Published by Harlequin Teen on March 28, 2017
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A brutally honest, uncompromising story about a teen girl who decides to take matters into her own hands.
It's senior year, and Hadley and her best friend, Magda, should be starting the year together. Instead, Magda is dead and Hadley is alone. Raped at a party the year before and humiliated, Magda was driven to take her own life and Hadley is forced to see her friend's attackers in the classroom every day. Devastated, enraged and needing an outlet for her grief, Hadley decides to get a little justice of her own.
Donning a pink ski mask and fueled by anger, Hadley goes after each of the guys one by one, planning to strip them of their dignity and social status the way they did to Magda. As the legend of the pink-masked Vigilante begins to take on a life of its own, Hadley's revenge takes a turn for the dangerous. Could her need for vengeance lead her down a path she can't turn back from?
Hadley’s best friend, Magda, commits suicide after being raped by four classmates during a Halloween party last year. Hadley carries around a lot of guilt for not being there when Magda needed her most. All four boys got away with raping her best friend while Magda was slut shamed with videos and pictures being blasted all over social media. Now that Magda is gone, Hadley is intent on making each one of the boys who raped her best friend pay for what they had done. Delivering her own brand of justice, Hadley targets each of the boys to humiliate and degrade them and to make them feel just as Magda did after the rape. But, things start to soon spiral out of control for Hadley. How far will Hadley go in her need for revenge?
Vigilante really takes a deep look into rape and rape culture. Especially in today’s world with more women coming out to talk about sexual assault and the #metoo movement, this book will really hit close to home for a lot of women. We are always taught from a young age not to walk home at night alone, not to dress too sexy, never accept a drink from a stranger, but men also need to learn from a young age that women should be respected and not touched inappropriately or raped. In today’s world is okay when men boast about women and it is labeled as locker room talk, but if a woman is raped or sexually harassed people often wonder what she did wrong. This is not okay and you would think as a society with so many changes throughout the years that things would be different, but it’s not. Vigilante really brings to light what people think of a woman if she is raped. Most women are not even believed and often live with the shame and guilt especially if they are slut shamed and called a liar.
Hadley feels a lot of guilt especially after Magda commits suicide and she often wonders if she could have been a better friend and been much more supportive than what she was, but Hadley only wanted her friend back. Now it is too late. The boys got away with what they had done, but Hadley will never forget and vows to make each one of them pay for their crime. With a pink ski mask hiding her identity she goes after the boys one by one along with targeting other men who are harassing women. Not only is she going after the boys responsible she is also empowering women teaching them self defense along with a police detective. Hadley is banding girls together to watch out for one another. Hadley’s role as the Pink Vigilante soon takes on a life of its own with more girls coming forward joining her in her quest to stop rape and sexual harassment
Were there some issues with this story? Yes. Some parts were pretty far fetched and there were numerous scenes where rape and harassment are exposed, but on the other hand it also really drives home how many rapes are committed on a daily bases and that is something I don’t think a lot of women think about or realize is happening. I remember when I was younger, probably much too young to watch I Spit on Your Grave, but my mother was always very open with me and allowed me to watch it. I can’t help but see the similarities with this particular book, but it is definitely written more for a younger audience with much less violence.
Although Hadley is acting as a vigilante, the book does have a lot of positive aspects to it as well which really makes Vigilante well worth the read.