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Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

The other day Trisha over at The YA YA YAs posted a review of Courtney Summers' Some Girls Are that had me convinced I needed to get a hold of a copy as soon as possible. Trisha's reviews often have that effect on me. Especially when she starts off with lines like these:
Courtney Summers' debut novel Cracked Up to Be won a Cybils Award last month, and I think Some Girls Are is an even better book.
First of all, for me there's nothing like the almost mystical lure of hearing that an author's second book is even better than her first. Especially when it's an author I've never read before. Second, having been involved with the awesome Cybils Awards, I am always interested in reading books by Cybils winners. I'd never read anything by Summers, though I'd certainly heard of both her books, and so later that day I went out and bought a copy of Some Girls Are and started it--like I have so many others--in the parking lot outside the bookstore.


Regina Afton was recently frozen out of her ultra-exclusive school clique. Known as the Fearsome Fivesome, this cadre of girls rules the school with their iron manicured fists. And Regina has played first attendant to her "best friend" Anna'a queen bee for years now. All she ever wanted was to belong. To have people, a certain consequence, and--perhaps most importantly of all--some control over her life. But being frozen out is akin to being jumped out of a gang it turns out.  It is exquisitely painful. It is over surprisingly quickly. And it is effective immediately. And just like that Regina walks into school  the next morning amid jeers and scowls to find her life is a living nightmare of sabotage, dirty tricks, and vengeance. And just as the other girls (and their cronies/lackeys) deal it out, Regina both suffers and soaks it up as she desperately scrambles for a way to fight back, to prove she's not responsible for the crime that landed her on the outside, to turn the tables on her tormentors and . . . rejoin them? But as she becomes a fixture at the outcast table at lunch, along with a boy named Michael who she helped ruin when he first moved into town, Regina gets a taste of what it's like on the other side. And as she gets to know Michael and some of her other former victims better, the question is how far is she willing to go anymore to recapture what she lost?


Trisha warned me that this was not a happy, ducks-and-daisies sort of book. That it was not a fun read, but an important one. So I knew approximately what I might be getting myself into going in. But was she ever right. This is one painful book to read. Because as petty and harmless as the above description of bratty divas and vindictive bullies  may sound, these girls are not messing around. They are out for blood. Literally. And I lost count of the number of times I cringed in horror at the "tricks" they "played" in order to put each other in their place. A third of the way in I was begging for it to stop, for Regina to be free of it all, for the whole vicious Greek tragedy to come to a screeching halt as the deus ex machina swept in and carried Regina and Michael off to some sort of ducks-and-daisies post-high school Valhalla. None of which happened, of course, and it's a good thing too. Because that would have ruined this complex, arresting, and fully awesome novel. Also because it already has a perfect ending as it is and I wouldn't change a thing. I loved Courtney Summers' eerily quiet writing style that served as such a fine counterpoint to the atrocious events splashed across the novel's pages like so much blood. At the same point I was begging for it all to end I knew that Some Girls Are was automatically going on my Best of 2010 list. I could not put it down until I turned the final page and drew a shaky breath. Highly recommended.


Linkage
The Book Chick Review
Book Nerds Review
Presenting Lenore Review
S. Krishna's Books Review
Sharon Loves Books & Cats Review
Steph Su Reads Review
The Story Siren Review
The YA YA YAs Review

Comments

  1. AWESOME review! :) I loved this one as well.

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  2. Fabulous review! This sounds amazing - like a super intense, wonderful, necessary read!

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  3. One book I have been wanting to read for a long long time!

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  4. Thats just great... now I want to read it even more! LOL

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  5. Whoa. That is high praise coming from you. I'm definitely going to be picking this one up but I'm a little nervous about the harshness factor. I really LIKE rainbows and ponies!

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  6. Jenn, awesome! :) How could you not?

    brizmus, that is precisely what it is. I hope you enjoy it.

    bookaholic, it's totally worth it. I'm so glad I listened to Trisha or I might not have read it for ages.

    Sheila, lol. Well, good!

    Michelle, yup. It's serious stuff. But don't be afraid. I know you can handle it. :) No rainbows or ponies, but some seriously good writing and a protag I liked so much more than I thought I would.

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  7. Sounds wonderful Angie - I love that sort of highschool girl madness...this one sounds horrid and beautiful at the same time.

    x
    Aimee
    http://myflutteringheart.blogspot.com

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  8. Great review as always, Angie! Makes me want to read the book even though it sounds real intense. This kind of reminds me of the YA book that I just finished reading Before I Fall because of the mean girls aspect.

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  9. phenomenal review. courtney summers is incredible!

    thanks for this!! :D

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  10. Sounds like an intense book, and probably not my cup of tea. I've never been a fan of the high school clique girls drama genre; then again, I've never really tested the waters. So maybe I'll try this one day. It's certainly something I would recommend my sister though who reads a lot of books of this type.

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  11. Anonymous7:27 AM

    Great review. I loved this one, too. KarenS

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  12. Aimee, that's exactly it. "Horrid and beautiful" all at once. Phew.

    Chachic, I've seen a lot about BEFORE I FALL. What did you think?

    Taherah, I can tell what everyone meant now! Did you love CRACKED UP TO BE as well?

    Lan, yeah, sounds like it might be right up her alley.

    Karen, I should have known. :) Have you read her other?

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  13. Angie, I loved Before I Fall! I didn't think I would but it's such a great book about teenagers and what they go through. I recommend that you read it because I want to know what you think. :) I wrote about it here in case you want to check it out.

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  14. Thanks for linking to my review! This was certainly an unforgetable read.

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  15. Chachic, thanks for the link! I have a feeling I'll be a frequent visitor. :)

    Lenore, you bet. Unforgettable is right.

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  16. Anonymous1:35 PM

    I loved this book, but it was so intense! Normally, books with this type of context don't exactly appeal to me, but this one did. It gave an honest look at what it's really like to be in high school...

    There was just one thing. I really didn't like the character Liz. :\

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  17. Anon, it felt uncannily real, didn't it? That was what made it so horrifying. It only slightly felt like fiction...

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