For fans of Rory Power and Laurie Halse Anderson, this sharp, emotional debut follows Ali, a high school junior reeling from a recent sexual assault, and Blythe, a popular senior—and the rapist’s longtime friend—who tries to gain Ali’s trust in hopes of dissuading her from turning him in.
SOMETHING HAPPENED TO ALI GREENLEAF
by Hayley Krischer
Razorbill, October 2020
Ali Greenleaf and Blythe Jensen couldn’t be more different. Ali is sweet, bitingly funny, and just a little naive. Blythe is beautiful, terrifying, and the most popular girl in school. At a party one night, the girls’ lives collide when Ali decides she’ll finally make her move on Sean Nessel, the hottest guy in school, her longtime crush, and Blythe’s best friend. But when Sean pushes Ali farther than she wants to go, she is forced to confront a horrible truth—Sean raped her.
Afraid for his reputation and his future, Sean begs Blythe to convince Ali that he didn’t do anything wrong. Blythe complies because, as much as she tries to deny it, she’s been in love with Sean for years. She tries to befriend Ali, inviting her to the exclusive senior bathroom, letting her hang out with her gang of ruthless popular girls, and sharing her own dark secrets. But getting closer to Ali also digs up memories of the sexual assault Blythe experienced during an elite « initiation » she was part of as a freshman—one she’s expected to carry on as a senior.
In the aftermath of what happened at the party that night, Ali and Blythe must navigate tumultuous relationships, the effects of trauma, and what empowerment means to them.
Hayley Krischer is a writer and journalist. She is a regular contributor to The New York Times, where she covers women, teenage girls, celebrities, and cultural trends. Her work has also appeared in Marie Claire, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, and more. She lives in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, with her husband, two kids, one dog, and three cats.