I don’t always share books I don’t love here, but I wanted to share this one because some people might find benefit in this book even if I didn’t.
Two friends want to lose their virginity before college so they can have it over and done with. Only, Meredith is the daughter of a preacher, and if this pact gets out, it could ruin her. Meredith already has a tough time with things. She doesn’t believe in what her father preaches, and because of her family, she faces a lot of bullying in school. If it wasn’t for her best friend Johanna, she wouldn’t have any friends at all. This makes the story multi-layered with several real-world issues that face teens today.
The next two paragraphs might contain spoilers.
The story started easily enough, but the thing that stands out to me is how many times these people are raising their eyebrows. (Five times in the first chapter alone). I knew then that this would not be the best story for me, but I stuck with it. Meredith is an immature character who doesn’t act 18 years old. She over polices her best friend. It surprised me Jo stayed friends with her because I couldn’t put up with that kind of constant badgering. But Jo wasn’t all that supportive either, so it was a fairly toxic friendship. We’re led to believe Meredith never talks and is close to mute when she is anything but. I’m baffled why Meredith wouldn’t report the extent of the bullying. Your car is getting destroyed, heck, you get kidnapped, and you say nothing?
When we pass the halfway mark of the book, the pace picks up speed and things happen at a breakneck pace. With the rape, the repercussions get glossed over. I understand the book was trying to portray the ultra-religious, but why is there a slur in place of the word gay or lesbian, multiple times? Mere’s parents attempted to send her to a conversion camp because she’s an atheist, but they would be okay with a gay daughter? It was just an offensive and poorly addressed way to tack on yet another issue. Same for the dogfighting. It was all just too many insufficiently addressed things. If the focus would have stayed on just a few issues, the book would have packed a bigger punch. There could be a good story underneath with some editing.
The Anti-Virginity Pact is available for preorder on Amazon for $4.99, it releases June 16th.