NOTE FOR READERS: This novel contains content about a fictional 16-year-old dealing with having been raped. It may be uncomfortable for you to read if you are a real-life survivor.
16-year-old Hannah longs to be someone bold and fearless, but her fear of rocking the boat gets in the way. That's why she turns down a date with Brad, the guy she secretly likes but her friends have labeled as a loser, to keep her promise to watch her friend Sierra's back at a party. But that decision changes her life forever as Hannah is the one whose drink gets drugged and who wakes up the next morning with no memory of having been date raped -- and she's the one that everyone at school is calling a slut and a hypocrite who gets drunk and sleeps around.
Keeping quiet about the truth leaves Hannah stuck in depression, fear, and self-blame, creates an ever-widening rift between her and her best friend Molly, and reinforces the lies being told about her. And when she does summon up the courage to confide in Molly, Molly accidentally betrays her secret to the entire school, making the rumors and the bullying that much worse.
When Hannah decides to reinvent herself into someone unafraid to speak her truth -- or to date Brad no matter what anyone thinks -- friends and enemies alike pressure her to go back to being quiet, while her own fear and pain keep getting in the way of her new relationship. She must find the courage to stand up for herself and other survivors or lose the opportunity to reclaim her happiness.
This is the book our teenagers need to be reading.
Reinventing Hannah gets inside your head and your heart as we follow the people-pleasing, soft-spoken Hannah, a high school girl who puts her friends' needs above her own, who listens to every voice except the one in her own heart. Despite making good choices--sober Hannah doesn't even sip a wine cooler--she ends up the victim of a drugged drink, and wakes up to find she's been sexually assaulted by a stranger at a party. Worse, her own friends are more concerned about how her trauma impacts them instead of caring about how Hannah will move forward after the assault.
Hannah's journey from the mousy girl everyone else can mold to their own liking to become the young woman who not only overcomes her trauma, but advocates for others, shows how beauty can come from ashes, without ever becoming saccharine or preachy. Highly recommend, both for young readers and their parents.