ARC Review | The Maverick by Jennifer Valenti

Oftentimes, when a woman speaks up about her sexual assault experiences, she is discredited. She is asked all kinds of questions. Why didn't she go to the police? Why didn't she fight back? Why didn't she speak up earlier? No one considers the magnitude of the situation. No one considers the trauma she may have experienced. No one tries to find out what she is going through. In The Maverick, Jennifer Valenti takes the reader through the emotional process a woman goes through during and after she experiences sexual assault.

A book about sexual assault

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This book was sent to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Jane Valiante lives a monotonous life with big dreams. She takes care of her father and her younger brother in Florida. She performs boring tasks as a data scientist at an insurance company. So when a recruiter calls to tell her that the position of senior data analyst at her dream firm, Imagiene, is empty, she rushes to apply. As she flies to New York for her interview, she is excited at the prospect of living in her dream city, working at a firm that is developing technology to detect cancer in patients before they reach Stage 1. After acing the interview, she is invited to a holiday party to meet all the other employees. She is excited and overwhelmed. 

All this ends when she offers to let her potential boss, Peter Wright, stay the night in her hotel room so he does not have to drive too far to get home that night. After kissing her in the cab, he forces himself onto her at the hotel room, despite her constant protests, and despite the fact that she switches beds to be away from him. He doesn't care, and nothing stops him from raping her. Traumatized and devastated, Jane goes back home. She is unable to tell anyone what happened. She expects to receive a rejection from Imagiene due to this encounter. Instead, she is accepted. Not only that, but she learns that Peter was her biggest advocate. Unsure as to what game he plans to play, Jane accepts the offer, determined to beat him at his game. She knows that she is making a mistake by going to work for him, but she is in desperate need of an update to her life. Once at work, she tries her level best to concentrate, despite how much Peter's presence haunts her. She ends up doing really well, and being responsible for their team breaking a record. Amidst subtle threats, frustrating behavior, and high expectations, Jane adjusts to life at the company. Until she finds out that she is not the only employee Peter assaulted. Circumstances begin to get dangerous and Jane struggles to decide what to do. Will she do the right thing and get justice, or will she prioritize her job over all else?

The book is a heartbreaking yet fantastically written story. Full of excellent descriptions and creative metaphors, the writing style will keep you engaged through out. The author maintains a comedic tone, whereby she uses dark humor and clever references. Full of exciting events, enjoyable narrations, and sudden revelations, The Maverick will take you on a literary journey like no other. 

We are shown certain contrasts between Jane's feelings and thoughts before and after she was assaulted. She is first shown to love New York and its views, and on her way back, notices nothing due to the fact that New York is ruined for her. We are shown how corrupt and biased the justice system is, the lengths people go to save their company's reputation, as well as the stages sexual assault survivors go through in coping with what happened. 

This book will be published on December 7th, 2020 and is available for pre-order now!



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