• Rachel Penate

Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore

"In the early hours of the morning after Valentine’s Day, fourteen-year-old Gloria Ramírez appears on the front porch of Mary Rose Whitehead’s ranch house, broken and barely alive. The teenager had been viciously attacked in a nearby oil field — an act of brutality that is tried in the churches and barrooms of Odessa before it can reach a court of law. When justice is evasive, the stage is set for a showdown with potentially devastating consequences." (Adapted from Goodreads)

I don't know if I've ever read a book quite like VALENTINE. From the very first word, every single phrase, scene, and moment was simply haunting, profound, and poetic. Elizabeth Wetmore's story prove's to be an important commentary on the deep-seated biases that exist when systems are left unchecked and injustices are left unchallenged.

While the plot is definitely slow in some parts and scenes take their time to unravel, the depth of characterization for such a short story is incredible. Wetmore creates a world that is absolutely believable and utterly heartbreaking.

I'd absolutely suggest this one if you love a book that makes you think and challenges your perception on how rape victims are treated.

A strong ★★★★.5⁣⁣⁣⁣ from me.

SENSITIVITY WARNINGS: explicit language, rape, racism

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