Those Girls by Lauren Saft
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, as well as 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?
Lauren Saft masterfully conveys what goes on in the mind of a teenage girl, and her debut novel is raw, honest, hilarious, and thought-provoking, with a healthy dose of heart.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is also going to feature spoilers because I am very upset about this.
This was bad. Like very bad. I love these kinds of novels. I ate up Gossip Girl and The Clique series. They were smart and funny, but also featured mean girls who were mean because they had low self-esteem. This book did not have that. This book should also come with some serious trigger warnings for: almost being raped, eating disorders, and portraying this as friendship when it is not friendship at all.
Don't get me wrong, I love novels that are about high society and how the elite live because I am not one of those people and it is always so interesting to me to see how they interact. Gossip Girl does it really well. There is the pettiness and the fights, but underneath it all, they are still friends. Same with The Clique. This book though? They are outright rude to one another -- blatantly rude to one another. I don't even know how many times I read the word "whore" or "slut" being used as a derogatory against one of the characters. Then they all sleep with each other's boyfriends (and it is not okay to do that) but to get "revenge" they roofie the one girl and she almost gets raped. By a teacher. That is just fucked up.
There was lots of sex positivity, I guess. In the sense that these girls were in (semi) control of who they had sex with and when, but the whole slut thing kind of ruined it. There were also a lot of wtf moments though too. Like when Veronica says that "no never means no" um. No always means no. And then Mollie using Plan B as her birth control and not making Sam wear a condom? I thought for sure either Veronica was going to get pregnant or they would both get mono and that's how they would find out about Veronica and Sam sleeping together. That would have made for a more interesting storyline.
This had such good potential and it was completely wasted. The girls were mindless drones and had zero personality outside what they were introduced with. I thought they would grow and learn together about the dangers of being bitches, but they literally got away scot free. And Mollie had an eating disorder and they all knew and did nothing to help her. Like if you think your friend has an eating disorder, even just an inkling of an idea, please get them help, it could save their life.
Overall: 2/5. I feel bad for not liking this one and being so harsh about it, but honestly do not write a ya book that includes eating disorders and brush it off like it is nothing. At the same time, do not write a ya book that includes roofie-ing friends, attempted rape, and a douchebag boyfriend who penetrates without the girl being stimulated.