BJ’s Standout Reads August 2018

August is a big month for me for reading, and soon I’ll post my blog entry about what I read while on vacation.  But here is my monthly standout reads to keep you guys up to date on cool books I’ve read this month anyway.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I did.

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed Asking For It by Louise O'NeillAsking for It by Louise O’Neill

Imagine the teen queen bee party girl gets drugged and gang raped at a party.  The whole school and the whole town take sides.  Who are they going to believe?  The party girl or the town’s soccer star good boys?  Now, what if they posted pictures of them doing it to her?  Now imagine if she’s still the slut who deserved it and everyone is still on the side of the boys even after everyone has seen the pictures.  There’s no question that they are guilty!

This one had me unsettled.  It resembles the story of Brock Turner—the high school swim team star who was caught in the act raping a woman near a dumpster.  But he was only given a 6 month sentence because the judge didn’t want to jeopardize his future.  It’s unthinkable that he should have been given that light of a sentence with an eye witness to his crime.  Yet it happened in real life.  Louise O’Neill explains to us how that could possibly happen in this day and age.  She showed us how little women are valued when it comes to sexual assault—how women have to prove that they were assaulted even when there is evidence that clearly shows that. 

This is not a happy story, but it’s a very important story and a must read.

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed Mosquitoland by David ArnoldMosquitoland by David Arnold

I love quirky characters.  I also love it when a man writes from a woman’s perspective.  Teenage girl Mim embarks on a bus trip from her new town in Mississippi to her home town in Ohio.  She’s on the run from her dad and stepmother to determine what happened to her mother.  When she hears a conversation about her mother’s illness and comes across letters from Mom that her stepmother had hidden from her.  Enraged she hops a Greyhound in search of answers.

Of course while en route everything goes hopelessly wrong.  A bus accident. Dodging a grabby fellow passenger in the bathroom, being rescued by a homeless mentally challenged teenage boy.  Will she ever get to Ohio and learn the truth about her mother?

BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.

added on 08.22.18

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