The Nowhere Girls
By Amy Reed
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Contemporary/Feminism
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 everygirl. 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.
I have so many! The Nowhere Girls was selected by Lia @ Lost in a Story as part of my You Choose, I Read feature. And I have spent every day since I picked it up thanking my lucky stars that Lia’s selection was drawn! I devoured this book with my heart and soul! I want to sing its praise from the rooftop and quote about 50% of it (I have over 20 tabs in this book). Of course, I will try to leave most of the actual book for your own discovery, but I think you get the idea here. Books like this are the reason I read outside of my comfort zone!
*Trigger Warnings: Rape, sexual assault & violence.
This is the story of what happens when outcasted and fed up young girls decide they have had enough! When the rape of a fellow high school student is wrongfully swept under the rug, three young women decide it is time to set matters right and stand up against the misogynistic culture in their town and high school. What starts as an idea to lend support to fellow female students, quickly evolves into something much more empowering as The Nowhere Girls band together and find strength, a voice, and self-worth through one another and their common cause. (Feel free to read the synopsis for more details, but I cannot recommend exploring this one enough).
“So often, the key to survival is mutation, change, and most of the time that change is nothing more than an accident. Sometimes it’s the freaks of nature who end up being the strongest.”
What I appreciated..
- Characters, characters, characters! This book is brimming with a diverse and beautiful cast of female protagonists that come from very different walks of life. And we are given a first-hand look into each through alternating point of views.
- The varying cast allows a more in-depth exploration of family dynamics and struggles within the setting and how they impact each girls emotions and actions.
- The author utilizes all cards fully exploring not only rape culture but many other relevant and heavy topics such as sexism, discrimination, victim blaming, the list goes on and on. She covers so much! And she does so while exploring the challenges young adult face in society and among each other as they mature and evolve.
- This book continually provokes thought and solicits discussion.
- This book’s message is important and needs to be heard. It is moving and empowering! And Reed’s writing is fluid and intelligent, delivering it with finesse and success.
“Silence does not mean yes. No can be thought and felt but never said. It can be screamed silently on the inside. It can be in the wordless stone of a clenched fist, fingernails digging into palms. Her lips sealed. Her eyes closed.”
Challenges some may encounter..
- The author does not attempt to soften the content and themes contained within. So while I admired this, it is a graphic read that will not be for everyone. Please consider that before making your decision. I am always happy to answers any questions.
- The ending while gratifying, felt slightly unrealistic.
The Nowhere Girls was an unexpected read that I feel better for having experienced. I learned more about myself during my time spent between its pages and feel that we all could. It doesn’t promise an easy feel-good read (nor should it), but it delivers something of incredible value during a time I feel it is most needed. I cannot recommend it enough. If you pick it up, drop me a line, I want to talk about this book!
Pair with your favorite green tea blend because this one will have you thinking.
*Disclosure: I use affiliate links and may earn a small commission for purchases made through them. Click here for details.
Meet The Blogger Who Selected This Book
Lia @ Lost in a Story’s Bio
I’m Lia, I’m 21 and from the Netherlands. I blog on Lost In A Story about books and writing, which are two of my favourite things. I read a lot of YA and love books about feminism, which is why I picked The Nowhere Girls for Danielle. My hobbies include drawing and staring at the void called my laptop and letting it suck up all my time.
I picked The Nowhere Girls because it is such a powerful and empowering story about three girls coming together and fighting sexism. It features an amazing female friendship and diverse characters, and it’s beautifully written. I just adored it!