September Girls
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September Girls

3.01 of 5 stars 3.01  ·  rating details  ·  1,246 ratings  ·  404 reviews
When Sam's dad whisks him and his brother off to a remote beach town for the summer, he's all for it-- at first. Sam soon realizes, though, that this place is anything but ordinary. Time seems to slow down around here, and everywhere he looks, there are beautiful blond girls. Girls who seem inexplicably drawn to him.

Then Sam meets DeeDee, one of the Girls, and she's diffe...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 21st 2013 by HarperTeen
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Steph Sinclair
EDIT: Okay, here's the thing, I feel the need to clarify a few things. This review is in no way, shape or form alluding to the fact that the author is sexist. Are there characters in the novel that are depicted as sexist? Yes. Do I think the author is sexist and that he was trying to write a sexist book? No. Did the book come off as sexist to me? Yes.

This is just an interpretation of the novel and has nothing to do with the author's intention. Just so we're clear.


Actual rating: NO...more

September Girls has inspired me... create a 'no-stars-for-you' shelf, that is. With unbelievably awful writing, a main character who is as big of a dick as the one he feels the need to constantly remind us he has, and a plot with less aim than me that one time I decided to play a round of Call of Duty, September Girls is undoubtedly one of the worst books I have ever read in my life, and the fact that it is now a published novel is nothing short of a puzzle to me.

But hey, don't take my wo...more
Emily May

Cast your pitchforks aside, I'm going to try and explain. Explain why this book which is lauded by critics but generally hated by goodreads (and many of my friends on the site), criticised as being misogynistic and disgusting and appalling and many other colourfully negative words... was a completely different experience for me. I'm sick of hearing the word but, in the end, it all comes down to interpretation. And I think this book more than most I've read depends on that interpretation. I'm no...more
Aug 04, 2014 Debby rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Debby by: Myself, because I'm stupid.

No. No no no no no. No no. No. This book is one of the worst I have ever read. Hell, it may well be the worst. Save yourself the inevitable frustration and disappointment of reading this book. Please. Do yourself a favor. Let me tell you why. Cue my longest review ever.

After only 15%, my gut told me to throw my e-reader across the room and give up. But I am not one to easily DNF books, and I really felt I should review this one. So I kept on going. But this isn't going to be pretty guys....more
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

This review and book has inappropriate language for young readers. I am in no way intending to discriminate the author.

0.01 star DNF at 34%

Thank you HarperTeen for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.

'"Dude," he said. "This summer we're gonna get you laid, bro. It'll do you some good."
"I don't see what we has to do with it," I said. "Isn't getting laid like something you generally do on your own.?"

Let's take...more

September Girls by Bennett Madison: NOT A SEXIST BOOK. Original review posted on The Book Smugglers

September Girls flew completely under my radar – not much of a mermaid fan here – until the reviews started rolling. And that was when I became REALLY interested in the book because the reactions to the book are so divisive. I first heard the negative: from fellow bloggers at Cuddlebuggery who thought the book was terribly sexist and anti-feminist and then lots of others Goodreaders f...more
Nose Graze — Young Adult book reviews

1.5 stars

In a summary, September Girls is:

Awkwardly inappropriate to the point where it's almost funny.
Completely spark-less.
Loaded with internal "contemplating the universe" kinds of thoughts.
Attempting to be "mysterious" but the "mystery" drags on for the whole book in such a way that nothing actually happens because we're waiting for the mystery to unfold.
Supposedly a "romance" story, but there was no chemistry, no spark, no...more
Howdy YAL
To see full review click here.

I've mentioned it before, but I hated high school. For many reasons. Probably my worst memory in high school involved being sexually harassed by a group of dipshits who only thought with their dick and didn't know the meaning of fuck off. This book reminds me of those guys. However, instead of real life where my father can call the school and mentioned the word lawsuit to get the a-holes to back off. You can't get a book to back off. And that my friends, is unfortun...more
Katrina Welsh
Apr 27, 2013 Katrina Welsh marked it as how-bout-no

Anthony Paull
Where to begin? There's a weight to certain books that reminds a reader why he or she reads. It's not always there, but when it is it makes your fingers burn, your heart tires your eyes. That's where this book has left me, heated, exhausted, yet needing more...another dive back to the listless days of surf and sand. Madison has a distinct way of weaving poetry and metaphor that lends magic to his prose; that's what I enjoy most about his writing. There's always an eerie, fascinating u...more
Posted at: PaperGrey

Do you want me to sum this book with one picture? There you go:


These are the things you should know about this book before you read it:

1. Do not get fooled by the pretty cover - this book has less romance than Tom & Jerry does.

2. Do not get fooled by the dreamy description - this book is not magical and it doesn't change lives. September Girls revolves around pretty but generally useless girls who are actually mermaids and two preternaturally horny guys.

3. September Girls...more
Sexist? Feminist? Blah, who cares? September Girls has inspired some extreme opinions for a book that that is the literary equivalent of a sigh.

I definitely don’t consider it sexist as so many reviewers have. The characters use coarse and objective words to describe women, but it shows how this type of language and thought is indoctrinated in men and women alike. The whole book uses a sexist mermaid legend to critique patriarchy. So if the claims of sexism are deterring you from reading it, do...more
the golden witch.
0.5/5 stars.

Originally, this was going to be a NO STARS FOR YOU BOOK. Seriously. It had me that angry, and baffled that Kirkus (among others) gave it a starred review. It was really a "I can't even, what is this?" moment. And then I looked a little deeper, and saw a little bit of redemptive qualities to this story. But only half a star's worth. Seriously. While I will admit Madison can write, I cannot in any kind of good conscience recommend "September Girls" - which is really a shame since I ha...more
Cassandra Mitchell
I'm worried it may sell out because of all the glowing reviews.

I am pleasantly surprised.
No, actually.
I went into this book thinking I wouldn’t be able to make it past the first chapter. I thought for sure that within fifteen minutes I would have put it back on my bookshelf to sit there forever but that was not the case. There actually wasn’t anything wrong with it for the first few chapters…except that it was immensely boring but I...more
Molli Moran
Apr 17, 2013 Molli Moran marked it as tried-to-read-but-couldn-t-get-into

No really.

First of all, I am all for swearing. I swear a LOT in real life. But I think that several times EACH PAGE might be a little too much. I was psyched for this one at first because a guy writing YA? HOLLA. But noooooooooooo. Just NO. Just because you are writing a guy's POV doesn't mean they can't have some depth to them. And the way the MC thought about girls? UGH, NO.

Plus, the narration really didn't grab me, and the weird switches to the "Girl's" POV between chapters was odd. So...more
I gave this book the old college try, I really did. I stuck it out for more than half, and it never grabbed my interest. Tragic, right? Because that cover is beautiful. I wanted this book to be the same way, and sadly, I did not enjoy it at all. It felt slow and strange and just...odd.

Not only that, but Sam's voice didn't feel genuine, to the point that for me, his character didn't feel real. Also, the "love" story between he and DeeDee seemed to come out of nowhere and have no basis at all for...more
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
I'm not going to touch this due to sexism, slut-shaming, and poor representation of feminism. (See other reviews for details.)

The cover is pretty, though. I'll give it that.
Charlotte (Gypsy Reviews)
Originally posted at Gypsy Reviews

I received an eARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss. Thank you!

Congratulations September Girls, you have gotten my first 1 star rating ever. I don’t give these out to any old book, I give these even more rarely than I give 5 star reviews. Just fantastic with your portrayal in women as hos, lots of descriptions about women mainly pertaining to their chest area and including lots of naked women because naked women are everywhere! With a dash of horny boys and charact...more
I'm going to attempt to write the review for September Girls in the style of September Girls.

Dude. Dude! I mean, for real, bro. You have like, no fuckin' idea, man. This total bro in this book. This bro! His ho mom like, goes on facebook and farms and shit. Who does that?! Bitches and hos. And then she like, runs off to women land, bro. So this dude and his bro and their dad, a total bro, scratch their balls and fart and go to the beach and shit. They meet these total skanks, and after a party o...more
Julianna Helms

Edited 26 April 2013

Yeah no. The reviews have made me realize just how much of a flopping crappiness this book is. Another case of the cover being beautiful and the book a rambunctious decree of death on humanity. (*cough* Mara Dyer) But yeah. Noooo. Not reading this. I wish I could have the original cover art to hang on my wall, though, without the title and author.
Lenore Appelhans
Skip this if you’re squeamish about what really goes on in teen boys’ brains, but get past that and you’ll find an honest, reflective story about a magical lost summer and a fascinating twist on The Little Mermaid fairytale. Excellent characterization and family dynamics throughout.
Jessi Larie
May 20, 2013 Jessi Larie rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: NOBODY
Shelves: dnf
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Thanks to HarperTeen for providing a copy for review!


Honestly, I didn’t even plan on reading this book. Just from the synopsis I wasn’t sure I’d even like it. But I got an ARC in one of my Harper packages, so I figured, why the hell not? Sigh. Now I know why.

I would never call anyone’s hard work crap, because I know writing a book is hard and time-consuming and probably devours a little piece of your soul; but it’s been a very long time since I’ve read anyth...more
Damaris (GoodChoiceReading)
Unfortunately I have to pass on this one. I was really into it and thought it was definitely more New Adult (still think so) than Young Adult, but I couldn't take all the talk about sex, masturbating, and the use of the word "F**KING". And I love when there are curse words in books and sex, but this to me was just over the top. I made it to chapter seven before quitting it.

The writing wasn't bad at all, and the characters are very believable, but I can't keep reading.

I am not rating this book...more
Apr 26, 2013 Anila marked it as not-with-a-ten-foot-pole
So I read a couple of reviews and, as my roommate would say, I think I can feel my Kinsey number increasing.
Nothing like a male writer presenting relentlessly sexist, toxic male characters to fuel the flames of misandry inside.
The first thing that attracted me to September Girls was the cover. Despite the fact that coupled with the synopsis it strongly hinted at a mermaid story, which I have pretty mixed feelings about, it also sounded kinda mysterious too, which was an added drawcard.

The very first thing that struck me about the book was the language. Not necessarily the swearing (I've got the mouth of a sailor so I can't really be that judgmental , but the mismatch between the dialogue and the story itself. The lang...more
Kathryn Burak
I think it's easy to miss the point of this book and call it sexist. If you dive under the surface, you might see the author working with a culture of sexism and reaching some thoughtful points about sex, love, beauty, and gender. Do I wish the ideal beautiful person weren't white, blonde etc? Sure. But the way I see it, this book is truly magic realism--NOT paranormal. It allows us to work within the world-building of the author's imagination and think about ideas that go beyond plot and into t...more
See this review and others like it at! Check out our Read With Caution feature for a cautionary review of this and Erin McCarthy's True.

September Girls was a very strange novel. I think it will leave definitely leave readers divided. Some will love the coarseness of the characters and the open-ended mystery, while others will be frustrated with the lack of answers and general "unfinished" feeling of the novel. But hey, it has a gorgeous cover.

I personally did not love Septe...more
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After Steph from Cuddlebuggery somehow suffered through this crap. And wrote this awesome review, there is no way. No way. I am going anywhere near this book.

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I did not find this offensive as many others did. Some of that misogynistic stuff was on purpose. It was Sam's journey from people pushing what it means to be a man on him to figuring out what it really means to be a man for himself. He's bombarded with ideas of treating women like crap, and he avoids it. He loves Dee Dee and he doesn't succumb to the advances made upon him, when he could have done it easily. When it was what he was being pressured to do.

Full review:
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Bennett Madison is the author of several books for young people, including SEPTEMBER GIRLS and THE BLONDE OF THE JOKE. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
More about Bennett Madison...
Lulu Dark Can See Through Walls Lulu Dark and the Summer of the Fox The Blonde of the Joke I Hate Valentine's Day The Island After

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“Being a man is bullshit; maybe trying to be a man had been the problem all along. At a certain point you just have to trust someone. Even if it’s only yourself.” 12 likes
“Jeff is the annoying kind of Scrabble player who plays a lot of obscure two-letter words that shouldn't count but for whatever reason are considered legitimate. My father is the annoying kind of Scrabble player who takes hours with his turn and then plays deliberately misspelled words that no one has the heart to call him out on. I am the perfect Scrabble player, both serious and considerate. Obviously I lost by a lot.” 12 likes
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