Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
St. Martin’s Press, 245 pages
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.
My copy: paperback, from Fully Booked
Cover and blurb: Goodreads