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Those Girls

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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.

336 pages, Hardcover

First published June 9, 2015

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About the author

Lauren Saft

1 book31 followers
Lauren Saft holds an MFA from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelor's degree from Tufts University. She's worked in publishing, tv, education, child care, retail, journalism, and food service, all the while closely studying the habits and compulsions of teenage girls. She currently works as a tv producer in Philadelphia where she lives with her cat and creative inspiration, Desi. Her work has been published in Five Quarterly, Rap Up Magazine, and clubplanet.com. One time, she met the Olsen twins. Those Girls is her debut novel.

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5 stars
154 (16%)
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183 (19%)
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264 (27%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 303 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
August 13, 2016
As Ashleigh Paige said: "It wasted all of its potential trying to be shocking when it should have tried to be smart."

Those Girls is an attempt to turn bitchy, horrible, shallow teenage girls into a raw and meaningful book. Other authors have been successful in doing so - Courtney Summers, Leah Raeder and Sara Taylor to name but a few. However, those authors' mean, awful female characters were also interesting and not completely brain dead.

These characters are mindless and annoying; more like Gossip Girl but less entertaining. I don't even understand why they're being bitches half the time. And the author tries to shock us by immediately introducing sexually active teen girls - one of whom is using Plan B as birth control on a regular basis.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not trying to slut-shame anyone. I'm all for honest depictions of teenage girls who want and/or enjoy sex. I'm a feminist and very sex-positive. Female sexuality, ftw! Yay sluts!

Idiots, on the other hand...
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,487 reviews7,788 followers
May 19, 2015
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

As much as I dislike television Chelsea Handler (I like book Chelsea just fine), she always seems to sum up my feelings about things perfectly . . .

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Sadly, Those Girls can be summed up in one simple quote from Drake’s “The Language” . . .

“She just want to smoke and fuck I said, ‘Girl that’s all that we do.’”

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Think I’m kidding? Here’s an actual quote from the book . . .

“We smoked, drank, fucked, everything down there; no one bothered us. Ever. It was terrifyingly liberating.”

Bonus that one of said “those girls” was Jewish with dreams of having a future in music. And with all the teen angst, pregnancy scares, whore-calling, and drug abuse this could have been an episode of Degrassi, which . . .

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Bet you never pegged me for a Drizzy superfan, huh? Learn something new every day ; )

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NO! You are not.

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Where was I? Oh yeah.

Once again, doubt me when I say that this was all angsty and dramafied???? Here’s another quote . . .

“You’ve become a complete cliché of teen angst.”

My brilliant commentary on that one?


Bottom line is this gets a 1 Star because I wouldn’t want anyone to waste their money on it. Ever. Especially not the target demographic. I’m pretty liberal when it comes to my opinion of what is/is not cool when it comes to pushing the envelope in the YA genre, but this? Hell to the nah. Here’s some lessons your teenage daughter will learn while reading Those Girls:

1. Every cool kid should partake in the aforementioned smoking and fucking (and boozing). Awesome, right?

2. “No never means no. No means try a little harder, right?” (FYI –a FEMALE teenage character says that.)

3. “Girls are horrible. I think that’s normal. I think that’s why you’re all friends.” (FYI - The nicest, albeit hardly-ever-present, male character says this.)

4. It’s totally okay to call one of your best friends a slut if she is one . . . “We never accused her of anything that wasn’t true; we never called her anything she didn’t seem to go out of her way to be called.”

5. Plan B is a perfectly acceptable form of birth control if you are Catholic and your mom won’t let you go on the pill. You also should never insist your boyfriend wear a condom – and you definitely shouldn’t make him wait until you’re . . . ummmmm, “stimulated????” before proceeding with the sexytimes.

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6. When all else fails and your whore friends are still being whores, quite the lesson can be taught via rapie . . . I mean, roofie.

The bad thing is, I love books about mean girls and with characters who are vile. My favorites list is filled with things written by Megan Abbott and MCs like Patrick Bateman. That being said, it is a fine art to create something that is simultaneously revolting and intriguing. There has to be some sort of “a-ha” moment. Whether that is a redemption arc, or the bad guy getting his/hers, or finding out it was only just a dream - something more has to come out of the character(s) by the end of the novel in order to make things work. This one???? Had nothing. Those Girls on the last page were the same smoking, drinking, fucking girls that appeared on page one.

Anyway, this book sucked and I’m an idiot for once again falling for one of those e-mails that tells me “act now before this totally amazeballs offer expires.” Dear NetGalley, I have no control over myself. Don’t send me read now offers. Please. I’m begging here.

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!

Oh, and one more thing . . .

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Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,747 reviews1,306 followers
June 19, 2015
Those girls
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and NetGalley.)

"Same sh*t, new year. The first day of eleventh grade."

This was an enjoyable story about three best friends with some very mixed-up sex lives.

Veronica was labelled as a slut, but it wasn’t difficult to see why when she made a joke out of the number of boys she had had sex with. Why she was so uninhibited about opening her legs for any guy that wanted her I don’t know, but she should really have drawn a line at the boyfriends of her best friends!

"Oh god, I hope I'm not coming down with something," she said.
I snorted and said, "Guess it'd be a tall order to track down who you caught it from."
We all laughed. Everyone loves a slutty Veronica joke.

I felt quite sorry for Alex, hearing about her best friends sexcapades couldn’t have been easy when she felt like the only virgin left, an having to see one of her best friends starting a relationship with the boy that she loved couldn’t have been easy either.

"Tell me how you really feel about Drew and Veronica."
She paused, took a long breath, and shrugged.
"It's pretty annoying."

Mollie was a bit of a mean girl at times, but I did feel sorry for her in the way her boyfriend cheated on her. She should have realised how big of an ass he was, but you could understand why she stayed with him when she was so scared of losing him.

"It had been so long since I'd felt so wanted by Sam. I wondered if I should make out with girls more often."

The storyline in this was about the three girls’ sex lives really, and the parties and relationships and revenge. The number of relationships that were changing and having other people getting involved and stuff was nuts, and at times it seemed like someone was always in the dark, and someone was always doing something wrong.

"The thought that Alex could potentially find out what happened on New Year's made me want to rip my f*cking throat out."

There was some romance in this, but boy was it convoluted!

The ending to this was pretty good, and I was pleased that the girls were able to be friends again after all that had happened!

7 out of 10
Profile Image for Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries).
1,248 reviews393 followers
July 20, 2018
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from Amazon Vine.

One of the characters has an eating disorder that is mentioned but never dealt with. So there's a warning for that.

Anyone who loves dark YA contemporary novels likely has Those Girls on their TBR and wants to know how good this is on a scale from 1 to Courtney Summers (because as we know, Courtney is the queen of dark YA contemp). Even the similarity of its title to Summers’ novel Some Girls Are is screaming READ THIS IF YOU LOVE HER.

Well, let me answer the question of quality: no. Those Girls is a wannabe that includes all the shocking antics but fails to give them heart or do anything with them. It wasted all of its potential trying to be shocking when it should have tried to be smart.

Turn away now if you’re tired of reading about rich white girls with horrible personalities because that summarizes Alex, Mollie, and Veronica very quickly. Veronica is the least horrible of the three and the closest to having any nuance, but the truth is all three girls are flat as can be. Alex is the Stoner Band Girl; Mollie is the Name-Caller; Veronica is the Sex-Haver. Those names are the extent of their personalities. The key to writing horrible people well is to give us insight into what made them so horrible or give them a powerful character arc, but we learn little to nothing about any of their pasts and none of them change in any way. They’re the same girls at the end of the novel as they are at the start.

Those Girls is a slice-of-life novel: a portrait of a specific period of time in three girls’ lives. If that’s what you want, go for it, but it's exactly as static as a portrait in a museum. It makes you wonder what the point of this story is. Are we supposed to come away with something of value? There’s nothing here. There are scenes of these girls being horrible in ways decent people will already recognize as wrong (Alex and Mollie call Veronica a variety of names like whorebox and cum-guzzling crack whore; Mollie loves to use the r-word), but it’s all shock value, no deconstruction or heart or realism. If this stuff came from the author’s own experiences, they failed to translate to the page.

After a while, the three girls’ voices blend together due to their similar voices, similarly horrible thoughts, and the fact all three have problems attached to them that are never dealt with. Other than a mention every hundred pages or so, nothing changes about Mollie’s eating disorder; Veronica’s hypersexuality is implied to be due to abandonment issues in the jacket copy but are never actually considered in-novel. All three want to be Gossip Girl-esque watchable train wrecks with their repeated infidelities and love/lust dodecahedron, but they lack any of the recognizably human qualities that create watchable train wrecks. My heart only came out when Veronica got raped while drunk multiple times–because anyone having sex with someone who is falling-down drunk the way she’s always shown to be is not going to be able to consent to sex.

And no, the novel never deals with that either.

And then it all ends. The year ends, bad things happen, the girls all have happy endings, and whatever point the book tried and failed to convey is negated altogether. Just… What does this novel mean? Who thought it was a good idea to unleash it upon unsuspecting consumers? It’s the kind of bad wherein you’re disappointed instead of angry. It leaves you with a sense of bafflement, incompleteness, and missed opportunities.

Those Girls is worth skipping. My zero-star rating is rarely used for a good reason and this novel earned it. Maybe it would get half a star if I thought, “well, at least it doesn’t _______,” but let’s be real: giving a novel points for what it manages not to screw up is just sad. It’s crueler for me to give this novel pity points than it is to not do so. Go pick up a Queen Courtney Summers novel instead for better takes on life as a teenage girl in the new millennium when the world pits itself against you because of your gender.
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews908 followers
March 30, 2017
An Electronic Advance Reader Copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review.


Warning: This book contains the use of drugs, vulgar language and sex scenes.

First of all, I knew this was going to be like Gossip Girl book where frenemies existed. I had no idea how large and brash it would be though. The blurb in the description of the book states: "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." Any normal teenage girl who does the things in this book are clearly sociopaths and does not relate to most teens I know.

One of things that get me all worried was that these girls all seem to be friends. Friends don't back stab each other. They don't call each other whores or make fun of how slutty they are. They don't ask their best friend to be in a three way with their boyfriend. They don't judge how a person dresses and tear them down to pieces. They also don't drug them so they can be publicly humiliated and then having it backfire causing one of their teachers to almost rape his student. If this is the way that teenage girls treat each other these days, then I'm scared for our future. 

Some dialogue these characters would say to each other: 

"I'm a zombie cheerleader, whore. I was gonna come dressed as you, but I couldn't fit seven dicks in my mouth."

"I've been told I know how to handle balls."

"You'd be, like, my own personal porn star."

The characters.. The more I read from each point of view, the more angry I got. Alex was the one who I was rooting for but then I realized she's just as bad as her friends. Mollie has big issues with her weight and the fact that she thinks she has to do things for Sam to keep him because she wants people to be jealous of her? The fact that she does anything for her boyfriend when he clearly disrespects her? Ughhhh. And then there's Veronica who is clearly in need of attention because of her non existent parents, she seeks that attention from boys who are more than willing to give it to her. I thought at least one of them would have the common decency to stop what they were doing. To think rationally.. To get over themselves and take responsibility of their actions and suffer their consequences. They should have been arrested, kicked out of school and gone to therapy. Except they didn't. I can't help but wonder if this is how it's done in reality. Where they get away with things and don't realize how hurtful, how mean and how horribly dangerous they are. These girls are defined as the most popular girls in the school, the ones with the best boyfriends, the money, the best parties, the best drugs, and everyone looks up to these people? Ugh just no. The only two secondary characters that had any moral compassion were Josh and maybe Drew. I say maybe because he does cheat. 

If there was supposed to be a lesson learned at the end, that wasn't it because I believe they're still going to be just the same conniving sociopaths in the future. They didn't seem sorry for their actions. They're selfish and even though the author decided to make them learn something, I believe it wasn't enough. 

I'm sorry, I don't recommend this to anyone at all. Even if the writing is fluid and she really gets into the characters psyches and personalities, these people are the most horrible awful characters ever. I couldn't like it. Not one bit. Even if it was for entertainment. 



"I was going to do something I wanted to do, without her approval, for once."

"It's really too bad and she's such a slut. She's so hot. Usually only ugly girls need to whore it out like that."

"It was a shame he was such a creep, and it was an even bigger shame that that only made him hotter."

"I don't know why you let him treat you like that."

"No never means no. No means try a little harder, right?"

"What was the good girlfriend thing to do? Would he lose respect for me if I said yes, or would he think I was boring and a price if I said no?"

"I thought about the sacrifices people made for love, the desperate things people do to keep relationships together."

"You're all horrible. Girls are horrible. I think that's normal. I think that's why you're all friends."

"Why didn't people just say what they meant?"
Profile Image for Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books).
518 reviews345 followers
September 15, 2015
This book!!!! I loved it so hard!

This is the story of 3 best friends who are out of touch with each other. They've been through a lot together and have that history, but this year, it's like they are strangers to each other. 3 17-year-old girls who are finding out who they are and what they want, which may or may not include each other.... and they make take it a little too far.

My Thoughts:
I'm obviously in the minority here, but I freaking loved this book. I could not stop reading it. Everything about it (okay, there was one teeny tiny thing that I maybe would've changed, but I'll get into that later). It entertained me to no end and I couldn't put it down.

First, the characters aren't exactly lovable. I connected most with Alex. She's this girl who doesn't really give a shit about if the popular boys like her. She's into music and is thinking about joining a band. She's also hopelessly in love with her best guy friend, but knows it can never happen.... so she hooks him up with her bestie Veronica. Veronica is Karen from Mean Girls, end of story. The last girl is Mollie. She's dating the "hot" jock senior boy. He treats her like crap, but she's afraid to lose him and the aura of what being his girlfriend brings her. So she convinces herself that it's okay. I really enjoyed reading about Mollie and Alex's relationship the most. They were having a year of distance, but I could tell they wished it could be back the way it was. Mollie especially looked out for Alex and I kept hoping they would work it out.

Is this book for everyone? Probably not. If you are easily offended by bad behavior, I would pass. I kind of love bad behavior. I'm a rebel at heart and did a lot of crazy stuff as a youth. I also don't think of sex as a big deal and don't get offended by cheating, lying, swearing, and drug/alcohol use. I have seen this described as Gossip Girl-like, but I wouldn't really compare it to that. I found a lot more substance in it than that.

I loved the story. The way the girls had complicated feelings about each other. The way Alex was becoming her own person and dealing with how the world saw her vs. how she saw herself. It was definitely a story that I had to know what was going to happen. It invaded my mind and I kept thinking "when can I get back to reading that book?"

The only thing I would change in this book was the slut-shaming was a little high. Although to be fair, the girl in question didn't seem to mind it whatsoever, so why should I? I like it when a book pushes the limits and isn't afraid to offend. To me this book was real. Do all teenagers talk and act like this? No, clearly not. But there are some that do. The rich girl having crazy parties was a little fantasy-like for me, but I had fun reading those parts, so all is good with me.

The ending was semi-abrupt. I liked it, but I also had my heart set on a certain couple, and my heart didn't get all that it wanted. I still feel a positive feeling about the future for those 2 though.

OVERALL: YES!!! Loved, loved, loved and I don't care if I'm the only one. This is a "me" book and I couldn't put it down. If you like Tease by Amanda Maciel, I recommend this!

My Blog:

Profile Image for Rose.
1,880 reviews1,065 followers
November 17, 2015
Can a book have negative stars? It's enough that I'm giving it 0 stars, but honestly I'd give it the lowest number of stars one could actually go because...ye gods. I don't know what to say. I seriously don't know what to say.

This is one of those books where I feel I find it hard to put my thoughts into words for reaction. Because there aren't any words. What was the author thinking? How did this get published? I don't understand really. This was an absolutely horrible book. I don't even want to waste my time expounding upon what was wrong with the book because I could say...well, everything.

So I'll leave you guys with this status update I made on Goodreads that sums up my thoughts precisely:

My brain...it hurts. Seriously, I'm not kidding, I just waded through pages of text on multiple infidelities, racism, sexism and misogyny, rape/date-rape, jokes about abortion, endless profanity, slut-shaming, gay slurs, and girls who were just horrible to each other, and it somehow ends up with a happy ending?

Screw this book.

Overall rating: 0 stars.

Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher.
Profile Image for Taylor.
767 reviews422 followers
May 21, 2015

In the synopsis of Those Girls on GoodReads, it says "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." This is a very interesting way of describing this book because I didn't find of that to be true.

Right away, I felt like I was suppose to hate the characters. Now, I'm not a fan of unlikable main characters because I want to like the main character. I want to connect with them and relate to them in some way. Or I want to be like them, I want to feel empowered by them. None of the characters in Those Girls are likable or empowering in any way. Each of the three girls are amazingly mean. Like, holy crap these girls are mean. Not just to everyone around them but also to each other. I have no idea why they're friends because they are so mean to each other. I couldn't even understand why they were so mean. I'm still confused as to why they were so mean. By the end of the book, I hated each character so much.

I couldn't really find the main point of the plot. I was kind of lost in the overwhelming meanness of the characters to really pay attention to much else but towards the end of the book, I started looking for "the point" but I couldn't really find it.
I feel like this book was suppose to be some sort of insight on teenage girls but if that was the case, it was very poorly done. This book does not "masterfully conveys what goes on in the mind of a teenage girl". I don't know any teenage girls that could relate to these characters. I would never have connected with these characters as a teenager. I'm curious to know why the publishers think Those Girls' characters convey any sort of reality of the main population of teenage girls.

The writing was actually really good though. If I rated this book purely on the writing, I would give it 5 stars. But those characters are what brought it down to a 2.

Overall, I didn't like Those Girls. The characters were over the top mean and just nasty to each other. I was vaguely entertained at first but maybe that was because I started this book late at night and I wasn't thinking clearly. I wouldn't recommend this book but I am still interested in the author. I'll be checking out her future books but I'll remain hesitant with her characters.
April 4, 2015
Some people are totally into seeing what goes on in the lives and minds of rich high school kids. There is a reason books like Gossip Girl and The Clique do so well. I guess I'm just not one of those people.

I seriously disliked this whole book. The characters, the plot, everything. Let's begin with the characters:
Alex joins a band (in the summary it says she doesn't tell anyone, but she actually tells everyone???) and has a crush on her best friend, Drew, who's basically a stoner. But then Drew decides to date Veronica, another main character. Veronica basically sleeps around, talks about sleeping around, and... that's it. Basically, nothing else was added to her character. It's like the author was writing a character sketch for Veronica and just wrote "sex" instead of character details. And then there's Mollie, who dates a really awful guy.

None of the characters have much depth. They all have problems: Alex is in love with a guy who dates her best friend, Veronica isn't loved, Mollie is dating a jerk and has a eating disorder. But NOTHING is ever done about any of their problems. And they're not interesting characters. They're flat.

The plot is very simple: Drugs, Parties, Sex, and Booze. (I hate the word booze, don't you?) and other reviews keep repeating the word friendship as if that was a theme in this book. These girls may have called themselves friends, but they weren't. (like the old saying, with friends like these who needs enemies?)

I was so bored with this book, it was struggle to finish. But I did before tossing it in the donate pile. i can't really reccomend it to anyone.

(p.s writing this review made me feel so mean.. sorry Lauren Saft, who I'm sure is a lovely person but doesn't choose good subjects for her novels)
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,741 reviews712 followers
May 20, 2015
DNF at 20%

I don't even have words for the amount of the book I read. I did skip to the end to see if there was anything redeemable to make me continue. There wasn't.

What I did read had jokes about abortion, a drunk girl sleeping with her BFFs boyfriend because someone called her a slut, mention of a teacher molesting students, and mention of drugging a girl "as a joke".

That's just not something I want to continue.

**Huge thanks to Little Brown Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Read InAGarden.
943 reviews12 followers
November 30, 2014
Those Girls is about three girls who are said to be best friends. But they are more like enemies than best friends. They continually stab each other in the back, call each other sluts, set each other up to fail, and root for each others failure.

It is amazing to this reader that this book is being published by a reputable print book publisher. The characters are flat and one-dimensional. They are not likeable and hard to relate to. Two of the purported best friends even decide to give the other best friend a roofie just so everyone in the school can see what a failure she is. There is an abundance of alcohol; the sex is rampant, cheap and meaningless; and the parents are non-existent. The characters are crass; they are rough; they talk like trailer trash yet are supposed to be from the upper crust of society.

This reader is not quite sure who the target audience is for this book - maybe those who are addicted to reality / train wreck television --- but most of those teens wouldn't have a long enough attention span to tackle a book of this length.
Profile Image for Laurence R..
617 reviews86 followers
January 28, 2016
I did not finish this book, because I couldn't stand the characters' definition of friendship. Personally, friendship and honesty and some of my top values, and this book was too hard to read about. I did like how realistic the writing style is, especially since I know there are people like that (who I can't stand), but it also made me hate the relationships.

(Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
Profile Image for Amy.
227 reviews59 followers
May 15, 2015
'I wasn't even sure I wanted to be his girlfriend, but i was sure I wanted him to want to be my boyfriend.'

Those Girls is Lauren Saft's debut novel and it was definitely an amazing starting point.

We are shown three perspectives. Alex, Mollie and Veronica. Alex and Mollie have been friends for as long as anyone can remember but when Veronica is recruited to be friends with them everything changes. The girls don't tell each other vital parts of their lives; Mollie has a boyfriend, Alex joins a band and Veronica is left wandering the halls of her home looking for something to do. When Veronica does the unspeakable, what will this mean for the three's friendships?

'My mouth was frozen in a smile, but the rest of me was slowly dying, hardening, decaying from within.'

There was something amazingly raw and effortless about Lauren Saft's writing that I thoroughly enjoyed. I don't usually get drawn to Contemporary novels but I connected to this one surprisingly well. All of the girls are evil but you can really relate to them in a suprising way.

I liked all of the characters even if they are messed up, I understood their motives and felt sorry for them when I shouldn't. I especially enjoyed Mollie's inner monologue, she is hilarious and I liked that she accepted other's actions eventually and understood that she was not an innocent. There are some very serious issues talked about in this book; eating disorders, abortion and sexual abuse. I liked this because usually a author only writes about one at a time and each topic was woven into the story subtly.

'I didn't know how to get back to feeling like a worthwhile human being again, or believing that any human wasn't a lying, evil sociopath.'

The only problem I had was at times the honesty was a tad uncomfortable, especially at the end because after what they put each other through.

I enjoyed Lauren Saft's first book greatly and I'll be looking out for books from her in the future.

**This book was given to me on a read to review basis however all thoughts are my own. Thanks to Little, Brown Books for Younger Readers and Netgalley for supplying me with this ebook.**
Profile Image for Jen Ryland.
1,552 reviews904 followers
Shelved as 'probably-not-for-me'
June 19, 2015
Yawn. Books about roaming packs of overprivileged high school girls behaving badly seems so 2005. I'm sure there are there are girls like this out there but I don't really want to read about them and this seems like something written for shock value. After reading this author's Goodreads profile, I hope she writes another book. I'd love to read an insightful, interesting YA book that really captures how difficult it is to be a teenage girl today.
Profile Image for Krystianna.
273 reviews97 followers
October 8, 2022
I can't believe that's just how the book ended! What the heck! Full review to come.
Profile Image for Lauren.
16 reviews
March 15, 2015
Got to page 24 and couldn't read any more. This book was just plain terrible. Annoying MCs, creepy MCs, just awful. DNF. I don't recommend.
Profile Image for Zoe Stewart (Zoe's All Booked).
309 reviews1,456 followers
July 6, 2022
(Re-read for a vlog in 2022, hated every second of it)
Every single character is genuinely garbage, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Everybody cheats on everybody, "friends" drug each other, everybody slut shames everybody, and nobody seems to see anything wrong with any of it for longer than five seconds.
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 7 books1,212 followers
April 25, 2015
This is not a good book, but I also couldn't put it down.

Alexandra, Mollie, and Veronica are wealthy, privileged girls attending a private girls' school in suburban Philadelphia. They're "best friends," except it's obvious from the onset that they aren't. They're keeping secrets from one another and they're keeping judgments of one another. Alex is in love with a boy she's been in love with for a long time, and she's the group virgin. Veronica is the "slut" of the trio, and that's her label, her reputation, as well as the tool the other girls used to judge and deride her.

All three girls are exceptionally unlikable and complex, and Saft does a good job rendering them as such. There's NOTHING redeeming about any of them. However, because the story is told through all three points of view, the girls seem to blend together too easily and worse, we never get a complete picture of any of them. With a thicker plot, this wouldn't be a problem, but because the plot is so thin in this book, well, the characters aren't giving readers enough to care, either. This one will be easily dismissed as a book of gross, nasty, slut-shaming, crude girls -- and it is! -- but there is more to them. We just don't get to see that entirely realized.


I want to say I hate this because of how awful it depicts girls, but I didn't because it depicts a very specific type of girl and situation. But I'm conflicted, too, because Saft doesn't do it well enough. There's not enough development on any angle and it's ultimately unsatisfying, despite being a page turner.

Readers who like the Gossip Girl type books will gravitate toward this. But I have a feeling this book will make more people angry than satisfied.

It was nice to see teen sexuality so honestly described, though.
Profile Image for Anissa.
881 reviews264 followers
May 16, 2015
I can't say that I really enjoyed this but I did find it compelling and worthy. It made me uncomfortable and the characters put me off fairly early on but I usually take that to mean that I need to stay and continue because for whatever reasons I'm feeling that way, there's likely a good reason the author's gone down this path and I want to know what that is. Saft definitely had a way of making her characters ones that truly had no knowledge of their personal self worth but also had an over-inflated sense of self and I found that to be rather well done. To be able to constantly debase oneself yet still be piqued one doesn't command respect and awe from others is a feat to be sure and that shone through in Mollie, Alex and Veronica in varying degrees. I found very little redeeming in any of them by book's end, with the slight exception of Veronica. I found it sad and also true that the boys the girls chased and ultimately treated each other badly over were not only not worth it but also loomed so large in the girls minds that the girls themselves were totally eclipsed in their own minds. They were almost incapable of seeing anything outside of the prism of whatever boy they had their sights trained on. I cheered when they had glimmers of that realisation no matter how fleeting.

I think this is supposed to be a YA book but I can also see how it could be simply Contemporary featuring teens. It's a blistering look in and I definitely feel that the author took the bold way as there aren't real lessons learnt & hard consequences for the behaviors engaged in. I found that refreshing because sometimes, life is just like that and the tidy bow at the end isn't that people became benevolent and kind, they just kept on going and those events are simply in the past. That felt true & I applaud Saft on that one. Appalling, disturbing, engaging and thoroughly readable, Those Girls was time well spent but I was glad when it was over. I definitely will look for more books in the future from this author.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Michael.
1,231 reviews115 followers
June 28, 2015
Heading into junior year, Alex, Mollie and Veronica are the queen bees of their school -- and they know it. They've all been friends since elementary school, but things are about to start changing for each of them.

Lauren Saft's Those Girls feels like its channeling the spirit of Mean Girls without any of the heart that made the movie work. The stories are told in alternating points of view from each of our three protagonists and I've got to admit that somewhere around a third of the way through the novel, I found myself losing track of certain plot threads, like which girl pined for the boy next door and which one was hooking up with him.

There's a lot of very bad behavior by all these characters, making each of them completely unsympathetic as the story progresses. Saft tries to get us to understand what motivates each of these girls with the alternating first-person narration, but I slowly found myself getting irritated by the girls and their actions instead of understanding them or sympathizing. Each girl (and the other characters who they come into contact with) come across as shallow, vain and down-right mean. It makes it hard to spend close to 300 pages with them.

Which brings up the question of why I kept reading when I wasn't really enjoying the novel. I kept hoping that Saft might be setting up Alex, Mollie and Veronica for some kind of a fall in the final chapters or maybe we'd finally see their actions catch up with them. Alas, this doesn't happen -- nor do any of the three appear to really learn anything from their actions. This includes random sex, seducing each other's boyfriends and two of them slipping the third a roofie that nearly costs a male teacher his job.

Maybe I'm just not the target audience for this novel. Whatever it is, I have to give this one just a single star.

In the interest of a full disclosure, I received an ARC of this book.
Profile Image for Jay.
532 reviews30 followers
August 2, 2015
This ARC kindly provided by NetGalley on behalf of the publisher.

life from the perspective of three “it girls”.

I enjoyed reading this, and there were times i really didn’t want to put it down, it was just a nice fun bit of escapism.

However, a full year disappeared in the blink of an eye with these girls, focussing on the big events. I would have also liked to see a little more of the nitty gritty details that got missed in the swapping between the 3 girls. And at the end i felt like it wasn’t tied up properly.

I liked the end for the girls, obviously they have a lot to talk about & resolve still. I loved that they’d all began to look at themselves, not just the image they portrayed and aspired to, but who they truly were & what they really wanted.

But Drew was also a big part of the story and almost at the heart of the final drama, and I felt like that part was skimmed over a little quick. I wanted to see him get really pissed off at Alex before coming back to their end point. He had a real reason to be pissed at her, but he kinda just let it slide with his “you girls are nuts, I need a break from you all” attitude. I also don’t get why he didn’t break it off with Veronica as soon as he knew the truth of Alex’s feelings & that she really was the one for him... he was just flogging a dead horse there with Veronica
Profile Image for Abbie.
1,976 reviews581 followers
June 18, 2015
(I received a copy from Netgalley, In exchange for an honest review.)

Actual rating - 2.5

The characters in this weren't ones that I could warm to enough to like.

This wasn't an awful read, but I can't say I enjoyed it all that much. There were parts that annoyed me, and parts that dragged. Not really liking the characters didn't help either.
I was glad when I finished the book because of all that.

Overall, Not a very enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Alex Belenky.
16 reviews6 followers
September 8, 2016
First thing first, this wasn't exactly written for my demographic, and as a guy, I definitely relate way less to this book, but I was interested anyways.

Those Girls is told from the POV of three different girls – all best friends: Alex, Mollie and Victoria. They all have their own problems: Victoria feels like she wants to be taken seriously, wants plenty of attention and is just a hot-mess. Alex is in love with her best friend, and Mollie is just all over the place. She’s insecure and just overall mean and can’t really say a full sentence without saying a cuss word.

The entire book is basically drama central. A fair warning is that many readers may find the MC’s are unlikeable or annoying and basically do stupid things most of this entire book. Alex is basically the only redeemable part of the entire story in my opinion. The plot goes sort of like this: Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll. I somehow managed to enjoy it somewhat – keyword somewhat - because I came into it prepared and expecting it to be that way. To be honest, all three girls were so crazy that I actually wanted to know what they do next, so in turn it was a pretty fast read (it took me exactly 5 hours to read it) and I didn't exactly reach a point where I wanted to just stop reading it.

The writing is actually not horrible. There’s cussing on half the pages of the book and the situations are just overall comical, but Saft still does a good job in that department (though I’m sure some may not even like the writing). It also just made me laugh that these 3 girls were somehow supposed to be best friends when in fact they were just closet enemies from page 1.

I’m also pretty sure that a lot of female readers will see this as a negative portrayal of the female teenager and they may take it the wrong way. I read another review that mentioned this: on the back of the book, it says "Lauren Saft masterfully conveys what goes on in the mind of a teenage girl.” Not sure that’s the smartest quote to use as a way to market the book, I can see how some people may take that literally and think Saft is saying this is how all girls act by the time they finish reading this.

Overall, if you like Mean Girls, Gossip girls or reality TV shows (I’m guessing that’s a lot of people) you may even like this book. I’m sure there will be plenty of readers who find this as a little guilty pleasure as it is already. It’s one of those books you read when you want a good laugh or want a book that’s a full on drama fest. Have fun!
Profile Image for Maggie Russell.
1 review3 followers
January 8, 2015
I read Those Girls in 2 days, total page-turner. If you liked Mean Girls, Gossip Girl, Heathers or Jaw Breakers, you will LOVE this book! I couldn't put it down!
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,312 reviews52 followers
July 14, 2015
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more reviews!

*4.5 star rating*

Boo. I have so much empathy for a book when it's so hated on (and I turn out to adore it). Those Girls certainly is a book with that case, and I was so disappointed to see the low Goodreads average rating. Although I haven't read Gossip Girl, I know that it has that sassy, wild touch to it. Beware of screaming girls, swearing and explicit scenes. If you can't handle that, then I'm sure this book isn't for you. It's the pure definition of wild teenage girls, which I totally won't turn into.

I may be a fairly easy reviewer, handing 5 star ratings out like free hugs, but this novel deserves it. Lauren Saft's debut is astonishingly written—her vivid descriptions of our three catty protagonists: Alexandra, Veronica and Mollie—are stellar. She certainly knows how to intrigue readers and leave them wanting more, and I'm so excited for her other works in the future, which I'll grab on release day surely. (And it has such a gorgeous cover too!)

"How many times did we have to kiss before it was expected that we would? I wondered if this was how it always was with these things or if this was just how it was with me, if I was doing something wrong and screwing this up, perpetuating my own self-fulfilling prophecy." (ARC, page 128)

I just stepped in a big pile of bitchiness. To tell you the truth, that's the book's mood. Saft hands readers three different perspectives of similar events and occasions from three different personalities as well. They may be best friends, but they each have their own secrets that they can't bear to even tell each other. Alex is joining a band and she's in love with the boy next door without admitting it. She spends most of the novel with her bandmate, Fernando, but nothing moved on from a basic kiss-zone. They didn't even admit that they were 'dating.' Mollie is with her boyfriend, Sam, who's a little too rough and may be keeping something from her as well. And last but certainly not least we have Veronica, who is known as the "slut" of the group, but when she meets someone who doesn't want a hookup but a real physical relationship, things get a little complicated for her.

I'm going to let you know now that there are tons and tons of kissing, making out and hookups. I personally don't know any people or are as scandalous as these characters, but I can imagine what things are like in some friend groups. There's tons of backstabbing, too, and these people are just so fucking rude and bitchy. I guess that we can all say that we've went through this experience with characters now? And it was essential and meant to be, so that's actually why it didn't get me so frustrated either. But why had my 4.5 rating not been a 5 in the first place? The characters, of course. The message was there, and it was memorable.

Readers often expect messages to be good, positive ones with a nice vibe, but Saft honestly just gives us a viewpoint on a horrible friendship between three girls. I've always believed that threesome-friendships aren't going to work out, and it kind of didn't for these chicks. We often see them talking about each other behind their backs and calling each other: whores, sluts and losers. *barfs* They're in eleventh grade, NOT some chicks who have just heard a swear word and chooses to use it continuously, all the time. That's surely a life lesson.

From start to finish, I couldn't stop reading. It basically took me a full sitting and from the beginning, I knew that it was my 'kind of read' and couldn't understand the hate. So in that matter, LET ME START THE HYPE. The plot, the writing, everything was balanced and I was in pure affection.

"It's weird [...] that people can actually die, because of nothing—because of an accident. As stupidly and easily as someone spills a drink or stubs their toe, a whole life can just end." (ARC, page 214)

And then we have the bossiest, rudest female characters in all of contemporary-romance fiction: Alex, Veronica and Mollie, which I listed from most liked to least. Alex was badass and she had all of the qualities that I wanted in a friend, excluding the drugging thing, which she kind of didn't even participate in. IT WASN'T HER IDEA EITHER. I liked her the most—her being in a band, being kind of punk and supercool like that made me love her qualities more than I expected.

And then we have Veronica, who is known to hookup with any guy she sees as an one-night stand kind of thing. I liked her probably the same as Alex, because she has sass and she isn't afraid to use it. It didn't really matter that she broke Mollie and Sam up in the end (they weren't the best couple either) and she threw the best parties and had humour, so what else is there to ask?

Ew, Mollie. She was the absolute worst character in the trio and I just couldn't stand her. What girl would want to prance around in her friend's house just to get attention from her little brother? Puh-leeze. Every reviewer didn't like her, and I'm with the team on this one. She deserved to be single after everything she'd done, just saying.

We also had a romantic relationship that was the big thing of this book—Alex and Drew. THEY WERE ADORABLE. I'm always a shipper of those boy-next-door relationships because they always seem to work. It's not instalove at all, and they seem to know everything about each other. Friends with benefits was the casual definition of them, but I know that it was much more. I just wish that the author made something occur, a progression of their relationship in the end. But I don't blame Drew for wanting a break from those girls... Just saying.

Those Girls was a ray of sunshine, with some clouds ahead in front of Mollie's character, who frustrated me so much that I really didn't look forward to her perspective coming up. Saft knows how to balance her writing and still get readers to be provoked with an endless amount of thoughts streaming over them for days and days. It's such a powerful story with a gorgeous setting, message and romantic relationships that truly show the life of wild teenagers who are used to always getting what they want. It seems like this was a huge life lesson for them, taken place over the span of eleventh grade. WE NEED A CONTINUATION, LITTLE BROWN!

*A review copy was provided by the publisher via BookExpo America in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much!*
Profile Image for Kelly Gunderman.
Author 2 books77 followers
June 17, 2015
Find this and other reviews on my blog at http://herestohappyendings.wordpress.com

Part of me is somewhat embarrassed to have given this book three stars. That means…I kind of liked this. It took me a few days to even figure out how to review this, it was just so…bad. But bad in a good way at the same time, if that’s making any sense.

Okay, my favorite book series and guilty pleasure is the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard. They are terribly engrossing, they have characters you love to hate, and the plots are just so absolutely ridiculous that you can’t help but love them. And keep loving them, eighteen books (I think there were eighteen total? I lost count, I just know I have them all and have read them multiple times) later. I’m really hoping there isn’t a follow up to this thing, because I know I’ll be waiting to pick it up, regardless of the fact that I’m only giving this three stars.

I’d love to go into detail on the plot of this book, but even after reading it, and rereading certain parts, I honestly have no frickin’ clue what the plot was supposed to be. Seriously…was there a point to this book?

I mean, the book starts off with Alex (the only character I even somewhat liked) picking up her friend Mollie, and taking her to drug store for Plan-B (for what must be a routine trip for her, according to the book), because she had unprotected sex with her boyfriend. That first chapter alone should have clued me in to what kind of book I was going to be reading. The entire book was nothing but these three girls (and several guys who were completely annoying and who I honestly couldn’t stand) doing nothing but having sex and drinking. Constantly. All the time. No kidding. Well, except Alex, who is apparently a virgin through the book, because the one guy she is interested in a dumb toolbag who wants their friend, Veronica, because she puts out and has huge boobs or whatever.

The language in this book was terrible, which may be one of the reasons I liked it so much. I mean, reading the word “whorebox” in a book is just hilarious. I don’t know why, I just found the way these girls talked to be absolutely hilarious. I mean, the characters themselves were whiny, annoying, bitches and I hated them all, except for Alex, who I sort of managed to tolerate and actually looked forward to reading the chapters that had to do with her story. She joined a band, found out she loved singing, and wasn’t the only one obsessed with the shallow interests that the rest of these girls possessed. At one point, she plans on turning down a party because she’s sitting at home reading a book. Yes, I was impressed.

All in all, this book was kind of…amusing. It didn’t really have a point…it was kind of just mindless reading, and I guess that’s what I needed at the time.

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Dahlia.
Author 18 books2,500 followers
October 12, 2015
This is such a Me book in theory, but in execution, it just didn't do it for me. Everything felt really surface, like it wasn't really tapping into any of the characters' emotions. It had such a strong opening with regard to Alex and Mollie's friendship, but I never really got it after that first chapter. Between later learning Mollie went to Veronica for all her sex-related stuff (I don't think that's a spoiler; felt kinda like an afterthought reveal) and Alex's whole "I've been trying to get out from under you, Mollie" which...was I supposed to be getting that throughout, especially when the book opened like that? I just didn't really think the friendship dynamics did anything for the story. I liked the whole realistic thing of Mollie's self-awareness about playing games with her boyfriend to keep him, but I didn't get the flip side of - Why? I didn't get what she thought she'd be losing if she lost him, or what she thought came with having him. It was all these almost good things that didn't really get to the heart of anything. What was the point of Fernando? What was even the point of Anyway, yeah, this was almost for me, but basically needed an editor saying, "Dig deeper!" at every chapter to get it there. Not sure how to rate this - both 2 and 3 stars seem wrong - so I'm just not gonna.
Profile Image for L.
180 reviews3 followers
February 4, 2017
**ARC kindly provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**

This book has two things that I like - Good writing and examples of toxic friendships between teenage girls.

Unfortunately, being well-written couldn't make up for the fact that the aforementioned toxic friendships? They served no purpose other than to illustrate that friends like 'those girls' exist. A truly wonderful opportunity to show these friendships for what they are - damaging and unhealthy and not something to anyone should aspire to want or have - was completely ignored. Instead the three main characters ended the book just as unrelatable to me as they began it. (If not more so.)

Two stars for the writing and for keeping me interested enough to finish.
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