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  • Mandy McHugh

Tell Me When You Feel Something, Vicki Grant: A Review

*Trigger warning, sexual assault* This is a book I picked up strictly based on the cover, and once I read the summary, I couldn't wait to get started.

Davida is trying to piece together what happened to her friend at a party. She doesn't drink or take drugs--so how did she overdose? Leading up to the party, Viv's life is in shambles and she's just trying to hold it together one day at a time. What really happened that night? This book was an experience. Told in alternating POVs and timelines, we see Davida struggling to unravel the secrets surrounding her inner circle. Her boyfriend is lying to her. Viv was also lying to her. While I didn't like her voice as much as Viv's, it was clear, consistent, and felt authentic. Viv's POV was the clear winner for me, and through her storyline, Grant explores some pretty intense topics: sexual assault, rape, consent, teen alcoholism, illicit drug use, toxic relationships, and mental health, to name only a few. Because of this, it's difficult for me to say that I enjoyed this book. Parts of this read were emotionally taxing. Riveting, gripping, well-structured, and relevant--ABSOLUTELY. But, I was also incredibly uncomfortable at how much this touched on real life situations many teens/young adults face today. However, I wouldn't dismiss this book on the basis of reality. These are the conversations we need to have: the uncomfortable, gritty, emotional subjects that affect all different age groups. We need more literature that explores the nuances of addiction and abuse, of coping mechanisms and healthy support systems. We also need to acknowledge that these issues are not limited to the adult atmosphere--something I think Grant handled well here. Overall, Tell Me When You Feel Something is an emotional rollercoaster that explores critical themes with raw, taut honesty. Thank you to Penguin Teen and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.

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