Title: The Nowhere Girls
By: Amy Reed
Published: October 10th, 2017
By: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA | Contemporary | LGBT+
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.
|| Goodreads ||
“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 palm. Her lips sealed. Her eyes closed. His body just taking, never asking, never taught to question silence”
Diversity/Representation || Queer: Lesbian | Plus-Size Rep | Latina Character: Half-Mexican | Asperger rep
This is an AMAZING book, I didn’t expect all these feelings but it’s certainly a hard read, since it touches on issues such as rape, violence, and women denigration in society, on the other hand, it’s also a powerful reading that tries to reflect the importance of support and union of women against diversity, feminism and how such a little bit of support can mean a huge change. I think it’s absolutely magnificent, the author has a very addictive writing style so despite being difficult to read for such delicate content, at the same time you can’t stop doing it because it’s incredibly built. I highly enjoyed reading it and couldn’t recommend it enough.
This book focuses on a group of girls very different from each other, who come together to create this anonymous club called The Nowhere Girls. Nobody knows who started this club but little by little more and more girls begin to join to fight against this group of popular boys who have repeatedly committed rapes for a while. At the same time, we follow several perspectives, but we have as main ones: Rosina, Grace & Erin, and we’ll know a little more about their lives, their fears, and their secrets, while a friendship begins to grow between them.
Loved the book, that’s quite obvious, I can’t stop talking about it with everyone, it’s curious because I’m watching the third season of “Thirteen Reasons Why” and I feel that I began to identify many factors of the book in the series as well. There’s a huge centralized content on rape culture and it shows how these horrible people get away with it because of their position in society, which is a real-life fact and that’s why it’s so shocking to read about it. The plot is very well built, we not only have chapters for each main character, but we also have chapters called “US” where we know about some situations of another people (who also attend Prescott High or live in the same town) are going through and it’s like made in an anonymous way, so you never know for sure who it is until you start to get into the plot then you start to join the points and it’s quite entertaining and captivating to be able to discover and guess who is who It makes the experience even more interesting. The book is also made up of pages where we can read a Web Site managed by one of the rapists, and I swear, I never felt so angry reading something, it’s disgusting, but the way in which it’s incorporated into the book it’s really good and smart.
The writing style is great, I really like it because the author has that ability to make reading feel light even when you’re reading a powerful and full of feelings book. It’s very addictive and atmospheric as well. There are some dialogues that I think are kind of weird and I felt like they had no reason to be there, but it’s the only thing I can really say that I didn’t like it that much.
The characters are very important in this story, in fact, as you can imagine is a plot with a lot of character development, and I think it was beautiful to see this group of girls face their fear, stick together and become proud and empowered women, I feel very happy with the growth of every one of them. I’ll try to be brief *fingers crossed*
First, we have Grace, and if I remember correctly, she’s the first one that’s presented to us and personally, she’s my favorite character. She has just moved to this town, so she’s the new girl, she’s a young plus-size girl and I adored the rep. She belongs to a religious family, and I want to take this opportunity to mention that I loved the way in which the author has made of the religion a positive situation and not at all an obstacle, since most of the time we read about religious with closed-minds characters, in this case, it’s the opposite. Grace believes in God in a very healthy way and although I’m not a religious person, I appreciate that portrayal very much. She’s my favorite character because I feel her growth is incredible and because she’s the main creator “The Nowhere Girls”. She lives in a house where Lucy used to live (a young girl who reported being raped but no one believed her and had to move from the place). Then Grace finds things written in the walls belonging to this girl and begins to investigate more on the subject to discover what really happened and why nobody supported her at the time. I adored how she puts the cause on her shoulder and the way she talks and respects her body seems sensational to me, she’s a very focused woman and despite starting to be super shy and having so many fears, she ends up growing a lot until becoming a bold and determined person. I love her!
Then we have Rosina, she’s the Latina character (half Mexican), so she already has a special place in my heart. But even then, I don’t like it at the beginning, it has a rather rough attitude towards others, so I was kind of apprehensive about her attitude. After knowing a little more about her family and her personal story, I began to understand a lot about her and it’s nice to go throughout her journey because she grows up to become someone who’s not afraid to show her feelings and she learns that show your sensitive side doesn’t mean you’re weak. She’s lesbian and is very open about it, which I love too. The relationship with her mother was a factor that hurt my feelings a lot, I understand the family construction and how her mother should be hard on Rosina for her sake and all that, but she’s so hurtful at times, there’s even a scene where she calls Rosina “whore” and I don’t know why, maybe because I’m very close to my mother or something, destroy my heart. Every family is a world, right? So who am I to judge, but personally it was something I didn’t like to read. On the other hand, her relationship with her grandmother is BEAUTIFUL, very pure and real, I loved those scenes. Rosina deserves better and I hope she gets it.
Finally, I’ll talk a little about Erin, she has Asperger, and before anything, I want to clarify that I didn’t know anything about this before going into this book, so in order not to be disrespectful I’ll speak very briefly about it. I liked we see a character who suffers from Asperger as the main character, because it’s something that I’ve never seen in YA before, so I think it’s something positive, as I said before, I’m not sure that it has been well rep, so I can’t comment anything about it. For this, Erin is a very particular character, so I’ve learned to know her better and understand her feelings a little more and as she sees the world, this helped me to empathize a little more with her. I love the little romance she’s involved in, I think it’s adorable. And I appreciate her growth and evolution. Erin has a very difficult past that you’ll discover once you read it, and it’s key as the story unfolds. The ending is wonderful and I’m so happy and proud of her.
I think the most remarkable and admirable thing in this book is the way in which sexuality is discussed. In each “Nowhere Girls” meeting the girls talk about many issues that concern them, mostly sex and it’s wonderful to be able to read so many different perspectives on the subject and in the end, I think there’s a very positive message about that. I was 100% on board with each of the meetings, it’s very interesting and you’ll surely find an opinion to relate to, so I think that’s great.
The book is developed in a highly sexist community with people who have very closed minds and a horrendous vision towards women, so everything that’s happening related to rapes is taken as jokes or is downplayed several times, this is very hard to read because sadly reflects society and how there are still people who haven’t been able to evolve and practice understanding. The woman is judged a lot by her sexual tastes, by her appearance or by the simple fact of being a woman, and it’s a book full of very horrible phrases of absolute denigration towards the female gender, and I want to mention this because I understand that it can be too much for some people, and that’s totally respectable. Leaving this aside is a WORTH reading book.
As I mentioned before, despite being a hard-hitting book, it also stands out and talks about the women power and how victims should always be supported, I think expresses very positive messages and shows a group of very different girls fighting for the same cause, which I love. They make perhaps exaggerated decisions some times, but I’m here for it, I think they’re symbols of empowerment and feminism and I totally support that. I think it is a book that may be interesting for buddy-read because it’s interesting to discuss, it has a lot of important content and I hope you decide to read it because I’m sure you’ll take some from it.
The ending seems super realistic and I like that, I love how we have Lucy’s chapter at the end and how this is not a happy ending, but was exactly what should be, whether we like it or not. It feels open but at the same time, it shows how there are infinite cases of rape in the world and that this fight is only the beginning.
I loved the book, I really recommend it a lot, I think it’s a very rich read, so if you can stand the number of harsh things that happen I think you should give it a chance, it would be interesting for me to know each of your opinions, since I can understand that we’ll all feel and think differently about it. It’s a story about empowerment, love, friendship, and family, but it’s also about injustices, violence and power abuse. I can’t wait to read more by the author in the future.
Trigger Warnings || Rape, Sexual Assault, Sexism, Many Discrimination’s Forms, Violence against Women & Problematic Family Dynamics