Some Girls Are

Some Girls Are by Courtney SummersSome Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Number of pages: 245
My copy: paperback, bought from Fully Booked

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.

* * *

A few weeks ago, I found myself stuck at home without Internet, so I tuned in to the TV. I caught this show, If You Really Knew Me, and ended up crying in the middle of watching the episode. I had a pretty happy high school life, so I was a bit distant with the situations of the kids there, but it did not stop me from shedding some tears for the kids featured in the show.

When I read Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers later, I can’t help but think that the students from Hallowell High could use a Challenge Day for themselves, especially after how the popular group dealt with our heroine Regina. Regina Afton used to be a part of the Fearsome Fivesome, until she got frozen out after rumors about her and her best friend’s boyfriend spread around. What follows is a series of serious bullying, as her ex best friends are out of revenge — the bloodier, the better. Regina finds herself trying to make amends with loner Michael Hayden, a boy he used to bully. She comes into terms with just how bad she really was, and wonders what makes her different from the girls who are making her life a living hell.

When I finished reading Some Girls Are, I was exhausted. I knew this book is about bullying, but I didn’t expect it to be almost bloody. The Fivesome turned Foursome was more than mean — they’re evil. I don’t understand how some people can deliberately hurt other people and influence others to do the same, too. Maybe it’s because I can’t relate that kind of high school life, but…who would want to? The thought of being in that same school is scary, and I don’t blame Michael wanting to be alone after everything that happened to him.

This isn’t an easy novel to read. It was hard and bloody and sometimes scary — at one point, I wanted to beg it to stop. I wanted to whisk Regina away to another school and forget what happened to her. I also wanted to bonk Regina in the head for her to do something reasonable, like oh, tell someone? Some Girls Are is very hard to put down. I just have to know what happens next, even if it meant reading how Regina’s ex-friends would do something that would hurt her again. This reminds me of those TV shows I watch where I utterly hate the villains. Hate. When someone or some people are as evil as the ones in this book, it’s hard to find the good in them, and it’s easier to just hate them.

The ending is a tiny bit anticlimactic for my taste, but after all the things that happened in the book, I guess that’s a relief. I just wanted it to end, and while I’m not entirely convinced that the bullying has ended there, I think it’s the right end for Regina. Don’t get me wrong, though — this novel is very good. I can’t say how real it was, but it sounded like it is, and I commend Courtney Summers for this.

This book reminds me of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver and She’s So Dead to Us by Kieran Scott, but grittier. If you were a fan of those two books, you may want to pick this one up. Some Girls Are is one of those books that will make you angry and desperate and relieved. It’s far from a comfort read, but I think it’s a very important one.

Rating:

2011 Challenge Status:
Required Reading – July

Other reviews:
Angieville
Book Harbinger
Attack of the Book
Persnickety Snark

14 Thoughts on “Some Girls Are

  1. It also makes me sad to read about the intensity of the bullying some kids go through each day. I can see how you must been affected by a book like this.

    • I’m not sure how bullying is here in the country — but that’s probably because I had a very happy high school time. That’s what makes books like these so important, you know? It really does help some kids not feel alone.

  2. So much love for this book! So much love for this review! =)

    • Thanks Capillya! I’m going to get Courtney Summers’ other books soon, although I may need something happy in between after the issues she tackles.

  3. Wow, what a review. I really want to read this one now – the intensity of the story really comes through in your response to it.

    • Oh there, that’s the word I should have used: INTENSE. This book brings a new meaning to the word “bullying”. I hope you get to read this soon! :)

  4. Have you heard of Jodi Picoult’s book, Nineteen Minutes? The novel was about bullying, and how kids who get bullied react in their defense. Some, unfortunately, resort to out-and-out violence.

    • I haven’t read that, or any of Jodi Picoult’s books for that matter. Ah, bullying is such a bad thing. Violence is an endless vicious cycle, and it’s sad when people resort to that instead of taking the higher (and definitely better) road.

  5. Yeah, I was surprised at how compelling the reading experience of Some Girls Are was for me, too. I love when authors can make such a dislikable character likable. Janice was right – intense is the perfect word. I’m happy that you found it such a great read. My sister-in-law decided to read it after seeing my review on Goodreads and she didn’t like – hated Regina, etc. It made me sad. :(

    I liked Cracked Up to Be quite a bit as well but I think I prefer this one, though that may be because it was the first book I read by Courtney Summers. I’m interested to see what you think it.

    • If I met Regina in real life, I don’t think I’d like her too, but I felt sorry for her in this book. It’s like how people reacted to Before I Fall, too — people didn’t like Sam or her friends, but I think their meanness is essential to the story. I think Courtney Summers is brave that way, making her main character not really likeable and sticking to who she is all throughout. I guess it made me feel good that somehow, Regina found some kind of redemption in the end. :)

  6. Ugh, excuse my typos. :)

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So, what do you think?

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