Saturday, 14 October 2017

Review: The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

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 everygirl. 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.

Hardcover, 416 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Simon Pulse 
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

I'll get right to the point with this book. It tackled some very deep and extremely relevant topics that I feel are very important. Teenage girls should really read this book. It tackled rape culture and sex and the way (some) high school boys and grown ups treat females when it comes to sex and dating. It also dealt with the female view and attitudes towards sex and relationships. I won't sugar coat it. There was more than one rape in this book done by multiple boys. It wasn't the easiest to read and it could be a trigger for some people.

It started off with Grace, Rosina and Erin wanting to get justice for Lucy who was brutally raped by a bunch of boys from her school and who wasn't believed when she spoke up and basically run out of town. You see... the boys were all part of the star football team and highly regarded by the school and community. Sound familiar? Unfortunately there have been numerous real life stories in the news over the years that were similar.

What started out as a small anonymous group called the Nowhere Girls grew and took on a life of its own. The members openly discussed sex, relationships, boys, insecurities and what if anything they could do to get justice for Lucy and how to let everyone know that the misogynist mentality was not OK. What was interesting to me about this was the backlash that the girls received for their efforts. I felt that it was (unfortunately) very realistic.

Grace, Rosina and Erin were very different characters from very different backgrounds and I thoroughly enjoyed each one of them. The chapters alternated between each of their perspectives as well as chapters titled "US" which had the views of many different characters. Towards the end of the book there were also a few chapters told from other key players as well.

The story was very well written and flowed nicely. I did have to put it down a few times but I think that it was because of the content more so than the actual story. Although I am a few years outside of high school I could relate to a lot of what was discussed. I remember how difficult it was to navigate relationships and hormones and I certainly remember the locker room talk and rumours that easily ruined peoples reputations.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and believe that it is timely and relevant topic that many girls will relate to. Amy Reed has a bright career ahead of her that I will certainly be happy to follow.

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.  

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1 comment:

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and believe that it is timely and relevant topic that many girls will relate to. Amy Reed has a bright career ahead of her that I will certainly be happy to follow.

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