I Stop Somewhere by TE Carter
Ellie Frias haunts this story as she is forced to watch the unthinkable happen over and over again. She knows exactly how these girls feel; the emotions that swell on their tear-stained faces, the embarrassment, the fear, the regret and finally, the shame. And she can’t do anything but watch. Her helplessness isn’t her fault, seeing as how she’s dead. Ellie didn’t plan for this to happen to her. Her existence wasn’t remarkable when she was alive, despite her trying to change that. It wasn’t that she wanted to be at the top of the food chain, merely make it so people noticed she was even ON the chain. Her struggles with bullies and rumors in her old school forced her to keep her head down, but when she starts high school, she’s ready to lift it up a bit. It’s there she meets Caleb Breward, son of the man whose real estate business gobbles up foreclosed homes, leaving the owners out on the street. But, to the dying town’s eyes, he’s just making sure those houses don’t decay and cause the whole town to rot. Caleb is handsome, popular, and actually paying attention to her. It starts out small, but as the weeks go on, Ellie is pretty sure they are dating even though he might say otherwise. He takes her to his family’s rental properties to hang out and sometimes his older brother Noah stops in too. It’s here where there is more than kissing happening but she never lets it get too far. Until the day she doesn’t have a say in the matter. The day her voice, her mind, and her body die. I Stop Somewhere tells the cautionary tale of rape. It’s brutal at times, hard to read, and unimaginable. Ellie doesn’t have a voice anymore but that doesn’t stop some of the other victims from going to the police. Ellie watches this all carefully, hoping that the Breward brothers are caught. But as small towns go, the brothers have money and power on their side and the police’s hands are tied. At times, this felt like a suspense story, shrouded in the backdrop of rape, and I kept wanting to know what happens to Ellie. There is no humor, nor happiness in this story even in the flashbacks of her life with her dad. Some good moments, sure, but if you are looking for something that will make you smile, you’ll have to wait for the ending. Even then it will be bittersweet.