Title: The Nowhere Girls
Author: Amy Reed
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 10th, 2017
Source: E-galley received from publisher for honest review
Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.
Who are the Nowhere Girls?
They’re every girl. But they start with just three:
Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.
Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.
Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.
When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.
Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.
My review: 4 stars
I tend to gravitate toward these types of stories because of my own similar past experiences. This book definitely held up and made me feel all the things that this type of story should. Some people may call that a trigger, and in fact, for one of the characters who had also had a similar experience did get "triggered" by the talk and experiences of other girls in the story. But what I really liked about this was how there were so many different characters. I like how they could come together in some ways, but I also felt it was very realistic in that there are some people who either cannot get over their own feelings and opinions to see the other side, or who may begin to understand, until something little happens that causes them to feel foolish, and they strike out in their own hurt or embarrassment. In that way, this did not end up becoming one of those really sappy perfect endings, where everyone holds hands and becomes best friends.
Other realistic parts of the story, besides what the girls went through, and how they dealt with each other, was the fact that authority figures aren't always going to do what should really be done. They will often do what is expected of them, or what they think needs to be done based on their own personal experiences. Such as the principal in the story. A woman, yet a woman who let the pressures put on her by the men in charge, cause her to not be what she should have been. Part of it again was the whole small town mentality. But even then, I don't want to say that all small towns are like that.
I will admit that at first I had a bit of trouble getting into the story. There were so many different characters, not just the three major ones, Erin, Grace, and Rosina, but every so often there was a chapter where you would get the thoughts or happenings from other girls' points of view. Some of the girls we got their names, and then got to see them later on as the Nowhere Girls began to come together, others we didn't get their names, but their stories fit in, and made you see just how life really is. Just how the environment is in the world today. But where I mentioned that not all small towns are that way? And how not all the girls really sided as they should have, not all the guys are bad. In fact one of them that we get to know, Otis. I really, really liked him. And even though I said that all the different characters were part of making it hard to start, by the end, I loved how the Nowhere Girls included all different types.
Again, based on my own personal experiences, there were parts that as I felt my own connection to what was happening, it was depressing to realize how true it was. But in the end, bringing all of it out, the girls realizing how important it was to support each other, and not feed into judging each other, that is where I'd like to see the world go.
Definitely a book I'll want to order to put in my school library to make available for my students.
About the Author:
Amy Reed was born and raised in and around Seattle, where she attended a total of eight schools by the time she was eighteen. Constant moving taught her to be restless and being an only child made her imagination do funny things. After a brief stint at Reed College (no relation), she moved to San Francisco and spent the next several years serving coffee and getting into trouble. She eventually graduated from film school, promptly decided she wanted nothing to do with filmmaking, returned to her original and impractical love of writing, and earned her MFA from New College of California. Her short work has been published in journals such as Kitchen Sink, Contrary, and Fiction. Amy currently lives in Oakland with her husband and two cats, and has accepted that Northern California has replaced the Pacific Northwest as her home. She is no longer restless. Find out more at amyreedfiction.com.
BEAUTIFUL is her first novel.
- 1 copy of THE NOWHERE GIRLS (US ONLY)
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