All Girls

A Novel

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Pub Date 16 Feb 2021 | Archive Date 16 Feb 2021

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"The pages turn fast and the girls are complex, compelling and written with incredible tenderness. Layden excels at rendering the everyday details of boarding school life." ––New York Times
"Sharp, engrossing."––Town & Country
"An insightful prep school drama"––People
"If Gossip Girl meets Curtis Sittenfield sounds like your jam then All Girls is extremely your jam. [E]ngrossing.”––E!Online

A keenly perceptive coming of age novel for fans of Sally Rooney, Curtis Sittenfeld, and J. Courtney Sullivan, All Girls follows nine young women as they navigate their ambitions and fears at a prestigious New England prep school, all pitched against the backdrop of a scandal the administration wants silenced.

But as the months unfold, and the school's efforts to control the ensuing crisis fall short, these extraordinary girls are forced to discover their voices, and their power.

A tender and unflinching portrait of modern adolescence told through the shifting perspectives of an unforgettable cast of female students, Emily Layden's All Girls explores what it means to grow up in a place that promises you the world––when the world still isn't yours for the taking.

You grow to love a place... and then you grow up.

"The pages turn fast and the girls are complex, compelling and written with incredible tenderness. Layden excels at rendering the everyday details of boarding school life." ––New York Times

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ISBN 9781250270894
PRICE $27.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 294 members

Featured Reviews

Well written involving a group of girls at boarding school.Charactersthat come alive teen angst a mystery a book to read.#netgalley#st.martins

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An excellent boarding school mystery that kept me engaged throughout the entire journey. The writer’s depiction of the characters was spot on. Highly recommended.

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Emily Layden's All Girls gets it just right. All the angst covered up under different personas, the need to express - everything pitch perfect.

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Sobering and sad but still exceptionally well handled. Deeply engaging examination of patterns that are too often seen in our day to day lives. Compelling all the way through.

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I am an alumnae of a private all girls Catholic high school and I could certainly relate my experience to those attending Atwater and the community it created. It is more than a school but rather a sisterhood. What fascinated me was the true variance of characters from a woman seized by anxiety and mental illness to a perfectionist that had difficulty forming friendships to those who wrote for the Heron where their words were not heard. Not until they published a newspaper about the rape that was concealed. In a school that prided itself on progression, they certainly had feminist views about keeping themselves in the past with respect to free speech. Great read and I appreciated the line that it is cool to be smart.

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In ALL GIRLS, Layden beautifully captures life at Atwater, a prestigious girls' boarding school. ALL GIRLS takes us through a tumultuous year at Atwater and how allegations by a former student that she was the victim of rape and the hands of one of her professors affect the girls. Each chapter both advances the plot and gives the reader a close look to the inner workings of the boarders' psyches. There's Bryce, the legacy student, trying to live up the expectations of the women in her family who have gone before her. We also meet Macy, who has an almost crippling anxiety disorder, and Olivia a spectacularly beautiful biracial senior. We also meet her lover, Brooke, who adores Olivia but also feels overwhelmed by their relationship. Layden shows us that teen-aged girls are complex and interesting creatures who should be valued, rather than overlooked.

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I loved All Girls by Emily Layden so much. This book had me hooked from the very start. With unforgettable characters and a great mystery plot I was up late finishing this one, I can't wait to read another book by Emily.

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Ok, I loved this book! This was one that I couldn't put down. It's one of those rare books about teens that I think would appeal equally to both adult and YA readers. As a high school librarian, I definitely can see how my female students would relate to the topics in the book, particularly the gender stereotypes that the characters experienced. As an adult reader, I found bits of my old high-school self in several characters and also wished more than once that I had gotten to go to a boarding school! Despite the issues and hardships that the girls in the story had to overcome (or were still dealing with), the story overall was a positive one and left me with an appreciation for the camaraderie and fellowship that would occur in boarding school. This is 100% a book that I will order for my library and recommend to many of my students. I can't wait to read more by this author!

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A sensitive and heartfelt debut novel about issues of sexual assault and consent at an all-girls boarding school. The nook confronts sexual assault in 1995, both as it was viewed then versus now in the #MeToo era.

I really enjoy the way Emily Layden writes. She really captures all the feelings and atmosphere of being a girl turning into a young woman at a boarding school.

This book’s biggest strength is the same as its main weakness. Each chapter is told from the point of view of a different student. On one hand, this allows for a really richly layered and interesting reading experience that really gives you a great sense of the school and it’s population. On the other hand, as soon as you grow to love or become interested in a girl, the story switches to another girl’s perspective. Lauren, the new student who begins the book; Macy, who has a really interesting story of being phobic of many types of food; Emma, who comes from a very traditional background but has been brave enough to be out with her girlfriend, a fellow student. These were all characters whose voices I loved. I really would have enjoyed spending more than one chapter inside their heads.

This is a promising debut on a timely subject from a really talented new writer. I’ll be looking out to see what she writes next.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press, NetGalley and Emily Layden for the ARC of this very well-written first novel.

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A book set in an all-girls boarding school? Count me in!

Curtis Sittenfield’s *Prep* is one of my favorite books, and those who liked *Prep* should pick up *All Girls.*

Beginning with freshman Lauren Triplett’s ride to campus, *All Girls* takes us through the 2015-16 year at Atwater from the point of view of many of the students.

Throughout the big events of the academic year, reminders of an alleged rape that took place on campus years before continue to surface. Who was the perpetrator? Could this happen to me? And, more importantly, What is Atwater going to do about it?

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I went to an all girls high school, though not boarding school, and thought the sense of home and family that this title strikes is spot on. That makes it all the more jarring when you realize something horrible happened at the school, and the school is trying to cover it up. I could not put this book down! I love the changing point of views, giving a full 360 degree view of how each girl is processing this information and handling it-while also trying to handle being a teenage girl which anyone who was a teenage girl will say is truly hard enough.

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Emily Layden's All Girls is the story of a school year at a prestigious all-girls boarding school. When the freshmen are on their way to the campus, they see mysterious signs that point to sexual misconduct on campus. The first chapter serves as a jumping-off point for an unfolding of the truth of campus life that will come out throughout the year. As the reader experiences events like Vespers and prom with the characters, they also see a different campus side not shown on the brochure. Layden's narrators come in the forms of various girls on campus who lend a distinctive voice to life at Atwater. I was engrossed in this novel and would definitely read another book by Emily Layden. I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes books about schools or books that talk about the Me Too movement.

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This book blew me away! I was unable to but it down. Perfect, dazzlingly, very well written. The details the author described throughout the book was so amazing. The characters and storyline were fantastic. The ending I did not see coming Truly Amazing and appreciated the whole story. This is going to be a must read for many many readers. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! No spoilers. Beyond amazing I enjoyed this book so very much. The characters and storyline were fantastic. The ending I did not see coming Could not put down nor did I want to. Truly Amazing and appreciated the whole story. This is going to be a must read for many many readers. Maybe even a book club pick.

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This was a fantastic debut novel. The novel begins as Lauren Triplett is on her way to her new boarding school, an elite institution where serious allegations against a faculty member have recently been made. From there, the novel shifts perspectives rapidly, showing how various members of the school community process and react to the situation. At first I thought it would be hard to keep track of so many narrators, but ended up liking this structure, as it gave the novel a sense of intensity and claustrophobia that mirrored the experience of the characters in this isolated environment.

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The cover of this book implies that this will be sort of a gossipy book about snobby private school girls. Instead, it is a serious, accurate and timely exploration of the real pressures of “coming of age,” with an emphasis on confusion and fumbling experiences of sexuality among young women. I thought it was very well done, and that the personal individual stories of each of the girls rang very true to life. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC for review.

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This honest coming of age story is full of captivating, descriptive language. This story is set in the middle of nowhere Connecticut at an elite, all-girls boarding school called Atwater. The book starts on the opening day and continues throughout the year, all the way up until graduation through all of the school's important traditions. From the first day, a rape allegation of a former student from the 80s starts to get media traction, and it seems like the school is covering things up to save the reputation of a beloved and accomplished teacher by discrediting the alum. The book follows a group of girls starting the school year, from freshman to seniors, and each of their different perspectives and backgrounds as they try to find out the truth that their school's been hiding for years. We follow various girls from different classes, cliques, who all have different coming of age journeys. It's a captivating mystery trying to deduce what happened and how each girl can relate the alum's story to their own life and how big of an issue assault and rape is as young women.

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i really enjoyed reading this book, you could tell that the characters felt like real people and I enjoyed going through the story.

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Compulsively readable and of the moment, All Girls is an examination of the fallout of sexual misconduct at Atwater, an elite all girls boarding school. The novel opens with an unsettling mystery: someone has placed signs along the route leading to the school accusing a renowned professor of rape. All Girls unfolds in multiple viewpoints in a structure that follows traditional mileposts of a school year as more pranks occur blaming the institution and leadership of Atwater for turning their backs on their students. .

This novel would be perfect for book clubs with its commentary on predatory sexual behavior swept under the rug in the 80's and 90's that is now forced into the light in the lens of these #metoo times.

It was difficult to keep track of the multiple characters (many with similar names), but I wonder if that was the point: to generalize and personify the way a portion of our culture treats girls not as fully formed humans but as objects to be admired, pursued and consumed.

As a bookseller, I would recommend All Girls to fans of Celeste Ng. Would be a good pick for older YA/New Adult readers as well.

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