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Title
Exit, Pursued by a Bear
Author
E.K. Johnston
Genre
Youngadult
Publisher
Dutton
Pages
243
Price
$23.99

Ontario author E.K. Johnston has a seemingly limitless range. She is proving to be the Meryl Streep of YA, covering dragons and Canadian energy politics (in the same books), Scheherazade and, now, sexual assault. Hermione is the cheerleading team captain who is drugged and raped at an intensive cheerleading camp. This is realistic fiction at its best because Hermione's life is so tangible, relatable and familiar. It's not rape that makes Hermione's story compelling – it's Johnston's on-point portrayal of being 17. So, when the rape happens, we can't help but live it with Hermione in the moment. Her story twists and turns as the investigation unfolds and it all culminates in some gasp-worthy final pages. But ultimately, Johnston has created a heroine that is both a person and a survivor – not just the latter.

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