Wednesday, January 20, 2010


by Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

I was looking forward to the next book by Courtney Summers ever since I finished reading her first book CRACKED UP TO BE. A pretty good opening act for a author who will help lead great storytelling into the future. Now for act two.

SOME GIRLS ARE came out just in time for it to be my travel book during a trip to Boston. I love picking out a certain book for a trip even if I'm in the middle of something else. The trip will always remind me of the book and the other way around also. It's a way of memory gifting to yourself.

I'm going to try and keep this review short because when I really enjoy something I have a lot to talk about and I tend to go on and on and I did very much enjoy SOME GIRLS ARE. I will keep it short but it is really going to be hard.

When I speak of this story about high school bullying I can not help but start off by talking about how much it brought back some very bad memories from my time as a high school prisoner. I've seen some people write about this book as a "mean girl" book or call it an "issue" book. Nope, sorry, you are wrong there people.

The one thing Courtney Summers did in her first book and accomplished here is that this is not an issue book. A lot of YA books are "issue" books and when someone recommends those books to me once I find out about what the "issue" is then there isn't much book really left. Courtney has the talent to take an issue, use it, but not make it the meat of the story. Or in other ways of stating it, she writes about people and emotions and does not just live on cute harsh cutter "issues" for the meat of her story. She writes. I truly believe you find more creativity and courage in YA literature than anywhere else right now in publishing but you also find some of the most cut and paste writing there is also. You find the great with the bland.

SOME GIRLS ARE is a three level step up from the writers first book and I enjoyed that read also. At this level of growth she may find herself in that double edged situation of people unfairly expecting her to up the level of quality with each story she releases. Though to be honest with the talent here I don't think she will have that many problems doing that. And we are all in wait for the zombie novel she just has to write some day, if you are a regular reader of the writers blog you will know why.

This is also no "mean girl" book. Yes, it has young women in it who are mean to each other and in "mean" I speak of treating each other like total shit here but this book is about a much bigger issue. This book explores the torture, yes I said torture, that goes on and is allowed to go on in schools just about everywhere. No matter it a public or private school or anything in-between the pain is there in those gatherings between all of those walled off in the battlegrounds.

SGA starts and you could think "here is how its going" as you are reading but the pain is just getting started and you will learn it has been going on for so long already. The back story is used here really well. The author could make two prequels out of the material discussed that has happen in the past. There is one situation in this story that is painfully similar to something that happen to me in high school. After reading that section I had to put the book down for while. That is putting your reader into the story.

This book may hurt to read if high school was Hell for you but I still say read because even though I don't believe in entertainment as therapy, I do think it can help you revisit something good or bad that has happen to you in your life and maybe help you come up with new thoughts about those moments that effected you greatly. You also should be forced to read this book if high school was not Hell in any way for you. Maybe you will rethink some action or inaction you took in your life be you a student at that time or teacher. This book brings right into your face why so many never recover from those times as a prisoner. I believe the early years of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYERS did this and so does SOME GIRLS ARE.

And on a final note, am I the only one who thinks the red locker is a modern "The Scarlet Letter" thought? Wonder if the writer was thinking along those lines?

This review was step one in my goal of reading at least one book a month from which I will write a review of. And this also will be another way to keep my blog active and stretch writing muscles I do not usually use. I also have planned several other blog related things projects for 2010.


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