Three lives intersect unexpectedly when Annie accuses fourth-year student Tyler Brand of sexual assault. Once Bea is assigned as Tyler’s student advocate, the girls find themselves on opposite sides as battle lines are drawn across the picture-perfect campus―and Stayja finds herself invested in the case’s outcome, too.
... rife with underlying questions, including a close examination of the concept of consent ... Adkins takes on a complex subject just as it intersects with real events in our society. This thoughtful and engrossing novel will likely encourage genuine, heartfelt dialog among readers. Highly recommended.
... a sharp, smartly written novel about the intersections of class, gender and race ... Though Privelidge is, at its core, the story of a rape trial gone terribly wrong, Adkins covers so many other types of privilege and their trappings in this smart, poignant book ... This is a novel full of 'gray areas,' and though I would argue that the rape is not one of them, Adkins is thorough and careful in her rendering of the reactions on campus ... Weaving a story all too common to readers familiar with the #MeToo movement with thought-provoking commentaries on race and class, Adkins forces readers to consider not only their own privileges, but how they have perpetuated dangerous and toxic cycles of racism, sexism and classism themselves ... This is an ambitious book, and though Adkins has a strong handle on each of her themes, her prose failed to dig as deep as I would have liked. Bea in particular felt ignored at times, and it would have been nice to see far more of her experience as one of the few POC students at Carter and in the Justice program. Her actions vacillated between hopelessly naive, needlessly reckless and downright absurd, and I wanted her to be more fully developed, especially as her role in the story was one of the most interesting, as a woman defending a rapist. Adkins accomplished so much with Annie and especially Stayja that Bea’s chapters felt rushed and devoid of the same intellectual prodding that she has proven herself adept at ... All in all, Privelidge is a thought-provoking and timely novel about the ways in which each of us hold and fight against both our own privileges and those of others. Though sexual assault is the book’s main theme, I was impressed by Adkins’ bravery and willingness to confront other types of privilege. I just wish she had pushed even further when it came to race.