The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed was a book I didn’t have very high expectations of. I expected to like it, because I like feminist books, but it was surprising me in every way. It was so good!
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.
The Nowhere Girls is the story of three girls, three outsiders that don’t fit in. But it’s also about every girl in a way. Throughout the story you get peeks into the life of other girls, girls that experience love, sexual harassment, and feminism in different ways. This is one of the things I loved most about the book. It was inclusive and not just about how one or three people experienced these things, but how many people have different views, experiences and thoughts on the topic.
“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.”
Throughout the story, the three girls, Grace, new in town and daughter and Christian, Erin, autistic and obsessed with Star Trek, and Rosina, gay and Mexican, start a movement to revenge the rape of Lucy, a girl who moved away last year after she wasn’t believed about her rape. What makes this story so strong was the friendships between these three girls, but also the friendships between all the other girls that join them. There is so much girl power in this book! My favourite character is hard to pick because I loved all three of the main characters, however, I might love Erin just a bit more than the others. I loved how these three girls are all so different but work so well together. Both they and their families are remarkably different and I loved seeing the different ways they interacted with their family.
The three girls converge on the front porch and, without speaking, stand facing one another.
“Did you know the triangle is the strongest geometric shape in nature?” Erin says.
They meet one another’s eyes, one by one by one. They breathe. They swallow. They turn towards the door. Grace presses the button of the doorbell. They hold their breath and wait.
I am head over heels in love with Amy Reeds writing style! Her way of writing is just so simple, beautiful and vivid. I have made so many markings in my book, I lost count of the sentences and paragraphs I loved.
The story itself is so important. It is about rape culture and sexism and so many aspects of it. I have read a few books about feminism and battling sexism but this has to be a favourite, it brought feminism to a new level. A level you could relate to in so many ways. It felt so real! I’ve spent many hours thinking this book over and rethinking all the things that happened and how they could happen to anyone.
“Sometimes the not crying hurts worse than the crying.”
I am giving this book 5 stars because not only was the story amazing, the message, the characters and the writing were as well. This book is so important to the society we live in nowadays and beside that it’s also beautifully written. It’s fun and emotional, and gave me all the feels! I highly recommend picking this book up!
Buy the book on bookdepository.com here!