The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

The Nowhere Girls

Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.Who are the Nowhere Girls?They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of t...

Title:The Nowhere Girls
Author:
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Edition Language:English

The Nowhere Girls Reviews

  • Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)

    See more of my reviews on

    ! My copy was an ARC I got from the publisher via Edelweiss.

    Y’all, by the time you read this, I’ve been sitting on this review since June 2017.

    Maybe it caught me at the right time or maybe it’s just that good, but

    struck me right in my feminist heart at a time I really needed it to keep going. It’s not an emotionally easy book to read, as you might expect from any book with rape and sexism

    See more of my reviews on

    ! My copy was an ARC I got from the publisher via Edelweiss.

    Y’all, by the time you read this, I’ve been sitting on this review since June 2017.

    Maybe it caught me at the right time or maybe it’s just that good, but

    struck me right in my feminist heart at a time I really needed it to keep going. It’s not an emotionally easy book to read, as you might expect from any book with rape and sexism at its center, but it’s a fantastic read for the modern teenage activist.

    Our three narrators lend the book a weight often missing from similarly themed books through their representation of groups often neglected by mainstream feminism: fat women (Grace), queer women of color (Rosina), and disabled/neurodivergent women (Erin). After years of the school’s football players–especially one jerk named Spencer–getting away with sexual assault and harassment, what becomes a movement girls across the county know about starts with one event: Grace moving to itty bitty Prescott from Seattle. She happens to move into the home that once housed a high school pariah named Lucy.

    Once, before Grace arrived, three football players raped Lucy. After the event, those three and then others harassed her and harangued her until she couldn’t take it anymore–and she wasn’t the only one to suffer at the boys’ hands. When Grace finds Lucy’s desperate words carved on the walls of her new home and learns what happened to her, she’s determined to do something. With the help of her new friend Rosina, who’s also furious about Lucy’s fate, and Erin, they start a movement simply called The Nowhere Girls. What starts with a handful of girls who get meeting info from an email inflames an entire town in scandal.

    All they do is make it publicly known the boys will not be getting any sex until they start showing the girls some respect. It’s a big, grandstanding act that doesn’t actively do anything to fight the rampant sexism in town. White feminism material? Absolutely. But the boys and even the school administrators are so

    by the mere idea of resistance that change happens.

    (Almost the exact thing happened to me in elementary school: I made it be known I’d put a note like “I feel like crying when you bully me. Will you please stop bullying me?” in my fourth grade bully’s valentine but forgot to actually do it. She was so mad at me she wrote a nasty note in the valentine she gave

    , which got her a referral. Sometimes, you don’t have to do anything but talk.)

    But like I said, it’s an entirely fair criticism to look at the Nowhere Girls and call what they’re doing white feminism. The book actually include short perspectives from a trans girl named Adele and an unnamed black girl who voice valid criticism of the movement. The schoolgirls who attend the Nowhere Girls meetings are overwhelmingly white and cis; they mostly sit around talking instead of doing anything.

    And like I said, the mere existence of their resistance is what brings about change! It’s so odd to see such a White Feminism way of changing things do so well in regards to intersectional feminism and I love it.

    But make no mistake, The Nowhere Girls is not a book for those triggered by sexism, sexual abuse/assault, and racism. See, one of our three narrators has her own history of sexual abuse in her past. We also get snippets from an MRA/pickup artist blog run by one of Lucy’s rapists and it is

    . I was prepared and can regularly stomach the vile diatribes spotlighted on We Hunted the Mammoth, the blog excerpts are still nasty enough to choke you. They have a purpose, but you’ll still want to be prepared.

    And the racism? Well, the principal quickly decides Rosina is the mastermind behind the Nowhere Girls. Though she’s partially correct, her choice of suspect comes solely from racism. Because Rosina is the Angry Latina Girl in a very white town, she most be behind it, right? She goes as far as threatening Rosina with expulsion and exposure of her grandmother’s immigration status as well as lying to Rosina’s mother about her being on drugs. Those are not the acts of a fair principal and they’re also not that surprising. Despite being a woman herself, the principal commits to complicity with the system with every move she makes against Rosina, the queer girl of color.

    Sadly, I can’t remark on the quality of Erin’s character and how her Asperger’s is written. I don’t know enough Aspies to be a fair judge and don’t know if Reed has an Aspie reader for the book. Someone else who knows better will have to take on that job.

    If you haven’t already figured it out,

    is one dark book. Reading it is like sinking slowly into a massive hole filled with mud. Right when you’re about to go under, a hand reaches out to you and pulls you out. The crushing despair most of the book put into me lifted more and more the closer I got to the end until it felt like the world was good and just again. Is it a bit of a fantasy? Yeah, I can see that criticism and call it valid too. But for those of us who will never get justice for one reason or another, it feels good.

    The one blemish on the otherwise great The Nowhere Girls: transphobia. Early on in the book, a character in Jesse says a very transphobic thing while trying to be the good brother of a trans boy. His quote: “If I decided I wanted to be a chick.”

    No one DECIDES they WANT to be a different gender. Trans people are born the gender they are but get designated the wrong gender. I get the intent of the passage–it’s in the context of explaining that if he were, say, Jessie Camp instead of Jesse Camp, he would have a much harder time due to transmisogyny–but the phrasing is so, so important. Just change it to “if I were a trans girl” or something similar that doesn’t imply being trans is a choice.

    Anyway, nothing is ever said about it. He turns out to be friends with one of Lucy’s rapists, but then he’s kinda redeemed when he tries to help the girls report Spencer for rape. After that, he fades into the background.

    Honestly, I want to call Erin, Grace, and Rosina the Angels of Prescott, not the Nowhere Girls. Their admittedly passive activism on behalf of a girl who is far away from them puts Spencer’s victims on the road to getting justice. And we do get a peek at how Lucy is doing at the very end, by the way. That sweet touch at the end of such a dark book makes everything feel worthwhile.

    For the love of God, just steel yourself and read this book if the sexual abuse/assault, racism, and sexism won’t be too much for you. I’ve gone on for a thousand words and could go on for a thousand more, but it boils down to

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)

    is not your average feminist contemporary. There are several awesome feminist books from this year: I’ve been seeing people hype

    by Jen Matieu a ton this year. And while I did like that book

    is not your average feminist contemporary. There are several awesome feminist books from this year: I’ve been seeing people hype

    by Jen Matieu a ton this year. And while I did like that book a lot — it’s a great contemporary journey —

    While books like

    offer feminism from the point of view of privileged cishet white women,

    wants you to see deeper than that.

    This book focuses on three Nowhere Girls.

    🌺 Grace → self-proclaimed fat girl and the more idealistic of the trio

    🍀 Erin → smart and sarcastic Aspergers girl who I LOVE

    🌺 Rosina → a latinx queer girl and literally the Most important to me

    But the aspect of this book that stands out to me is the fact that this

    about these three girls:

    Short "US" chapters give insight into so many different girls - a conservative girl, a closeted trans girl, a cheerleader unsure whether to believe the allegations, two girls kissing, a black girl finding no value in the white-centric feminism of her classmates. It is so, so powerful.

    Amy Reed does not pull her punches at. all. This is one of those books that made me feel claustrophobic reading it. The author makes her fucking points. She does not shy away from the full truth of rape culture or try to hide things under a veneer of a cute contemporary. And she definitely doesn't erase the fact that not every woman is white and cishet. It's overall a fantastic experience - horrifying, enrapturing, and beautiful.

    What I loved about this book was the sympathy given to every girl in every point of view. These girls are coming from different backgrounds. These girls are coming from different points of view. They are multifaceted and flawed and none of them have a totally objective view point of view. But that doesn't mean their viewpoints aren't

    . It doesn't mean we, as girls, are any less important.

    We are worth it.

    All of us.

    Literally the only thing I didn't like about this book was

    not being explicitly decried: a line about a character's trans sister that seemed to imply trans people choose to be trans. That was literally it. The feminism is so intersectional and the characters are so developed and this book is so fucking powerful. I cannot recommend enough.

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  • Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)

    I really loved this book so much!

    is empowering and inspiring, and I am filled with so much love and respect for other women after reading it. We follow misfits Grace Salter, Erin DeLillo, and Ro

    I really loved this book so much!

    is empowering and inspiring, and I am filled with so much love and respect for other women after reading it. We follow misfits Grace Salter, Erin DeLillo, and Rosina Suarez as they come together to challenge the rape culture that forced a girl to move out of town after accusing three popular students of rape. The Nowhere Girls grows into a movement that changes the lives of the student body as more girls come together and support each other.

    I really loved

    , she’s the first main character we’re introduced to and I immediately liked her. She feels incredibly amounts of empathy and truly wants the best for people and for justice and fairness to be realities, but she is prepared to fight for them.

    was another of the main characters and I loved her so SO MUCH. I loved that we got to see a main character with Asperger's. We really get to know her, not just who she is on the spectrum. We see how she views relationships and lives her daily life - what she loves, what she fears. I loved her passion for science (something we do not share, but I could feel how much she loved it). I loved how she talked about how asperger’s presents itself differently in girl and goes overlooked. I love that she challenges the idea that people on the spectrum are emotionless and lack empathy - they just process and confront situations differently. Erin was just awesome and so strong and amazing.

    is so fantastic! She is so unapologetic and brave. I love that she completely lets Erin be herself and supports her - their friendship was fantastic. She is so selfless for her family even when she’s unhappy. She also has a very adorable wlw romance with former cheerleader, Melissa that is so sweet and cute.

    The

    that develops between the 3 main girls, Grace, Rosina, and Erin, was awesome and I loved every minute of it. The support that develops from the Nowhere Girls was inspiring and gave you hope that things can get better.

    I really loved all the

    . They were all clear and distinct, but create a vibrant and unified story of trying to take agency and power in a system that works against them. The group talked about power, choice, double standards, solidarity and we see how girls experiences and beliefs differ - and even see some talking about the white privilege in the group, how they are seen as powerful crusaders not angry black women. The group is a very collaborative movement with no one trying to overshadow others. And I loved seeing girls coming together to support other girls in the only way they knew how. I also liked that we get to see them call out guys for doing nothing as perpetuating rape culture, not just guys who rape, and some guys actually acknowledge this and change.

    I really loved

    ! I love that she talked about acceptance for ALL people. Her outlook on faith and religion and the necessity of change was great and really resonated and inspired Grace to do what she felt was right - and take action.

    There was an instance of

    a character’s trans sibling that felt unnecessary. It seemed like a lazy slip and wasn’t needed.

    The gross blog of “

    ” was infuriating! It was filled with rape apologists and misogynistic language and made me want to punch someone in the face. The boys will be boys mentality and the sheer entitlement is enough to make anyone’s blood boil. Thankfully, this book is about challenging all of these beliefs and actions, but it’s hard to read about this and realize people like this actually exist.

    is such an important book that confronts and challenges rape culture and misogyny, while giving young girls the power of choice and agency. I loved the strong female friendships that develop and the bravery we see from so many characters. This was such a great book and I can’t wait to read more from Amy Reed.

    for rape and sexual assault

  • Jessi ♡

    this book made me hate men more than i already do

  • may ➹

    It has SUCH an important and amazing message for women and men (and all in between) and it highlights just exactly why we need feminism in the world today. And it’s told in a beautiful, beautiful way with relatable characters.

    If you’re a feminist, read this. If you’re not a feminist (you should be), read this. If you’re neutral, read this. Just READ THIS BOOK because it is so so so important, especially in the world today.

    -

    It has SUCH an important and amazing message for women and men (and all in between) and it highlights just exactly why we need feminism in the world today. And it’s told in a beautiful, beautiful way with relatable characters.

    If you’re a feminist, read this. If you’re not a feminist (you should be), read this. If you’re neutral, read this. Just READ THIS BOOK because it is so so so important, especially in the world today.

    -

    Like, of course, a girl who’s raped by three guys definitely is trying to get attention, and not, idk, MAYBE TRYING TO REPORT THIS AWFUL SICKENING CRIME?????

    - But not only does it just portray so many horrible assumptions and behaviors towards rape, but it also talks about how even tho some rapists get punished, some get punished less because of the fact that they're white or rich or "don't look like a rapist".

    - And it ALSO talks about how, while a rapist may go to jail for their actions,

    , despite the fact that they're getting "justice". Their life is changed forever, and I think that that is just SUCH an important detail that people forget about rape, so I'm happy that this book included it.

    -

    -

    We get to read from the perspective of someone who actually like,, HATES girls and thinks them good for only “f*cking and making meals” (I WAS SO TRIGGERED) and while it’s vile and horrifying that

    , it’s definitely realistic??? People are saying that sexism doesn’t exist and neither does discrimination against women but ARE YOU BLIND.

    - This book is honestly so quotable that I wish I could share it all with you, but let’s just say that many many parts of this book made me want to actually literally HURT someone because

    . (Ie. a boy can have as much sex as he wants and doesn’t get called anything, but then a girl does it and she’s called slut and whore.)

    -

    This is the real deal. It tackles REAL topics and talks about REAL things that are happening right now in this world, believe it or not. It seems horrible, it seems unfair, it seems absolutely disgusting—but it is REAL and that is why this book is just

    .

    -

    - Okay, now that I’m done with just the message part of it:

    Grace is “fat”, Rosina is Mexican and lesbian, and Erin has Asperger’s. Like um,, yes?? Where is this diverse cast of main characters in other books????

    -

    -

    The characters grow SO MUCH throughout the whole book and it’s just beautiful to read about?? Grace becomes more confident in herself despite the size of her body, Rosina learns to embrace herself even tho it may not be the person her family wants her to be, and Erin slowly heals from her own

    and lets others in.

    -

    Um??? yes??? please??? I mean, there were a few slut-shaming comments thrown around (but it was totally called out), but the girls all bonded over their fight for rights and respect. They were all so supportive of each other and it was just beautiful.

    -

    You can’t imagine HOW EXCITED I was to find out that this was in third person. How often are contemporaries in third person??? There were also multiple POVs that were mostly the main characters’, but then there was also an “Us” chapter, and IT WAS WRITTEN SO LYRICALLY and beautifully?? I just loved it because we got to see into other girls’ perspectives. UGH. I love the writing style.

    -

    , but I think it just feels that way because this is SUCH a heavy topic and it’s just a deep, gritty book. Still, it was pretty hard to just really FOCUS on the book (especially when I got angry at stupid characters and the world). But like I said earlier, it definitely was engaging! Just hard to just, I don’t know, CONCENTRATE on it.

    - The ending is a… good ending. I don’t want to ruin it, and there's nothing wrong with it, but I just want to say that while it was a good ending,

    .

    -

    - We were

    ?? And this character was vital to the ending of the book??? If it weren’t for the fact that this was so focused on the characters’ growths and journeys, I feel like a lot of this book could’ve been cut, especially since it’s those last pages that are SUPER important.

    -

    It was said by the brother of a trans guy, and it wasn't called out on??? He said, "If I wanted to be a chick [...]" I think the point of this was to say that "if he wanted to be a girl", his parents wouldn't let him, meanwhile if a daughter wanted to be a male, that'd be accepted -- basically pointing out sexism. But it was really offensive imo because trans people don't "want" to be another gender? They ARE that gender.

    - There were so many characters that I just got confused sometimes???

    Bottom line:

    It is so so important and beautiful and it’s just something that everyone needs to read?? And even if you don’t like it (you probably will), its pretty cover will make you satisfied enough.

  • Amber Robertson

    M I N I   R E V I E W

    I tried to work out how to write this as a full-length review, however, I was stumped every time I went to start or tried to work out what I wanted to write; here I am doing a mini review which may become longer than anticipated.

    The Nowhere Girls was a book that I was scared to read. I really didn’t know what was going to happen throughout. However, I am left in tears. I have tears rolling down my face, as I realise how many girls aren’t believe

    M I N I   R E V I E W

    I tried to work out how to write this as a full-length review, however, I was stumped every time I went to start or tried to work out what I wanted to write; here I am doing a mini review which may become longer than anticipated.

    The Nowhere Girls was a book that I was scared to read. I really didn’t know what was going to happen throughout. However, I am left in tears. I have tears rolling down my face, as I realise how many girls aren’t believed when they come forward with their cases of sexual assault or rape. In the light of the #MeToo campaign that trended on Twitter recently, I think books like this are even more important. They’re eye-opening and conversation starters. They’re vital to this changing generation as we make our selves aware of what is right and wrong.

    This particular book follows a format of focusing on different people. For a large part, it focuses on Erin, Rosina, and Grace, three girls who become unlikely friends and founders of The Nowhere Girls. With Grace only new to the town and living in the home of a girl who was run out of town after (accurately) accusing three males of rape Grace is desperate to make a change. The three girls do this and they do it in a way that shakes the small town of Prescott.

    The other POV’s are ‘Us’ which follows many girls, switching between and sometimes not even naming them. It may be them during sexual encounters or just their thought process. I really found these chapters to be a powerful addition to this book. The remaining chapters that aren’t ‘us’ or the three main characters are random characters throughout the story. Some girls get their own chapter and some are some painfully gut-wrenching I just wanted to reach into the pages of the book and help them.

    The Nowhere Girls touches on so many important topics and includes so many important elements. There is an extremely diverse cast featured throughout well and it seems the author used own voices beta readers to make sure her representation was correct. I can’t speak on that personally, but the acknowledgements do acknowledge this.

    I was so completely involved in this book from the first chapter. I was made to feel repeatedly uncomfortable by the content and the graphic nature as we dive into the horrors of sexual assault and what means no. The way other girls treat each other is also highlighted in this book, as the group The Nowhere Girls tries to eliminate girl hate. It was refreshing to read a group of empowering young girls.

    Overall, this is one of the most powerful books of 2017 in my opinion and definitely an important book that touches on the rape culture of our world.

  • Miranda (MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It)

    was such an important and empowering book with brave female characters. THIS IS A BOOK THAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ!!! There were so many relevant and important topics in this book including; rape culture, the treatment of women, and feminism. THIS BOOK GAVE ME SUCH GIRL POWER VIBES AND I WAS LIVING FOR IT. GIRLS WERE SUPPORTING GIRLS AND THEY WERE WORKING TOGETHER TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. The girls in this book created a movement to bring justice for women, and it was wonderful.

    T

    was such an important and empowering book with brave female characters. THIS IS A BOOK THAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ!!! There were so many relevant and important topics in this book including; rape culture, the treatment of women, and feminism. THIS BOOK GAVE ME SUCH GIRL POWER VIBES AND I WAS LIVING FOR IT. GIRLS WERE SUPPORTING GIRLS AND THEY WERE WORKING TOGETHER TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. The girls in this book created a movement to bring justice for women, and it was wonderful.

    This book discusses rape quite a bit, so there are definitely trigger warnings for that.

    really showcased how rape is handled in this day and age. I have no personal experience with the topic but based on the stories I have heard, this book seemed to handle this aspect in a very real and honest way. This book touched on the common issue of the idea that when women are coming forward and saying they were raped, they are just using that as a cry for attention. THAT DRIVES ME CRAZY AND I WAS SO GLAD THAT THIS BOOK TOUCHED ON THAT SUBJECT. The book talked about privileged men getting away with rape and how THAT IS NOT OKAY! It also discussed how deeply rape effects the victim. This book really showed how the victim doesn't simply forget the incident and move on. It showed how this sticks with the victim for a very long time.

    I will say that there was one comment made in regards to a trans character in this book that made me a little uncomfortable. I felt like it was an unnecessary comment that could have been left out of the book. It was only one instant, but I still wish it wouldn't have been there. I also will say that this was a slow moving book. I was invested in the story the entire time, but it was a tad bit slower paced than I would have liked.

    The three main characters were all such unique and well-developed characters. Grace was such an understanding and kind person. She truly wanted the best for everyone and it warmed my heart to see how far she would go for people. Rosina was an extremely supportive, selfless, and strong girl. SHE LITERALLY SUPPORTED ALL THE GIRLS AND IT WAS SO ADORABLE. Erin was a strong, passionate, and dynamic character. I loved the development of her character and how she took down stereotypes for people who are on the spectrum. I don't have any personal experience with Asperger's, but I thought the author did a good job at representing it. Grace, Rosina, and Erin had such a supportive and powerful friendship. I loved how important their friendship was to the story.

    I also loved how diverse the characters were in this book. IT WAS SERIOUSLY WONDERFUL!

    was an important book that takes on rape culture and misogyny. This book showed the importance of supporting each other, giving women a choice, and for fighting for a better world.

    is a book I would recommend to EVERYONE.

    4 / 5 Fangs

  • Lia

    The Nowhere Girls is the story of three girls, three outsiders that don’t fit in. But it’s also about every girl in a way. Throughout the story you get peeks into the life of other girls, girls that experience love, sexual harassment, and feminism in different ways. This is one of the things I loved most about the book. It was inclusive and not just about how one or three people experienced these things, but how many people have different views, experiences and thoughts on the topic.

    “Silence do

    The Nowhere Girls is the story of three girls, three outsiders that don’t fit in. But it’s also about every girl in a way. Throughout the story you get peeks into the life of other girls, girls that experience love, sexual harassment, and feminism in different ways. This is one of the things I loved most about the book. It was inclusive and not just about how one or three people experienced these things, but how many people have different views, experiences and thoughts on the topic.

    “Silence does not mean yes. No can be thought and felt but never said. it can be screamed silently on the inside. It can be in the wordless stone of a clenched fist, fingernails digging into palm. Her lips sealed. Her eyes closed. His body just taking, never asking, never taught to question silence.”

    Throughout the story, the three girls, Grace, new in town and daughter and Christian, Erin, autistic and obsessed with Star Trek, and Rosina, gay and Mexican, start a movement to revenge the rape of Lucy, a girl who moved away last year after she wasn’t believed about her rape. What makes this story so strong was the friendships between these three girls, but also the friendships between all the other girls that join them. There is so much girl power in this book! My favourite character is hard to pick because I loved all three of the main characters, however, I might love Erin just a bit more than the others. I loved how these three girls are all so different but work so well together. Both they and their families are remarkably different and I loved seeing the different ways they interacted with their family.

    "The three girls converge on the front porch and, without speaking, stand facing one another.

    “Did you know the triangle is the strongest geometric shape in nature?” Erin says.

    They meet one another’s eyes, one by one by one. They breathe. They swallow. They turn towards the door. Grace presses the button of the doorbell. They hold their breath and wait."

    I am head over heels in love with Amy Reeds writing style! Her way of writing is just so simple, beautiful and vivid. I have made so many markings in my book, I lost count of the sentences and paragraphs I loved.

    The story itself is so important. It is about rape culture and sexism and so many aspects of it. I have read a few books about feminism and battling sexism but this has to be a favourite, it brought feminism to a new level. A level you could relate to in so many ways. It felt so real! I’ve spent many hours thinking this book over and rethinking all the things that happened and how they could happen to anyone.

    “Sometimes the not crying hurts worse than the crying.”

    I am giving this book 5 stars because not only was the story amazing, the message, the characters and the writing were as well. This book is so important to the society we live in nowadays and beside that it’s also beautifully written. It’s fun and emotional, and gave me all the feels! I highly recommend picking this book up!

  • Chelsea

    What a surprisingly impressive novel!

    What a surprisingly impressive novel!

    This story follows three girls attending an average high school in Oregon. However, as one girl, Grace, begins to uncover the story of a girl who had to leave the school after being raped, the three girls decide to start a group called the Nowhere Girls to achieve justice and take down the rape culture rampant in their school.

    This could so easily have felt too heavy handed or like things I may have heard before having read books dealing with feminism and rape culture before.

    The frank talks about sex and sexuality between the girls were so refreshing to read.

    It just works perfectly here, as the story shows the perspectives of many girls from many backgrounds outside of the three main.

    One main character is Christian, another is on the spectrum/aspergers, and another is Latina and a lesbian. There are many more diverse minor characters, which mostly were dealt with well and didn’t feel shoehorned in. The diverse aspects felt well researched, and many stereotypes were examined, such as cheerleaders and “sluts”, and were shown to be much more.

    The way the story talked about rape never felt insensitive, and instead focused on showing the different viewpoints from the very different girls when it came to the subject. What resulted felt like a thoughtful exploration of feminism and rape culture.

    Erin, Grace, and Rosina’s friend group, which eventually expands to become the Nowhere Girls, was so empowering to read. I’ll never get tired of books where women support each other!

    This is a very needed story, one I think many will get a lot out of if they give it a chance. Some themes may seem familiar if you read in this genre often, but the way it was presented made the story feel fresh and kept me turning pages.

    I’m already planning to loan it out, because I know this book will challenge some people to really think about things differently. As long as you’re comfortable with the content, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys contemporaries dealing with hard subjects.

  • Emma Giordano

    THIS. DANG. BOOK. Y’ALL. It’s a must read. One of the best YA books published in 2017. It’s so important, especially for young readers, and I cannot recommend it enough.

    HARD TW: Rape, Sexual Assault

    One of my favorite things about this book is the characters. Grace is the new girl who is fat and a Christian. I’m always so pleased to see books where fat protagonists are able to have a story that’s NOT about their body, but it is just a characteristic of who they are. I was also immensely pleased w

    THIS. DANG. BOOK. Y’ALL. It’s a must read. One of the best YA books published in 2017. It’s so important, especially for young readers, and I cannot recommend it enough.

    HARD TW: Rape, Sexual Assault

    One of my favorite things about this book is the characters. Grace is the new girl who is fat and a Christian. I’m always so pleased to see books where fat protagonists are able to have a story that’s NOT about their body, but it is just a characteristic of who they are. I was also immensely pleased with the portrayal of a Christian teen – As I was very into my faith as a teen, I feel Grace is my favorite Christian YA character because her faith plays a constant part in her life but she is also so open-minded and exactly what a Christian should be.

    Rosina is from a Mexican family who also is interested in women (I don’t believe an actual label is ever placed on her sexuality.) Her character really explores the relationship between latinx family members, the hardship of needing to work as a teen, discrimination as a teen of color, and briefly discusses the struggle of having undocumented family members. Erin is the final core member of The Nowhere Girls and she has Aspberger’s and anxiety.

    Erin brings up thoughtful discussions about “Autism Moms”, how individuals on the spectrum are viewed as unempathetic and cold, and breaks every untrue stereotype you’ve heard for people with Aspberger’s. I cannot speak for the fat, Mexican, wlw, or Aspberger’s representation and I have yet to find ownvoices reviews for any of these, but I will say I noticed multiple instances where discussions about good rep that take place in the community were executed faithfully in this novel. There are also so many side characters that add to the story and show the complexity of women that I could not help but love.

    A brief overview of important topics discussed that are covered in

    are: feminism, rape, rape culture, sexual assault, sexual harassment, victim blaming, the concept of virginity, being sex positive vs. being not ready for sexual behaviors, female masturbation, consent vs. not saying no, the biased court system in sexual assault cases, biased school administration, misogyny, sexism, racism, immigration, ableism, SO MANY GOOD AND IMPORTANT THINGS TO TALK ABOUT

    The only two small critiques I had were that firstly, some conversations (only one or two) that happened during The Nowhere Girls meetings felt a smidge too mature for a group of teens (I am not suggesting that teens are incapable of mature conversations of course, but I can best describe it as feeling as if I was watching a TedTalk on women’s issues by an adult professional as opposed to teens describing their viewpoints.) I feel the author’s voice may have overtaken the character’s voices in a few small situations, but then again, these are all important issues to be discussed that teens should know. I am not critiquing the inclusion of these conversations because I think they’re GREAT, but I think the execution was perhaps too sophisticated in some cases – it just didn’t always sound like it was coming from the mouth of an actual teen. Nonetheless, I’m still glad these points were addressed in the novel.

    My other issue is one small scene where a classmate is talking to Grace about their trans sibling. They use language that suggests that being trans is something you can “decide” which it is clearly not. I took this scene to express the good intentions that some have on these issues, though they may in fact be harboring harmful ideals, but regardless of my interpretation, it wasn’t really addressed in the book. I wish there was a line to make it clearer that Jesse was just ignorant (where Grace could have corrected him) or any explanation as to why it was included. We do have a small perspective of a trans girl in the story (the story switches between Grace, Rosina, and Erin’s perspectives, but also has the perspective of “Us” meaning brief thoughts/actions of various girls around town) and her thoughts expressed a knowledge of at least some trans issues, so I was perplexed to see this line pass through the cracks.

    Overall,

    is a fabulous YA contemporary for teens wishing to learn about feminism and rape culture. This is such a wholesome, well-rounded book with expertly-developed characters and important themes discussed. I would highly highly recommend this to any reader; man, woman, non-binary, adult, teen, etc. Please give this immensely important novel the recognition it deserves.

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