Review: Wrecked by Maria Padian 

Release date: October 4, 2016

Publisher: Algonquin YR

Genre: YA/NA

Goodreads blurb:

Everyone has heard a different version of what happened that night at MacCallum College. Haley was already in bed when her roommate, Jenny, arrived home shell-shocked from the wild Conundrum House party. Richard heard his housemate Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with. When Jenny formally accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard find themselves pushed onto opposite sides of the school’s investigation. But conflicting interests fueling conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible–especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict. 


Every once in awhile a book comes along that tackles difficult subject matter head on in a moving and poignant way. Some of you may remember my glowing review of It Ends With Us and a big part of why I liked that book so much was that Colleen Hoover was not afraid to shed light on a disturbing, yet important subject. Though the issues explored in Wrecked are different, they are no less important and I found myself thinking that it is similar because it’s such an important book for young people to read. This is another one that I want my kids to read, it will be especially relevant at the end of high school before they head off to college.

This one is told from two perspectives, that of Haley and Richard. Haley is a soccer playing freshman who has just been sidelined after her third concussion and Richard is a sophomore math whiz. Their paths cross in unexpected ways after Haley’s roommate, Jenny claims Richard’s housemate, Jordan sexually assaulted her. At the same time Haley and Richard begin to explore their very new relationship, the two are placed unwillingly on opposite sides of the schools investigation into the matter. The truth of what really happened that night is slowly and painstakingly revealed through small snippets at the end of each chapter. At times this frustrated me, but it was also very clever on Padian’s part because the reader is just as much in the dark about what went down as the rest of the characters.

As details about the investigation are leaked on campus, rumors spread like wildfire. Jenny becomes the target of cyber bullying and harassment and everyone even remotely connected to the events of that fateful night are forced to take sides. Though it pains me to admit this, I found myself questioning if Jenny was telling the truth several times. She was wasted and barely remembers anything that happened, so how can she know for sure that she was raped? Padian was so skillful in showing how this event affected an entire college and she successfully managed to make me, as a reader experience all the emotions and conflicting thoughts that the characters were feeling themselves. 

Rape culture is such a heavy topic but one that couldn’t be more timely and relevant, especially when it happens on a college campus. It’s running rampant and I googled some statistics that were shocking and horrifying. What happened to Jenny is happening to young women all across the country and it is not ok. The importance of consent is prevalent in this book and for that reason alone I will be encouraging everyone to read this. 

This isn’t a story with a neat and tidy ending, but you know what? That’s ok for me this time. Why? Because it’s true and accurate and I can definitely see things playing out in the exact same way at colleges across the country. Victim blaming/shaming, people only worrying about covering their own asses, and frankly, appalling behavior is the sad and unfortunate truth of what usually happens when a college student is sexually assaulted. I applaud Padian for taking on a tough issue and sharing it in a book that teenagers will actually want to read. She’s created a story that is relatable and well timed with characters that you would see at any college in America. She succeeded in making me really think all the while going through a plethora of emotions that will stay with me for quite some time. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

38 thoughts on “Review: Wrecked by Maria Padian 

  1. LairOfBooks says:

    Yes Amy! EPIC review! I agree with the last bit so much, regarding the ending & the lack of closure basically for all those involved. In real life, this is sadly mostly the case which is why I understood that it was necessary. This book took me on a roller-coaster of emotions & I too found myself doubting Jenny. I later realized that Padian is actually a really good writer because she was able to make me the reader feel the uncertainty, frustration, and helplessness certain characters experienced. She did an amazing job of schooling us on the steps universities take when faced with sexual misconduct cases, truly an eye opener. Padian handled it all very well *tips hat off*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rantandraveaboutbooks says:

    Awesome review! 🙂 I’m so glad you loved this book. I also started questing Jenny, and by the end, I sort of felt like it wasn’t as cut and dry as I originally thought it was going to be. I really didn’t know what to think, which is why I couldn’t stop reading. You write your reviews really fast. 🙂 You were still reading this one when we talked about it yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • novelgossip says:

      Thanks Jill! I thought there would be a clearer outcome too but the ending was pretty realistic IMO. See, I don’t sleep much so when everyone at my house is asleep I usually write my reviews then. If I don’t write them pretty soon after I finish then I start a new book and forget some of the pertinent details haha. Gotta write them while things are still fresh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rantandraveaboutbooks says:

        I also thought there would be some justice, but I almost feel like I should’ve known better, considering all the cases that haven’t had any justice at colleges the past few years. It’s crazy how the school is allowed to act as the judge in those cases, and it’s always the son of someone who donates to their library or something ridiculous that you know is a scam. I’m the same way. I write a lot of my reviews late at night when I should be sleeping. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • novelgossip says:

        Isn’t that insane?! I can’t wrap my head around that. As much as I usually want a better, tidier ending and I was a bit annoyed at first, how realistic it was makes sense. I don’t think the message would’ve been as powerful otherwise.

        Liked by 1 person

      • rantandraveaboutbooks says:

        Yeah, I also thought it made complete sense, and with Jenny fuzzy on the details and some of it not happening the way she thought, I was able to see it from both sides of the story. I never thought I’d sympathize with him but I did toward the end.

        Liked by 1 person

      • rantandraveaboutbooks says:

        A few people told me they also felt for him. It really makes you think. I would recommend the book to anyone who would read it. I also think it would be a good book to have kids read in high school this way when they go to college they’re more aware of these things. One thing I would take away from it if I were a kid is not to go to parties with people you don’t know or to take drinks from strange boys. I never did that but so many girls do without thinking about it. I used to yell at my friends all the time for that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • novelgossip says:

        For sure! Seniors in HS should totally read this, male and female. I liked the importance of consent here, awesome takeaway. Yeah that’s so dangerous but being on campus gives these girls a false sense of security. It’s scary, I don’t even want to think about my daughters being in college! 😱🙈

        Liked by 1 person

  3. amandalynn9204 says:

    Your review is fantastic Amy! I will defiantly be picking this book up. It is so sad that when it comes to college rapes specifically, blame is thrown around like crazy and sides are taken and the whole situation is judged. Drinking or not, no means no. Your review does a great way at showcasing that too and I can’t wait to read this book!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amanda @Cover2CoverMom says:

    Great review Amy! I am definitely going to be picking this one up at some point. Unfortunately my sister in law was a victim of a sexual assault on a college campus. During the investigation, the school basically told her assailant was a promising PHD student who was married and that these allegations would ruin his life and marriage… the investigation was closed. I’m so glad authors are starting to shed light on this horrific issue on college campuses today.

    Liked by 1 person

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