Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review: Some Girls Are

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Goodreads description:

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.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I’ve really been dreading writing this review. The novel was really well done, but I can’t say I loved this book. When I was done reading, I just wanted to scream. I usually like sad books, but this one just made me angry. I really don’t know whether that’s  good or bad – of course this isn’t supposed to be a fun and fluff read, but I just wanted it to be more…uplifting. Actually, I don’t know if that’s true – if the story were uplifting, it wouldn’t show how terrible bullying is, which is the whole point.

Aside from the last sentence (which I loved), there was absolutely no hope – and the last sentence didn’t offer any solutions. Maybe the point of the novel wasn’t to solve the problem, but just to portray it, but it was all so depressing! The whole story was extremely realistic, but for me, it was too realistic at times. Especially with the Michael-storyline, I just wanted it to work out and them to be happy together already, even though it wouldn’t have been realistic if he had just forgiven her directly.

With that out of the way, the writing was spectacular. I absolutely loved the simplistic, less-is-more style of writing. It made it extremely easy to relate to Regina (even when I didn’t want to – I mean, she’s pretty much the definition of a bitch!). Her pain was so real, and this book made me realize just how hurtful bullying can be. I don’t know whether the feelings were realistic (I’ve never experienced anything like that), but it definitely seemed realistic to me. Courtney Summers made me understand each one of Regina’s choices, even though I usually disagree with revenge and wanting to make other people suffer because they made you suffer.

I loved how fleshed-out all the characters were, even the minor ones. All their histories with the main character were explained really well (for example, I loved the story of Michael’s mom and her connection to Regina) despite the minimalistic style. Even though I didn’t agree with their decisions, each character’s motivations were clear. There wasn’t a single flat character; each one of them – Anna, Kara, Michael, Liz, and of course Regina – showed a range of emotions and seemed well-developed.

One thing I didn’t like, though, was the reason Regina was “frozen out”, and the true story behind it – that’s been done before, and my first thoughts while reading this novel were that this is exactly like Just Listen by Sarah Dessen and partly also Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Since both of those novels concentrated on other aspects, though, this wasn’t too big a deal.

All in all, this novel was really well-done – the writing and the characters were great, and the story was extremely realistic. Somehow, though, I still wouldn’t say I loved this book – it was too depressing and made me angry. If you think you can handle such a depressing novel, though, you should read it. I’ll still check out some of the author’s other work because the style really was amazing.


  1. This book made me angry also. The terrible things that were going on made me pretty upset. What I loved about this book is how real it was. A lot of novels/movies dealing with bullying especially between girls is usually always played up in a comical sense. Yet Some Girls Are is definitely not funny and I appreciated that.

  2. Although I was never really bullied at school (I wasn't part of the popular clique either, just a gopher that ran with every one!), I've worked with kids in school who've been bullied, as well as battered and abused women. In all honesty, there is something about their stories that, although it rends my heart to pieces, also pushes me harder to try and educate people as to how "bullying", and "abusive behavior" can result in permanent damage to the psyche of a human being - and sometimes even people surrounding them (their spouse, later on their children, etc!).

    I know that this book may be depressing and it may make some people angry - but I think it is necessary for literature to have a realistic portrayal of the issues at hand. A more uplifting approach may have been soothing to our smarting egos, but perhaps the author wanted to make prominent the stark realities of such circumstances - which makes me want to read this book that much more! Also, if you liked this book, perhaps you should pick up "19 Minutes" by Jodi Picoult (I see that you really liked her "My Sister's Keeper", which also happens to be one of my most favorite books ever!) - it is also about a similar situation, and I think you'd enjoy it.


    Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
    Twitter: @inluvwithbookz


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