The Maverick by Jennifer Valenti

Thank you to the author, publisher and Love Books Tours for the advance copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.

Let’s start with the blurb:

Jane Valiante had put so much of her life on hold to care for her father and little brother back in Florida since her mom died, that she’d all but forgotten she once had ambitions of her own. She had nearly resigned to a life of ordinary when the hottest tech company in the world offers to fly her to New York for the job of her dreams.

After what shapes up to be a whirlwind of an interview, Jane starts to feel overwhelmed and insecure about her chances. Feeling defeated, she’s surprised to receive an invitation to the holiday party from the CEO and founder, Peter Wright, planned for that evening. Hoping this could be her opportunity to seal the deal, she happily accepts. That’s when everything in her world turns upside down as she finds herself back in her hotel room with Peter after the party. What started as a drunken misunderstanding leads to a brutal sexual assault that leaves Jane shattered.

Torn by the violence of what happened that night and the shocking choices she inevitably makes, Jane embarks on a precedent-setting journey to right the wrongs she has endured that could ultimately define the fate of a generation.

Here’s my review: Wow. Just wow. I may have been a little more emotional than usual since I read this book around the anniversary of 3 years since my breast cancer diagnosis (I’m in remission, it’s all good) but I felt an incredible attachment to Jane from the get go.

I watched, powerless and horrified as Jane was sexually assaulted. I shed a tear as she screamed into a pillow back home, desperately trying to hide her trauma from her family. And I cheered as she honed that pain into a laser of determination and strength.

I had mixed feelings about Jane taking the role offered to her at Imaigene at first but she was determined not to let her assailant keep her from her dream job. I found the details of Jane’s data scientist role fascinating, never realising how these models of prediction actually come into being to have a life saving impact on generations of women with potential breast cancer.

I thought the core characters were well developed and I loathed Peter, the CEO who raped Jane. I don’t want to say much more because I urge you to read this book yourself.

As much as I loved Jane, the true hero of this book in my eyes is Jennifer Valenti, the author who openly shares her experience as a survivor of rape, and I felt like I was reading her own shock and grief in Jane’s emotions. I can’t imagine the lifelong strength it must take to heal from such a traumatic attack and move upwards from it.

A fast-paced, exciting and heartfelt book, I wholeheartedly recommend this to other women to help them realise their full kickass potential.

Rating: 5 out of 5.