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Special

3.19  ·  Rating details ·  254 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
A group of schoolgirls go off with two teachers on a field trip to the English countryside. They soon discover that the nearby town offers alcohol, drugs, and sex, at once tempting and terrifying. In this illicit, raw new world, isolated from the larger society and its familiar rules and repressions, some become more vulnerable, others more vicious. There are the almost ca ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Pan MacMillan (first published August 1st 2002)
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Robert
Feb 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Whew! These young girls are cruel, cold, ignorant, insecure, sadistic, and all around self-destructive. Reading this book with the hind sight of experience, it is easy to see how difficult adolescence can be, and how brutal people (no matter what their age) can be to each other. This book is merciless in it's sharp view on teen girls behaving badly. These girls are ferocious in their savagery to one another, all the while trying to find understanding in themselves and their sheltered world.

Ms. B
...more
Ella
Aug 19, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Ms. Bathurst’s fiction debut, she delves into the “fierce and subversive” lives of a group of “teenage” girls. Chronicling a week in the girls’ lives during a field trip in the English countryside, she explores the pain and controversial feelings that accompany many a person at this time in their lives – the yearning for adulthood combined with a fear of growing up.

This novel was very meaningful to me. Rarely have I encountered a book that has caused my jaw to drop and my eyes to dart back
...more
Josie
Aug 24, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andy
May 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: acne pitted snog artists
Shelves: kool-imports, ya-noir
Wow, I can't believe all the hate for this book. Pretty decent read about a gaggle of 14 year-old British girls on some lousy field trip in Shite-on-Avon or some other dung heap village looking for cheap thrills when the super hen teachers aren't guarding them like hawks. All through the book I couldn't stop thinking of Lush playing "Thoughtforms" or "Scarlet".
Cari
Bathurst gets major credit for being an amazing character writer. The understanding she displays with each girl (the weird one (Ali), the revolting outcast (Izzy), the queen bitch (Caz), the self-loather (Lola), and the confused fuck-up (Jules)) is what carries this book. It's also what pulls in a reader, an especially effective hook for someone like me, who's only ten years removed from Bathurst's focus group. The characters were the main draw, so brilliantly written and so raw that I was actua ...more
Jennifer
Jul 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, owned
I was challenging myself to read some fiction that was different from my normal fare, and this Advance Reading Copy has been in my collection for a while. (It says the publication date was to be May 9, 2003. This is not very advanced.) This turned out to be very different.

Eight girls and two teachers leave in a minibus for a field trip that sounds like it is supposed to last about two weeks, to the countryside for "undignified exercises." As the girls keep explaining to those they meet - because
...more
Louise Beilby
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went to a mixed comprehensive school as a teenager, so I know little of the sort of atmosphere that might exist at an all-girls' boarding school. All I can say is, if Special is anything to go by, I think I might have had a lucky escape.

For those American readers who are confused about whether this is representative of British teenagers in general - when I was 13 or 14, I was a complete geek and a swot and would no more have sneaked out to meet men in a pub than I would have flown to the moon,
...more
JMC
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I like about the book is how I somehow connect with the three main characters, Ali, Hen (Lola is her real name) and Jules (Julia). I relate to them in a way that I have their characteristics, not all but bits of themselves. But Ali, she’s the one who I can really relate to. We have the same life, same views about others and we love to read and be alone. Jules is an insecure being but hides it by being bitchy, Hen is an indenial anorexic. The story circled on this three girls while also ment ...more
Melanie Ullrich
What was the point? I kept waiting for something to happen. Although something does finally happen in the last 40 pages, it wasn't enough for me, to make up for the wasted time reading the other 280 pages! Throughout the book I kept thinking to myself "this is NOTHING like what it said it would be about", but when I look back at the book description, I guess it is accurate (kinda), but I was expecting to be more enthralled. I would expect the same reaction from anyone else who liked books such a ...more
Soobie can't sleep at night
L'ho letto all'epoca nella vasca da bagno. Mi son distratta e il libro è caduto in acqua... A parte questo, non ho idea di dove si trovi questo libro. Non mi ricordo se l'ho donato alla biblio o l'ho regalato a qualcuno, però era rovinato. Oppure se è rimasto in qualche anfratto di casa. Perso tra la carta che ingombra casa Mennym.

Comunque. Avevo vent'anni quando è uscito, ma questo libro è riuscito a disgustarmi. Quelle bimbette che cercavano di sembrare grandi e combinavano un sacco di pasticc
...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Change description in Dutch 2 122 Jul 03, 2016 11:39AM  
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