★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
If I’m honest, I was a little disappointed by Some Girls Are. Don’t get me wrong, it was still an OK read, but I was expecting more (quite why I’m not sure, since I’ve never read a Courtney Summers book before, but I had great expectations for this book.) It reminded me of a less well-written Cat Clarke novel and, of course, Laurie Halse Anderson’s ‘Speak’. The literary elements seemed to be there, but when it came to the plotline, there were slight disbeliefs and it seemed to lack a sense of what it was about.
My main qualm with the novel was its focus. At first glance, the novel seemed to centre around an attempted rape, and yet this was never cohesively addressed. Instead, the novel seemed to begin by exploring a consequent social outcasting, and then a rivalry between two contrasting high school groups. Throw in complexities around a reclusive Michael, his therapist-to-several-of-the-characters-but-now-dead Mum and a handful of secondary characters that suddenly take on a primary role from time to time, and you get the basis for Some Girls Are. Whilst characters and plot-lines surrounding this were largely realistic, there were certainly occasions when their behaviour wasn’t quite as you’d expect (and Summers never really explained why it was inevitable yet completely stupid for Regina to end up at Kara’s house on that fateful night).
Reading all of that back, it appears pretty negative about Some Girls Are, and whilst all of the above is honest, Some Girls Are isn’t a horrific read. Summers’ writing is both beautiful and engaging (until a slightly rushed ending), creating a fantastic narrative style. If you begin this book expecting a thoughtful investigation of the aftermath of an attempted rape, you won’t find what you’re looking for, but Some Girls Are offers a different kind of story in a largely well-written manner.
Recommended for fans of:
- Undone by Cat Clarke
- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
- You Against Me by Jenny Downham