Exit, Pursued by a Bear Review: a Shakespearian retelling about trauma

I found this book super randomly and the title intrigued me. After learning what it was, how it connected to the book, and what the book was about, I had to read it. I’m glad I did. I don’t usually read contemporary fiction unless it’s romance.

I’ve been interested in how girls deal with and communicate trauma in literature, and I think that’s why I gravitated to this book. It’s about a difficult topic, so I want to give a trigger warning before I start to talk about it.

Four Stars

Hermione is the head cheerleader and because of that one of the most popular girls in her small town Canadian school. Cheerleading is the most popular sport, and it’s the competition kind like Cheer on Netflix.

During her final cheer camp, Hermione is drugged and sexually assaulted. I think the book handled the graphic topic without being graphic in order not to glorify it or to be a large trigger.

This book deals with what it means to be a “victim” without remembering what happens and how to come to terms with being a survivor. It’s a navigation of the future after trauma and how relationships change, develop, or end.

I think this is a super important book for girls to read. It’s not just about the trauma. It’s about friendship and cheerleading which I am glad about. It’s a sport that doesn’t get the representation in the literature that football does. It was also a representation of the sport of cheerleading, not just being on the sidelines of a game.

Overall, I am really glad I read this book. I think it explores communicating trauma, living with trauma, and exploring what Hermione needs and wants now. It’s a pretty short read even though it covers a lot of time.


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