3.5 stars, although the book deserves more stars than this. I'll explain my rating later.I wonder if that's true, if he'd still want me knowing who'd been there before him and what they did.This is a book about the aftereffects of rape and abuse. It's not pretty, it's not fluffy, there's no "feel good" romance to soften the blow.This book is a prime example of just how hard it is to heal after going through sexual assault. I recently read another book dealing with a similar subject (Easy) and while I rated that one higher strictly for entertainment value, I still felt like something was missing while I was reading it. Afterward, as I went back and finished this book, the realization of what was missing hit me. Romance is tricky path to walk after you've been emotionally and physically traumatized. In the book Easy, the process for Jackie was much more simple than the same situation would have been for something going through the same thing in real life. I couldn't put my finger on it at the time but knew there was something holding me back from going higher than a 4 star rating on that book. It was entertaining; I swooned at the romance; I enjoyed the book and will continue to recommend it to others...but yeah...sexual assault isn't the best jumping off point for starting a romance. Here's how Carly in Raw Blue felt :I think that the person who was raped should own the copyright on what happened to them.I can't watch these shows. The way they treat it, as thought it was nothing, just a thing, a fact. Rape for entertainment value.So does this mean that Raw Blue is all doom and gloom? Does our girl get her shot at happiness? No, the book is not all depressing. The tone is serious and a bit melancholy in places, but Carly does find her start on the long road to healing. She even manages to find a person who might be someone to help her learn to trust again. The romance took a while to develop but it was sweet to watch as Carly took baby steps out into an entirely new world for her.I'm taking a sec to address the terminology here...It's an Australian book and I had a hard time with some of the terms. Yes, I'm embarrassed to have so many great friends from this country, yet I'm still completely clueless. A vacation overseas might be in order.My poor Nook was hating me because its very "American" dictionary didn't have the definitions for most of these words : ~ bitumen (best I gathered was some sort of paving material), rashie, Moulinex (an appliance?), fibro, doona, donga, singlet (tank top I think)If the book was good, why not a higher rating?Someone should have told me that this was like a Marchetta book, where if you push past the first section, you'll be rewarded for your effort in spades. Unfortunately, I wasn't aware and ended up reading this book in parts. Frankly, the first 30% didn't grab me. Nothing was happening other than Carly's daily routine, which was pretty boring. So I put the book away to catch up on other stuff, which killed it for me, trying to come back much later and finish. I was confused at first, trying to remember the characters. However, the last half of the book was astonishing. Carly's journey was inspiring to watch. Her flashbacks made me emotional. The ending was perfect. Had I read this book in one sitting, I probably would have figured a 4 to 4.5 rating because when you put the parts together as one sum, there is a story worth telling.I rode the foam all the way in. Even now I can remember the magic of it : the sensation of movement, the way time slowed, and that one moment lasted forever. As I'd expected the feat had gone ignored, but it didn't matter. The gift was mine. I didn't need them any more. I had that.