Seventeen-year-old Oliver Wu remembers four things about Saturday night.
- He remembers going to the party and seeing Paloma, the girl he’s had a crush on for years.
- He remembers the disappointment he felt when Paloma left early, just when he was sure his bravery had paid off.
- He remembers the room spinning and someone helping him up the stairs.
- He remembers waking up next to Tarryn, a girl he barely knows, with his clothes on the floor.
There’s just one notable memory missing.
Oliver doesn’t remember saying yes.
When Tarryn laughs off Oliver’s panic and tells him he should take her out for breakfast, he doesn’t say no. He stops himself from saying no to Tarryn for weeks because he’s waiting for what never comes—an honest answer about what happened that night.
With his friends shutting him out, and the rumors swirling, Oliver is turning into himself and just trying to make it through the rest of his senior year with his head down.
But the one person that Oliver wants to hide the truth from more than himself, Paloma, is the one person who won’t back down and accept his changed behavior. Oliver opening up to Paloma not only means facing what happened that night—it means airing a truth that could easily rip Paloma’s world wide open, too.
I was impressed with how light this book felt when it dealt with such dark topics. Topics that are rarely tackled in any sort of literature. I have read books that didn’t cover nearly as tragic of circumstances with the grace Steph Campbell demonstrated in this book.
When I first saw the synopsis for A Postcard Would be Nice I was intrigued. While I’ve read several books that have dealt with sexual assault never was the survivor a male or if it was the story wasn’t his and he was only a supporting character. Oliver was a fresh face for an issue I feel very passionately about. Though he is a fictional character I still felt a certain sense of bravery in having those words, his story in print for the world to read. This book shed a much-needed light on male victims of sexual assault in a way that felt real.
My only wish for this book was that it was a little heavier. While the overarching theme of the book was extremely heavy and uncomfortable for the masses, I would have loved more darkness. In actuality, the book was nearly perfect and moments of levity helped to bring more life, believability, and relatability to Oliver’s story. My personal preferences always lean toward the darker, heavier, more painful storylines and that is the only reason I would ask for more of a walk down that lane.
I have previously read and loved Steph Campbell’s books and have loved every one for different reasons. She has the ability to make her books widely relatable while still dealing with very specific themes and I appreciate that about her writing. Her books feel like they are, or could be a person’s true life story. In a time when often stories tend toward the unbelievable (or at the very least, highly unrelatable) Ms. Campbell always lends a voice of truth to her stories and that is what keeps me returning to her books time and again.
Steph Campbell grew up in Southern California, married a cajun boy, and moved to the Bayou State over a decade ago. She’s a wife, mom to four, CHD advocate, and museum addict.
When she’s not writing or taking care of her brood, she’s reading or scouring travel sites, always ready for life’s next adventure.