Even though I love fluffy stories, sometimes I just need something hard-hitting and that makes you think. Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf isn’t the easiest book to read (content warnings are mentioned in the synopsis), but it’s really important. Today is my turn on the tour being hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours.
A big thanks to the publisher for providing me with an e-arc to read and review!
Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf by Haley Krischer
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing Date: October 6, 2020
Content Warning: Intense scenes depicting sexual assault and drug abuse, Reference to an eating disorder, Mental illness, Trauma, PTSD, Bullying, Victim blaming.
Ali Greenleaf and Blythe Jensen couldn’t be more different. Ali is sweet, bitingly funny, and just a little naive. Blythe is beautiful, terrifying, and the most popular girl in school. They’ve never even talked to each other, until a party when Ali decides she’ll finally make her move on Sean Nessel, her longtime crush, and the soccer team’s superstar. But Sean pushes Ali farther than she wants to go. When she resists–he rapes her.
Blythe sees Ali when she runs from the party, everyone sees her. And Blythe knows something happened with Sean, she knows how he treats girls. Even so, she’s his best friend, his confidant. When he begs her to help him, she can’t resist.
So Blythe befriends Ali in her attempt to make things right with Sean, bringing Ali into a circle of ruthless popular girls, and sharing her own dark secrets. Despite the betrayal at the heart of their relationship, they see each other, in a way no one ever has before.
In her searing, empowering debut novel, Hayley Krischer tells the story of what happened that night, and how it shaped Ali and Blythe forever. Both girls are survivors in their own ways, and while their experiences are different, and their friendship might not be built to last, it’s one that helps each of them find a way forward on their own terms.
After reading Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf a few days ago I have to say that I’m still processing this story. How do you review something like this? I can’t say I “enjoyed” the book, but it was a really intense read. While reading I also had to take a few breaks, because it really hits you. That being said it was the first time I read a story like this that we don’t just get the aftermath, but the whole story and all of the details.
Haley Krischer took on quite a few subjects head on and in a really realistic way. I’m honestly very lucky to have never experienced something like this, but the author definitely brought everything alive on page. I was also really surprised this book wasn’t only told from Ali’s POV. It worked really well adding Blythe’s POV as well.
Ali and Blythe aren’t two you expect to be friends and it doesn’t start out as a genuine friendship, but these two girls connect on a deeper level and end up understanding each other more than they expected. They have both been through so much. I don’t want to go into too much detail, because I really think Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf is a book you need to read for yourself.
This book really shows the aftermath of rape and what happens to someone emotionally after such a traumatic experience. Also, friendship and loyalty that isn’t always in the right place. I’m sorry this review is all over the place, but it’s just a really hard review to put into words. I will say that I think this book needs to be read! It’s so important. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more books by this author!
There are other amazing bloggers and bookstagrammers participating on this tour. Click here for the full schedule, so you can see their posts as well!
Giveaway (US/CAN Only)
During this tour there’s a giveaway going. US/CAN readers have a chance at winning a finished copy of Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf. Click here to enter. The giveaway ends on October 13th.
About the Author
Hayley Krischer has been an award-winning journalist for over 20+ years. She is a contributing writer for the New York Times, where she has covered feminist roller skaters, Instagram obsessed moms, profiled Gabrielle Union, Tatum O’Neal, and S.E. Hinton. She has also written for many publications about women and teenage girls including Marie Claire, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Lenny Letter, and the Hairpin. Her YA debut, SOMETHING HAPPENED TO ALI GREENLEAF will be released in fall 2020 from Razorbill. Hayley received her MFA in creative writing from Lesley University. Her first newspaper job was as an editorial assistant at the Boston Globe. She reads tarot cards.
I’m really glad I signed up for this book tour. This is by no means an easy read, but I feel like we need more books that get to the point and don’t float around the topic. If you do want to read Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf, please be aware of all the content warnings before starting.