Monday, March 29, 2010

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Release Date: January 5, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 256
Overall: 5

How do review a novel that has blown you away and left you totally speechless? I don’t know how much of a typical review this one will be, because there is so much that I want to say, but can’t because I refuse to give away anything in this true work of art.

Anyone who’s seen Mean Girls or has ever been in high school knows that the social hierarchy that high school entails can be hard to navigate, much less climb. But no matter how hard it is to climb the social ladder, the fall is way harder, and hurts so much more. Regina Afton is one of those girls; she’s the Cady in Some Girls Are, although she makes Cady seem like a total angel.

There’s no doubt about it that Regina is a total bitch, I mean in every letter of the definition, she’s mean, hateful, vindictive, but I found myself feeling sorry for her, sympathizing with her. Regina used to be part of the “Fearsome Fivesome,” which is a clique of five girls in the school that are not only admired, but are also feared by almost every student in the school. But once rumors of Regina and Anna’s, her best friend/leader of the “pack”, boyfriend start flying around, that’s the end of Regina’s life as she knew it before.

The now “Fearsome Foursome” not only freeze Regina out, but they also take it upon themselves to make her life a living hell, actually that’s putting it lightly. But there’s the handsome, yet misunderstood, Michael that Regina starts to become friends (of some sort) with. He’s cute, he listens, he helps her, he even hates her, but by getting to know her, he starts to soften, and so does Regina. But is it enough to only have one person to lean on? Can she even make it out of her senior year alive?

First and foremost, I must bow to the wonderful Courtney Summers. She managed to create a story that I loved and hated at the same time, and characters I felt the same way about. None of the other reviews I’ve read prepared me for the story I found myself faced with. There were so many moments in Some Girls Are that I had to actually set the book down and just sat there with my hand over my mouth and my eyes wide in horror and terror for these characters. And there were times when I just wanted to jump for joy and scream “WOOHOO!”

Out of all the books I’ve read, this is the one that seemed to mess with me the most. Courtney is one of the most talented and gifted authors I’ve read in so long. Her style, her snark, and her way of manipulating the way I thought of people and the way they are, it’s all part of something I don’t think I’ve ever experienced within a novel. I always thought the way people are was black and white; they were either good or bad; bitches or nonbitches (I know it’s not technically a word, but for the purposes of this review and because of the amazingness that is Courtney Summers, it is now), but I’ve now seen that some people fall into this gray area. This gray area now makes me have to reevaluate all those girls in high school and in life that I couldn’t stand to even look at because their bitchiness radiated off of them in waves. Do they deserve a shot or a second chance? Regardless of how they act, is that just a fa├žade for self-preservation?

Yes, I now see there is that gray area, but that doesn’t change the fact that some of the characters Courtney created were so despicable and nauseatingly hateful that nothing could have redeemed them. Courtney took the worst attributes of Regina George, a dash of Heather Chandler, a pinch Courtney Shane, and teaspoon of Chris Hargensen and mixed them into a cauldron with her wand when she created Anna and her wannabe puppy, Kara.

The saving grace in all this hatefulness in Michael, it was easy to see the attraction too and hard to see how he was such an outcast. He’s cute, sensitive, a good listener, he doesn’t care what others really think, and he’s quite possibly the sweetest guy…ever. You couldn’t have cut the tension between these two with a blow torch, and yet all I wanted was to see the next time they were together. I wanted so bad to smack Michael and just be like “Look, I know you hate her and all and she’s a bitch, but KISS HER!!!”

There are not enough words in the English language, or any other language for that matter, to describe how much I absolutely loved Some Girls Are. Courtney is a rare breed of author and I can’t wait to read anything she puts out there, and with a talent like that, she better put out a lot! (Kidding…sort of, not really).

Some Girls Are is a truly amazing novel, and a story that is actually fairly believable. Now, some of the things these girls do are dramatized and at times a bit improbable, but all in the entire story in itself and the message it contains is very real. It really shows how fickle high school can be, and how evil girls really can be when you’ve wronged them, no matter if its truth or rumor. Courtney has given us a novel that will not only make you think, but it will also change you, at least it did me and for that, I must thank her…and ever so sweetly demand her next book, like…now.

And given everything else I could say about Some Girls Are, I think Michael said it best:
“I think…” he trails off. “I think some girls are just…fucked up.” (Page 189, Some Girls Are, ARC).
And that statement applies to the story, high school, and just people and life in general.

Plot: 5

Writing: 5

Characters: 5

Ending: 5

Cover: 5

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I received this book as part of Around the World Tours.

5 comments:

  1. Great review! I, too, enjoyed and hated this book. But it's definitely one of my favorite books of 2010.

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  2. Agreed! This is one amazing novel.

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  3. woot woot!! courtney rocks every. single. time.

    thanks for this!

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  4. Stellar review, Samantha. I'm so glad it blew you away as well. What a book.

    I felt the same way about Michael, btw.

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  5. Great quote form Micheal. I love this book, it's so real and entertaining. Great review-you're making me want to reread it!

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Thanks for reading! Comments are always appreciated!