Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
This story is one of complete and utter delusion masked in the name of love. After Humbert Humbert moves into the room of a house, he begins to fall in love with the landlady’s daughter, Dolores Haze. Just to be closer to this young girl, he marries her mother who eventually passes away wherein he finds himself the young girl’s caretaker but is still in love with her. Once she starts showing that she doesn’t have the same feelings, he kidnaps her and takes her on a cross-country trip where he traumatizes her. This book was turned into a movie, and I can’t even begin to tell you how disturbing this whole thing is.
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
After her high school football team gets away with sexual assault, Vivian Carter, the posterboard can-do-no-wrong girl is completely fed up. This was just the tip of the iceberg with her school also turning a blind eye to the sexist dress codes along with constant harassment on school grounds by the male population. Taking a page from her mother, who was a Punk Rock Riot Girl in the 90s, Vivian creates a magazine titled “Moxie,” and she could’ve never expected the friendships she would cultivate through bonding over these shared experiences with other girls. The book was also turned into a movie which I highly recommend.
The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith
This book tells of a girl, Eden, and her story of trauma after her brother’s best friend rapes her. It details the struggle that takes place within her that prevents her from telling anyone what happened and how she becomes a new person and abandons the way she used to be. Each year of high school brings new challenges, and we experience first-hand the ways that Eden begins to heal from her trauma and finds strength in what she went through. If you’re looking for a story of hope, this is the one.
Billy Summers by Stephen King
Now although this book isn’t completely reliant on the storyline of sexual assault, there is a side character named Alice that experiences a very traumatic night which leads to her involvement in the story. After being dropped at a curb unconscious, Billy Summers takes her in and helps her heal from a night that she is unable to remember. This book might be about a hitman, but it definitely hits you in the heart.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
We all read this in high school, but if you can’t quite remember the plot, Tom Robinson, a man accused of rape and abuse by a woman who had tried to seduce him, has the odds stacked against him even though the evidence very clearly proves him not guilty. This book has more to do with the social implications of society, so it isn’t technically about the sexual assault itself but more about the consequences that came with it. I still highly recommend it for an April read.
When We Are Bright and Beautiful by Jillian Medoff
When her brother Billy, a junior at Princeton, is accused of sexual assault by his ex-girlfriend; Cassie races home to join arms with the rest of her family to get him the best legal team possible and to prove his innocence because if Cassie knows one thing it’s this: Billy is not a rapist. Not only does Cassie want to prove her brother’s innocence, but she is also searching to see what happened that Billy’s ex would go as far as to falsely accuse him.
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Beartown is a small town in the middle of a forest that is losing the hope of being around much longer until its hockey team makes it to the national semi-finals and the town begins to band together to not only support the team but bring back the town. Once things finally start to look up, a terrible tragedy strikes that will leave not only a young girl but the entire town in shambles. This is a tale of small-town sacrifice and the secrets that come with it.