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Monday, July 12, 2010

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Release Date: January
5, 2010
Publisher: St.Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Realistic/Contemporary Fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 256


Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard--falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High... until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around.

Now Regina's been "frozen out" and her ex-best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend... if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don't break them both first.

Tensions grow and the abuse worsens as the final days of senior year march toward an explosive conclusion in this dark new tale from the author of Cracked Up To Be.

My Review:

This was the first novel I have read by Courtney Summers and it was an utterly compelling read, I could not put it down, I was so absorbed in the world and the characters Summers crafted that I read it in a couple of hours.

The book begins at a party full of drunken high school teenagers, Regina, our protagonist, is the designated driver so while everyone else is drunk she has to stay sober and watch out for her friends. Soon she only has her best friend, Anna the queen bee of the clique, to look after and finds her lying passed out on a couch with her boyfriend Donnie sitting opposite looking stoned. One minute Donnie is talking to Regina the next he’s attacking her and trying to rape her. Regina puts up a good fight and manages to get away, distraught she runs to Kara’s house (one of the members of her clique at school, the Fearsome Fivesome and Regina’s frenemy) and tells her everything, big mistake. Kara is a real BITCH with a vendetta against Regina and tells Anna that Regina slept with Donnie. Back at school Regina soon finds herself frozen-out of her group, her boyfriend dumps her without a word, her best friend doesn’t believe her that Donnie tried to rape her when she tries to explain what happened and she has no friends left. What follows is a harrowing story of how cruel girls can be to one another.

At first I didn’t think I would feel sympathy for Regina, after all she was part of the clique that made many peoples life at the school miserable, okay I’ll say it she was a bitch and now she was getting a taste of her own medicine, but in a testament to Summers writing I started to feel sympathy for Regina’s situation and wanted everything to work out for her especially her developing relationship with Michael. The relationship portrayed with Michael was realistic, it wasn’t instantaneous but was slow burning which is understandable after years of mean gossiping about him from Regina and her clique. At first Michael (and I have to say me as well) didn’t trust Regina’s motives, is she sorry for what she did because she has no one now or is she really sorry? It became apparent that it was the latter, she was indeed sorry for what she did.

Regina was so much more than a one-dimensional character which she could have been if not for Summers writing. It’s would have been much easier to portray Regina as a simply a mean girl like everyone at the school though she was but in reality she was much more than simply a mean character. She was a complex character with many issues, her parents were never around, she never really liked her so called friends and she feels exceptionally guilty for what she and her clique did to their old friend Liz which as it happens is exactly what is happening to Regina now. As a consequence of this freeze-out the clique performed on Liz, Regina pops antacids like its no one business which shows that whilst what Regina did was a real bitchy thing to do she did feel guilty about not like some of the other girls. Regina also discovers the consequences of her previous actions not only from Michael but Liz as well as a particularly nasty website set up where people can discuss how much they hate Regina.

As the book goes on the bullying towards Regina intensifies both emotionally and physically. While some people would sit back and take it others like Regina take a stand and say no more and boy can she give as well as she can receive. Whilst some of her actions were questionable I could understand why she did it, sometimes even I was cheering her on because boy oh boy these girls were mean and vindictive. However, this ‘I’m not taking this bullying anymore’ attitude may not only hurt Regina but also Michael soon Regina must make a hard choice and it is in this choice she makes that proved to me that Regina was indeed really sorry for her previous actions. It was this part in the book that took me by surprise and took the book in another direction I was not expecting some of the things those girls came up with to make Regina’s life miserable were just astounding.

Some Girls Are was a raw, intense and sometimes difficult reading but well worth the read. Perhaps as the title suggest Some Girls Are … just bitchy. A must read for all teenage girls, utter perfection. Sign me up for more Courtney Summers.


Nomes (inkcrush) said...

awesome review. I was completely absorbed by this book and think it really magnifies just how much pressure some teenagers are under at school. You'll have to read Cracked Up To Be - not as painful, but still brilliantly written!


Anonymous said...

Oh, I keep hearing great things about Some Girls Are, so I'll definitely have to check it out. Great review Romy!

melissa said...

I just finished this book yesterday. I totally agree about the writing. Regina was so real - more than just a mean girl.

You should try Cracked Up to Be. I think it's just as good.

Cass (Words on Paper) said...

Great review! Hopping by, but I'm a faithful follower so I thought I'd check out your review. :) I've been wanting to read this one, since it's been said that it's a must-read for teen girls.

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Romy @
Greetings fellow blog readers, welcome to my blog and thank you for stopping by. Now you may be wondering who is Well is also known as Romy, a 23 year old graduate student from Australia who loves to read. I read (maybe devour would be a more appropriate word) largely young adult novels, with a particular love of fantasy and paranormal novels, however I am also a sucker for a good romance.
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