Welcome to the Sunday Street Team!!! I am pleased to have Rachael Allen as one of June’s featured authors.
There are certain parts of this book that I know are going to piss people off. And you know what? I’m glad. Because while I certainly don’t think all high schools are like the one in THE REVENGE PLAYBOOK, stories like the ones I wrote about are all too real.
If you’re reading the book, and fuming over how some of the guys treat other people and what they get away with—If you’re resisting the urge to throw the book across the room when you get to the part where you finally get to see The List—If you’re wondering, just how the heck did she write these guys who do such completely reprehensible things—Well, hi, I’m going to tell you.
Whenever I would sit down to write the really tough scenes in this book (the ones with the bad guys, and also some of the teachers/counselors), I would spend some time reading articles first. I was reading Stubenville and Maryville and Anoka. I read stories about athletes with unbelievable privilege, guys who seemed to float above the rules that apply to normal people. Stories about gay teens feeling like there wasn’t an ounce of hope left to be had. Stories of rape and assault, where, instead of being protected, girls were made to feel as if everything that had happened was their fault. The backlash was so intense that the girls were viciously bullied, and it went beyond that – parents lost their jobs, families had to move, houses were burnt to the ground.
And then I would open up my word doc, and (after I stopped crying and feeling sick) I would put my fingers to my laptop keys and let the rage flow through me.
I needed other people to understand that these things are happening all around us. And not just in small towns. And not just as isolated incidents. We’re talking about a ubiquitous cultural phenomenon. Some of the stories I read took place at schools like Harvard. One particularly disgusting email was from a fraternity at my very own alma mater.
I took these stories and emotions, and I funneled them into the worst kind of guys and into a town that would offer no protection or sympathy. And then I made my girls rise above it all. The girls in this book are brave, strong, smart, incandescent. They overcome seemingly impossible obstacles. But, you know what? They shouldn’t have to. Because we shouldn’t silence young women when we should be listening to them and shame them when we should be supporting them. So, I hope this book makes people angry. I hope it makes them so angry that they change the world.
Rachael Allen lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband, two children, and two sled dogs. In addition to being a YA writer, she’s also a mad scientist, a rabid Falcons fan, an expert dare list maker, and a hugger. Rachael is the author of 17 FIRST KISSES.
Danielle has also been generous to donate ONE signed copy of The Revenge Playbook ONE lucky winner!