- The Adult Fear in the premise: your daughter, formerly a cheerful A student, suddenly skips classes and becomes more withdrawn, and you can't figure out what's wrong. For most of the school year you believe that she's being an Attention Whore and try to invoke Misery Builds Character, to no avail, and give her art supplies as a Christmas gift to make her feel better. Melinda's parents must feel awful at the end of the book when they learn she sneaked out to a party with Rachel, got raped, and then had to fend off her attacker one year later in school.
- Melinda's PTSD attack when David invites her to a post-game party. She's already freaking out because she fell asleep in her school closet, and David in trying to invite her to a date makes it worse.
- The rape scene. You can practically hear Melinda internally screaming but being too drunk to say anything as Andy is raping her.
"I'm trying to remember how we got on the ground and where the moon went and wham! shirt up, shorts down, and the ground smells wet and dark and NO!—I'm not really here, I'm definitely back at Rachel's, crimping my hair and gluing on fake nails, and he smells like beer and mean and he hurts me hurts me hurts me and gets upand zips his jeansand smiles."
- Made even worse in the film, where you can hear Melinda's muffled screams as Andy is raping her...
- Rachel after hearing the truth accuses Andy of raping Melinda but not reconciling with the latter, leading to Andy attempting the same thing in the climax. Like, what the hell, Rachel?
- Andy attempting to rape Melinda again in the climax. This time, however, she's conscious and Andy makes no attempts to coax her into having his way with her.
- To some, even the cover may be unsettling.