I Stop Somewhere by T E Carter
|I Stop Somewhere by T E Carter|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Visceral and raw novel deconstructing rape culture. Powerfully written with great insight - I found it to be a passionate and important polemic and greatly affecting. Some may find it too triggering and perhaps teetering on the brink of exploitative. No easy answers on this topic.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: April 2018|
|Publisher: Simon & Schuster|
|External links: Author's website|
Ellie has to change schools. It's a chance for renewal and Ellie sets to work to make the most of it. She doesn't want to be homecoming queen or anything - she just wants to fit in without anyone noticing that she's a bit too curvy and doesn't have the money to buy fashionable clothes. With the help of a neighbour, Kate, she manages it pretty well. And so, when Caleb notices her, tells her she's beautiful, Ellie can almost believe it. But there's something not quite right about Caleb. He blows hot and cold and his smile doesn't quite meet his eyes. But it's nice to be wanted and so Ellie ignores the warning signs...
... until one terrible night. Ellie isn't the first girl Caleb has raped. But she is the first girl he murders.
Phew. Wow. I Stop Somewhere is quite some read. Visceral, dark, and impossible to put down.
Here's the thing. There is a fine line between a novel that deconstructs rape culture and the agonies a hyper-patriarchal society inflicts on teenage girls and a novel that dwells on horrific events so much that it crosses into exploitative, abuse porn territory. The great thing about I Stop Somewhere is that it is fierce and fearless and bold. It walks right up to that line without fear or favour. But perhaps this is also a bad thing about it. I can imagine it will be triggering for some and others may find its remorseless so distressing that it detracts from the power of the message. Only you will be able to answer what this book is for you.
For me, it was powerful and truthful and I deeply appreciated the way it patiently unravelled Ellie's dilemma - how to be accepted and, at the same time, both fit in without attracting attention and attract the right kind of attention. We're boxing our teen girls into impossible corners and it's too easy to blame them for making the wrong choices when we give them no right choices. I felt that Carter imbued the novel with a deep well of compassion for Ellie - and her father, and the police officers investigating her disappearance, and the other abused girls.
As the recent #metoo revelations reveal, something has to change. And I Stop Somewhere puts the case in the most raw, blunt way possible.
You Against Me by Jenny Downham is a wonderful novel that looks at first love but also includes a very important and sensitively-handled discussion of rape.
You can read more book reviews or buy I Stop Somewhere by T E Carter at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy I Stop Somewhere by T E Carter at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.