Book Review: Accused (A Retaliation Novel)

ACCUSED 3DBOOKTitle: Accused (A Retaliation novel #2)
Author: Yasmin Shiraz
Genre: YA – real life
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

An easier and more peaceful life seemed to be destined for Ahmed and Tashera when they left Washington, DC and entered Georgia Atlantic University.  But when Ahmed is accused of a crime that he didn’t commit and begins to be tried in the media, his popularity plummets, his self-esteem suffers, and his dreams of playing college basketball disappear.

Meanwhile, there is a serial rapist on campus who has been attacking freshman girls at record numbers and forcing them to keep silent. As Tashera learns about the girls, she begins to close in on the rapist. But is the attacker too crafty to be caught? Will the state prosecutor ignore key evidence to instead focus on the fame that comes with convicting a high profile basketball star?

Tashera is beyond stressed as she divides her time between trying to find enough evidence to clear Ahmed while at the same time stopping the rapist who roams the campus of Georgia Atlantic.  Ahmed and Tashera’s journey into a new life away from home is more challenging than they ever thought that it would be.

An Amazon Top 500 Book Reviewer had this to say about Accused:

“I recommend it for teen readers… Shiraz has a knack for writing in the voice of teen characters without having to resort to obscenities. It’s an important and worthwhile YA novel.”

Accused is an interesting novel that offers an intriguing perspective on rape and sexual abuse. The book had its ups and downs, but overall it was an inspiring, thought-provoking read.

Tashera and her boyfriend, Ahmed, start college this year. I haven’t read the first book, so I missed out on some background story relating to both characters, but nevertheless, I could understand the characters and their behaviors quite well. Tashera joins a support group, STOP, which helps victims of abuse. However, when Ahmed gets accused of rape by a high school student, Tashera is put in a difficult position. She’s convinced Ahmed didn’t do it, but if she wants to prove his innocence, she has to find out who did.

Both Tashera and Ahmed make for interesting characters. Tashera is stubborn, intelligent, relentless in her pursuit of what she perceives to be justice. She stands up for others, and for goals she believes in. Ahmed is a less developed character than Tashera, but it was still interesting to see how he acted to the false accusations.

The story matter is thought-provoking, the writing is good, the characters are decent, but if I had to point out a flaw, it would be the villain. We meet the villain early on – Brandon, a psychopath who has close to no personality at all. He’s not all that developed as a character, and he comes across as very one-dimensional, as if he’s just there for the sake of acting as the villain. It would’ve been more interesting had Brandon not been depicted as an evil monster, but as a real person, someone who has feelings, no matter how messed up they are.

Nevertheless, the topic was interesting, and the story enjoyable. The book is ideal for teens, because of the issues it addresses. Even though date rape is the common thread throughout the book, there are no graphic scenes, so it should be safe for youngsters to read.

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