By: Ayura Ayira
Publisher: Broadway Dern Publishing LLC
Publication Date: August 26, 2022
Reviewed by: Lily Andrews
Review Date: October 3, 2023
Good Girls Die by Ayura Ayira is the story of an average teenage girl, who is misunderstood and shunned by friends and colleagues after suffering a cruel assault at the hands of a famous teenager.
Lavender Daniels, whose first name was inspired by the diffused lavender fragrance in their house that helped calm her nauseating pregnant mother years ago, is having her parents accompany her to the police station, to report a cruel assault that happened to her four days earlier. It all began with a casual movie get-together with her friend Reggie at his home, which was later followed by a few drinks. This was the first time they were meeting over something other than math tutoring, where Lavender, who excelled at math, would help Reggie.
In a split second, Reggie had gotten on top of her, ripping her clothes and doing the unthinkable amidst her screeching screams. As she narrates the ordeal to Detectives Stevenson and Roman at the station, Lavender realizes that uttering the words “I was raped” is literally like opening up the gates of torment. She bitterly recalls how her tormentor used a weapon on her, and for the first time in her life, the thought of killing herself flashes through her mind.
Getting back to school is met with vicious tirades, name-calling, and hostility by her fellow students. Principal Thomas does little to help with the situation, and she unbelievably joins others to falsely accuse Lavender of being overtly sexual. In the church where Lavender's family attends, some individuals have begun castigating her, while incorporating her prevalent skin condition into their slurs arsenal. Lavender's family is left with no alternative but to hire a lawyer, who can assist them in getting justice for their young daughter.
In Good Girls Die, Author Ayura Ayira ably showcases the awful act of rape as not just an act of physical brutality but one that impacts the cognitive, social, interpersonal, and financial domains of the victim and their family. The protagonist is paralyzed with fear and anxiety, particularly when in the same environment as her perpetrator, and consequently finds herself developing intrusive thoughts, distressing recollections of the violence, nightmares, other sleep disturbances, depression, mood disorders, and avoidance behaviors. However, Lavender's resilience grows exponentially, and readers will want to delve deeper into the read to see how she maneuvers the heart-wrenching ridicule, stigmatization, and a perpetrator who tries to escape accountability for his crimes and who will do everything in his power to attack the credibility of his victim.
This is a really powerful novel that is well-written, and whose alluring nature makes it a must-read aid for self-healing and recovery, especially for teens. Readers will love the character development as well as the sad and moving voice that speaks for the numerous rape victims out there, particularly those who feel at fault, scared, or embarrassed by what happened. It is a quick, handy read, and the kind that plays on your mind long after finishing it.
Quill says: The subject matter of this story is extraordinarily crucial and deserves the representation it gets. The narrative may be upsetting to some people, but its essence can not be ignored. It can be utilized to spur dialogues on the rising number of rape cases among the youth, and readers can also adopt it as a resource for helping find the strength and power within to fight for themselves, no matter how complicated their situations may appear.