Wednesday, September 12, 2012

45. Some Girls Are

Book #45: Some Girls Are
Author: Courtney Summers
Published: January 5, 2010
246 Pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

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 rumours 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.

Summers has done it again. It's no secret that I'm her number one fan, so be prepared for some fangirling in this review. She writes the mean girl like it's her job and Regina is no exception. Regina, like Regina from Mean Girls is a bully. She is best friends with the most popular girl in school and has done more than a few things that she regrets to stay at her side. She must continuously impress Anna in order to stay on top. This means betraying old friends, hurting people and a whole lot of rumours. So when the tables turn and she is suddenly the one being bullied, she sees exactly who these girls really are. You would think she deserves it, but after finding out why the rumours started, you'll be on her side. And I was on her side the whole time. 

People make mistakes. Summers is perfect with redemption for her characters. They've all done things they regret, but it's getting past that and learning from your mistakes that sets you apart from the rest. Regina goes from the top of the ladder to the bottom, the sole recipient of Anna's torture. And boy are these girls mean. Anna makes Regina George look like an angel. Regina is thrown to the wolves, fearing school and hiding out with the only person who seems to let her, Michael, someone who has more reason to hate her than anyone else at school. Being on the receiving end is brutal and he helps Regina see herself for who she really is - a bully. Her path to redemption is not an easy one. The Fearsome Foursome (he ex-BFFs) make every day a living hell and Michael, who she is starting to have feelings for, can't find a way to forgive her for how she's treated him in the past. Every moment in this novel is torture. You feel Regina's pain as though you are the one being bullied. Anna makes sure that school is not somewhere Regina wants to be and she does not give Regina a chance to tell her the truth about that fateful night. Regina tries to be strong and she does a good job pretending to be, but we all know she is dying inside. She holds guilt and fear and painful secret that only elevates the torture being set on her. The acts of violence that Anna pulled on her made me cringe and tear up, wanting so badly for them to get what they deserved and for Regina to get through it. 

High school has its secrets. We don't know what is happening behind closed doors. We don't know what those notes say in other people's lockers. We don't know who is being tortured while we stand and do nothing. Bullying is not a laughing matter. Some people bully others to the point of suicide. We don't know how our words affect others. We don't know everything. Regina gets to see the pain that she has caused others in her life. She learns how it feels the hard way, but she learns. She knows that she has hurt others and she tries to make it right. None of it is worth it if it hurts others. Words can do a lot to a person and if we are lucky enough to have the chance to make it right, I hope we all do. Summers is brilliant with this heart-felt, touching novel about the truths in rumours, gossip, love and bullying. Every character hit me hard and demanded to be listened to. And boy did they deserve my time. 

“Tell Liz,' I say, 'the mean girl totally got what she deserved in the end.” 

“I close my eyes and lean my head against the seat, and the word fuck just repeats itself over and over in my head, because fuck.”

1 comment:

  1. I heard about this one a while back and really liked the premise. After your review I need to move it further up on my pile ;) I love stories about people who fall from way on the top to the bottom of the social ladder. And since I had the misfortune to be bullied myself, I'm curious to see how the issue is handled here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)


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