Inexcusable

Inexcusable

[in-ik-skyoo-zuh-buhl]

''' Inexcusable is a 2005 novel written by Chris Lynch in the young adult genre. Through first-person narration, it chronicles the life of high school senior Keir Sarafian.

Plot summary

The novel begins with Keir arguing with Gigi about the events which occurred the night before. It continues with Kier's first-person narration of his senior year in high school. Keir is crushed when he learns that Gigi has accused him of date rape. He goes on to tell Gigi that he loves her, and would never do such a thing. One of Kier's main problems is his home life. His father treats him more like a friend than a son. The big question throughout the novel is could a self-proclaimed "good guy" be capable of such a heinous act? Keir goes over the events of his senior year that led to this night, and how this could have happened. The novel never mentions Gigi's point of view, so her feelings and thoughts are not taken into consideration through the use of dialogue.

As the novel unfolds, Keir becomes more unpopular because of his substance abuse, school behavior, and his infamous tackle on the football field giving him the nickname "Killer." Kier's self-image dissipates after he accidentally paralyzes a teammate, participates in bullying classmantes, and then tries cocaine. First, he leans on Gigi because she listersens to him and doesn't judge him. Once he learns about Gigi and her new boyfriend, he is angry and leans on his two sisters, Fran and Mary. Kier's older sisters have mixed feelings about his behavior. He leans on Fran the most because she sees the "good" in Keir despite his terrible actions.

One night close to graduation, after a night of partying and substance abuse, Gigi decides to accompany Kier on a visit to Fran's college and they end up in her dorm room alone. In addition to all of this, Gigi tells Kier that her boyfriend has recently ended things, and she is lonely. She tells Kier to come sleep in the bed next to her because she is crying and wants support. Then, the setting reverts back to the opening with the two arguing about what happened while they were sleeping next to each other.

Characters

  • Keir Sarafian: Keir is the sixteen year old protagonist of the novel. He's a popular high school football player who parties, abuses substances and is disobedient in school.
  • Gigi Boudakian: Gigi is Keir's best friend, and the person Keir adores. She goes to a party with Keir and participates in substance abuse.
  • Ray Sarafian: Ray is Keir's widowed father.
  • Quarterback Ken: Ken is the quarterback of Keir's football team. He is the reason Kier is given the nickname "Killer."
  • Fran and Mary Sarafian: Fran and Mary are Keir's sisters.

Controversy

“Inexcusable” has stirred up controversy through telling a story of rape from the perspective of an accused rapist. Through Lynch’s portrayal of Keir, it becomes nearly impossible for readers to see the world and events of the novel in black-and-white terms, causing one to sympathize with an accused rapist. For these reasons, “Inexcusable” has been placed on some banned books lists.

Themes

  • Date Rape
  • First-person Narratives
  • High School Sports
  • Relationships - Family and Social
  • Responsibility
  • Self-perception/self-deception
  • Substance Abuse

Awards and Recognition

2005 National Book Awards Finalist Young People's Literature

Booklist Editors' Choice - Books for Youth (Older Readers Category), 2005

National Book Awards Finalist for Young Peoples Literature, 2005

School Libray Journal's Best Books, 2005

YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2006

Booklist, September 15, 2005, p. 55 (Starred Review)

Other Books to Read if You Like Inexcusable

Breaking Point by Alex Finn, 2002

Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn, 2001 (2002 RITBA Nominee)

Invisible by Pete Hautman, 2005 (2007 RITBA Nominee)

Looking for Alaska by John Green, 2005 (2007 RITBA Nominee)

Shattering Glass by Gail Giles, 2001

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, 1999 (2001 RITBA Nominee)

Things Left Unsaid by Stephanie Hemphill, 2005

External links

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