Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Most of Regina Afton's high school existence has revolved around the Fearsome Fivesome, or at least catering to the capricious wishes of her so-called best friend and the groups' self-appointed leader Anna. At Anna's side and part of the It crowd, Regina is looked up to, adored, and universally feared. Which is why Regina is in serious shock and confusion mode when she walks into school on Monday to find that she has been 'frozen out' by Anna and her cronies. What begins with simple isolation extends to malicious pranks and vindictive rumors all carefully designed to turn Regina's existence into a veritable, walking nightmare. And it works. Really, really well actually. Unwilling to simply ride out the humiliation all alone, Regina finds herself turning to some of her previous victims, finding unexpected sources of comfort in those she had worked so hard to destroy herself. And as the pranks and even physical violence escalate, Regina discovers she's ready to fight back. Because she knows these girls and their torturous ways - after all, she's been doing the same things to other innocent, unwitting victims for years now.

Despite having come across countless favorable reviews of Courtney Summers' Some Girls Are in the past several months, I purposefully stayed away. Why? Well, I knew her honest and brutal narrative about the lengths girls go to make each others lives a living nightmare in high school would be just that: honest and brutal. But then Angie told me I had to read it and one incredibly tense afternoon later, here we are. And like Angie said it's an important read and one I'm glad I took a chance on. Though I don't know what aspect appalled me more: the fact that these girls could be so coolly diabolical in their revenge or the complete and utter obliviousness of every single parent, teacher or adult in the novel! I swear, every other chapter I about gave myself a heart-attack with each new humiliation or heartache Regina suffered thinking "okay, this is going to be the time SOMEONE steps in and gets this horrific situation under control." But no, each new 'prank' would inevitably come without rescue, described in Regina's unflinchingly honest voice without any softening of the blow.

Courntey Summers also must be acknowledged for her supreme crafting of Regina's unique teenage voice in particular. Boiled down, Regina has been a bully, although a popular and well-dressed one, and yet I found myself caring - deeply - about her. And that's not because she shied away from her misdeeds past and current. Oh no, it's all out there, plain as day for your viewing pleasure. Mostly I found myself drawn to Some Girls Are because of the slow unraveling and gradual exposure of Regina's fears and insecurities, revealing at heart a pretty messed-up ball of teenage insecurities that was far from stereotypical and deeply layered. And infinitely readable.

Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
Angieville review
Presenting Lenore review
Steph Su Reads review
The Story Siren review
The YA YA YAs review

book source: my local library


Lenore said...

Very brutal read, indeed. Thanks for linking to my review :)

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

I've somehow missed the other reviews for this one but it sounds really good. Putting it on my TBR!

Angiegirl said...

Several small heart attacks is right.

I couldn't believe how hard those girls were. But I really loved this book.

Michelle said...

Lenore - No problem, I much appreciated your review!

Natasha - It is good, and one not to be missed!

Angie - It is a keeper - I'm glad you told me to read it or I don't think I would have done so.

Christine said...

I keep reading such amazing reviews for this book and this author for that matter--that I'm absolutely seeking this book out.