Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Book Review: "Tonight We Rule the World" by Zack Smedley

Zack Smedley's new YA novel (following Deposing Nathan) was so good but so heartbreaking.

For the longest time, Owen had trouble fitting in. Being on the autism spectrum, sometimes he struggled with expressing himself and making friends. But when he met Lily, he found in her a kindred spirit and his first girlfriend. And as he connects with her group of friends, he feels like he belongs for the first time.

Senior year in high school is a big one for everyone. Owen finds the courage to admit he’s bisexual. But then the school is rocked when it’s anonymously reported to the administration that Owen was sexually assaulted during a school trip. It’s something he had wanted to keep hidden from everyone—the school, his military-veteran father, who will stop at nothing to uncover the truth, and especially Lily, because everything will change after that. What happened that night? Who assaulted Owen? And why doesn't he want to share the truth?

Tonight We Rule the World is so powerful, emotional, and thought-provoking. It’s a look at gaslighting and how often we’re failed by those who say they have our best interests at heart. But more than that, it’s about finding the inner courage and self-belief to do the right thing and stand on your own. I struggled a bit with the behaviors of some of the characters, but I was just so moved.

Thanks to Page Street YA, Storygram Tours, and Zack Smedley for inviting me on the tour and providing me a complimentary copy of the book in excahnge for an unbiased review!

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