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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
Though this is unusual for me to do in a book review, I’m going to begin with my gut response on closing the novel In Other News by Dale Robbins: YES! Thank goodness another author is addressing not one, but several serious issues facing young people...and even older ones...today. Through the protagonist, Marlon Woods, a young gay man who is brutally raped by a drunken but “straight” fellow student at a party one night, Dale Robbins explores the reality so many victims of sexual abuse face when they find the courage to report the rape. They hope the justice system will convict the rapist. But, as the majority of victims who press charges and eventually go to trial sadly find out, victims rarely get the hoped-for justice.
While exploring the roller-coaster of emotions Marlon experiences after the rape, Dale Robbins also addresses the psychology of a victim trying to get back on his feet by getting over the embarrassment, the shame, the humiliation of being recognized...thanks to copious press coverage...and the crude bullying to which he is subjected by the rapist’s supporters. In book notes, Dale Robbins makes it clear he is all too familiar with Marlon’s story. In Other News will appeal primarily to young adult readers. It is written using the language, dialogue, settings and social pastimes of today’s college students. The story flows well and allows readers to draw their own conclusions about the characters and events. Trust me: this novel will leave you thinking about a number of social issues. We need more books like this. Thanks for writing it, Dale.