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A Whole New Take On He Said, She Said

307652“This raw and powerful book will hammer its way into your heart and haunt you,” says Laurie Halse Anderson, and boy, is she right.  Keir Sarafian, the narrator of Inexcusable, is one I won’t soon forget.  Not only is he guilty of having committed a horrible act, he’s also guilty of being completely unaware that he did anything wrong.

Keir is a rambling narrator, spilling sentences onto the page in an attempt to understand his past even as the reader struggles to alongside him.  He is a subtly unreliable narrator.

The narrative structure is my favorite part.  We jump back and forth between the present–as Gigi accuses Keir of rape, while he focuses on the fact that he’s a good guy–and the past–as we see the senior year storyline that leads up to the climax.

The focus is on perception–Keir sees the same events completely differently than Gigi does, which is so amazingly educational for my students.  The jumps in time are difficult for some, but the compelling subject of date rape keeps them hooked.  Inexcusable makes a reader feel empathetic, disgusted, confused, and ultimately, thoughtful–all in 176 pages.

From Inexcusable by Chris Lynch – p. 1

The way it looks is not the way it is.

Gigi Boudakian is screaming at me so fearsomely, I think I could just about cry.  I almost don’t even care what the subject is because right now I am sick and I am confused and I am laid so low by the very idea that Gigi Boudakian is screaming at me that the what-for hardly seems even to matter.  I love Gigi Boudakian.  I hate it when people I love scream at me.

And I don’t feel guilty.  That is, I don’t feel like I am guilty.  But I sure as hell feel sorry.

I am sorry.

I am one sorry sorry bastard.  And I feel very sick.

I am so sorry.

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