Before I start my review on this book I must warn you all that this book is not for the faint hearted, it contains content that’s very disturbing and of a adult nature, if you are easily offended then I suggest not reading this review.
“I was an innocent schoolgirl. I was targeted , raped and abused by a gang of sadistic men. But that was just the beginning...”
I bought this book and I finished it in a day, I couldn't put it down. I had tears in my eyes through some parts of it, yet I felt like screaming at the girl involved in other parts of it. I’ve read many true stories/true crimes books but nothing like this before.
Where do I begin? This book starts off by telling you about Katie's earlier teen years and how she was bullied and verbally abused by girls at school for being 'different'. That in itself was agonizing enough to read, and I really felt sorry for her. I’ve been a victim of bullying so I know all to well how it feels. Katie's story then reveals how her parents got divorced and how it turned her life upside down. She eventually went to live with her mother in a small flat above some shops in an Asian neighbourhood. Walking home from school one day she noticed a man in a hoodie following her, he followed her for a few more days before they finally spoke to each other. Katie was just 13 years old and he was an 18 year old Asian man nicknamed “Sam”. He convinced her that he liked her and that he was her boyfriend and used her for sex. He would meet her behind some shops and take her to a closed restaurant where he gave her drugs and alcohol in return for sex - he even raped her. At this same time she had a 15 year old boyfriend called Dean (her brother's friend) who she regularly had consensual sex with. Katie had low self esteem and confidence and basked in the joy of being “loved”. She liked the fact she had two boyfriends.
After a while, she stopped seeing 'Sam'. One day she was walking home from school with a friend and they stopped in a local corner shop run by an Asian man, who eventually, after several visits asked for her phone number and bribed her with free cigarettes and sweets in order to have sex with her. He was a man in his 30's and stank of body odour. He forced himself onto her and pinned her to the floor. Katie felt like she deserved this - after all he had given her loads of free goods. “You don’t get anything for free.” He would regularly text and call her, summoning her for sex, which she felt she had to do, because he complimented her and gave her free cigarettes. After all, he was her boyfriend and he said he loved her!
Another worker in the same shop also started to abuse her, but she liked this man. He was much better looking, Katie now had 3 boyfriends on the go.
One day Katie got a phone call from a number she didn’t know and once she answered it she found out it was another Asian man. Katie played hard to get and this man 'Zeb' rang her every day before she eventually agreed to meet him, He met her in his car in an alley behind some shops, but he wasn’t alone. Another Asian man was with him but he convinced her that he was just a driver. He tricked her into getting in his car on the promise of a meal and a trip to the cinema. Zeb actually took her out into a neighbouring town to a small run down house, where he filled her up with drugs and alcohol.
Over 2 years he drugged her and raped her, even forcing her to have sex with other men in the community. One night they drugged her so much that she couldn't stand up and kept losing consciousness, 5 men then gang raped her. Katie was so sore she couldn't walk but trusted that Zeb would protect her and make it all better because he loved her. He threatened that if she didn’t have sex with him or if she told anyone, he would rape her mum and she would have to watch this happen. He knew where she lived, and Katie believed him. She felt she was protecting her mum.
Katie became pregnant at 15, and was forced into having an abortion by her mother. She felt she had to because once the baby was born the skin would be a different colour and her guilty secret would be given away – no one must know of her guilty secret.
While all this was going on, she was still being bullied in school and was beaten up, eventually she was moved to another school designed for troubled kids.
Zeb forced her to have sex with several other men, one man had given her chlamydia twice! Zeb also tried to talk Katie into becoming a prostitute, and he would be her pimp. “They'd be rich,” he said, and she could have all the cocaine she ever wanted. They'd live together in this run down house because he loved her and she was sexy and beautiful.
Katie eventually found the courage to speak to her school counsellor, who contacted the police, and put in motion the arrests of these evil men. But not all the men involved were found guilty.
So as not to ruin the ending of the book for those who wish to read it I will stop here. I do have to say I was saddened and shocked by the stupidity of Katie, and how she could let such a thing happen. In the same sense I feel awful for her, and how nobody knew or even picked up that something wrong was happening. So many failures of the system were involved here. Knowing this is a true story is even more shocking. To think stuff like this happens and more than you believe it does. I sincerely hope that this book brings out the strength in other people who have been abused to speak out and bring justice upon their attackers.