Monday, April 12, 2010

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Title: Some Girls Are
Author: Courtney Summers
Pages: 256
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: January 5, 2010

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. 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.
Regina Afton used to be at the top. She got everything she wanted, had a great boyfriend, and had a great time. When one unfortunate event happens, she is betrayed and cast out of the in-group. She experiences verbal, physical, and emotional problems that make her life miserable even when she fights back. Regina comes from way at the top, and drops to the bottom of the barrel. But when she tries to make new friends and ask for help, she is rejected every time. Because she's done worse to them when she was one of the queen bees. Everyone turns their back to her. All except Michael. When they finally find a connection together, will the in-clique break that even before it starts?

Some Girls Are is an edgy, concise, and raw read. The concept of popularity here is greatly emphasized and is scrutinized at a completely different level. The cruelty and immense bullying in Some Girls Are is seemingly unimaginable. But the insight into Regina's mind is thought-provoking and contradictory to many people who have not experienced this type of abuse. Some Girls Are introduces not only verbal abuse, but also harsh, physical harassment that is so deeply embedded into the atmosphere.

In Some Girls Are, Summers does something that was first introduced to us in her debut, Cracked Up to Be. She provides readers with the real, rough, grit that completely changes many's perspective of high school. Even though that many are not aware of this situation that could be happening all over the world, readers are thrown into the harsh, cold, and unforgivable backdrop of high school.

An unsuspecting victim, Regina is used to being at the top and getting her way. But when she is betrayed, she is showed a completely different side of her high school's sharky waters. At first, readers will almost pity her for the actions done towards her. But when they find out, that she's done the exact same thing to others, readers will also understand the perspective of Regina's 'victims'. Her life at home and at school is so different and her true emotions are so well-hid. Summers completely captures with Regina's narration and inevitably strong characterization. And her relationship with Michael grows into something complicated and different from what they've both experienced. Readers will see them gradually and genuinely understand each other little by little until they know each other so completely, more than anybody else.

Anna is manipulative and very determined. She's not at all like other clichéd mean girl antagonists. She has a goal in mind and uses her wits to complete that goal. Her mercilessness and backstabbing at Regina is so cruel and unthinkable and she turns on Regina fast and doesn't give her a chance to explain. She uses the people around her to do what she wants and seems untouchable with power. Her very potent and authoritative character will both provoke and impress readers.

All through out Some Girls Are, readers will not ever get a break. It's intense and brutal all the time and concise with simple, but exact words that completely enhance what the characters are going through. Summers' writing is harsh and painful in strong, emotive way and reader's will be exhausted after reading this short, but very powerful novel.

Fast-paced and emotionally-surrendering, Some Girls Are is a bittersweet novel that pulls unaware readers and introduces them to a large problem that could be happening anywhere at all. They are put in the place of Regina, and will feel the hurt, insecurity, and fear that she feels just by going to school. High school is a whole different world. A+ =)

The Bottom Line: You will be Regina Afton for 256 pages. Harsh.

---Field Report---
Originality: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Characters: 10/10
Plot: 10/10
My reaction/enjoyment: 10/10
Theme: 10/10
Imagery: 10/10
Setting: 5/5
Voice: 5/5
Style: 5/5
Tone: 5/5
Cover: 10/10
Total Score: 98/100 (A+)
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Unknown April 13, 2010 at 8:26 PM  

Amazing review, some girls are for me was hard to read, but beautiful at the same time...I love your take!

Precious April 13, 2010 at 8:32 PM  

This sounds great!'s kinda hard to imagine since I've never been bullied. Ever. I stand up to those kind of people and they back off. :) It must be so difficult to fall that hard. Like Patch said in Hush, hush: The higher up, the harder the fall. Great review Reggie! Detailed review on characters, the story and the writing itself.

Lea Kelley April 13, 2010 at 8:56 PM  

Great review---this book is in my pile, but I'm going to wait to read it until this summer since I'm pretty sure it's not going to be okay for my 7th graders. I'm glad to know that even though this will be a tough read, it will be worth it.

Anonymous,  April 13, 2010 at 9:13 PM  

Glad to see you loved this one. I agree with everything you said. :D This is one of my favourites.

Flo April 13, 2010 at 10:30 PM  

i so want to read this book, even more after reading your nice review. i only heard good things about this book

Karen April 13, 2010 at 11:26 PM  

I looked this one over the other day at the book store - looks good. I'll have buy it the next time.

Robby April 13, 2010 at 11:29 PM  

I love this book so much. I love both of Courtney's books, and I'm sure I'll love all the rest. She's so wonderful.

♫♥✿Chas @ LovLivLife Reviews✿♥♫ April 14, 2010 at 1:47 AM  

A friend recommended this one to me saying she enjoyed it very much!=)

I will have to check my local library!

bookaholic April 14, 2010 at 2:09 AM  

Manipulative students,brutal bullying,secrets...this sounds like a raw high school drama. I loved the review,specially the line "It's intense and brutal all the time and concise with simple"! I want to read this so badly!!

Angiegirl April 14, 2010 at 4:52 AM  

You know, it's really true that you feel everything with Regina. And you feel it intensely. I'm still reeling from this book. I loved it so much.

Dwayne April 14, 2010 at 8:23 AM  

Sounds like a really cool book, except its hard for me to actualise the bullying/freezing out part. I hope no one is *that* evil in real life. Seriously.

Jenni @ Falling Off The Shelf April 14, 2010 at 9:44 AM  

Fantastic review! I wasn't sure if this was one that I would want to read right away, but it's at the top of my list now.

Eleni April 14, 2010 at 9:51 AM  

Great review, I'm looking forward to reading this one!

Mari - Escape In A Book April 14, 2010 at 2:57 PM  

Some Girls Are sounds like a painful and wonderful read, thank you for the review!

Little Miss Becky :) April 14, 2010 at 4:34 PM  

Wow, powerful stuff---sounds like the reader really gets sucked into the character! Great review!

Anonymous,  April 18, 2010 at 9:58 PM  

Wonderful review! It does sound like an intense read. I've yet to read a book that focused on a topic such as bullying before, but this sounds like a great first book to start reading about it!

Mary not so Contrary April 20, 2010 at 4:43 AM  

Everyone thats reviewed this book loves. Your review was beautifully written. I don't think I'll be reading this one though. I hated HS!! I was the one that Regina and her friends would bully. I dont feel like reliving that through someone else eyes. Thanks for the review though!

Rae Reads April 22, 2010 at 9:48 AM  

I have been dying to read this book. Now I want to read it more. It seems like everyone loves it. Wicked review!

Maria April 23, 2010 at 3:35 AM  

I'm not a big fan of chick lit, but this one sounds like fun :D

Alyssa Kirk April 23, 2010 at 3:38 AM  

Sounds intense. I'd better be in the right mood for this one. Great review!

Brianna Bruce April 23, 2010 at 8:51 AM  

I have to read this! Outstanding review!

Shy April 24, 2010 at 11:35 PM  

This was indeed a brilliant review. I very recently bought Summers' Cracked Up to Be after reading some outstanding reviews on the book. I guess I'd have to go hunt this one after I finish with that one =)

linz April 28, 2010 at 1:41 AM  

This sounds so intense and raw. It's just so real and emotional. I wasn't going to read this, but now I have to. Great review.

Tina June 24, 2010 at 3:27 AM  

Cracked Up to Be has become one of my favorite books, which made me wary about picking up Some Girls Are. What if it didn't live up to my expectations, etc, etc? After your review my expectations have been raised rather than lowered, but now I'm dying to read it.

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