Finished March 12
Vigilante by Kady Cross
This teen novel deals with several difficult and related issues. The novel starts several months after a sex crime is committed at a party and a few months after the victim commits suicide. Hadley and her best friend Magda, juniors in high school, go to a party at the house of a classmate. Magda is interested in a popular boy that Hadley doesn't think that much of, but she humors her. The two girls go their own way at the party and Magda is drugged and raped by four of the boys, and pictures and video of the interaction are shared on social media. Magda and Hadley are both upset, and Magda is a much quieter girl following this horrible event. The boys don't get the punishment that they deserve and instead Magda is belittled, shamed, and harassed. When Magda kills herself, Hadley first is devastated, but then anger begins to grow, and an urge for revenge.
When an expected opportunity arises to embarrass one of the perpetrators, Hadley does it without really thinking. But then she begins to plan, and she soon finds that her urge to take revenge against the boys may be leading her in a direction she isn't entirely comfortable with.
Hadley has always been interested in martial arts, taking classes for years. When a local police officer asks for her help in running classes for teen girls to teach them how to protect themselves, Hadley is pleased. This is a way to ensure that other girls don't have to go through what Magda went through. But she finds that the classes offer her a way to help her to move on by letting her make new friends as well.
This story deals with a lot of very current issues related to teenagers and women today. It looks at the issue of justice, of power, and of the dangers of some actions. It also doesn't categorize all men as bad. There are several men in the novel that respect women in a way that the perpetrators of this crime do not. An interesting read.