Exit, Pursued by A Bear

Exit, Pursued by A Bear

Book - 2017
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At cheerleading camp, Hermione is drugged and raped, but she is not sure whether it was one of her teammates or a boy on another team. In the aftermath she has to deal with the rumors in her small Ontario town, the often awkward reaction of her classmates, the rejection of her boyfriend, the discovery that her best friend, Polly, is gay, and above all the need to remember what happened so that the guilty boy can be brought to justice.
Publisher: New York, New York : Speak, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2017
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781101994603
1101994606
9781536405163
1536405167
Characteristics: 242 pages ; 21 cm

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Staff Picks Nov 28, 2017

Winner of the 2017 Amy Mathers Teen Book Award.

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shayshortt
Nov 21, 2017

The book is an interesting and deliberate divergence from the commonly experienced reality of many rape victims, in that Hermione enjoys a supportive family, and is helped by police and counselors. However, she faces controversy in the community, and the wrath of her ex-boyfriend, Leo, who blames her for what happened. Although the identity of Hermione’s assailant is unknown, this is not really a who-dunnit. Rather, it is an emotional chronicle of the consequences of rape, further magnified by the fact that anytime Hermione encounters a boy who was at camp, she must face the idea that he could be her rapist. The biggest standout of this book is the strong female friendship depicted between Hermione and Polly, who echoes Shakespeare’s Paulina.

Originally posted at Required Reading: https://shayshortt.com/2017/11/21/fall-2017-fiction-mini-reviews/

0Charlie Oct 23, 2017

A delicately handled topic. I was glad that the reader was spared much of the gory details. Although I couldn't identify with the cheerleading world, I appreciated that the main character was quite self-aware and made good choices - reactions, choice of friends and supporters, remaining honest - even when dark forces swirls around her. It was also fun to recognize place names and locations as the story is set in southern Ontario. Recommended.

JCLBeckyC Oct 16, 2017

I never noticed the poetry in cheerleading until I read this tale of triumph over trauma. Hermione Winters is raped during cheerleading camp. I'm not giving away too much of the plot here, because really, this story is about what happens after the rape: How a confident, intelligent, teen girl perseveres during her senior year of high school, having survived the depths of desolation over summer break. Highly recommended to teens and adults who enjoy realistic fiction. Shakespeare buffs will appreciate the allusions to "Winter's Tale."

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amylee290
Sep 01, 2017

Not impressed. Very slow. Could have been much more exciting

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mad1232
Jul 06, 2017

This book was beyond amazing! It always kept me at the edge of the cliff. I got attached to all the characters! It was fiction that was extremely realistic. It is definitely a must read for everyone!

VaughanPLKim Apr 25, 2017

I like the fact that this book portrays a sexual assault survivor who receives a lot of support from her community: parents, friends, teachers, classmates, police. Not once does anyone question whether the assault really happened or suggest that it was somehow her fault. Unfortunately, this is not the reality for many assault survivors. I hope that this book will help others like Hermione find courage to speak out while providing an example of how sexual assault survivors should be treated.

TSCPL_Anna Mar 20, 2017

I never thought I'd love a book about cheerleaders so much, but I do.
One of the things that makes this book a win for me is it is far from a stereotypical cheerleading book. Cheerleading is revered as an actual sport here, and the cheerleaders are prized as athletes and students (far from the cliche blonde bubbly idiots they often are portrayed as). There are a number of boy cheerleaders as well, and none of them are made fun of for their athletic choice. The book also does a marvelous job at interweaving the cheerleading storyline with Hermione's personal struggle- being raped by one of the cheerleading camp members. There are a lot of great discussion topics in this book that will engage all ages. I won't be surprised if this becomes required reading for high school students.

AL_KELSEY Feb 14, 2017

There are a lot of things I didn't really like about this book, BUT there are more important things I loved and appreciated about this book. Yes, it's a little hokey and a bit hard to swallow. I don't love stories involving cheerleaders and romance. However, when we get down to the real issues of this book, the book unravels and shows incredible insight and hope. Finally, there is a story that discusses the issue of sexual assault where the victim has support, not only through her trauma, but through an abortion that was a result of that sexual assault. Regardless of anyone's thoughts and opinions on abortion, the point of the matter is that anyone who is pregnant and even considering abortion, needs help. They need someone to talk to, a shoulder to cry on, and friends and family that will work to understand them. This is less a story about rape, and more a story about a community coming together and giving the victim the help he/she needs. Beautiful.

EvaELPL Feb 02, 2017

This book manages to achieve what not many books do: it authentically and honestly portrays the act and aftermath of sexual assault without reducing it to sensationalism, turning it into an "issue" book rather than a book about characters, or resorting to either shock or overly sentimental unrealities -- and yet still manages to remain empathetic and almost hopeful. Hermione experiences something horrific, and the author never sugarcoats that fact, or the reality of the trauma that lingers with her because of it, but Hermione also has a strong support system, attentive and caring community members, and a firm knowledge that no one is to blame for her rape except for her rapist. In the author's note, Johnston acknowledges that this is unfortunately rare, and that most victims won't experience such unflinching (albeit deserved) support, but ultimately this book acknowledges the reality of the rape culture we all live in, and prompts us to rise up and challenge it on both a personal and communal level with honesty and empathy. An invaluable message for teens (and everyone else) to hear.

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green_butterfly_1555 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 13

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s
shayshortt
Nov 21, 2017

This YA novel is a loose modern retelling of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. Hermione Winters and her best friend Polly are newly elected co-captains of the Palermo Heights cheer leading team, heading into their senior year, and their final summer cheer camp at Camp Manitouwabing. But all of their plans for the summer are thrown off course when Herimione is drugged, raped, and left in the lake.

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shayshortt
Nov 21, 2017

Violence: Sexual assault

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