ECKLEBURG BOOK CLUB | Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian


Sex has always come without consequences for seventeen-year-old Evan. Until he hooks up with the wrong girl and finds himself in the wrong place at very much the wrong time. After an assault that leaves Evan scarred inside and out, he and his father retreat to the family cabin in rural Minnesota—which, ironically, turns out to be the one place where Evan can’t escape other people. Including himself. It may also offer him his best shot at making sense of his life again.

“This is a pitch-perfect, daring novel about how sex and violence fracture a life and the painstakingly realistic process of picking up the pieces….Utterly gripping.” —starred, Kirkus Reviews 

“Mesrobian takes aim at big topics….By focusing on Evan, Mesrobian talks about hookup culture in a way that is character-based, not agenda-driven, and showcases a teenager who grows and changes without becoming unrecognizable or saintly.” —starred, Publishers Weekly 

“The dialogue is organic, crisp and true. The topics are deep and relevant—sex and violence, of course, but also gender roles, therapy, PTSD, father-son relationships, class rivalry, drug use, and more. This is an amazing story, one that all older teens will benefit from reading.” —starred, VOYA

Publisher: Carolrhoda LAB 
Page Count: 304 
Size: 5 1/4 x 7 1/2 
Release Date: October 2013 
ISBN: 978-1-4677-0597-4



Discussion Questions

1. Did you know anyone like Evan in high school? What did you think about him? 

2. Contrast the way Evan’s father handles Evan’s trauma with the approach Layne and Tim take. 

3. Evan feels a great deal of guilt about Collette. Do you think he is responsible for what happened to her, too? How? 

4. Do you think that, if the timing and circumstances had been different, Evan and Baker could’ve been a 
successful couple? Why or why not? 

5. The Cupcake Lady of Tacoma is Evan’s last big secret. Why do you think he’s refused to talk about her 
for so long? What does this story reveal or explain about Evan that wasn’t as clear before?


Recommending Reading by Carrie Mesrobian

adam rapp

Under the Wolf, Under the Dog by Adam Rapp

Steve Nugent is in a facility called Burnstone Grove. It’s a place for kids who are addicts, like Shannon Lynch, who can stick $1.87 in change up his nose, or for kids who have tried to commit suicide, like Silent Starla, whom Steve is getting a crush on. But Steve doesn’t really fit in either group. He used to go to a gifted school. So why is he being held at Burnstone Grove? Keeping a journal, in which he recalls his confused and violent past, Steve is left to figure out who he is by examining who he was.



September Girls by Bennett Madisonmadison

Whisked away by his father to an unusual beach town in the Outer Banks, Sam finds himself having the summer vacation most guys dream of. He’s surrounded by beautiful blonde girls, and, better yet, they all seem inexplicably attracted to him. But there’s definitely something strange about the Girls. They only wear flats because heels make their feet bleed. They never go swimming in the water. And they all want something from him.

Sam falls for one of the Girls, DeeDee, and begins an unexpected summer romance. But as they get closer, she pulls away without explanation. Sam knows that if he is going to win her back, he’ll have to learn the Girls’ secret.



scheidtUses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Sheidt

Anna remembers a time before boys, when she was little and everything made sense. When she and her mom were a family, just the two of them against the world. But now her mom is gone most of the time, chasing the next marriage, brining home the next stepfather. Anna is left on her own—until she discovers that she can make boys her family. From Desmond to Joey, Todd to Sam, Anna learns that if you give boys what they want, you can get what you need. But the price is high—the other kids make fun of her; the girls call her a slut. Anna’s new friend, Toy, seems to have found a way around the loneliness, but Toy has her own secrets that even Anna can’t know.


mesrobianCarrie Mesrobian teaches at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. A native Minnesotan, she lives with her husband, daughter, and dog. Her work has appeared in Brain, Child magazine, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and Calyx. Sex & Violence, her first novel, was a finalist for the YALSA’s William C. Morris Award for Best Debut YA Fiction and a nominee for the Minnesota Book Award’s Young People’s Literature category. Her second novel, Perfectly Good White Boy, will be released from Carolrhoda LAB in October 2014. She is currently at work on a third novel for HarperTeen.


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Eckleburg is a print and online literary journal that offers original fiction, poetry, essays, music, art, writing workshops and more.

3 Replies to “ECKLEBURG BOOK CLUB | Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian”

  1. Just checking out what RWW classmate Carrie Mesrobian’s been up to. The Minnesota Book Award for Young People’s Lit — impressive! I lead a teen writers group at the local library, and am continually amazed by how savvy they are. About time someone wrote FOR them instead of just AT them. Congratulations, Carrie — this is just the beginning!

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