Summary (from Goodreads):
“It’s not about sex.
It’s about how one secret act of violence changes everything–how best friends can desert you when you need them most, how nobody understands. It’s about the drinking and stealing and lying and wondering who you can trust. It’s about parents and teachers, police officers and counselors–all the people who are supposed to help you, but who may not even believe you.
It’s about how suddenly all of your hopes and dreams can vanish, and you can find yourself all alone, with nothing and no one. Your only choice is to end it all or to start over… and all you can think is Maybe I Will.
Author Laurie Gray presents a compelling picture of the realities of sexual assault in Maybe I Will, drawing on her years of experience as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, dealing with crimes against children. The twist in the story is that we never know for sure if the victim is a boy or a girl, and we realize that it doesn’t matter, because it’s not about sex.”
As the summary says, we don’t know for sure if Sandy is a Sanford or a Sandra. I went back and forth on which one it was (there are compelling arguments on each side) and while it doesn’t really matter, if Sandy is a Sanford, I wish that had been made clear. (Why, you may ask, if it doesn’t really matter? Because sexual assault against men does happen and yet it’s never discussed in books. And even in this book, there’s just as much evidence that Sandy is a Sandra as a Sanford. And it would have been so important and groundbreaking if we knew for sure that Sandy is a Sanford.) And as a reviewer, it’s also a little annoying because I have to keep saying “Sandy” and can’t say “him” or “her” and I refuse to say “him or her” or “he or she” or whatever.
And yet I get the choice. This is something that could happen to anyone and it’s much easier to relate to Sandy if we don’t know anything about gender or appearance. Sandy is a blank slate and thus a perfect reflection for whatever the reader brings to the table.
It’s hard to watch Sandy go from being a normal, well-adjusted and happy teenager to a sullen, angry shell. Despite never really being a partier before, Sandy starts binge-drinking—which is troubling enough—and 99% of the time, drinking alone and at school. (Vodka in the water bottle.) People notice the change (it’s not exactly subtle) but since Sandy isn’t talking about the cause of said change, it’s hard for them to tell whether it’s normal teenage angst or if something’s really wrong. You can’t help someone when they refuse to let you, you know?
This is a very important book, and I hope parents read it and share with their kids.