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Vladimir Nabokov, Craig Raine

The Scarlet Letterman (Bard Academy)

The Scarlet Letterman - Cara Lockwood

I just can't do this series anymore. The last book I thought was pretty mediocre with one bit at the end that kind of annoyed me, mostly because it had a negative feel towards people who committed suicide, but I got over it because I figured that wasn't intentional and I was just being sensitive. Trigger warning: talk of rape/attempted rape and suicide below.


But not even 26 pages in, I got that feeling again. The main character (Miranda) is with her boyfriend in the woods when she overhears her school enemy (Parker) screaming, and when she gets over there she says that someone tried to rape her. At this point the Miranda and her friends (who meet up with her) decide that Parker is faking it to get attention because that is just what she's like and because obviously she wants to get Miranda away from her makeout session because obviously she's jealous. Then when Miranda offers to report it, Parker says no, which solidifies Miranda's opinion that Parker is faking it. In fact, she continues to think this until Parker mentions a detail about her attacker that catches Miranda's attention, though she still has her doubts. Later on as Parker spreads news about her attacker and there's a campus alert, Miranda's friend actually says, "Do you believe the lengths Parker will go to for a little attention?" NO, THAT IS NOT OK. Do you realize how many people in this society automatically assume a girl who is raped or sexually assulted is lying or trying to get attention or money or something? A lot of people don't report their attacker either because they just want to forget or don't want to risk any of the things (or more) that I've mentioned above.


Now, I realize that maybe later on the characters have a change of heart and realize that the way their thought patterns went automatically thanks to society's view on rape victims might have not been OK, but I really doubt it. So unless I'm wrong, to just sort of casually bring something up like that as a plot device and have all the characters think that really sits the wrong way with me. Just like having a school taught by dead authors in limbo who died too young (quite a few of them, minus the Brontes, being those who committed suicide) and didn't complete their life's purpose or whatever, doesn't sit quite right with me either.