April 30, 2014

Accused: A Retaliation Novel #2 by Yasmin Shiraz

Trigger Warning: This book contains a rape storyline

There is a serial rapist on campus, and no one can figure out who it is. He slips drugs into girls’ drinks so they cannot fight him, and then he takes nude pictures of them to use as blackmail so they will not leak his identity.
He is power hungry and wants to outshine everyone else. His name is Brandon.
Once Ahmed is named as the starter on the basketball team for their position, Brandon will do everything in his power to become the star again just like he was in high school.  

Parts of this story literally had me cringing while reading it. It started off when Zia’s father went to a reporter to falsely accuse Ahmed of raping his daughter without knowing it was someone else.
Then, we get to find out that he didn’t do it to get the story out to warn the public about a monster on the loose, he did it in order to get a book deal and appearance money. Their family is low on money, so he is exploiting his daughter’s story just to make some money. I almost stopped after reading that part because it was so disgusting and cringe-worthy.

For a book that is about a rough topic such as rape, it really does not treat it as a sensitive manner. I felt that most of the time, the author was trying to get me to feel more for the man that was falsely accused than the women that were actually victimized. The stance this book takes is definitely one side of a really messed up deal, but when handling such harsh topics, you should read more about how the act/the actual abuser is wrong rather than about how sorry you should feel for the wrongly accused man. It really turned me off from the book. Plus the fact that everyone involved on the prosecution side really didn’t care about getting the right guy was really disturbing. They just wanted to put away the star basketball player. 

Brandon is the psychopath of the novel. He is the one committing the awful acts of rape and violence towards the innocent women. We get to see a little of Brandon’s past scattered throughout the book which tries to make him a deeper character, but in the end it just left me really uncomfortable reading about him.

I find that in a lot of YA books, there is a very strong-willed female character. That is no different with Accused. Tashera takes that role in this one. She knows that her boyfriend Ahmed is not guilty, and will stop at nothing to prove his innocence, even if she has to confront Brandon herself.

Ahmed seemed like the classic form of prince charming. He has helped Tashera through rough times in her life, and he would never think of being with anyone other than her. There wasn’t really much depth to his character.

The conversations felt forced. They were really formal for college students speaking to each other. It made a lot of this book unrealistic even though it is supposed to be a “real life fiction” novel. I just wasn’t buying it.

There was a redeeming quality, at the end of the book, there were notes about sexual assault and facts about the date rape drug. Being informed may save someone’s life.

2/5 stars

This book really disappointed me. The synopsis made it seem like it could be an interesting suspenseful book, but it just failed to deliver. 

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