The Perfect Victim by Natasha Snow follows the story of Rachel, a high school student so desperate to be a part of a relationship that she starts an unhealthy relationship with Dominic, a boy at her school that she meets online. As she begins to become uncomfortable with the horrible way he is treating her she soon turns to drugs and cutting, unable to step out of the vicious cycle she has been drawn into.
Check out an interview with the author, Natasha Snow, below and be sure to pick up a copy of The Perfect Victim from Amazon!Interview:
What made you interested in writing The Perfect Victim?
- This book is actually based on true events that I went through when I was in high school. The end of the book was actually the beginning of my journey. Dominic’s real life character contacted me on Facebook, and from then on I couldn't ignore what had happened to me. I needed to find an outlet to finally let this go.
The main character, Rachel, is obviously going through problems but nobody notices, do you think troubled students are often overlooked in schools?
- I think this is often the problem. There are a few out of many that are recognized as having behavioral/emotional problems, and those are the lucky ones. I know occasionally teachers suspect students have deeper issues, but sometimes these students’ issues are hidden so well they do not appear well enough to be as troubling as they really are.
You said that you wanted this book to help somebody someday; do you think other girls will take comfort in the fact that they are not alone?
- Spending as much time as I have on Facebook and Twitter, looking at different profiles, I see so many people looking for other people. I think a great deal of that is to make connections, and I think oftentimes people take comfort in knowing they are not alone. It doesn’t make the situation better or hurt any less, but at the very least you know you can learn from or talk to other people about it. Maybe you can even find a solution.
Rachel feels like she has nobody she can trust to talk to, what you would say to teachers, parents, and other adults trying to gain the trust of troubled teens?
- Well, first everyone wants to feel like they are respected. So, offer all of our young adults some respect. Next, don’t lie to them. Developing a relationship with teens takes time. You need to get to know them, their interests, stay up with what’s current, but if you make the investment, it is worth the time.
The Perfect Victim deals with a lot of tough topics, were some harder to write about than others?
- The most difficult things to write were the scenes related to sexual abuse. When someone is going through sexual abuse there are conflicting feelings about whether or not something was your fault or not. It’s easy to blame yourself in these types of situations, especially when you’re dealing with an individual with a narcissistic personality. It was a struggle to write because I had to capture many old feelings I once had, I had to do justice to victims everywhere and dig deeper into how I felt about things than I had ever attempted before, and recalling those events brought back many questions I never had answered before.
Rachel wants nothing more than to be loved and that’s why she continues going with Dominic, do you think a lot of high school girls feel this way?
- I think there are many girls out there that feel like there is no one out there for them and want to be in a relationship so they can get rid of that feeling loneliness. Middle school and high school is all about status; who you’re dating, what you’re wearing, and what makes you look cool. Teens at this age are trying to figure out who they are, and who they want to be, so sometimes I think it’s not even a matter of wanting to be loved…it’s a matter of maintaining a status. Having a boyfriend means you’re desirable, and some people will do anything to maintain a certain status. Even if it’s not a healthy one. This book has many components about it, but Rachel wanted to stop feeling like she was alone, and once she didn't care about being alone anymore and just wanted Dominic to go away, she wanted to get out of it without ruining her reputation.
What advice would you give to girls going through the same thing as Rachel?
- Trust your instincts. If your body is telling you that something is wrong, it probably is. Find an adult you can trust and confide in them. If you don’t have that level of trust with someone yet, find a way to make a connection with someone so you have someone to talk to. Lastly, find an outlet. I used writing as mine, but there are so many things you can use to channel your feelings, and find peace with the difficult situations that you may be feeling.