Junior year, the suburbs of Philadelphia. Alex, Mollie and Veronica are those girls: they’re the best of friends and the party girls of the school. But how well does everybody know them–and really, how well do they know one another? Alex is secretly in love with the boy next door and has joined a band–without telling anyone. Mollie suffers from a popular (and possibly sociopathic) boyfriend, as well as a serious mean streak. And Veronica just wants to be loved–literally, figuratively, physically….she’s not particular. Will this be the year that bonds them forever….or tears them apart for good? Lauren Saft masterfully conveys what goes on in the mind of a teenage girl, and her debut novel is raw, honest, hilarious, and thought-provoking, with a healthy dose of heart.
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Those Girls is Mean Girls on drugs. It’s gritty, edgy, and reckless. The dark side of teen life reeks of deep-seeded jealousy, bitterness, and lies. Get ready to open your eyes to the raunchy desperation of life as a teenage girl.
- Normally, I set my reviews up as PROS and CONS. For most reviews, that format works, for this book, it requires something sprawling and opinionated-something different. Because of the ranking, I don’t want you to dismiss this book by taking the higher number of cons as absolute. Here’s the thing, for an honest coming of age story, one of rivalry and friendship, Those Girls is a heady and toxic portrait of just how far girls will go for revenge.
- Told from three different perspectives, Those Girls tackles of the struggles of staying best friends throughout high school as each girl evolves and grows. Boyfriends, sex, drugs, and dreams tear them apart but they fight hard, clinging with everything they have to the innocent ideal of their childhood friendship.
- Each girl is vastly different and yet, strikingly the same when it comes down to their insecurities, their fears, and their desire to go above and beyond to preserve their friendship while figuring out who they are. They walk a fine line between manipulative and sycophantic. A slut, a pushover, and an artist, they’re all a bit cliché and as much as I pushed myself to find redeeming qualities, to like them, I couldn’t. The more I read, the more I loathed their passive-aggressive gossip and digs, their lewd behavior, and how they pretended to not care. What Lauren Saft was trying to do, to depict those despicable, desperate girls in every high school, the girls who connive and party, and toy with everyone, those selfish, ghastly mean girls, she did a fantastic job crafting their personalities.
- Underneath the outer reckless abandon is a harrowing cry for help, to be seen, to be accepted for who they are, scars and all by the girls they love more than anything but can no longer trust. A heart-wrenching sense of abandonment, of being alone in a crowded room saturates the plot.
- At times, the sexual scenes and commentary were in your face repulsive-just downright nasty. I felt dirty after reading some of them. Not because they were graphic but they were blunt and it killed me that these girls had so little self-respect. Just as you’re about to feel bad for them, they turn around and do something to make you backtrack.
- The final scene. NO WAY. No. There’s no way that is EVER forgivable. AND that they would shrug off the possible results of their actions…NO.
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