and fierce determination reign in this unexpected and extremely relevant story.
- Vic is unlike any male protagonist I’ve read and it’s a good thing. So often we’re presented with guys that are popular, bad boys, oozing sex appeal, or nerdy, Vic is none of those things. I LOVED that Vic was unsure. He didn’t have a particular hobby or goals about what he wants to do with his life, he’s confused and still figuring it out. I think a lot of people are and because of that Vic is incredibly real. He’s not suave or reclusive, he’s in-between and it’s perfect. When he talks to Autumn, he’s scared, shy, and yeah, he has no clue how to interpret girls, it’s adorable and intensely endearing. Vic is a great guy. Compassionate, kind, and all he wants is to feel cared about-loved. It’s heartbreaking how disconnected he feels from his classmates and even more so, how hurt he feels by his mom’s rejection. The pain is potent and raw, you’ll want to shake some sense into his mother, how can she not see what an amazing guy he is?
- Autumn is the best friend anyone would love to have. She’s quirky, sarcastic, fiercely protective, and a tad violent. She loves with everything and she brings a lightness and determination to the story. She’s like a bloodhound sniffing out the perpetrators. The gentle way she handles Vic is sweet and soft, she protects him despite her doubts.
- When we hear about sex crimes, things as horrific and disquieting as rape, we often are consumed with the plight of the victim and hunting down the guilty part-for justice. But what about the accused? It’s reality that not everyone blacklisted and marked as the culprit actually is. It’s important to consider the accused and their perspective. Vic, in this case, was wrongly accused and his suffering and harassment are brutal. He doesn’t deserve the dirty looks, the beatings, the comments but he deals. Kelley York does a fantastic job making the story about the victim without making her the protagonist and really makes you question the role of indirect victims.
- The pacing was sporadic. The whole first section of the book sort of drifted by in a steady languid pace and the end was one reveal after the other before cutting off. It felt rushed, like there was a lot more to be said and characters didn’t work all the way through their feelings.
- For a girl who all out hated and physically attacked Vic, who was so sure of his guilt, the turn around is unbelievable and way too fast. It’s obvious that Autumn is desperate to find her best friend’s rapist but to flip so quickly and trust the guy she decked in the face, it just didn’t make sense.
- Brett and Vic’s friendship is tentative and parasitic at best. It’s kind of toxic for Vic. While he is supportive, he never pushes Vic to find his niche, he drags him to places he doesn’t want to go, and for so called best friends, their interactions feel off, the warmth and connection aren’t there.
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