Tuesday 1 November 2011

Review: Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Some Girls AreSome Girls Are by Courtney Summers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

When I started this book I thought that it would be a light and fluffy story of high-school bitchiness- I couldn't be more wrong. It was quite dark and disturbing but no less brilliant for being so harrowing. The first chapter opens up on a drunken teenage party, and sets the stage for a scene that was very hard to read about. We are thrown straight into the drama of the story, told in Regina's own words. Feeling unable to tell her parents what has happened Regina confides in a girl that is supposed to be her friend, but instead betrays her and twists her story. Regina has gone through high-school as one of the popular girls, the best friend of Anna- the queen bee of the school, but now she is accused of sleeping with her friend's boyfriend and is an outcast from her former group- the bully now becoming a victim of bullying herself. Her former friends go out of their way to make Regina's life hell, painting her locker, destroying her possessions, and setting up an abusive website. The tension in the book builds up and up as their taunts get worse and worse, and start to descend into physical attacks.

Despite Regina being a mean bully and complete bitch, you can't help but feel sorry for her and admire her courage in what she is going though, even if it is a taste of her own medicine, the rumours about her completely untrue. Courtney Summers writes about a group of teens who have sex, drink, take drugs and skip school, but despite this they are still vulnerable teenagers with confidence problems who just want to fit in and be admired. Regina has a serious eating problem, and Kara worries about her weight. They act confident and superior to the rest of the school, but underneath they are just desperate to be accepted.

Afraid to be on her own Regina approaches the people at the back table at lunchtime, dubbed "the garbage table", and the bottom of the social ladder. Michael has never cared about being popular, and is happy to spend time on his own, unnoticed in the corner. But when he does start to open up he is a very sweet person, and believes Regina's side of the story. A victim of Regina's bullying in the past, I found myself really hoping that he could get over the events of the past and be the support that Regina needed. Michael was the surprise of the story and I was surprised to find how much I grew to like him, his unlikely friendship becoming a light in a dark time. Despite not wanting to get involved in any conflicts he can't help but be put in the middle at times, and is forced to choose between sticking up for Regina and taking abuse himself or to not get involved at all and let Regina deal with it on her own.

This is Mean Girls taken to the next level. It is a tense emotional read which highlights an important social issue, and gets right into the minds and hearts of the characters- showing in a very real way the hopelessness, terror and loneliness of being the victim of bullying, and the malicious cruelty of those who perpetrate it, by the extreme level that they take it to. This book is shocking and horrifying, but feels so terrifyingly real that it's also a work of genius. I loved this book and these characters, and would recommend this story to any fans of a gritty contemporary YA story. This is one of those books that is hard to read but impossible to turn away from.

1 comment:

  1. I have had that Courtney's books really are quite dark so I am waiting till am in the right mood to read this one!
    Thanks for the review


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