The Nowhere Girls

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Oct 2017

Member Reviews

I loved this book! The full review will be posted soon at kaitgoodwin.com/books! Thank you very much for this wonderful opportunity to connect books to their readers!
Was this review helpful?
This book was completely amazing. I still haven't gathered my thoughts enough to post a review on my blog but I do tell people to buy this book very often. I loved the girls fighting back again rape culture and the feminism that was displayed throughout the book.
Was this review helpful?
This book was heart-breaking and STUNNING and really dealt with rape and privilege and even feminism in the midst of it all and I was CRYING by the time I reached the end because I haven’t had a book make me feel and think as much as The Nowhere Girls did in a WHILE. 

THE NOWHERE GIRLS IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT BOOK FOR GIRLS EVERYWHERE. It’s uplifting, real, heart-breaking and filled with girl power. The story itself is centred on girls from different ethnic and economic backgrounds as well as just girls with different personalities. In fact, most of the chapters are told from the point of view of ‘Us’ – that is, all these different and wonderful girls and IT WAS SO TOUCHING. 

MY THOUGHTS: 

1.	Before we go any further, this book might contain a lot of triggers from someone who is a victim of abuse, so TRIGGER WARNINGS: Rape, sexual and physical assault, sexual harassment and panic attacks. 

2.	This book was INTENSE. Not only the story itself, but the descriptions that came along with it – from what all the girls banding together felt and thought to the descriptions of the abuse itself. It didn’t let up, because it was tackling such an important issue and I really appreciated the intensity. 

3.	The first character we’re introduced to is Grace Salter, who is an empathetic girl that is pretty much left to her own devices who lives in the room of a girl who was raped and run out of town. Her viewpoint is harrowing and I loved the growth she went through in this book. 

4.	Erin, the second girl we’re introduced to, has Asperger’s. I love that we got to know Erin outside of where she stood on the spectrum, as well as about her disease. We see how she views life and relationships and everything about her was wonderfully done. 

5.	I’m still on the fence as to how I feel about the third girl – Rosina. I felt for her, definitely, but I didn’t connect with her. 

6.	Like I said in the beginning, though we were introduced to the world from these three girls’ viewpoints, a LOT of the book was told from the Viewpoint of “Us.” Us stands for all the girls that are a part of the town, facing different battles in their lives. They talked about double standards, choice, reputation, beliefs, experiences and SO MUCH MORE. Honestly, reading this book from an “Us” perspective made me CONNECT. It made this book heart-wrenchingly read and it broke me. 

The Nowhere Girls is probably one of the MOST IMPORTANT BOOKS OUT THERE FOR TEENAGE GIRLS because it tackles the rape culture, patriarchy, double standards and misogyny and in the centre of it all, shows you how powerful girls standing by each other can be. 

I could not recommend it more. This should be on all essential reading lists.
Was this review helpful?
*I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
4 1/2 Stars

First, I feel I must mention that the book deals with rape and sexual assault so if you are triggered by this topic, I just felt that I should let you know.

Now onto my thoughts…

The Nowhere Girls is a powerful and emotional book that broke my heart and slowly put the pieces back together...a few times.  What starts out as a story about three very different high school teenagers, soon became so much more than I expected as girls at a high school band together to stand up for themselves against a sexist culture within their town.

As for the girls who got the ball rolling...Rosina is Mexican-American with a large extended family that count her for everything from child-sitting to waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant. She dreams of escaping their small and forming a band…oh, and she's a lesbian.  Then there’s Erin who has Aspergers making it difficult to read the faces and emotions of others, but she's trying.  She also has a fondness for Star Trek and identifies with an android character from the show.  Last we have Grace, the new girl in town who happened to move into the former town pariah’s room where she finds messages of despair and desperation carved in small places throughout the room. She has moved to town following her preacher mother’s firing from her old church and becomes friends with the interesting Rosina and Erin.  Their friendship grows even closer when they begin to discuss Lucy Moynihan, the former town pariah.

So who is Lucy Moynihan? Well, despite the fact that most of her presence in the story comes from the thoughts and discussions of others, she is a very important character in The Nowhere Girls.  Lucy and her family left town shortly after Lucy was gang-raped at a party. Nobody believed her, not even the adults who questioned her actions that night.  Grace has moved into her old house and longs to know what happened exactly to her and becomes determined to get justice for her and other girls like Lucy.

After learning and observing how much the guys at school get away with when it comes to their sexist behavior and after seeing a disgusting website where guys discuss their “lays” and tips are given on how to basically date rape a girl and a whole lot of sexist stuff that just sickened me, Rosina, Grace, and Erin decide to create for an anonymous group for girls which becomes known as The Nowhere Girls.

This group empowers fellow female classmates and encourages them to stand up for themselves and each other.  All of them are surprised to learn that they are not alone and we learn more about our main characters as well as their female classmates. Soon their group becomes more than any of them had expected as they gain strength and become a support system.

While the story might focus on a set of girls at a small high school and what happens there, it could easily be about girls anywhere. This happens everyday, somewhere.  And there's always a girl too scared to say anything or a guy who wrongly thinks, “Well, I'm a guy. It’s what guys do.”  And sadly there are also adults who will turn a blind eye…they don't want to acknowledge it, they victim-blame, or they simply don't believe it happened.  But for each of these girls, guys, and adults, there are also one’s who feel the opposite…so there is hope.  And I enjoyed how the author demonstrated this type of environment and left readers with a sense of strength and hope, or at least this reader.

Amy Reed did a wonderful job of giving her three main characters three distinct voices, personalities, and backgrounds.  I could identify with a little bit in each of them.  Alternating POVs only added to my enjoyment of the story and characters as we got a look at the thought processes and home lives of the girls.

Interspersed throughout the story we also get a glimpse at the thoughts of other girls as well as snippets from the disgusting, sexist website the boys post on.  While the girls’ thoughts intrigued me and showed how girls can feel isolated even though many have similar thoughts they don't share, I could hardly stomach reading the website post that's how awful and sadly realistic they were.  It's just sad to know that this is how many guys and girls think.

Amy Reed did a wonderful job with this book and topic. The Nowhere Girls is an emotional and powerful story with a hopeful ending.  It was also a roller coaster ride of emotions reading this one as I felt everything from anger to sadness to joy to pride to frustration and more. And I really felt for and connected with all of the characters, but especially Erin. I don't know enough to feel comfortable commenting on the author’s portrayal of Aspergers, but Erin is the character who touched me the most especially as things from her past come back to the surface as she helps the group. 

I could really keep writing because there is so much more that I want to say, but I better wrap things up, but just know that I loved this book and feel like it is an important read for today’s society.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 for me.

I had a really hard time getting into this at first, but because so many people were praising the major issues addressed in here, I kept on when I could. I didn't fully appreciate the way it was written until the end, when it all kinda flowed into place. For those who quit when not initially engaged, keep going. It took me like a month to finally get over the way it was written because it personally felt like I couldn't connect with the girls no matter how hard I tried. It definitely had its great moments, though, as I could relate to a few of the things in here. It'd do a 180 on me and I'd go from annoyed with the disconnect to sniffing at some of the victims' different perspectives. There's a lot of rape culture and feminism going on, obviously, but for me, my favorite part was seeing all the types of victims the girls were in their own right... if that makes sense. Overall, great lesson, disconnected delivery, beautiful cover.
Was this review helpful?
I tend to gravitate toward these types of stories because of my own similar past experiences.  This book definitely held up and made me feel all the things that this type of story should.  Some people may call that a trigger, and in fact, for one of the characters who had also had a similar experience did get "triggered" by the talk and experiences of other girls in the story.  But what I really liked about this was how there were so many different characters.  I like how they could come together in some ways, but I also felt it was very realistic in that there are some people who either cannot get over their own feelings and opinions to see the other side, or who may begin to understand, until something little happens that causes them to feel foolish, and they strike out in their own hurt or embarrassment.  In that way, this did not end up becoming one of those really sappy perfect endings, where everyone holds hands and becomes best friends.  

Other realistic parts of the story, besides what the girls went through, and how they dealt with each other, was the fact that authority figures aren't always going to do what should really be done.  They will often do what is expected of them, or what they think needs to be done based on their own personal experiences.  Such as the principal in the story.  A woman, yet a woman who let the pressures put on her by the men in charge, cause her to not be what she should have been.  Part of it again was the whole small town mentality. But even then, I don't want to say that all small towns are like that.  

I will admit that at first I had a bit of trouble getting into the story.  There were so many different characters, not just the three major ones, Erin, Grace, and Rosina, but every so often there was a chapter where you would get the thoughts or happenings from other girls' points of view.  Some of the girls we got their names, and then got to see them later on as the Nowhere Girls began to come together, others we didn't get their  names, but their stories fit in, and made you see just how life really is.  Just how the environment is in the world today.  But where I mentioned that not all small towns are that way?  And how not all the girls really sided as they should have, not all the guys are bad.  In fact one of them that we get to know, Otis.  I really, really liked him.  And even though I said that all the different characters were part of making it hard to start, by the end, I loved how the Nowhere Girls included all different types.  

Again, based on my own personal experiences, there were parts that as I felt my own connection to what was happening, it was depressing to realize how true it was.  But in the end, bringing all of it out, the girls realizing how important it was to support each other, and not feed into judging each other, that is where I'd like to see the world go.  

Definitely a book I'll want to order to put in my school library to make available for my students.
Was this review helpful?
I thoroughly enjoyed The Nowhere Girls.

Omigosh, where to start. First off, this is a book that everyone needs to read. The message of feminism, and girls supporting girls, is definitely one that needs to be amplified in this day in age.

The Nowhere Girls tackled rape culture so well. It portrays the many awful behaviors and assumptions made towards rape and victims of rape. I liked that it was mentioned that some rapists don't get punished because they don't "look" like a rapist, specifically if they're white and rich. The Nowhere Girls also tackled sexism and feminism, and by tackling such really topics The Nowhere Girls felt incredibly real. There was not girl hate (except for a couple of slut comments that were called out), and the entire community of girls bonded over the course of the novel in their fight for acknowledgment of their rights and respect.

Now, let's talk about the characters. The cast is so diverse! Grace is fat, Emily has Aspergers, and Rosina is Mexican and lesbian. All three of the characters and their relationships are so complex and full of depth. All of their individual characters arcs are so well written. I'm not always the biggest fan of third-person, but Amy Reed's writing style is super diverse (sometimes lyrical, sometimes crisp) and drew me into the story. 

There is one blemish. As other reviews pointed out, and I feel compelled to share, there is an instance of transphobia in the line: “If I decided I wanted to be a chick.” The wording can definitely be seen as offensive, and while I didn't catch this while reading, it's something important that other readers and reviews did.

After I finished reading The Nowhere Girls, I felt empowered and inspired. I've already recommended this novel to many of my close friends, and will continue to do so because of how impactful the story is.
Was this review helpful?
The file expired before I could read it, so I purchased the book and intend to review on Goodreads and Amazon.
Was this review helpful?
The very first chapter gave me chills and I knew then that this book would change something deep inside of me and it did, it really did. The Nowhere Girls are the epitome of modern feminism. They are girls who dream and girls who work day in and day out. They are girls who just want a bite of pizza and girls who are discovering themselves. The Nowhere Girls are every girl. You (guys too 🙂 ) and me and everyone who believes in woman and who they are at there core.

This book is about acceptance beyond gender identity, color of skin, equal orientation, political association, or disability. Because we all should cheer each other on despite any stigma that parts of what we are could have. We are more then our parts. We all live and hope and dream of better lives. We all want a world thats better so why not start with ourselves by accepting those around us and making change when it is in our power to do so.

As much as I loved this book for its beautiful diversity and strong and real female characters I loved it even more for the anger it awakened in me. It was an anger that made me want to go out and actually take action for the things that I believe in and that was one of the biggest gifts that a book could give me.

Let’s talk about the root of my anger: sexism and manosphere. Manosphere is something I wasn’t aware of as being a real and prevalent thing on the internet, but now that I am aware I am filled with complete and utter hatred for it and all that it stands for. Manosphere is basically a blog where a man writes about woman and how to get into her pants among other undesirable concepts. It makes my skin crawl to think that there are a lot of men out there that subscribe to manosphere and its ideals and actually believe what is being said is right. Manosphere is degrading towards women, in feminist, and downright appalling and I am not ok with its existence. The way women are degrading to less then objects on these sites makes me want to puke and after reading some of their posts on my own out of pure curiosity I found myself hating that as time moves forward and we all try to change there are till many out there that want to keep woman as playthings worthless except for their bodies and the pleasure they can provide and I can’t stand the thought of it.


What makes this book really special for me though is how the power of its message is conveyed through lyrical and at times poetic prose with unflinching truths that literally gave me goosebumps. This novel is GORGEOUSLY written and it made me want to rave and cheer and cry all at once. Grace, Erin, and Rosina are my personal heroes. There nonstop hope and pride for themselves made this story evolve into something I couldn’t stop reading. This book has definitely made my top favorites of 2017 and I am so happy to have read it.
Was this review helpful?
I have so many thoughts on this book and I’m trying to pull it all together. First, given the topic of the book, there are a few trigger/content warnings that are necessary. Let’s get them out of the way.

Ablism (addressed internally on the page)
Misgendering
Transmisia
Suicide Jokes
Gang Rape (Chapter 9 – Lucy, Chapter 52 – Erin: both these chapters contain thorough recountings of separate instances of gang rape)
Mentions of rape
Sexual assault
Nonconsensual sex
Homomisia (addressed on the page)
The characters in The Nowhere Girls were incredibly well developed and I could imagine having full interaction with all of them. Because I was planning my dream cast while reading, I did notice that the physical descriptions are fairly vague, but the personalities were all so distinct and fleshed out so much that I could easily know any of them.

I like how the use of multiple points of view allowed for me to see the characters not only as they see themselves but as they see each other. I feel like this is an instance where using multiple points of view really added to the character development and story. I’m still not sure how I feel about the Us. chapters, but there were parts of them that really added to the characters and story.

The Nowhere Girls is set in Prescott, Oregon, which could easily be any small town in the United States. The world was built up enough to give an immersive feel to the story. Everything from the high school to the characters’ homes to the town itself is developed enough to be easy to visualize while reading.

The story has so much going on while still focusing on the main plot. I really love how we got to follow the separate stories of the main characters and a few side characters in addition to the main plot following the Nowhere Girls as a group. I do want to say that this is definitely not a feel-good novel so if you’re looking for something sweet and fluffy, you might want to pick up something else. If you’re looking for one of the most important and well written novels of the year, look no further. The Nowhere Girls shines a spotlight on rape culture and doesn’t shy away from the painful truth that so many girls and women live with today.
Was this review helpful?
Wow. Where do I begin? Let me start by saying this is a book everyone must read. Not only does it portray what rape culture is but how it persists within schools and societies, but most importantly how it affects those victimized. Tired of the injustice in their town, Grace, Erin, and Rosina decide to do something about it.

What I loved about this book the most was how the author wrote the friendship of these three very different girls and how it developed into something extirodinaringly inspiring throughout the book. And the fact each girl was so independent of one another where they could stand by themselves as their own person was amazing! The diversity within their group was great!

One of the things you will notice throughout the book is the various points of view between our three main characters, but the points of view from many unnamed girls. This was the first time I had seen this being used in a book, but I found it very supporting of the story overall and how it added to the fight agains rape culture and misogyny. They were definitely not cookie cutter stories because I read diverse pieces that depicted experiences of girls who have had to deal with “boys being boys” and society perpetuating rape culture. This is where I felt my heart breaking constantly because I knew these stories are a reality for some young girls and boys; thus, reminding me how much change we really need to tackle this issue.

Overall, I found The Nowhere Girls to be such an extraordinary book that challenges rape culture and misogyny in society. It is a book that will get the conversation started to explore how society treats those affected and how not addressing this concept can be detrimental. It puts forth the opinions and voices that need to be heard and validated, whilst paving the way for strong young girls.
Was this review helpful?
The Nowhere Girls was such an important and empowering book with brave female characters. THIS IS A BOOK THAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ!!! There were so many relevant and important topics in this book including; rape culture, the treatment of women, and feminism. THIS BOOK GAVE ME SUCH GIRL POWER VIBES AND I WAS LIVING FOR IT. GIRLS WERE SUPPORTING GIRLS AND THEY WERE WORKING TOGETHER TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. The girls in this book created a movement to bring justice for women, and it was wonderful. 

This book discusses rape quite a bit, so there are definitely trigger warnings for that. The Nowhere Girls really showcased how rape is handled in this day and age. I have no personal experience with the topic but based on the stories I have heard, this book seemed to handle this aspect in a very real and honest way. This book touched on the common issue of the idea that when women are coming forward and saying they were raped,  they are just using that as a cry for attention. THAT DRIVES ME CRAZY AND I WAS SO GLAD THAT THIS BOOK TOUCHED ON THAT SUBJECT. The book talked about privileged men getting away with rape and how THAT IS NOT OKAY! It also discussed how deeply rape effects the victim. This book really showed how the victim doesn't simply forget the incident and move on. It showed how this sticks with the victim for a very long time. 

I will say that there was one comment made in regards to a trans character in this book that made me a little uncomfortable. I felt like it was an unnecessary comment that could have been left out of the book. It was only one instant, but I still wish it wouldn't have been there. I also will say that this was a slow moving book. I was invested in the story the entire time, but it was a tad bit slower paced than I would have liked.

The three main characters were all such unique and well-developed characters. Grace was such an understanding and kind person. She truly wanted the best for everyone and it warmed my heart to see how far she would go for people. Rosina was an extremely supportive, selfless, and strong girl. SHE LITERALLY SUPPORTED ALL THE GIRLS AND IT WAS SO ADORABLE. Erin was a strong, passionate, and dynamic character. I loved the development of her character and how she took down stereotypes for people who are on the spectrum. I don't have any personal experience with Asperger's, but I thought the author did a good job at representing it. Grace, Rosina, and Erin had such a supportive and powerful friendship. I loved how important their friendship was to the story. 

I also loved how diverse the characters were in this book. IT WAS SERIOUSLY WONDERFUL!

The Nowhere Girls was an important book that takes on rape culture and misogyny. This book showed the importance of supporting each other, giving women a choice, and for fighting for a better world. The Nowhere Girls is a book I would recommend to EVERYONE. 

4 / 5 Fangs

*This ebook was given to me in exchange for an honest review. *
Was this review helpful?
I knew I had to read this book when I read the synopsis.  It just sounded like it was going to be an interesting and important book, and it definitely was.  It did not take me long to read because I was so immersed in the story.  This was quite a powerful read.

I have to say that this book may be a difficult read for some people because it does deal with serious subject matter, including sexual assault and rape.  Some parts in the book were very intense and hard to read.  Many of the guys in this story were downright despicable. They were misogynistic creeps, just horrible people, and I really loathed their characters.   

There were many strong female characters in this book that I loved.  The main characters, Grace, Erin, and Rosina, were well-developed and compelling characters.  They each changed and grew a lot throughout the story.  Two of my favorite characters in the book were Rosina and Erin.  It was so interesting to read about their experiences, and I thought they were such complex and well-rounded characters.   

I really loved Amy Reed's writing, and even though this story is told from multiple perspectives, it wasn't confusing to read, and I thought everything flowed really well.  I actually liked that the story was told in multiple points of view because it gave me more of an in-depth look into the characters' lives, thoughts, and feelings, and it made the book even more interesting and enjoyable in my opinion.  

If you're looking for a really good and compelling book to read, I definitely recommend picking this one up.  The Nowhere Girls is an engrossing and powerful story, and it is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year.
Was this review helpful?
The Nowhere Girls is phenomenal, it has such a strong and inspiring message, looking at misogyny and rape culture and how it can be challenged. What’s wonderful about it though is that it feels like a conversation as opposed to a mandate, it explores different women’s opinions in a way that makes it clear that those opinions are valid in the debate.

That might not make sense unless you read, so go read it!!

The characters were brilliant, whilst the reader gets to hear from a variety of people the three main characters and the founders of The Nowhere Girls are Grace, Rosina, and Erin. I loved all of them, I liked that they were the misfits to begin with and that through their actions they become part of this large and supportive group. The three of them have such different personalities but I liked how they gelled together.

I love how Grace finds her strength in helping others and finds people that truly like her for who she is.

Rosina puts up a good front but it was really nice to see her become vulnerable around Melissa and I loved the relationship between her and Erin.

Erin was my favourite, how she manages to be herself and be unapologetic for it whilst dealing with a lot of situations she isn’t used to.

Getting glimpses into the other girl’s lives and also the nameless thoughts gives the story another dimension, it provides a lot of different perspectives especially with regards to sex and I think is a brilliant way to highlight that there is not one size fits all when it comes to sex or sexuality.

The Nowhere Girls really makes you think about what you can achieve if you put your mind to something and how we should all be more supportive of one another especially when going against societal norms.

I don’t really know what else to say except that I believe that this is a very important book, anything that can create conversation on sex, consent, and rape is. It’s a book that I wish I had access to when I was younger so that maybe I wouldn’t have felt so ashamed of my feelings towards sex and sexuality. I highly recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
I LOVED THIS BOOK! This book is based on 3 characters, Grace, Erin and Rosina who decide that the rape culture that has persisted in their school for years needs to be put to an end.

Grace is new to town and lives in the house formerly owned by the family of a girl named Lucy. She was raped at a party and ostracized by the town so they had pretty much no choice but to move away. Grace’s mom is a fairly liberal Christian Minister. Her family moved due to her mother’s liberal views were ostracized from their previous church for that. So she is no stranger to being disliked. She hears about Lucy through Erin and Rosina and can’t stop wanting to learn more.

Rosina is pretty much her families slave, she helps them run the restaurant, babysits cousins, whatever they need shes expected to provide. She is tired of it! She was friends with Lucy and was wrestling with whether to do something. Her family keeping her busy has added to that fact because how can she do something if they keep her so busy?

Erin has Aspergers and a few years before was raped by an acquaintance at her old school. They decided to move and not press charges and it is a secret from everyone she knows other than her family. Because of her Ashbergers, her brain works in absolutes she knows what the boy who raped her is wrong but is unsure what to do to fix the situation.

Together they decide to band together and create The Nowhere Girls. If you want to know more I strongly suggest you read this book!
Was this review helpful?
Initial Excitement & Summary

I was over the moon when I got approved for this book. It ended up being one of those digital ones you can't use on your Kindle, so I added it to my other ebook app. Loooong, annoying story: the book was set to expire on 9/13 (and I just happened to open the book up that day, thinking maybe I'd read it). I decided to binge it in one day to finish before it expired, updated Goodreads, and made my reading plans for after work. The next time I opened the book that day, it had expired. I spent a good 30-45 minutes trying to figure out if I could redownload it and screaming at my computer. I ended up just having to go to Netgalley and redownload it onto my iPad. SIGH. ANYWAYS, all of these issues led up to me just reading the book anyways.

The story is about three girls from very different backgrounds who band together against the horrible boys in their high school. A former student was gang raped and no one believed her. Grace, Rosina, and Erin start "The Nowhere Girls" to take on the school's sexist, lopsided views of what happened and try to make it a better place.

Storytelling & Characters

The chapters focus on the individual girls, plus a bunch of chapters called "Us." I thought those chapters were incredibly powerful, as they focused on various girls around the town and what they were feeling. Those thoughts ranged across the entire spectrum of sexuality, personality, and everything else. There were real reactions about the Nowhere Girls from every walk of life - I thought the POV from the black female student and conservative female student to be particularly relevant and poignant.

Grace, Erin, and Rosina were really great main characters. They had complex backstories. It was nice to read about a chubby white girl whose mom runs a liberal church, a girl with Asperger's and an overly supportive mom, and a Mexican lesbian whose familial obligations and expectations take over her life. It wasn't just white feminism shoved down your throat, especially with the other perspectives included in the "Us" chapters or during the Nowhere Girls meetings.

I think every single person reading this book could find at least a couple of characters to relate to. They all talk openly about sex, rape, sexism, virginity, religion, and countless other things that shape the average high-schooler's life. I loved the thoughts people had about "not all men" because it's something we here time and time again. Every character brought a new voice into the discussion and shared their own feelings about what was happening.

I felt the complete range of emotions throughout reading this story. I was furious with the town of Prescott for ignoring the girls and favoring the boys the entire time. The people in leadership positions threatened them with horrible things and didn't care about what they said. I wanted to throw my book across the room because this kind of thing happens too often today. I teared up quite a few times when the conclusion of the book came. I smiled at the friendships and sisterhood that was developed too.

This book was extremely powerful. I can't think of too many negatives because it was extremely well-written. I loved the writing style, even though it took some getting used to for some reason. (I must have been used to first person instead of third person for the past few books I read).

Ending Feels

Yeah, I totally got emotional at the conclusion of this story. I was really nervous that these girls would never be heard or their voices wouldn't make a difference; my rage was going to be off the charts. I won't spoil how it ends but I have to say, it was incredibly well-done. I loved the bond the girls quickly developed with Cheyenne and how they helped her through everything. Without her, I'm not sure anything would have changed.

TL;DR

If you're looking for a powerful book involving inter-sectional feminism, a multitude of teen voices that make a difference, and just extreme WE CAN DO IT vibes, you've come to the right place. Everyone can find a character or perspective to relate to here.
Was this review helpful?
This book has no rating because it is without a doubt the most difficult book I’ve ever had to rate in my history of being a reviewer. Interpret and make your own judgments about what you think my rating of the book is based solely on this review and nothing as limited as a star rating. 

The Nowhere Girls is a battle cry, an ode, a bittersweet mourning, and a rage-inducing awakening. This book is more than necessary, it should be required reading for everyone, regardless of age, gender, or political leanings. Here’s the thing, The Nowhere Girls reads a little Perks of Being a Wallflower meets The Breakfast Club mixed with profound, contemporary questions about society and feminism. At times it feels like your run-of-the-mill coming of age story split in various POVs and as someone who generally loathes coming of age, it lagged for me, despite the eye-opening questions and they way it made me think (which is what marks great, life-changing books for me). I couldn’t really connect with any of the characters, which with so many POVs and an US POV that had the voices of several girls, it’s puzzling that none of them resonated with me. Not that the characters weren’t defined. They were more than multi-dimensional, they practically screamed from the pages with their unique and interesting personalities and their determination to succeed. 

I absolutely dislike the synopsis for this book. It makes the story seem like something it’s not-a revenge plot or some weird, let’s get back ALL THE MALES story. This is far from that. It’s an exploration of what it means to be female in our society and then breaks that down further into all the ways that sexuality, race, and choice intersect with that. 

Here is a list of the many important and critical pieces of what it means to be female that this book discusses in its short number of pages:

No means no. 
Why we think that if you’re dating someone and they force you that it’s not rape. 
How saying yes is a choice and it can be an empowering one. 
That girls should not be afraid of their sexuality or that they enjoy sex. 
The double standard of “boys will be boys” but a girl who actively explores her sexuality and enjoys being sexual is a slut. 
Trans girls and whether they feel they have or can find a place in feminist culture. Transitioning girls and the same sort of questions. 
How girls who are known “sluts” are ignored when they “cry rape,” how women are treated differently and their allegations taken less seriously if they’re a certain “type” of girl or from the wrong “side of the tracks.”
Differing perspectives on virginity. 
Why a sex strike is problematic. 
Why we think that if we’re drunk and we say no and are ignored, that it’s our “fault.” 
The many many reasons that women fail to report their assault.
The many levels of fear women face every single day that men do not ever consider. 
Why we feel the need to pass judgment on other girls. 
Small town mentality. 
Privilege and “getting away with it.” 
And many, many more. 
I can’t even count the number of times I found myself nodding at the scenarios discussed, all the many feelings and experiences females go through in every encounter they have with males and even other girls. So much of this book made me remember and reflect and that is the reason WHY I put a trigger warning on this apart from the constant references to rapes and assaults and the feelings associated with these events well after they occurred (because how can anyone forget? This is another thing that’s discussed). 

I was also so angry after I read this. Angry that women have to deal with any of this stuff. Angry that men think they have the right. Angry at all the misogynistic, horrible, and derogatory ways that women are looked at as possessions or to be used and discarded. It’s sickening. 

I feel like I should say that you need to be in the right frame of mind to read this without completely losing it. That if you don’t want to be ragey and heartsick and possibly triggered to put this aside until you’re ready but at the same time, this book is cathartic. It lets you voice everything you didn’t know you needed to say through the proxy of these characters. In a way that is both enlightening and lifts the weight off your shoulders. 

One of the worst and most heartbreaking moments in this book for me is when one of the girls says that she didn’t know she could or was allowed to say no. Holy crap that pretty much knocked the air out of  my lungs. It is so hard to be female. You very well might cry several times and at the end, you might not feel satisfied, but you will feel invigorated and fellowship with every female you see afterwards and that itself is a gift. 

Read, read some more, and for the love of Pumpkin Spice use that reading to inspire change in yourself and in the world.
Was this review helpful?
I'm not sure I can express how timely and necessary this book is. The rape culture in America is terrifying, and I'm really glad that this book is going to exist in the near future.

Rosina, Grace, and Erin are wonderful characters, each with their own voices and worries and feelings. The other girls are all well-developed, even if we hardly know them, and the way the boys are painted is simultaneously disgusting and realistic. I particularly loved Jesse and Otis, but I think that's a given. 

I loved that a Latina character was front and center. I loved that an autistic character was front and center. I loved that the girls all loved each other, even though they're all different. I loved everything. 

Everyone should read this book.

Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
First off, this book has some DEEP triggers so don’t read this if you get easily offended and it might make you become a man hater if you aren’t already one. This is a brutal, difficult story to get through but it’s an important voice for those who feel like they don’t have one.

It’s not one you will necessarily ‘enjoy’ reading, it’s not the kind you sit down one sunny afternoon with the hope of just passing the time. It’s one you read with purpose, to learn, to understand and hopefully will walk away from wanting to be part of the solution rather than the problem.

We have multiple narrators giving us their view on how things played out and providing lessons on feminism, racism, rape culture and how we define sexuality in the modern age particularly when it comes to teens. 

Thankfully you get a decent amount of diversity so the views and issues are painted in a variety of contexts to give us a fuller picture of how different sets of people experience the same thing.

Since this is a book about rape there are characters you are going to hate, there are those who your heart will break for, and there are those who you champion. Some strong female characters are provided to show the power that comes when they can work together.

Your heart will break at times for what women are put through, how horrible it is when our own gender stands against basic rights that affects us all, anger at how men are treated as all powerful and the extent those in society will go to silence the dissenting voices who demand something as simple as the right to not have their bodies violated.

The issues this brings up are important to discuss and hopefully will provoke more people to stand up, speak out and bring about change.
Was this review helpful?
This book is amazing. I could not get out of the story and I highly recommend reading it!
Was this review helpful?