The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 10th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Synopsis: 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 every girl.
But they start with just three: Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.
Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.
Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.
When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.
Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.
Disclaimer: The Nowhere Girls does portray real heavy content and language that can be overwhelming for some readers; thus read at your discretion.
Wow. Where do I begin? Let me start by saying this is a book everyone must read. Not only does it portray what rape culture is but how it persists within schools and societies, but most importantly how it affects those victimized. Tired of the injustice in their town, Grace, Erin, and Rosina decide to do something about it.
What I loved about this book the most was how the author wrote the friendship of these three very different girls and how it developed into something extirodinaringly inspiring throughout the book. And the fact each girl was so independent of one another where they could stand by themselves as their own person was amazing! The diversity within their group was great!
One of the things you will notice throughout the book is the various points of view between our three main characters, but the points of view from many unnamed girls. This was the first time I had seen this being used in a book, but I found it very supporting of the story overall and how it added to the fight agains rape culture and misogyny. They were definitely not cookie cutter stories because I read diverse pieces that depicted experiences of girls who have had to deal with “boys being boys” and society perpetuating rape culture. This is where I felt my heart breaking constantly because I knew these stories are a reality for some young girls and boys; thus, reminding me how much change we really need to tackle this issue.
Overall, I found The Nowhere Girls to be such an extraordinary book that challenges rape culture and misogyny in society. It is a book that will get the conversation started to explore how society treats those affected and how not addressing this concept can be detrimental. It puts forth the opinions and voices that need to be heard and validated, whilst paving the way for strong young girls.
“Silence does not mean yes.”
“How intimate these tiny words are. How alone a person must feel to cry out to someone they can’t even see.”
“The girl who cries herself to sleep every night doesn’t cause. trouble. Until she speaks. Until her pain gets so big it boils over.”
“But Erin has empathy, lots of it, so much it hurts sometimes, so much that other people’s pain turns into her own and makes her completely incapable of doing anything useful fro anyone. That’s why it’s easier to avoid it than to engage.”
“So often, the key to survival is mutation, change, and most of the the time that change is nothing more than an accident. Sometimes it’s the freaks of nature who end up being the strongest.”
To be honest, I found myself listening to certain songs over and over again when reading this book! Some I thought perfectly emanated the book or its themes and some where solely for the purpose of getting my heart pumping! I’ll let you decide which is which from my playlist below:
- On and On – The Score
- Never Going Back – The Score
- Revolution – The Score
- Power – Kanye West
- Centuries – Fall Out Boy
- Warriors – Imagine Dragons
- Jungle – X Ambassadors
- Believer – Imagine Dragons
- Come Together – Godsmack
- Way Down We Go – Kaleo
About the Author
Amy Reed was born and raised in and around Seattle, where she attended a total of eight schools by the time she was eighteen. Constant moving taught her to be restless and being an only child made her imagination do funny things. After a brief stint at Reed College (no relation), she moved to San Francisco and spent the next several years serving coffee and getting into trouble. She eventually graduated from film school, promptly decided she wanted nothing todo with filmmaking, returned to her original and impractical love of writing, and earned her MFA from New College of California. Her short work has been published in journals such as Kitchen Sink, Contrary, and Fiction. Amy currently lives in Oakland with her husband and two cats, and has accepted that Northern California has replaced the Pacific Northwest as her home. She is no longer restless.
One winner will get a copy of The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed (US Only)