Friday, October 19, 2012

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Title: Some Girls Are
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: January 5, 2010
Pages: 246 pages (paperback)
How I Got the Book: Bought it.
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Promotional Materials and More: audiobook clip | book trailer | author website

Some Girls AreClimbing 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.

Tensions grow and the abuse worsens as the final days of senior year march toward an explosive conclusion in this dark new tale from the author of Cracked Up To Be.


Is it even possible for Courtney Summers to write a bad book? After reading all four of her currently-available novels, I think it would take her more effort to write a bad book than it does to produce the fantastic, affecting works I've come to love her for. Some Girls Are has been hailed as her best and I can see why. Regina's story of falling from the top and becoming the number-one enemy of her former best friends and how she gets tired of just taking it is beyond powerful and cringeworthy in the best of ways.

Like all of Summers' heroines, Regina isn't anyone you will want to root for most of the time, but you empathize with her and understand her. She's well-established in personality and especially in her flaws; there is no shortage of people calling her out on what she does wrong both before her fall and after. As the saying goes, what goes around comes around, and what Regina has done is coming back to her--though as the novel always asserts, Donnie trying to rape her at the beginning of the novel is not her fault and she didn't deserve to go through that trauma, nor should it have been used against her by Kara.

One bit I especially loved is when Liz, someone Regina once let Anna bully to the point that she tried to commit suicide, tells Regina as she attempts to apologize and gain Liz's forgiveness:
"When will you forgive me?" I blurt out. "I got what I deserved. I know I deserve it, everything, but I need to know if you forgive--"

"Like if you suffer enough I should forgive you?" she asks, totally unimpressed. I exhale shakily and stare at her feet. "That's not how it works." (~p. 150)
The bullying she faces is unfortunately realistic and incredibly painful, especially for me to read a someone who has suffered through bullying. Mine was never as bad as Regina's, thank goodness, but I wanted to do something more than stand by and watch as she discovered her vandalized locker each time it happened or got locked in a room with the guy who tried to rape her. Books about bullying and the popular girls aren't uncommon by any means, but Some Girls Are is above the rest because of how visceral it is.

Really, I'm struggling to find words for this novel. It's that good! Now I'm caught up on all things Courtney Summers for the moment. The wait until her next book All The Rage comes out is going to be a long one.

5 stars!

What am I reading next?: The 13th Sign by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb