Who Should Read This Book? Some Boys Should.


Madison Crumpton

Brashier’s copy of Some Boys by Patty Blount, the book that left me with an unsettling realization (Photo courtesy of Madison Crumpton, photo art courtesy of Alexander Gray).

I was desperate. I needed a book to read for my English class. I was pillaging through the sad three bookcases of Brashier, when I found the book. THE BOOK. I had no idea at the time it would be that good; I simply read the back cover and said “good enough.” Let me just say that I finished the book in two days; I was completely absorbed. Patty Blount, the author, had unknowingly sucked me into the marvelous storyline of Some Boys. Although Blount published the book in 2014, it covers a spectrum of topics that are pretty recent in media, which made it easier to envelop myself into this story. 

Some Boys opens with the main character, Grace, looking for a seat on the bus. Instead of a seat, she finds herself harassed and shamed by her own peers. The rest of her school day consists of panic attacks, more harassment, public humiliation, and “slut-shaming”. Grace is a victim of rape – but no one believes her story or her plea for help. Everyone believes Zac: the star lacrosse player, the guy everyone wants to be, the biggest ladies’ man in town, the one who raped Grace, and the one who continues to taunt and ruin her without end. Grace was intoxicated and unconscious, but Zac continued even after being told “no.” Zac posted an edited video of what he did to Grace, which turns the whole school against her, leaving no one to believe her honest truth. 

The story then flips to Ian. Ian is Zac’s best friend, a slight womanizer himself, and the boy who found Grace after she had been raped. Ian has his own set of complications throughout the book. Following his concussion during one of the lacrosse games, Ian lands himself into more trouble, leaving him cleaning lockers during spring break just to keep his spot on the school team. Little does he know that Grace has gotten into trouble as well, and she will also be spending her break cleaning lockers. During this whole scene, Ian and Grace both have their own separate family problems inflicting on their school problems. 

Before the drama, before the rape, Ian and Grace both had crushes on each other. The two find themselves sparking an interesting friendship, intertwining more and more into each other’s lives and the immediate “Zac” problem at hand. Being Zac’s best friend, Ian knows his little crush can’t continue or blossom into something more; Grace realizes this too. Does he believe his best friend, who swears Grace never told him “no” and has the whole school on his side? Or does he believe sweet Grace, who seems scared but truthful?

The story escalates quickly, with Ian shifting continuously under the pressure of his internal conflicts and the countless side conflicts. After embarrassing and hurting Grace, Ian partially sides with Grace. He then sets out to prove her side and to fully validate his reason to go against his best friend and Zac’s army of believers. 

Once Zac is truly exposed for what he is – a rapist and a liar – Grace and Ian find themselves trying to get their lives back in order. Grace is given many apologies, but the school is still slow to warm back up to her. Ian suffers another concussion, courtesy of Zac, leaving him without a team and scholarship. The two decide to make their relationship into something real. The book ends with the couple resolving their family problems and enjoying their now calm, easy, and even simple lifestyle together. 

In addition to Blount’s bomb, eye-opening creation, she manages to address several big topics in our society. There are the obvious ones: rape, womanizing, sexual harassment, violence in schools, and victim-blaming. To me, there were also slightly more subtle ones like toxic masculinity, idolization, peer pressure, and the idea of a “broken family” and what type of stress that implements on the child, like Grace. I love how the author is able to incorporate these big and suggestive topics into her book to accentuate her main objective with Some Boys.

After reading the book, I was extremely curious on how prodominant rape and harrasment are. In the author’s note section of Blount’s book, she includes some statistics for her readers.

Blount states, “This is not fiction. What happens in Some Boys is in the news every day. It’s what happens to 20 percent of college women and 4 percent of college men. It’s what happens every two minutes to somebody in America.”

I decided to search for some more statistics as well. 58% of 7th-12th graders experience sexual harassment in a single school year, and, due to this, 1 out of 20 girls will switch schools every year. 1 out of every 5 high school girls claim to be victims of rape, while, at the same time, 1 in 5 high school girls claim they have been sexually assaulted. Then, 18% of teens report sexual abuse in their relationships. One of the most heart-wrenching statistics I read stated that 60% of boys thought it was acceptable to force sex on a girl depending on the situation – which is completely unnaceptable.

In my fury of realizing how much of an epidemic this topic really is, I looked at more statistics. 9 out of 10 rape victims are females. An American is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds, and every 9 minutes, one of those victims are children. The real kicker is that only 5 of every 1,000 perpetrators will go to jail. However, there are so many more people who aren’t part of the known numbers, people who aren’t represented in the overwhelming amount of the hurt. 

Rape is a real problem and there are preventative measures to help lower the statistics and the amount of people affected. Patty Blount and her amazing book, Some Boys, bring awareness and display just some of the effects and aftermath on the victims. It is an extremely eye-opening story and overall has a very developed and thought out storyline. I would strongly recommend this book to any teen, or even an adult, who is mature enough to handle real-life, harsh, everyday situations and possibilities. 

For more information on how to get help, to learn about prevention, or to simply read the stories of victims, visit here.

Rape Crisis Hotline- 800.656.HOPE(4673)

National Sexual Assault Hotline- 1-800-656-4673