Someone I Used to Know

Someone I Used to Know

by Patty Blount


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From the award-winning author of Some Boys comes an unflinching examination of rape culture that delves into a family torn apart by sexual assault.

It's been two years since the night that changed Ashley's life. Two years since she was raped by her brother's teammate. And a year since she sat in a court and watched as he was given a slap on the wrist sentence. But the years have done nothing to stop the pain.

It's been two years of hell for Derek. His family is totally messed up and he and his sister are barely speaking. He knows he handled it all wrong. Now at college, he has to come to terms with what happened, and the rape culture that he was inadvertently a part of that destroyed his sister's life.

When it all comes to head at Thanksgiving, Derek and Ashley have to decide if their relationship is able to be saved. And if their family can ever be whole again.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492632818
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 08/07/2018
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 157,080
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Patty Blount grew up quiet and frequently overlooked in Queens, New York, but found her voice writing smart and strong characters willing to fight for what's right. Today she works as a software technical writer by day and novelist by night and is the award-winning author of edgy, realistic, gut-wrenching books.

Nick Mondelli is an actor, poet, and accomplished audiobook narrator from Northwest Ohio. He has narrated a wide range of titles, from My Antonia by Willa Cather to Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner. Nick graduated with a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Toledo before moving to Los Angeles, California.

Amy Melissa Bentley is a professional stage and screen actress. A member of SAG-AFTRA, she has performed in Scotland, New York City, and throughout Connecticut.

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Someone I Used to Know 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
runnergirl83 More than 1 year ago
This book looks at the aftermath of a rape. Ashley is raped and this book flips between before the rape happened and her life two years later. I found this book relevant in the current #metoo movement. It's an emotional read. It's two years later and she still lives in fear. You see how the rape has torn her family apart. Her parents rarely communicate with each other anymore. At one time Ashley was very close to her brother, and they are now distant. When it comes down to it, she feels that he failed her and wasn't there for her, and he is overcome with guilt about not preventing the rape. He feels he should have done something more to prevent his sister from getting hurt. I thought this book really got into the aftermath of he rape and how it can effect numerous people down the road. It also talks about the brother going to meetings at school and how to help others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TRIGGER WARNING: Rape & Anxiety Attacks Wow, this was a powerful book. To be honest, I wasn’t sure about this book at the beginning it has a lot of back-and-forth with the timeline, and I kept getting pulled out of the story at the beginning, but I’m so glad that I continued with it. In this book, we follow two different perspectives the first one is of a girl, Ashley, who was raped two years ago and is still dealing with the trauma of the event. The other point of you we get is her brother Derek who was on the same football team as his sister's rapist and did not do his best at supporting his sister and dealing with this event. We deal with two different timelines we get scenes from the year in which the rape happened and present day which is two years later. The school Ashley goes to and where the sexual assault occurred had banned football team after Ashley’s rape, and now two years later the football team is being reinstated. Ashley has to deal with this added trigger. Derek is a freshman in college, and he’s dealing with his guilt, his lack of knowledge of rape culture, and trying to come to terms with his part in what happened with sister. This book was done so well the topics were handled in a way that I don’t think I’ve ever read in a YA book because I find with books about sexual assault if there’s a romance aspect then the romance seems to break the reality of the sexual assault trauma. This one has two different romances; Derek has a girlfriend, and Ashley has a love interest. They are both done excellently. Sexual assault is a part of each of these romantic relationships because they’re a part of these two different people. I never once felt like the actions of the couples went against the natural progression that would occur in a relationship with someone who is a survivor or family member of a survivor of a sexual assault. I highly recommend this book I do think it could be very triggering for someone who has experience sexual assault. There are also anxiety attacks that are described in detail. Y can picture and almost feel what the character is feeling when they’re having these anxiety attacks. Those are the two things I think you should be aware of going in because they are depicted realistically. ***I received an e-arc of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review this in no way affects my review or rating of this book.
RoRoLand More than 1 year ago
This book was given to me in an exchange for my honest opinion. I will start by saying Rape is not an easy read some people would stay clear since Rape is not an easy subject to handle or at times talk about .... however to those people I will say Rape is something that happens and we shouldn’t shy away from it or put it under the rug people that have the courage to come forward needs us to stand by them and listen to them and not question what The victim did wrong trust me they already know that and are more than likely hard on themselves as well they don’t need our added 2 cents. Someone I used to know is a book from 2 points of view Ashley and Derek they are siblings the most horrible thing that can happen to a human being happens to Ashley she is rape but not only does she needs to continue living she needs to endure a trial where as we are all too familiar with perpetrators are not punished hard enough they get a slide and a slap on the wrist. But here is where these siblings lose themselves without giving too much away we have Derek and Ashley trying to find a way to survive and not destroy each other in the process as their family is crumbling around them. Patty Blount does an amazing job with this book this is my first read by Patty but I immediately after reading this book decided to buy another one of her books she addresses in this book so many different social issues that are going on. Patty you had me crying from anger and frustration as I was able to feel all that pain and emotions that you are able to project through your writing. To the rest of us this book is also an eye opener let’s all encourage people to talk about this and not keep things bottle up and please let’s not ever blame the victim let’s do something to get the law to punish to the extend that is needed.
Jazzie More than 1 year ago
An emotional charged story on a very real issue Note: This review contains NO spoilers I am still processing what I just read. This story discusses the real tough issue of sexual assault/rape. In a society that sexualizes everything, it blurs the line of a person's right to say NO, when it definitely is a hard in that should never be crossed. Someone I Used To Know takes a hard look of the aftermath of such an event, especially within a family. Yes, the family suffers just as much as the victim. Patty Blount delivers a very emotional and gripping story of a brother and sister, indirectly and directly, respectively, that must endure all the emotions that deeply affects them to the point that it can break their family apart. Patty goes into great detail of the emotional and mental anguish everyone endures, even a couple years after, and tries to deal with it. OMG! This is definitely a "must read" for everyone. Thought I was going to have an anxiety attack myself as I followed Ashley's and Derek's story. Not only was this an emotionally riveting story, it was also suspenseful in the sense that I was literally "holding my breath" until the end to find out the outcome of their efforts for rape/sexual assault awareness. I seriously got emotional at the end. Wow! Seriously! You gotta READ THIS!
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
An innocent young girl is raped as part of a demented game, her life twisted into a mangled parody of normal and society is guilty of continuing the emotional and psychological deed in ignorant or self-righteous bliss. One family devolves into a quagmire of devastation, rage and unconsciously mimics society’s callous opinion that boys will be boys, while passing judgment on a fourteen year old girl’s “guilt.” It will take two long and painful years for the complete implosion and now the question is, can they find a way back to finally support each other, and help Ashley heal? If you read nothing else, every man, woman and young adult MUST read SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW by Patty Blount. Although fictional, it is a scathing and raw indictment of a world where sex sells, “dirty jokes” are told and beauty is a perceived license for demeaning and condescending behavior. Told through the voices of Ashley, the rape survivor and her self-centered brother, Derek, this tale is meant to make people uncomfortable, to make us feel guilty, to open our eyes. For parents who say, this is too raw for my teen, think again, this is EXACTLY what EVERY teen needs to read, male or female. A court verdict does not end the pain of the survivor, long after we are on to the next news bite, the cancer continues to grow, for everyone touched. Devastating, dark and brutally raw, this gut-wrenching read is filled with triggers, truths and rightfully puts the blame solidly on “the good people of our culture.” And aren’t we ALL good people?? Buy a copy for a friend, a family member and make sure every library you know orders several. Perhaps this should be required reading in school, certainly more relevant and timely than those "classics."
Dew_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Oof, this book. This is a difficult topic to write about, but it's so important when it comes to opening a dialogue to have stories like this out there, and while it feels weird to read a book about a 14-year-old being raped and say "this book is important, and everyone needs to read it," well...this book is important. And everyone needs to read it. The use of dual narrators, telling the story from both Ashley and Derek's perspectives, was an excellent approach. As Derek and his friends learn, it can't just be women, male victims, or people with sisters/wives/daughters fighting this with no other stake in the game besides a desire to be a good person need to become allies, and what better way to help young men along that path than to give them a role model like Derek? Watching Derek grapple with his mistakes was almost as painful as reading Ashley's story, but it was also inspiring to see him learn from them, ask questions, and start to become a better, stronger person. We need more narratives like his in the world. With Ashley's story, the court excerpts at the start of chapters were a punch to the gut, and they help the reader right away to get into Ashley's head and try to feel what she was and is still feeling. Her chapters were hard to read at times, but they should be hard to read. I don't want to meet the person who reads this book and doesn't struggle through it. One thing that really hit me hard was her realization that there is no justice. No matter what happens, nothing is going to fix what happened to her. She will always have to live with it, it will always be a struggle, and nothing about that is just or fair. Another heartbreaking piece of her narrative was the question of why the bright future of a high school football player was more important than her bright future. That is a narrative that is spun so often in cases like this...look at Brock Turner as a real-world example. He's so talented, he has such a bright future, something like this shouldn't define the rest of his life!'s fine that it will define the rest of his victim's life? He chose this, they didn't. Nothing about that is acceptable, and the fact that so many people don't even think about the victim in cases like this is disheartening. Ultimately, I think what makes this book most important is that nothing about it felt like fiction to me. Every word, every experience was real. Ashley, Derek, and their family may be made up, Vic may not have ever existed, but the things that happened to them have happened to other people. Do happen to other people, every day. Read this book, then share it with someone you know. Build more allies. Put less pressure on women to attempt to police the behaviors of others and shift that responsibility where it belongs. Books like this can help change the world.
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
I can sum up my review of this book with two simple words of advice to you, "Read it!" You really don't need to read more of my review than that, but I'll still write more to let you know why those two words.... This is an emotive story, dealing with the past and present relationships particularly between a brother and sister, Derek and Ashley, and most especially after she was raped by her brother's friend and teammate. It is a heart wrenching story portraying the feelings of guilt, betrayal and pressure on the family and peers as well as the victim.  It also highlights how societal expectations and excuses, rape culture and more really need to change - as it says in the story, "Does anybody ever say 'Oh, it's just extremists being extremists.' No! So why is 'boys will be boys' an excuse?" It is a story about striving to change these attitudes, moving forward, forgiveness and love. The story is superbly written, giving an insight into the difficult and traumatic impact of sexual assault on the family of the victim and the attitudes portrayed by peers and the community towards them all. It deals with difficult issues but does so within the context of the story that highlights how society still puts so much emphasis on the victim being the one to blame - wearing provocative clothing, attitude, etc - and not enough on the assailant for accepting that No means No. The character development really brings them to life, encouraging the reader to relate and react to their experiences and making them feel real.  I really think this story should be on the shelves of every high school and read by all students, their parents and their teachers, regardless of gender. It shows how rape culture permeates society, it is a brutally honest, thought provoking and evocative read. It may well not be a comfortable read but sometimes that's just what's needed to change attitudes and expectations and for many that change needs to start in schools. For me, this book is a keeper, an emotive roller coaster and a real eye opener. I requested and was given a copy of this book, via NetGalley. This is my honest review of this amazing, thought provoking book after choosing to read it.
harasnicole More than 1 year ago
Ashley Lawrence was a freshman in high school when her brother’s teammate raped her under the bleachers during Homecoming. The school’s football team had a long tradition of playing a scavenger hunt where each player would pick a card, and whatever that card says they have to do it in order to win points. There’s no prize for whoever wins the most; just bragging rights. This was a boy whom she had had a crush on, someone she had kissed willingly; someone whom she had trusted. What I love most about this book is how firm Blount is that rape is never the victim's fault. It's all about power, and those who rape prey on the perceived weak, their target's vulnerabilities. I don't doubt that there will be readers who find this book to be too "preachy," but this is a topic that needs to keep being discussed. I applaud Blount for not taking the easy route when writing this story. Reading about rape is difficult, but I can't even imagine how much more difficult it is to write about it. I especially loved Derek's story, Ashley's brother. My heart broke for him in the present because he was dealing with his own demons of not being there for his sister, of being mean to her just because she clung on too tightly whenever he tried to pull away to breathe. His journey went from blaming the victim ("Why couldn't you just stay home?") to someone being a staunch supporter and advocate for the cause. It definitely wasn't a realistic path because I find it hard to believe that Derek (and Ashley for that matter) could really recruit so many people so fast to join their respective causes, but I can appreciate the journey all the same. I also really loved that Ashley went from feeling like a victim who's "weak" to a warrior. I loved that self-defense was brought up, I loved how support was made out to be such a huge deal because victims often feel so alone in their turmoil and support, whether it's friends or family or therapy, is essential. I also loved the fact that every member of Ashley's family besides her and Derek had their own anger to contend with, and how much it was tearing their family apart so much so that the parents were on the verge of divorce. I didn't always agree with what Ashley did and said, and I did kind of feel her being a bit too much of a "drama queen" at times, but that's another reason why I love this book because nobody in this story is perfect. Everyone is flawed, even the victim.
StoreyBookReviews More than 1 year ago
This is a powerful book that takes a look into the life of a victim and her family after a rape. We all may know someone that has been a victim (or perhaps it is you?) and that we could never fully understand what that person went through before, during, or after the incident. And it doesn't just affect the victim, it affects the family as they help the victim work out their fears regarding the incident. There are so many good things to write about this book it is hard to know where to start. I think the biggest impact this book had on me was taking a look into how being a victim of rape or sexual assault can affect the victim for years after the event. It can be the smallest thing that triggers a reaction and memory of the event. I never really understood what a person might go through but this book really opened my eyes. Ashley is 14/15 when this happened to her and many of her reactions, while valid, also reflect her age. She is angry at everyone, even those trying to help her. Some comments made by friends and family were misunderstood and instead of asking for clarification, she just shuts that person out of her life. At the same time, she doesn't understand the guilt that her family feels about the situation and not being able to protect her. There are many situations that she has to work her way through to understand and accept how others feel or their reactions in the past. She does grow over the two years that this book spans and realizes that she doesn't have to let this event traumatize her at every turn. No she won't forget the incident, but she can take control back and move forward. Ashley's brothers, Justin & Derek, also have their own battles to fight regarding the incident. They are not handling it as well and they might have thought, but it turns into character building for them, especially Derek since he feels the most responsible. His POV was sometimes hard to read only because of the guilt you could feel in his words especially when attending a rally on his college campus. Ashley's parents are also trying to balance protecting Ashley without smothering her. I appreciated all of the links to organizations that support victims and families of sexual assault. The author even recommends searching the hashtag #MeToo to read stories by those assaulted. I would have liked to have a bit more development of Sebastian and Brittany since these characters play a pivotal role in Ashley and Derek's lives. Overall a book that made a huge impact on my thought process and view of victims of assault.
Persephonereads More than 1 year ago
Thank you to netgalley and the publisher of this book Sourcebooks Fire for an advance copy of the book for an honest review. "Someone I Used to Know" by Patty Blount is not just a wonderfully written novel but a very important one. As a survivor myself I have not read a book that is as accurate as this novel is. Ashley is a fourteen year old excited to start off her Freshman year, not just because she wants to be in highschool but because she wants to be able to bond with her brother Derek. Derek is a football player who is tired of his baby sister and has been for a long time. The were once really close but not so much now. One day a stupid, dangerous game that the football team loves to play ruins not only the relationship between the brother and sister but it also changes Ashley's life. The Bengals (the high school football team) participate in a scavenger hunt that terrorizes the girls in school. The boys get points for the various sexual activities they complete and Derek is more than ready to participate. So is the captain of the team Vic who happens to have "Sex with a virgin" on his list and he knows the virgin he wants is Ashley. This book is not an easy book to read. It leaves us to question ourselves and the world we live in. It shows that survivors are not only the people that are raped but their friends ad families as well.. It talks about healing and how hard it move on from the terror and pain survivors go through. Patty Blount really explains what it feels like to be a woman. How scary it is to walk to your car alone after dark. How sometimes just standing in line makes you a victim as some jerk behind you will grab you and think it is funny. She discusses through her characters how we live in a world of rape culture and how it is everywhere we go. We see Derek grow and change as he finally, after two years begins to work through the things that happened leading up to and after his sister's rape. We see Derek grown and become a real man. Blount also does a wonderful job with Ashley as she deals with the horror,PTSD and life in general after a rape. She is a strong, brave character who refuses to accept that she should live like a victim. Ashley is a fighter and we love her for it. This is the perfect book and it has been released at the perfect time. The Me Too movement has finally brought rape culture to the forefront and this book is the perfect book to help others understand what it is like. #Negalley #SourcebooksFire #Pattyblount #Someoneiusedtoknow #metoo
Kelli_Belli9 More than 1 year ago
Wow! I don't even know where to begin. I feel that this is a very important book and that all young adults should read it. It's a bit disturbing due to the subject matter but how it addresses rape culture, not just the crime of the rape itself, is so important in this day and age. I loved how Ms. Blount showed what the the victims entire family and her friends were going through in the aftermath of the assault, how they all were dealing with it separately and as a group. One thing I cannot stand is the "boys will be boys" mentality and this book directly addresses that. If you are a teenager or have a teenager in your life, you need to read this book with them and then have a discussion about it.
SummerMondays More than 1 year ago
When I was in high school I never knew there were books about rape and teenagers. When I was teaching high school they had students reading the book Speak. I hope that they will start reading this novel in high schools soon! This novel sounds similar to Girl with Stars in Her Hair by Ashley Herring Blake, which I have not yet read, but this book does such an amazing job of showing the effects of rape on so many different people involved that I would recommend it even if you think you know a similar story. One of the best parts of this novel was that it takes place 2 years after the attack and shows that this isn’t something that happens and is dealt with and over. There are heavy topics in the novel, obviously, but they are important. It is important to see how the victim is effected long term, how her family members are impacted, what the changes are in the school in this case, and how even when somebody has been found guilty it doesn’t equal justice and things aren’t fixed right away. This is also a story of friendship, it is nice to see the people who do stand by and who also acknowledge that things aren’t the same and never will be. This is a very timely novel, including the #MeToo movement and Take Back The Night rallies. One other important message from the book is that it isn’t about teaching men/boys not to rape because it could be their mother/sister/etc. but teaching them not to because women all deserve respect and the topic of men as rape victims is also included. Those are both things than can be glossed over in many novels addressing these tough topics. Read this book, and feel the pain, then give a copy to the young women and men you know. Thank you NetGalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this novel because it felt very true and personal, giving a voice to tape culture and exploring family and relationships surrounding it.
IAm_Jannin18 More than 1 year ago
Hiya bessies! How are you all? ***I received an ARC of this bookvia Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. This does not influence my review in any way.*** Disclaimer: I was triggered when I read this book. And because of that, I cannot guarantee that this book will be “curse-free”. If you are uncomfortable reading curses, I apologize in advance. This book has a sensitive topic, which is rape. If you are uncomfortable talking about that too, you are free to not proceed and read the review. Please read at your own risk. Let’s get started. This book is about two siblings who are trying to recover from a traumatic experience, an experience that scarred their bond as brother and sister. One feels hate towards the other, and one feels guilt. Both are willing to do anything just to forget what happened. They will test if blood in indeed thicker than water. Okay. Where do I even begin??? Let’s just skip first thoughts because I can’t remember my first thoughts about this book. When I started reading this, I was immediately sucked inside the world. I immediately felt the feelings Ashley, the rape victim, felt. It was around the 2nd chapter where the triggers started. I don’t know what to feel! And the feelings I’m feeling, I don’t know where to put it. Ashley hated her brother, Derek. She said he was one of the reasons she was raped. But Ashley blamed him for other reasons. I understand Ashley’s side. Not being a rape victim side but the side where it’s hard to recover from a traumatic experience. I know that feeling so well; that feeling where when you experience a very traumatic experience, it’s very hard to recover and move on from that. She’s healing. And she needs all support she can get even though she kind of feels like she’s alone. She feels like there’s no one who truly understands her. And that alone is a struggle. Dealing with your own emotion, your own self, is already a struggle. Add to that the uncontrollable emotions, like anxiety and fear, is another level of struggle. When it is already difficult to deal with yourself, what makes you think it’s easier to deal with other people? And there’s Derek, Ashley’s older brother. I don’t know why but my initial feelings I had towards Derek’s character was not hate but curiosity. I want to know why he’s involved in his sister’s rape. And when I found out about it, bes, I almost hurl my phone. I was that triggered. I understood Ashley’s rage towards him then. In a way, I understood why Derek wants to have some of his own “Me” time and own stuff to do that is not shared with Ashley. However, what I don’t understand is the way he handled getting it. Ashley was attached to Derek; they were close when they were little. And so when Derek started pulling away from Ashley, of course Ashley would cling even tighter because she thought that she’s not wanted anymore. Derek just got his approach wrong. When Derek started showing signs that he wants to change, like he really was sorry for what happened to his sister, that he is willing to do anything, as in disappear from Ashley’s life, to help his sister, I felt somewhat proud of him. He was so ready to be out of Ashley’s life just for her to recover. I have one issue though. I feel like their parents kind of blame Ashley too. It does not say but that’s what I’m feeling. Especially when the mother explained that Derek sure deserves some of his own time and do his own thing. However, why did they not explain these things to Ashley