Title: Every Last Promise
Author: Kristin Halbrook
Publication: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Harper Teen
Format: ARC, Physical
Source: Sent to me by the publisher for an honest review.
Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson and Gayle Forman, Every Last Promise is a provocative and emotional novel about a girl who must decide between keeping quiet and speaking up after witnessing a classmate’s sexual assault.
Kayla saw something at the party that she wasn’t supposed to. But she hasn’t told anyone. No one knows the real story about what happened that night—about why Kayla was driving the car that ran into a ditch after the party, about what she saw in the hours leading up to the accident, and about the promise she made to her friend Bean before she left for the summer.
Now Kayla’s coming home for her senior year. If Kayla keeps quiet, she might be able to get her old life back. If she tells the truth, she risks losing everything—and everyone—she ever cared about.
This book deals with a very sensitive topic, sexual assault. This book would be perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson, especially if you liked Speak. I really enjoyed the book overall. I didn’t like the protagonist though. Kayla is a 17 year old high school junior, and she witnesses her friend’s sexual assault, but she keeps quiet. She’s from a small town, and she doesn’t have any goals besides staying in that small town; all her friends are looking forward to leaving and going to college, but she doesn’t even want to apply to any. That alone just felt weird to me, I mean Kayla and I are complete opposites, she’s a small town girl, but I’m definitely a city girl. I love the city, NYC is like my favorite place, I love the environment, and the people, I’m just really happy everytime I’m there, so I couldn’t fathom how anyone would want to stay in a small town all their lives. There is so much more to the world, so much to experience, but she just wants to stay there. I understand that she loves her town, but try as I might, I couldn’t understand how she wouldn’t want to experience the world.
Kayla’s love for her town is what kept her quiet in the first place. Since it is such a small town she was scared that she’d be shut out, and that really pissed me off. Your friend was raped and all you care about is your status in your town. I don’t care about how dear that town is to you, this is a lot bigger then that. Also, her ” best friends “, those aren’t real friends, when Kayla comes back for her senior year, the way they treated her, but when the popular kid decides her “forgives her”, then they’re all back by her side, and what was really so crazy is that she just accepts them, no hard feelings, all because of that stupid town…
I was really pissed at that, all she does just to be accepted in a small town.
In the end, her character did develop, and that was nice. I think this book is a book that people should definitely read, as well as the author note in the back, because it helps to show that Kayla was based on how many other girls from small towns might be, I don’t think she was created to be liked, more like to be understood, and to shine light on a very important subject.
I think this is probably a book that should be read in school, or that more books like it are added to the reading lists. I highly recommend you all read this.