Thursday, May 28, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Those Girls by Lauren Saft

This is a book review for Those Girls by Lauren Saft. I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The scheduled publication date for this book is June 9, 2015.

Some girls will always have your back, and some girls can't help but stab you in it. Junior year, the suburbs of Philadelphia. Alex, Mollie and Veronica are those girls: They're the best of friends and the party girls of the school. But how well does everybody know them-and really, how well do they know one another? Alex is secretly in love with the boy next door and has joined a band-without telling anyone. Mollie suffers from a popular (and possibly sociopathic) boyfriend and a serious mean streak. And Veronica just wants to be loved-literally, figuratively, physically...she's not particular. Will this be the year that bonds them forever or tears them apart for good?
I am really trying to think of something positive to say about this book. I am honestly surprised that I finished it. I guess the one positive thing about this book was that the characters kept making me want to turn the pages. Their actions made me want to know how it ended and if anyone would learn anything. 

First of all, these girls were not friends. No way. Maybe there are real "friendships" between girls that are like this, but that would be scary. One of the girls, Veronica, sleeps around a lot. She does it because she is one of those mixed up girls who gets lonely and uses sex as a way to feel good about herself. I do get why so many people in her school (and even other boys) kept calling her a slut and a whore. Now don't get me wrong. I hate that this kind of slut shaming happens, but I get it because that's the kind of culture we live in (unfortunately). What I don't get is why her supposed best friends do it. And they don't just call her names behind her back. They actually do it to her face and Veronica just takes it because she doesn't want to lose their friendship. But what all the girls think of each other that they never say is what's really scary. I just hate books where friendships between girls are shown as competitive and manipulative and just plain mean. Not all friendships between girls are like that . . . at least mine never were. 

Meanwhile, Mollie is dating a guy who treats her like crap and uses her for sex. There were so many scenes between the two that just made me feel sick because it was so obvious that he only cared about his pleasure, not hers. Alex has joined a band, which Mollie resents because she doesn't have anything to do with it. Alex is also secretly in love with her best friend, Drew, and she is devastated when he starts going out with Veronica. What made me mad as well is that both Mollie and Alex were secretly pissed off at Veronica for going out with Drew, despite the fact that Alex encouraged the relationship and Veronica had no idea Alex was in love with him. She didn't know she broke the "girl code." Despite the fact that Veronica makes questionable decisions and also despite the fact that she ends up having sex with Mollie's boyfriend, I think I related to her the most. Her mom was always gone so she had to take care of herself a lot. That reminded me a lot of my own teenage years so I understood her and probably rooted for her the most. At first I liked Alex, but then her and Mollie hatch this incredibly stupid revenge scheme (no spoilers) that was so dangerous. 

I kept waiting for some kind of character development. I kept waiting for just one of them to learn something. Nope, that did not happen. It was beyond frustrating. There were so many serious issues, between Mollie's eating disorder and all their drinking and sleeping around, but nothing came of any of it. I do get that in real life, this book would have been very realistic. Teenage girls don't drastically change. But this isn't real life; it's a book. I read a book so I can see the characters grow and change and most importantly, learn from their mistakes. If the characters don't learn anything, then what is the point?

Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip!! This one is just not worth it.

19 comments :

  1. This sounds like such a frustrating book! I also hate female friendships like that - especially if there is no character growth or change in any of them! Great review!

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    1. Thanks Grace. Frustrating is a great word for it! Too bad because I had high hopes for this one.

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  2. I have no desire picking this book up after reading your review. It'll probably annoy me anyway so I'll just skip this. And nice review!

    Jocelyn @ Jooniel Obsesses over Stories

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  3. Nope, not really wanting to read something like this. I think books should either teach something or inspire in some way. It doesn't sound as though this one accomplishes either. Informative review, thanks :)

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  4. Agree, I want to see character development in a book, no excuses for it not happening! Will not chase it up!

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    1. Yes, Kathryn you are right: no excuses!

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  5. I was nervous going into read this review as I thought maybe I was the only one that had such problems with this book. My review will be out soon, but we share a lot of the same thoughts. Great review! Chrissi Reads

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    1. Thanks Chrissi! I had read a review by another blogger and that person really enjoyed the book. So I was afraid I was in the minority on this one. I am so glad there is someone else who agrees with me. Can't wait to read your review!

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  6. Oh, man. I'm now terrified. I got this one because I received an email saying FIRST 1000 PEOPLE CAN DOWNLOAD THIS OFF NG! and I was like "YAAAS LEMME GET IT" and now I see that it's actually full of girl on girl hate and I'm like whyyy. And to think there is no character development whatsoever... that is so frustrating and disappointing. :( Not sure what to do with my copy now lol

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. Faye, I actually got this one the very same way! I had so much hopes for it and I was so disappointed.

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  7. Oh no, no, no, no thank you. There's plenty of drama within my surroundings to feel the need to venture into more melodramatics. Such a bummer that this didn't turn around into a positive message though. Honestly.

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    1. Claudia, yes to was so disappointing about the lack of a positive message. I could have even come around to the girl hate if there was a message at the end or some character growth. But not so much.

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  8. So disappointing when the characters just fail and the book is nothing but drama. Great review though!

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  9. Thank goodness I did not request this one! I *almost* grabbed it when it was "Read Now" on Netgalley, but thought twice. And I was waiting for your review, because I know if you hate this kind of book, I probably will too. And I was, quite frankly, suspecting I WOULD hate it, so you've confirmed it. I cannot with this kind of character. I was not like this in high school, nor was anyone I knew, and I feel like I don't want to read about such awfulness especially if there is no redemption. PASS. Thanks for the review!

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. Shannon, I did take advantage of the "Read Now" option and I had such high hopes. I know you would not have enjoyed this one at all. There were just way too many issues with the characters.

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  10. Mmmhh, I would have thought that there would have been character development too. It sounds like a very depressing read to think that they learn nothing and just carry on. I don't really get the point of that.
    I also hate revenge plots so I'll definitely be passing on this one. Great review!

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