Release Date: 5th October 2017
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Who are the Nowhere Girls? They're every girl. But they start with just three: Grace, the preacher's daughter who unwittingly moved into the old house of a victim whose pain adorns the walls. Bold Rosina, whose heart has become hardened by all of the straight girls who broke it. And misunderstood Erin, the girl who finds more solace in science and order than she does in people.
They are brought together by the idea of changing the narrative of a girl they had never met, Lucy Moynihan, the victim of a sexual assault who was victimised further by people who found it easier to believe she had cried wolf than to confront what had really happened to her. A girl who, through the course of one evening, went from an excited teenager who felt wanted by a boy for the first time, to someone else entirely, with 'a voice in the darkness, giving her a new name: Slut'. Together, they form the Nowhere Girls, and decide to avenge the rape of a girl none of them knew.
The Nowhere Girls is one of those outstanding and powerful books that left me in awe. So much awe that I don’t know how to review it without keyboard smashing all over the place. But I feel like that would be cheating the story somehow so here we are, with a fangirly review that took forever to put together because I suck at telling you guys why I love things.
First of all, OH MY GOD. I had heard that this book was one of the best new releases of the year, and the people who were saying that weren’t wrong. It’s probably one of the most powerful books I have ever read, and it was published during the month that the #MeToo movement started, so it’s really freakin’ topical.
In case you didn’t know, the book addresses rape culture in the USA, but it can obviously be applied to probably every other country, at least to some extent. The main characters live in a small American town where, one year previously, a girl was raped by three teenage boys. She was then made an outcast at school and she eventually left due to the outrage caused by her coming forward and trying to get justice for what happened to her.
Basically, people in this town are fucking disgusting. Rape culture is disgusting. I have no other way of putting it without going off on a massive rant. The town’s police chief doesn’t give a shit, the school’s principal spends her time trying to appease him and the rest of the male adults in this town. And the teenage girls of the town agree, and decide that it’s time to do something about it.
This book made me cry all over the place because it’s all about girls coming together and standing up to people like those teenage boys, and the police chief, and the principal. The ending absolutely broke me and I had to keep putting the book down because it made me weep.
The only negative thing about this book, for me, was how Reed used the character Amber. I feel like Reed took the easy way out with how a certain thing went down and with what Amber did. It didn’t match the rest of the book at all in terms of the message (girl power and girls sticking together) and the narrative. This part was really disappointing and I would have definitely preferred for Reed to have come up with something else instead of using that bullshit.
But anyway. Regardless, this is an incredibly topical, moving, harrowing, and powerful book and I would recommend it to absolutely everyone.