Maybe I Will by Laurie Gray
Release Date – March 15, 2013
Publisher Website - Luminis Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 200 pages
My Rating- 3.5/5
**Received from publisher for review**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
It's not about sex.As the synopsis says rape isn’t about sex. This novel uses the unique twist of having the main character remain genderless to the reader as a means to express this. The main character could be either male or female, and this novel shows that ultimately gender doesn’t matter. It’s an unflinching in it’s honest portrayal of sexual assault and it’s aftermath.
It's about how one secret act of violence changes everything--how best friends can desert you when you need them most, how nobody understands. It's about the drinking and stealing and lying and wondering who you can trust. It's about parents and teachers, police officers and counselors--all the people who are supposed to help you, but who may not even believe you.
It's about how suddenly all of your hopes and dreams can vanish, and you can find yourself all alone, with nothing and no one. Your only choice is to end it all or to start over... and all you can think is Maybe I Will.
Author Laurie Gray presents a compelling picture of the realities of sexual assault in Maybe I Will, drawing on her years of experience as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, dealing with crimes against children. The twist in the story is that we never know for sure if the victim is a boy or a girl, and we realize that it doesn't matter, because it's not about sex.
I do, sort of, wish Sandy would have been revealed as male. There are so few stories of sexual assaults on males that I think it would have made the story even more meaningful, and an important one to tell. As I mentioned, it doesn’t impact the story either way, but just a little observance I had.
I went back and forth between male and female for this character for most of the story. The important thing is that it reads the same either way. This young individual is hurt, ashamed, angry, and unsure. They lash out, act out, and crumble just the same, regardless of gender. I, for the record, felt myself thinking of Sandy as male by the end of the novel, but it’s in no way important to the story, which is the point.
Loosing a sense of security and control is often what haunts a rape victim long after the crime has happened. The sense of security, and control over yourself and surroundings are often long stand issues and everyone deals with them in different ways. Sandy depicts this perfectly. Sandy uses many coping mechanisms to deal, some healthy and others self destructive. The desire to regain the sense of security, and the desire to be numb and not feel anything are powerful and Sandy actively seeks out ways to feel both.
The worst friends ever award goes to Troy and Cassie. Sandy’s longtime friends represent the disconnect Sandy is going through. They are not supportive when it’s obvious something is going on. When Sandy does try to reach out they are uncomfortable and, worst still, act like the may not believe anything happened.
A jarring, realistic look at a sexual assault, and it’s devastating aftermath. I found Sandy to be a great character, and the trauma of going through an event like this is addressed honestly. A moving and impactful novel that could have offered even more by revealing Sandy as male.