Friday, January 22, 2010

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Summary (taken from the back cover): "Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students of Hallowell High... that is, until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend started going around.  Now, Regina's been 'frozen out' and her ex-best friends are out for revenge."
This is just a snippet, but it captures the basic story here.    When I first read a review of this book, I expected it to be like the movie Heathers, or Jawbreaker where one girl's friends turn against her, things get ugly, etc etc etc.    However, Courtney Summers takes the idea of girls turning against each other to a new, more vicious level here.    Regina's not always the most sympathetic character; she's not really that nice of a girl sometimes.  However, compared to the rest of the Fearsome Fivesome, she's a lightweight.   Pranks on Regina start out with someone spraypainting "Whore" on her locker, and then things keep escalating into feats of retaliation and violence.
        I actually liked this book, even though parts of it made me cringe.   I found Summers' writing to be powerful, and she made me care about Regina, even when I didn't like her sometimes.    I think this book might really resonate with some readers, because this kind of thing does happen --- maybe not in the extremely vicious ways portrayed in this story, but I think many readers can identify with just how mean people in high school can be.  Or maybe that's just me.    I wasn't the most popular kid in grade school, but when I transferred to high school, I had a group of friends.  We weren't unpopular, and we weren't popular, but we were a close group.   Then, I made the mistake senior year of making friends with a girl that my friends didn't really like --- so they stopped talking to me.   It was really upsetting, because none of them would tell me what was going on -- they just froze me out.   Adding to that, my roommate (yes, I went to boarding school) starting spreading nasty little rumors about me.   Eventually, I realized that the one girl really wasn't a good friend, and my other friends took me back -- but after that, I just felt like I didn't know who I could trust.     What I went through was pretty boring compared to what happens to Regina in this book, but I'm sure there will be readers who feel like they can identify with Regina.   And that's sad.  What I mean is: it makes me mad that there will always be girls like Anna and Kara who makes everyone around them miserable.  And it makes me mad that it seems like girls like them always get away with acting like this.

          I don't think that every reader is going to love this book.   It's not necessarily a happy story.  But, it's a powerful story, and one that I think is important.   


Miss Moppet said...

I went to a girls' school too (although not a boarding school) so I can relate. I was fortunate to have a small group of close and loyal friends as things could get very bitchy at times! I'm adding this to my 'to read' list at Goodreads. Oh, and if you like books set in high school and haven't already read The Cheerleader by Ruth Doan MacDougall, I recommend it.

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