The Fall of Innocence, by Jenny Torres Sanchez
For the past eight years, sixteen-year-old Emilia DeJesus has done her best to move on from the traumatic attack she suffered in the woods behind her elementary school.
She's forced down the memories--the feeling of the twigs cracking beneath her, choking on her own blood, unable to scream. Most of all, she's tried to forget about Jeremy Lance, the boy responsible, the boy who caused her such pain. Emilia believes that the crows who watched over her that day, who helped her survive, are still on her side, encouraging her to live fully. And with the love and support of her mother, brother, and her caring boyfriend, Emilia is doing just that.
But when a startling discovery about her attacker's identity comes to light, and the memories of that day break through the mental box in which she'd shut them away, Emilia is forced to confront her new reality and make sense of shifting truths about her past, her family, and herself.
A compulsively-readable tragedy that reminds us of the fragility of human nature.
"Sanchez deftly shows the long-lasting impact of the assault. . . . An intimate and tragic look at how traumatic incidents affect individuals, their families, and others around them." --Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
"Sanchez writes with stunning detail, showcasing the beauty that can be found in small moments, in family interactions, in nature, and in seemingly everyday objects. . . and illustrates how a trauma like Emilia’s has widespread effects." --School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
"Internal and contemplative, [this novel's] haunting quality lingers." --Booklist