Undeadly by Michele Vail

November 6, 2012 Reviews 0

Undeadly by Michele VailUndeadly by Michele Vail Published by Harlequin Teen on November 20, 2012
Genres: YA Paranormal
Pages: 272
Format: eARC
Source: eARC via NetGalley
zero-stars
The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper-and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she’s shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Who seems to hate her guts.

Rath will be watching closely to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with. To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly-against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally.

Undeadly reminds me a lot of the House of Night series. This is not a good thing. At all.

This novel is still leagues and leagues better than the bestselling vampire series, but there are a few similarities between them. An annoying, judgmental heroine who has been chosen as special beyond all others by her kind’s deity, mean girls and cliches galore, and failed attempts at teenspeak are just a few of the similarities.

To begin with, I originally quit reading the novel sixty percent of the way in because I wasn’t enjoying myself, but I came back to it a few days later and finished it because I wanted to give it the fair shot it eventually showed it did not deserve. The first few chapters and our introduction to Molly’s world are filled with inelegant exposition of how necromancers are an everyday thing and everyone goes to them for their zombie needs. This includes bringing zombies to life, suppressing their massive appetites, and reattaching their arms when they fall off. Though I disliked the artless way in which the world was built, the world itself has a lot of potential. Potential that goes unfulfilled, sadly.

Molly’s narrative voice is one of the most forced teen voices I have ever found in young adult literature and it fails badly at seeming even slightly realistic. She uses outdated slang like “it was a mondo ick mess” (80s/90s slang, mind you) and “major suckitude” is at least as old as 2003. One bit of slang, “gigging up my ju-ju”, doesn’t even use gigging right! Gigging is typically associated with dancing, excitement, or moving from music gig to music gig as if one were clubbing. I believe this takes place in the present day, albeit in an alternate universe, not in the past.

Tolerating her for more than a chapter or two at a time was difficult. Looking down on her fourteen-year-old sister for being passionate about zombie rights? Ugh. Having the cliche-of-all-cliches freakout when she learns something about her family early in the book? Worse. Abbreviations like WTH and BTW in her narrative? I can’t. If there is one thing I want from a book, it’s that there are no abbreviations in the narrative itself. It’s irritating and makes the narrator seem dumb and brings down the quality of the novel.

The side characters were unremarkable. There are the cardboard friends, the jerky new love interest and “old” love interest, the mean girls making Molly’s life suck, and all the other requisite elements of paranormal YA. After reading it for so many years, stories like this that indulge in the tropes without doing anything new or deeper with them tire me. I also had a niggle with a character’s name; Russian character Irina Derinski’s name should be Irina Derinska, as per Russian naming traditions. The character herself? Let’s not talk about how transparent she is in her motivations.

There simply isn’t any depth here to make Molly and her world interesting enough. There are no questions about how ghouls and ghosts feel about being bound to the living world, as if they have no feelings at all. Molly never thinks about how Henry must feel to be bound to everyone of her family line that comes to Nekyia Academy and being forced to stay around if there is no one of her family there. There could have been so many great questions about what life and death really mean, but they are all passed over for melodrama.

Warning: Undeadly ends on a strong cliffhanger and there’s no telling exactly when Unchosen, book two of the Reaper Diaries, will be in stores next year.All I know is that I will not be reading it.

Divider

Dinner with a Vampire by Abigail Gibbs

November 2, 2012 Reviews 0

Dinner with a Vampire by Abigail GibbsDinner with a Vampire by Abigail Gibbs Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on September 18, 2012
Genres: Adult Horror, NA Paranormal
Pages: 561
Format: eARC
Source: eARC via Edelweiss
zero-stars
Violet Lee is the sole living witness to a horrific pre-dawn mass murder in Trafalgar Square, London.

But before she can alert the authorities, she is taken by the group of murderers, who, to her shock, are vampires. Kidnapped, Violet is forced to live among them, for they've discover she is the daughter of the UK's Secretary of State for Defense… who has been secretly dealing with the vampires for years.

Now a pawn in a game of politics between humans and vampires, Violet begins to doubt her allegiance, especially when she begins to fall for Prince Kaspar, the heir to the throne of the vampire world, as well as his best friend, Fabian. Swept into a complex love triangle, will Violet leave her newfound life, or return to the human world?

Any novel that makes it okay when the primary love interest threatens/attempts to rape his love interest is on my shitlist. Dinner with a Vampire is the topmost name on said shitlist for this and more. I slogged through 400 pages of this bloated, melodramatic mess before it became impossible.There were dozens of dynamic opening lines I considered for this review, but that one in particular gets across exactly what someone is getting into if they decide to read this novel. Some people are only going to glance over the first lines of this lengthy review and I want to make what little they’ll see have a serious impression on them. Despite receiving six figures for it, Gibbs’ novel lacks any redeeming qualities and immature in its execution and characterization.

Right off the bat, we’re hit with a lack of logic. Considering the police and Violet’s dad already know about vampires and want an excuse to come after them, it’s actually safer to let Violet go free than to keep her among vampires. She’s kept more because the plot of the book demands it than because it makes sense. Even after reading the entire novel, I’m still not sure why Kaspar didn’t kill her.

Violet, despite being the daughter of the Secretary of State for Defense, says “Vampires are monsters. Monsters do horrible things. Humans don’t (Dinner with a Vampire, p. 39).” Has she never heard of Ed Gein? Charles Manson? Ted Bundy? Timothy McVeigh? Adolf Hitler? I could go on and on with all the humans who have done monstrous things. This is supposed to establish how in denial she is about what’s happening to her and it works somewhat. What it does more of is establish what she is throughout the novel: naive and annoying. I can’t remember any redeeming qualities she has.

The beginning isn’t so offensive or cliched, but this doesn’t last long. Kaspar’s bed buddy Charity is almost immediately established as mean girl love rival number one. This happens around the same time the Kaspar/Violet/Fabian love triangle sets in. Then Lyla, Violet’s insta-best friend, turns into a second mean girl love rival. Slut-shaming is everywhere, and it’s portrayed as wrong when it’s Violet being called a slut, but it’s apparently  right when it’s Charity. What? NO. Double standards are not welcome here. Kaspar starts playing hot and cold, the antagonists are flat like paper, and it steals the “are you scared of me?” “I’m not scared of you” bit straight out of Twilight.

Unfortunately, this is not the only double standard of the novel. When Violet takes Kaspar’s condoms as a prank, he responds by ATTEMPTING TO RAPE HER. This get brushed off and he remains the primary love interest. When another guy attempts to rape her and then kill her? He’s evil.

WHAT IS THIS? Whether it’s a vampire novel or contemporary novel or any other kind of novel, it is NEVER okay for the love interest/hero to threaten to rape the heroine, condescend to her all the time by calling her Girly, blame her for the terrible things he does to her, or do pretty much anything Kaspar did to Violet. The way she shrugs off all the bull he throws at her and still fawns over him? That is called RAPE CULTURE and it’s dangerous. It’s why society still says “she asked for it” when a girl gets raped or assaulted.

I know vampire lit. Dracula has been one of my favorites since the age of seven,. Vampires remain my favorite monsters despite the oversaturation of them in the current market and there is no counting how many vampire books I’ve read. I have written my own book centered on vampires (and nothing I have said or will say about this book has anything to do with professional jealousy, so don’t even try it) because I love vampires so much.

I could wax about all the ways in which I establish the antagonist vampire in my book as evil, but the point: I never use rape to do it. Rape is THE cheapest way to portray a character as evil because it lacks effort and is beyond offensive. Really, what of the double standards? Another character is evil for trying to sexually assault Violet, but Kaspar is good and droolworthy when he does the same thing? This issue is never addressed.

This book reinforces the rape culture people like me have spent so much time fighting and makes teen writers such as myself look bad. If only I’d recognized that I read part of this when it was still on Wattpad as “Dinner with a Vampire. Did I Mention I’m Vegetarian?” It was awful then and it’s awful now. I just have a better sense of exactly how bad it is. On the bright side, I didn’t pay for this fat piece of badfic.

Divider

Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley

November 1, 2012 Reviews 0

Lipstick Apology by Jennifer JabaleyLipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley Published by Razorbill on August 6, 2009
Genres: YA Contemporary
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
zero-stars
Sometimes a good-bye is just the beginning.

When Emily Carson’s parents die in a plane crash, she’s left with nothing but her mother’s last words scrawled in lipstick on a tray table: Emily, please forgive me.

Now it’s fall and Emily moves to New York City, where she attracts the attention of two very different boys: the cute, popular Owen, and her quirky chemistry partner, Anthony. With the help of some surprising new friends, Emily must choose between the boy who helps her forget and the one who encourages her to remember, and ultimately heal.

Debut author Jennifer Jabaley has written a wonderful, feel-good romantic comedy with real emotional depth. Full of lovably wacky characters, Lipstick Apology is a heartwarming story about the true meaning of forgiveness.

This started out as the typical dead-parents book with an extra helping of cheese and a love triangle. It quickly turned into a shallow mess rife with personally offensive slut shaming and bereft of any sort of driving force to make readers reach the end of the novel. I would sooner throw this novel in a lake than read another page of it. That’s how much it offended me.

The kindest thing that I can say is what I stated above: that this is a typical dead-parents novel. Emily is hurting, her new guardian is doing the best she can, Emily has to make new friends and adjust to a new world, she’s falling in love,… Blah. It quickly falls into the pitfalls of insta-love and letting the romance take over the novel when it should be about Emily moving on from her parents’ deaths. Worse, this comes with a love triangle too. Trope city!

All of the characters are one-dimensional and shallow. Emily is concerned about stupid things I think she’d be beyond after losing her parents (I sure wouldn’t care about what I looked like after my parents died in a horrific plane crash) and her two friends are irritating. Carly exists to deliver an anvilicious message and the whole story arc involving her made me roll my eyes. The love interests were blah, the adults were blah, the side characters were blah… I think you know where I’m going.

Everything beyond that is vile. Slut shaming is everywhere in this novel, both implicit and explicit. The cocktail waitress, the secretary, the restaurant waitress, and more people than I am willing to go back and count are called sluts, trashy, whores, tramps, and too many other synonyms. For what? For doing something someone doesn’t like or having a specific body type. At one point, a girl is described only by her DD boobs, how easy she is, and how she needs a home ec tutor as if all three of those are factors in why she’s such a slut.

This whole paragraph is TMI city right here, but I happen to have DD breasts and this book acting like this makes someone a slut brought back debilitating memories of all the harassment I’ve received because of the body type I was born with and didn’t get to choose. A body type doesn’t make a person a slut. NOTHING makes a person a slut. Got it? At that point, Lipstick Apology was very lucky I didn’t toss it in a trash can or drown it. I was determined to finish this book to see if anyone learned that slut shaming is wrong, but I finished it and no one ever did. None of it plays a role in anyone’s character development or in the story itself, so the author has no excuse for including any of it. No one would have called it unrealistic if there was no slut shaming.

They even threw in some victim blaming! Emily is blamed for putting herself in that situation when, after she takes a pain pill for her jaw, her boyfriend Owen serves her some alcoholic drinks that she didn’t know were alcoholic. She never expected to be drinking alcohol either. A bad reaction of the alcohol and the medicine ensues. Instead of riding Emily about “putting herself in that situation,” someone should be kicking Owen in the nuts for PUTTING her in that situation and serving her alcohol without telling her.

Jabaley’s second novel Crush Control is in my possession as well, but I will never be reading it. I refuse to read anymore books by an author who has a character act like a girl’s specific body type is part of what makes her a tramp without anyone objecting to that slut-shaming and the sheer fallacious nature of such a statement.

Divider

Echo by Alyson Noel

October 30, 2012 Reviews 0 ★★★

Echo by Alyson NoelEcho by Alyson Noel Published by St. Martin's Griffin on November 13, 2012
Genres: YA Paranormal
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: finished copy from the publisher
three-stars
The second book in the Soul Seekers series about a girl who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead by #1 New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël!

Daire Santos just saved her grandmother's life—and her soul. But at a cost. The Richters, a dark family of sorcerers, have been let loose in the Lowerworld, and Daire and her boyfriend, Dace, must once again work together to find them before they upset the balance between good and evil, and destroy not only their small town in New Mexico, but the entire world.

As Daire and Dace's relationship deepens, Dace’s evil brother Cade grows stronger than ever, building his power and forcing Daire to confront the horrifying prophecy that has brought them all together. One that will leave Daire no choice but to claim her true destiny as Seeker, but only by making an unthinkable sacrifice for the greater good of all.

I had a feeling Noel’s Soul Seeker series would get better with time and it seems that hunch was somewhat on the mark for once! Though the series could still see some improvement in its characterization and overall writing mechanics, I genuinely enjoyed Echo and found myself lost in Daire’s world more often than I did while reading Fated a few months ago.

The further development of Daire’s world and exploration of the prophecy both Daire and Dace are having nightmares about drives the story from beginning to end and made the novel hard to put down. Moral dilemmas, fun friends, and more info on Dace’s side of the world were everywhere. There was even sex! I like sex in YA. There should be more. If only they could have it freely instead of being barred from it because it makes evil more powerful… Why can’t sex be sex and not a tool of evil, especially one that creates a plot hole later in the novel?

The darker turn Daire and Dace’s characters take over the course of the novel is fantastic. Though their relationship and love for one another, the driving force behind their changes, have no depth or realism, it’s very easy to suspend disbelief and get caught up as both of them consider breaking all the rules in order to save the world and defeat Cade. Unfortunately, Daire’s development is robbed of its momentum too quickly; killing Cade is initially against the rules and presents a moral dilemma, but her ancestor later okays it and the morality of killing him becomes null and void. Dace’s, however, comes full circle and contributes to one hell of an ending.

The author’s style is her style and I can’t expect that to change just because a handful of readers would like it, but Noel’s way of writing grates on me. Whether it’s Dace or Daire narrating (this book is mostly told in dual POV; telling the narrators apart is effortless, thank goodness), em-dashes are abused/used incorrectly and sentence fragments are everywhere. Really, fragments are supposed to be used for emphasis, but Noel uses them so much that they lose all their power and simply become annoying. If her writing didn’t have those problems, the novel would get a significantly higher rating from me.

There are also a few instances where sense seems to fly the coop completely. In the middle of a battle in which Daire is killing a bunch of undead Richters, she stops without warning or reason in the middle of it and lets them beat her up because she deserves it for failing at everything. Just as soon as that lapse happens, she gets up and goes right back to killing undead Richters. That detour wasn’t necessary at all. I’ve also got a few small issues with the flat characterization of Dace’s ex-girlfriend Phyre (though her quick piece at the end of the novel promises development).

I’ll definitely stay around for Mystic, book three in the series. How can I not? It still makes very little sense after three rereads of the last thirty pages, but such a bloody ending earns some serious respect.

Divider

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

October 28, 2012 Reviews 0 ★★

The Iron King by Julie KagawaThe Iron King by Julie Kagawa Published by Harlequin Teen on January 26, 2010
Genres: YA Paranormal
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
two-stars
Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Stories of the fey are typically not my cup of tea, but the Iron Fey series has so much praise going for it from my friends that I’ve always considered the series. Kagawa’s vampire novel The Immortal Rules was good enough to make me consider it further, and I’ve finally taken the leap. Really, being the odd one out all the time like this is getting irritating. I fail to see what has so many of my friends enchanted.

The Iron King left me unimpressed overall, but Kagawa’s worldbuilding deserves some applause. If there is any one element in the novel that is outstanding, it’s this. Her idea of how the iron fey came to be is actually quite ingenious and she makes the well-used details of the fey’s Summer/Seelie and Winter/Unseelie Courts feel somewhat fresh. More than a few times, I was reminded of the movie Labyrinth, which is pretty much something everyone who has seen the movie can say about this book.

Still, it draws too much on Labyrinth at times and I stop enjoying the similarities. Subtle parallels are okay, such as those to Sailor Moon in Cinder by Marissa Meyer, but The Iron King went above and beyond in that respect. The overindulgence in cliches and lack of depth made it harder and harder to enjoy the novel. Our brooding hero Ash, the insta-love he and Meghan have, the stereotypes of the human high school students,… Cliches should be played with, not played straight.

From the time Meghan called a cheerleader “”inflate-a-boob” Angie”, I disliked her. I forgave some of her dumb actions in the novel because she had no idea what they fey were like and was slowly learning, but some things are simply unforgivable. Like being told not to run because the enemy will see her and then running to a police officer as if he could help her with fey-possessed humans. That’s just— There are no words. The scene with the satyrs trying to rape Meghan and Ash saving her from them bothered me far worse than that. THIS IS NOT A WAY TO DEVELOP A ROMANCE. IT NEEDS TO DIE A HORRIBLE DEATH.

So they spend the entire novel traveling to get to the Iron Kingdom and rescue Ethan, and once they get there and meet Machina, the Iron King, it’s all over just like that. So much anticipation for a few pages of a speech (one so creepy that I made a GIF-worthy horrorface) and then that’s it. What I’d heard about Machina played on one of my tropey weakness of the villain wanting the heroine and was yet another factor in why I finally jumped into this series. Such a quick ending was disappointing.

Because I’m dumb like that, I faith-bought the entire series at once and can’t return them. Maybe I’ll get to the other books of Kagawa’s series at some point and see if they are any better than The Iron King. It feels like this review is too short, but there’s simply no more I feel needs to be said.

Divider

Rockoholic by C.J. Skuse

October 25, 2012 Reviews 0 ★★★½

Rockoholic by C.J. SkuseRockoholic by C.J. Skuse Published by Chicken House on November 1, 2012
Genres: Comedy, YA Contemporary
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: eARC via NetGalley
three-half-stars
She's got it bad, and he ain't good -- he's in her garage?

"I'm your biggest fan, I'll follow you until you love me..."

Gonna have to face it: Jody's addicted to Jackson Gatlin, frontman of The Regulators, and after her best bud Mac scores tickets, she's front and center at his sold-out concert. But when she gets mashed in the moshpit and bodysurfs backstage, she's got more than a mild concussion to deal with. By the next morning, the strung-out rock star is coming down in her garage. Jody -- oops -- kind of kidnapped him. By accident. With a Curly Wurly candy bar. And now he doesn't want to leave.

It's a rock-star abduction worthy of an MTV reality series...but who got punk'd?!

A few weeks ago, sixteen-year-old Emily Baker got a book deal with Penguin to take her One Direction fanfic Loving the Band and turn it into an original novel, which will go on sale as an ebook November 1st. As the editor who acquired it said, they’d been looking to commission an author who could tap into the boy band mania for some time. I have a boatload of issues with this deal, the legal implications of it, and the publishing house did it rather than the author doing a pull-to-publish deal first, but that’s another story.

Rockoholic is a distant relative of that story. Distant because it did not start out as a fanfic and it’s more focused on rock stars than boy bands. Also, the trope of a girl meeting members of the band and one or more members falling in love with her? It gets torn to shreds in Rockoholic to great effect. Equal parts funny and sad, Skuse’s novel is a great way to whittle away the hours and see how our idols are rarely who we expect them to be.

The initial premise of Jody kidnapping her rock idol Jackson Gatlin with a Curly Wurly bar (they look like this) requires a great deal of suspension of disbelief to make it work. As Jody informs us, it’s also a melted Curly Wurly bar, so it isn’t as straight as it appears in the picture, and Jackson believes it’s a knife. He would need to be pretty heavily strung out on drugs for that to seem possible. To be fair, he is strung out on drugs enough to strip naked and toss all his clothes off a bridge shortly thereafter.

For the funny half of the novel, Jody’s interactions with Jackson can be funny at times and the punny/silly chapter titles (Must Hang Sally; Softly, Softly, Catch a Junkie; Please Don’t Feed the Diva) managed a few giggles out of me too. It’s not a difficult story to get invested in, especially once the rock-star-falls-in-love-with-groupie trope starts getting subverted.

On the other hand, it’s a quiet exploration of how fame has changed Jackson and turned him into a drug addict who has to take red berries just to get on stage for his shows and then take blackberries to calm him down again. He used to love the spotlight and making music, but now it only makes him miserable. Worse, he can’t escape. The band manager’s ire at Jackson’s disappearance leaves one band member with broken bones, an ambulance woman in need of plastic surgery, and a roadie on life support after being beaten to a pulp. I don’t blame Jackson for refusing to go back to the band. As he comes down off the drugs and starts to be a person rather than an idea (and a demanding one that that, considering how he treats Jody initially), he starts to take over the story.

Still, Jody has her own story that takes the stage. Her grandfather has just died (of crashing through the window of a lingerie store in his wheelchair, natch; just the way he’d want to go), she has a dead-end job at a daycare center, and she has a lot of issues with her mom and sister. The grandfather’s death felt a little like a plot device sometimes, such as when Jody’s inheritance from him moves the plot along, but more often, it feels like something real that has affected her and leads her to all the places she goes in this novel.

But Jody. Oh, Jody. Her schemes to hide Jackson range from taking pictures of him in the Italian District to make it look like he’s in Italy (which backfires badly in the end) to telling a reporter who knows the photos were taken in the Italian District that she was actually in Italy to take the photos (which can easily be debunked by talking to people) and all of them are terrible. She’s such a dim bulb that she no longer lights up and it can be difficult to deal with. She is rightfully called out on her stupidity throughout the story, but some ideas were just too dumb for a good call-out to make me forgive.

And deciding her best friend was gay because of his interests and holding that position for years? Ugh. I’m glad everyone told her off on how dumb that was.

I’d be happy to read more of C.J. Skuse’s novel, provided the main characters have a few more brain cells than Jody.

Divider

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

October 20, 2012 Reviews 0 ★★★★★

Some Girls Are by Courtney SummersSome Girls Are by Courtney Summers Published by St. Martin's Griffin on January 5, 2010
Genres: YA Contemporary
Pages: 256
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
five-stars
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.

Is it even possible for Courtney Summers to write a bad book? After reading all four of her currently-available novels, I think it would take her more effort to write a bad book than it does to produce the fantastic, affecting works I’ve come to love her for. Some Girls Are has been hailed as her best and I can see why. Regina’s story of falling from the top and becoming the number-one enemy of her former best friends and how she gets tired of just taking it is beyond powerful and cringeworthy in the best of ways.

Like all of Summers’ heroines, Regina isn’t anyone you will want to root for most of the time, but you empathize with her and understand her. She’s well-established in personality and especially in her flaws; there is no shortage of people calling her out on what she does wrong both before her fall and after. As the saying goes, what goes around comes around, and what Regina has done is coming back to her–though as the novel always asserts, Donnie trying to rape her at the beginning of the novel is not her fault and she didn’t deserve to go through that trauma, nor should it have been used against her by Kara.

One bit I especially loved is when Liz, someone Regina once let Anna bully to the point that she tried to commit suicide, tells Regina as she attempts to apologize and gain Liz’s forgiveness:

“When will you forgive me?” I blurt out. “I got what I deserved. I know I deserve it, everything, but I need to know if you forgive–”

“Like if you suffer enough I should forgive you?” she asks, totally unimpressed. I exhale shakily and stare at her feet. “That’s not how it works.” (~p. 150)

The bullying she faces is unfortunately realistic and incredibly painful, especially for me to read a someone who has suffered through bullying. Mine was never as bad as Regina’s, thank goodness, but I wanted to do something more than stand by and watch as she discovered her vandalized locker each time it happened or got locked in a room with the guy who tried to rape her. Books about bullying and the popular girls aren’t uncommon by any means, but Some Girls Are is above the rest because of how visceral it is.

Really, I’m struggling to find words for this novel. It’s that good! Now I’m caught up on all things Courtney Summers for the moment. The wait until her next book All The Rage comes out is going to be a long one.

Divider