The Pain Eater by beth Goobie
Publisher: Second Story Press
This edition will be published 07 Mar 2017
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Fiction
* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions, are as always, my own.*
She hadn’t told anyone. Not a single soul. Not one word about that night and what had been done to her had ever passed Maddy Malone’s lips. She’d thought about it at first – had been desperate, even frantic, to tell. But then had come the shame, and the intimidation from the boys who raped her – and the one who held her down. Now it’s the beginning of a new school year and Maddy is hoping that she can continue to hide, making herself as quiet and small as possible. She is consumed with keeping the memories at bay, forcing them down through small cuts and the burn from the end of a cigarette. But when her English class is given the assignment of writing a collaborative novel about a fifteen-year-old girl, The Pain Eater, fact and fiction begin to meet up. When the boys spread rumors about Maddy, she realizes that continuing to hide the truth will only give them more control, and she slowly gains the courage to confront them.
That pretty much describes everything I have to say about this book.
I never go much for this type of books because they make me a bit uncomfortable. But this book was incredibly amazing! It was emotionally a heavy read. But it was so realistic, so powerful, so sad and most of all, so cleverly told! And that’s the way I didn’t want to do a synopsis, other than the one we have from Goodreads. I started reading the book without knowing more than that and it just blew my mind. And that’s what I want to happen with you guys too!
This story talks about rape in a very unique way. The story is slightly inspired by the rape and suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons. And right in the beginning we know what happened to Maddy Malone. A fifteen years old girl that was raped by three boys from her school, while a fourth held her down, and a fifth boy stood by watching and did nothing.
After that we see Maddy’s life changing, we see her feelings, her battles and her fears. She refuses to talk hoping that it will go away, she pushes away everyone that cares about her, tries to go unnoticed. She is publicly shamed with the so current phrases: “she was asking for it”, “she even liked it”, “she is a slut”, all the things that make the victim unable to speak up. Some of the phases people who suffered it may experience.
But here’s where it gets interesting. In this book, we have a story inside a story. In Maddy’s english class, the class is given an assignment to collaborate on a novel by writing one chapter each – The Pain Eater – followed by a group discussion. The story will have many similarities to how Maddy feels and some of the chapters will be undoubtedly about her.
The main thing about The Pain Eater, is the character created by the class. She is a girl who is sentenced to literally eat the pain of the village on every full moon. But the rest of them diverge. And every persons sees the Pain Eater differently.
I really enjoyed the writing in this book, it was very accessible and simple without losing it’s strength. It made me cry and it made me angry and afraid. It shows, above all, the victims side very clearly. The why they don’t speak up, how far can a raper go, how they sometimes start doubting themselves, how their soul is taken away in that moment. But it also talks about why they should speak up, why they should trust their loved ones and that nothing good comes from hiding.
I really likes Maddy and I really sympathized for her. I really felt her pain and I loved how in the end something so tiny as a story and some friends can contribute so much to help a person.
This is definitely a must read. It’s a very simple story but it’s wonderfully told and I would recommend it to everybody.
Do you like this type of “more heavy” reads?
If so, what’s your favorite?