As the investigation progresses, Krouse unfurls a storyline as compelling as any detective novel ... Without absolving the players for their actions, Krouse lays a steaming bag of blame at the doorstep of the coach and his organization ... As gifted as she is at listening, Krouse is equally good at telling a story. There are many memorable characters in Tell Me Everything—from the plus-size sex worker to the beady-eyed coach to the incomparable Mr. Fixit that is JD—but it’s Krouse’s own persona, with her supernatural powers, her supersize wounds, and her spiritual speedball of courage and vulnerability, that makes this book mesmerizing on every page.
... beautifully written, disturbing and affecting ... This is literary nonfiction at a high level. Fans of true crime might be disappointed in the eccentricities of the writer, who regularly finds reason to detail, say, drought conditions in Colorado, instead of giving a straightforward accounting of crimes and cover-ups...The book swirls around major sexual issues of our day — consent, college rape culture, institutional accountability — without ever feeling preachy or didactic. Instead, we get beautiful sentences that leap out of nowhere ... In detailing her own trauma, Krouse is unsparing...I found myself gasping at some moments involving her mother, the pain heightened by tenderness ... There are occasional false moments, too. The author sometimes drops into hard-boiled noir tropes that feel at odds with the tone of the book. And occasionally the story reads like a creation myth for a hero P.I. ... At first, I worried that the dual narratives of Krouse’s personal story and the football team’s rape case wouldn’t coalesce. Sadly, they fit together all too well.
... splendid ... This is a startlingly fresh book that proves the memoir can do much, much more than just describe, or pretend to describe, what really happened ... Is Krouse exaggerating here? Probably, but the persona she’s crafting for herself—a nebbishy yet funny everywoman, a bit klutzy and specializing in self-deprecating wisecracks—is as familiar as her face. She’s Cathy from the comics, Liz Lemon, a character to be played by Beanie Feldstein: relatable, comfortable company who transforms her utter averageness into humor ... nothing undermines Krouse’s self-description more than the scenes in which she interviews victims, witnesses, and perpetrators in the campus rape case. These read like a master class in drawing people out, no easy task in a football-worshipping town where the accusers paid a heavy social price for troubling the home team ... figuring out Krouse is the most fascinating puzzle in the book. She is an unreliable narrator, but not about the facts—about herself. At the beginning of Tell Me Everything, the reader has to peer beneath Krouse’s self-portrait of a hapless nonentity to see the tough, canny survivor she actually is. How does a person end up so blind to her own nature? And how did she become such a savant at reading people in the first place? As she works on this enraging case, with victims whose experiences often mirror her own, Krouse inches her way toward a better understanding of who she is. Tell Me Everything isn’t a testimony of suffering. It’s the evidence of what Krouse has made from it: an artist, and a formidable one.
... a harrowing narrative ... She details others’ pain with care and compassion, and her own past clearly informs those descriptions ... The book is most heartbreaking when Krouse speaks with her mother, who still has a relationship with [Krouse's abuser] and refuses to admit what he did to her daughter ... [an] unnerving, haunting book. It’s a triumph of literary reportage and memoir that doesn’t flinch at the ugliest truths—from others and herself.
... an expert, nuanced blend of memoir and true crime ... Though the campus, students, and staff are all kept anonymous in this book, characters are fully fleshed out, and Krouse deftly explores the complicated dynamics between the university, students, and college athletics. She seamlessly weaves elements of her own history into the narrative as she describes following leads, establishing a case, and fighting for justice ... Readers will devour this searingly intimate tale of institutional misogyny. An important addition for all libraries.
With utmost care and consideration for the victims, some of whom chose not to come forward, Krouse gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the complications of pursuing a Title IX case. Her narrative voice is engaging, and she effortlessly relates legal complexities in succinct, easy-to-follow passages. As a result, learning how Krouse and her legal team patiently unraveled the scope of the university’s involvement reads like a detective novel. Particularly riveting are the scenes in which Krouse speaks with various witnesses, often in bars or restaurants, trying to parse out what happened on the night of that ill-fated party ... Both the true crime and memoir components of Krouse’s book are extremely successful, and her reflections on the injured party’s difficult choice to make their pain public are crisp and on point ... a memorable, highly personal account of a landmark legal case, as well as a thoughtful examination of the long-lasting damage of sexual assault.
Krouse weaves these elements into a compelling account as she describes building the case, including empathetic profiles of individuals involved, and shares her struggles with past and present trauma. With graphic descriptions of horrifying events, Krouse’s brutal candor and perceptive insights make for powerful storytelling.
... [an] enthralling blend of true crime and memoir ... what began as a fight for one woman’s justice becomes a battle Krouse fights against her own inner demons that eloquently contends with systemic issues still plaguing American institutions today. The emotional catharsis delivered by the book’s end turns this sensational tale into a stunning story of redemption and hope. Readers will be gripped.
The narrative that emerges is riveting and consistently insightful in its assessment of the psychodynamics of trauma for both victims and offenders; the valorization as well as the exploitation of male athletes; and the often volatile intersection of race, gender, and class in top-level college athletics. Rather than simply demonizing individuals, the author convincingly demonstrates how institutional practices have enabled (and covered up) predatory environments ... The personal narrative, interwoven seamlessly alongside the professional one, is equally compelling. In explaining the toll her involvement in the case exacted on her, Krouse movingly documents her attempts to gain from her mother an acknowledgment of the abuse she endured as a child—and to make sense of their deeply troubled relationship. An exceptionally well-told, perceptive examination of a sexual abuse scandal and its personal and social relevance.