(Review) Exit, Pursued by a Bear

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
Publication Date: March 15, 2016
Pages: 248 (hardcover)
Genre: Young Adult 
My Goodreads Rating: 4.5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis:
I love you,” Polly says suddenly when I’m almost to the door.

“I know,” I say.

Hermione Winters has been a flyer. She’s been captain of her cheerleading team. The envied girlfriend and the undisputed queen of her school. Now it’s her last year and those days and those labels are fading fast. In a few months she’ll be a different person. She thinks she’s ready for whatever comes next.

But then someone puts something in her drink at a party, and in an instant she finds herself wearing new labels, ones she never imagined:

Victim. Survivor. That raped girl.

Even though this was never the future she imagined, one essential thing remains unchanged: Hermione can still call herself Polly Olivier’s best friend, and that may be the truest label of all.

Heartbreaking and empowering, Exit, Pursued by a Bear is the story of transcendent friendship in the face of trauma.

“I love you,” I say, because I really, really do.

“I know,” says Polly.

My Review: 
Okay, wow. I didn't really know what I was getting into with this book. Yeah, I read the description and it's about a traumatic event, but you never know how the characters are going to handle it, right? Or, more specifically, how the author is going to handle it. 

I thought that this book handle that topic very well. 

Hermione is attacked while at cheerleading camp with her squad and has no memory of the event. She's found halfway in a lake and they have to tell her what happened. Well, her best friend Polly tells her what happened. 

From there, Hermione's life is a different, but not really. She still wants to cheer, to grow up, to live her life. I think that, in itself, was the most refreshing thing about this book. Hermione is still herself, despite the fact that someone tried to take that away from her. 

The supporting characters in this book are amazing. I told a friend that I adore books that portray strong female friendships, and it's true. So often in books like these you get friendships that fall apart because of a stressful situation or because the other girl is weaker than the main character. That is not the case with Hermione and Polly. When Hermione starts to fall apart, Polly is there. It's the same when Polly has trouble. 

Hermione has such a good support system that I didn't really see this book going any other way. I loved going on this journey with her, hard as it was. She had to make some very tough decisions and faced a lot of challenges after her attack, but in the end Hermione did well and so did her friends. 

This book was a fantastic emotional roller-coaster, you should check it out if you like those. 

Read this book.