Addy Buckley has secrets – dark and disturbing secrets. When her father gets killed in a flood that swept through her hometown, Addy is both relieved and anxious. Where does she go from here now that she’s free from the monster who constantly tormented her? Will the relatives that she’s assigned to live with treat her the same way once they find out what she’s had to endure for the last fifteen years? More importantly, will the movie-quoting and quirky Napoleon Blake still find her appealing after he’s heard of what she’s been through? Wash Me Away is the story of a girl who slowly realizes that there is no such thing as “victims” of abuse. Only survivors.
It was easy to sympathize with Addy from the start of this novel. It’s not only because she had a loveable personality or because she reminds readers of their best friends but she is the voice of hundreds of sexually abused teens worldwide. It’s unfortunate and, frankly, terrifying to read about the exuberant number of young girls who suffer through molestation from people who are supposed to care and love for them the most.
Even though Wendy Owens seems to capture the reality of these girls in Addy’s story perfectly, I find that Owens’ story is like a mild version of the horrors that are out there in this sick world. Perhaps this is because Addy’s story is more about recovering from abuse than it is about having to endure it. She’s escaped the claws of the man who abused her for most of her life. She’s had the opportunity to press the big red “reset” button on life. However, she still can’t escape the nightmares that torment her at night. She still can’t run far enough from the fact that she never had a normal childhood like her friends. On top of all this, Addy has to deal with the death of a friend.
I think the best part of this novel has to be the many movie lines Leo (Napoleon) quotes throughout the book. I have no idea why but the fact that Leo has this strange hobby makes his character all the more appealing. Another notable moment in the story is how close-knitted Addy becomes with the other teens in the town. When tragedy strikes and one of their friends end up dead, the gang rely on one another to help get them through it.
Still, I noticed that once I reached the middle of the novel, the story became kind of dull. Coming to the end of the novel, it lacked substance and was easy to put down in favour of another novel.
However, the ending was very fitting and my heart bled for Addy as she realized that the people she’s come to know over the past few months accept her – dark secrets and all. Wash Me Away is a touching story about a girl on her way to regaining some semblance of normalcy after living through a life of abuse.
Length: 239 pages
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Publisher: Four Bean Soup LLC; 1 edition (April 24, 2015)
Genre: Teens & YA Fiction
Completed: August 2015