Review: Wrecked by Maria Padian

wreckedWrecked by Maria Padian

Published by: Algonquin Young Readers

Date of Publication: October 4th 2016

Genres: Contemporary

Pages: 368

Format: eGalley (Netgalley)

Trigger Warning: Rape

Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

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.


I’d like to thank Algonquin Young Readers for approving me to receive an eGalley of Wrecked by Maria Padian via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I requested this book from Netgalley after reading the synopsis & thinking…this sounds like an episode of Law & Order:SVU which I used to love watching! I figured that this book would have to be told from multiple points of views which is also a favorite format of mine. The book didn’t disappoint, the author handled the topic well & in doing so, she sheds some much needed light on the rape culture in colleges/universities. Another topic/theme playing in the background is sports related head injuries leading to concussions. We first get introduced to Haley who has suffered her 3rd sports related concussion on the field & is facing the very real possibility of not being able to continue playing soccer in college. Haley is sharing a college dorm room with Jenny who enters the room acting very strangely but not really saying much other than to grab some of her things. Haley & Jenny are polar opposites & don’t really know each other this being their freshmen year of college. Where Haley is more outgoing, athletic, and quick witted…Jenny is quiet, small framed, referred to as “mousy”, and always in the schools lab. Their schedules are set-up such that they barely cross paths. Jenny had accepted an invitation to attend a party with the request that she bring other freshmen females along with her. The events that took place at the party are basically given to us the readers as the story unfolds. Bits & pieces fall into place with every account that is given and just like in a game of old school Telephone, different versions start to convolute the truth.


We meet Richard & Carrie who have just broken up, Richard is a math tutor where Haley goes to work on her math sets & Carrie happens to be the person who works at the hotline set up for victims of sexual assault. Carrie is the person who takes Jenny’s call & quickly befriends Jenny. We also meet Jordan, the accused rapist who also happens to live in the same house as Richard. Haley & Richard find it easy to be in each others company and start seeing each other outside of math tutoring. None is the wiser to just how connected everyone in their lives are to the events that took place the night of the party. The chapters bounce back & forth between Haley & Richard as they tell their sides of the story. In between chapters there are pages that offer a different piece to the puzzle of what really happened that night. So in some pages you may read the thoughts Jenny was having as she is making her way around the party house while extremely intoxicated. These parts capture vividly what it feels like to be intoxicated at a level where you lose yourself in your surroundings. Some pages are the thoughts of other key players who witnessed Jenny stumbling around but who also never come forward. When the university begins it’s investigation, it is days after the rape took place & Jenny has forgone the option of reporting it to the police. In doing so, the university now carries a formal investigation away from the public and the possible outcomes are: expulsion for the accused OR if no evidence or witnesses can be found, a “no sanction” can be ruled & the accused would be permitted to remain in the school.


The way this book was written hooked me in & kept me turning the pages. I really wanted to get to those in between pages that offered a little bit of insight as to what happened the night of the rape but it was never enough. I realized that this was purposefully done by the author to give an accurate portrayal of what happens when a college student loses consciousness due to intoxication & is taken advantage of. The victim would NOT be able to recount details with absolute certainty during the time they lost conciousness (scary thought). I often found myself trying to decipher what was fact from fiction. I could NOT stop myself from thinking about the real life Broch Turner case & how that played out. I felt a range of emotions, confusion, frustration, and helplessness for Jenny. Just like Jenny, I was left feeling a whole lot of anger for many different reasons. Some ranging from where were the “friends” she came with to the party? why weren’t they trying their hardest to look for her? why is everyone keeping quiet? why is everyone more worried about the fact that they were drinking? I mean the questions in my head just kept me turning the pages faster hoping for closure. Maria Padian handled this sensitive topic really well & I honestly believe that this story should be read. Wrecked is a book that sheds light on a prevalent issue in our current day & the underwhelming attention placed on the rape culture within our colleges & universities. I would absolutely recommend this book if you’re looking for a very real take on this sensitive topic.


Author: LairOfBooks

"I didn't choose the Book Life, the Book Life chose me"

20 thoughts on “Review: Wrecked by Maria Padian”

    1. It’s a tough read even w/out there being too many details. I’ve never watched Veronica Mars, by the time I caught on that it was a good show I felt like the ship had sailed lol. I think it’s a subject that definitely needs more exposure because it’s very real so I’m glad that authors like Padian are writing about it 😉


  1. Awesome review, Lilly! 🙂 I’m so glad you loved this book as much as I did. I also felt that the way it was told was very accurate. A person who’s drugged or drinking isn’t going to remember the details clearly. I really was able to see both sides of the story. I almost felt bad for the guy. It was a really odd situation that made it hard for me to blame him completely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg yes! I honestly didn’t know how to feel or who to feel bad for. I’m still hazy on what really went down. Did it seems to u like Jordan was also a bit intoxicated? Cuz it did to me smh it’s such a friggin sucky situation that scares the ish outta me being a mommy to a little girl smh. College years may be far away but I start worrying years in advance 🙈

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that one guy drugged her with the punch, and then Jordan thought he was having consensual sex. He was also drunk, but he seemed like he wasn’t horrible and thought she liked him. That’s why I felt for him, and that’s how I understood it. Yeah, it’s a shame that you have to worry about those kinds of things. I had a rule that I never accepted a drink from a guy. I always got my own drinks and if they came out of nowhere and handed me one I gave it back. I think kids will drink, but it also helps to have some personal rules. I had a ton of drinking/party rules so that me and my friends didn’t have any issues. I wouldn’t let my friends take drinks from guys either.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Love the buddy system unfortunately Jenny was surrounded by wolves cuz those girls were never her friends. One important lesson my dad taught me was to not trust anyone so easily as to label them friends right away. She didn’t stand a chance the minute she accepted the invitation smh sucks. The whole way it went down was terrible for both Jenny & Jordan smh…I think rules for going out drinking are a good idea, & never leave a friend behind no matter what. If we go out together we look out for each other especially if your girl/guy friend is intoxicated.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I feel like the generation of street smarts has died lol…Like the way they were tearing Jenny down through “The Board” was horrifying & disgusting smh like ish like that just wouldn’t happen (minding my language b4 WP police come out lol) back in the day (not even that long ago LMAO).

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This does sound like an SVU episode! It actually sounds like a really interesting read, and I like that it’s told from multiple points of view to help you piece together the story. It sounds like it’s a very realistic view of a very important topic. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really enjoyed this one too! I wasn’t the biggest fan of Richard or Haley, but I thought the subject was handled brilliantly. I have zero ideas about college systems and it was all super informative! It definitely gave me a lot of emotions. Great review!!


  4. So this book sounds absolutely fascinating. In the recent events of the Brock Turner case, this is so applicable. Random fact: Brock Turner moved into his parent’s house which happens to be in my small town. We are not pleased to say the least.

    There is a huge problem with how rape cases are handled at Universities in the U.S. Basically, the schools don’t want the bad reps, so they sweep it all under a rug. This actually happened to my sister-in-law. She wasn’t raped, but she was touched inappropriately, and the school basically told her that the man was an exemplary student with a wife and child, and this could tarnish his reputation…. So messed up.

    Lovely review Lilly 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Amanda! I followed the Brock Turner case a bit hoping for a much better ruling than we got smh & that seriously sucks, having that sorry excuse living in your town. What I really loved about the book & forgot to mention in my review, was how accurate & detailed they explained the procedure in most universities. This book is such a necessary read, if my daughter was of college age I would absolutely ask her to read this. It’s a good book & mirrors the Brock Turner case closely down to the final hours. It was intense, infuriating at times, but it served to shed some light. I feel for your sister-in-law, nobody should go through this whether it’s rape or inappropriate touching😔💕

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I saw this one on Jill’s site a while ago as well and was very intrigued! And now I am so even more :). You’re mentioning Brock Turner (pulls up nose in disgust) but I was also thinking of Bill Cosby after reading a news article about him yet again this morning. It obviously has nothing to do with college/frat parties but it’s still rape after intoxicating those women (I believe he’s guilty; he ruined my Cosby Show DVD box for life). Still don’t know if I’d be able to read this book because it would probably severely piss me off/upset me and I need rainbow farting unicorns right now! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Anne! HA! @ rainbow farting unicorns 😂😂😂LOVE IT! & I know what you mean though with Bill Cosby. My entire childhood, I watched Bill Cosby & now I can’t even stroll past TV Land without feeling repulsed by his image. I also believe he’s guilty, it’s too bad that it’s only now coming to light in his 70’s. It is an infuriating topic, how the universities handle sexual misconduct & rape. I had a tough time while reading it & felt a range of emotions for the victim & some others who you wouldn’t expect to feel anything for but it’s all in how the events went down. Just like in real life many are left w/out closure, so is the case here. It was a good read but def enraging as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love Law & Order: SVU. I have watched every season with Stabler and Benson…kinda lost some interest when that other guy replaced Stabler and Benson became in charge, but I still will always love the show.
    I couldn’t ever read this, because it would frustrate me. I see it’s been a popular read and has received some good reviews. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Excellent and fair review as usual. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! Loved Stabler & Benson duo but stopped watching as well when he was replaced *shrugs shoulders* LOL! I do watch when there are cross over episodes with Chicago PD. It’s a well written book for such a tough topic. Thank you Stephanie 😉


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