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Hyacinth Girls

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  1,335 ratings  ·  218 reviews
A stunning debut about a young teenager on the brink and a parent desperate to find the truth before it's too late.

Thirteen year old Callie is accused of bullying at school, but Rebecca knows the gentle girl she's raised must be innocent. After Callie is exonerated, she begins to receive threatening notes from the girl who accused her, and as these notes become desperate,
Hardcover, 295 pages
Published May 12th 2015 by Crown
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Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,335 ratings  ·  218 reviews

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SUSAN   *Nevertheless,she persisted*
I had a difficult time with this book. The writing was good and the story flowed well.
It is a tale of bullying and it's aftereffects.
Without divulging any spoilers,it was difficult for me to work up any sympathy or compassion when the tables are turned.
Perhaps this would be a good book for required reading in High schools,but it is highly unlikely to be impactful to the cowards who harass and debase others.
Raven Haired Girl
Feb 17, 2015 added it
Shelves: 2015
young teenager on the brink and a parent desperate to find the truth before it’s too late.

“Do you know your children?”

A story not limited to the hot topic of bullying it also covers the ties of female friendship, love and loss.

Frankel debuts with a laborious narrative involving a controversial subject matter. Exploring bullying from alternating perspectives from the mean girls handiwork poses quite a reading journey. I admire Frankel’s demanding effort to bring forth dodgy topics.

I enjoyed t
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
Prediction time: Lauren Frankel will become a popular, successful author of psychological thrillers. And when she does, this will be one of those obscure first novels that only hardcore fans read.

Rebecca is a naïve and trusting 30-something who is raising her best friend’s daughter alone. Callie is a popular 13-year-old who is accused of bullying at school, at which point Rebecca’s world begins to fall apart. Little does she know that Callie’s already has.

This is a fast-paced novel with a fair a
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Grade: A

Can bullies be victims and victims bullies? And if so, how can you tell them apart?

Rebecca doesn't believe 13 year old Callie is a bully, like the principal claimed in a phone call. The girl she was accused of bullying must have thrown the paint on herself and blamed Callie for attention. Sweet Callie could never do something so cruel. She and her two best friends were nice girl. Sure, Callie had a rough start. Her parents were dead and she was being raised by Rebecca, her mom's best fri
Feb 23, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I was very excited to read this book based on what I had heard and the description. I felt a bit let down at first as I found the story hard to get into. I had a hard time at first with Rebecca's character. Finding her a bit clueless. However, there was much I did enjoy about the book and once I got into it I did finish it rather quickly.

The story brings up the question of how well do we know our children? Rebecca is the guardian of 13 year old Callie. Callie has been accused of bully
Natalie Tyler
This book disappointed me and it might not have had the reviews not been so strong. I won't summarize the plot because to do so will reveal spoilers:

1) The authors use of the TS Eliot figure of "The Hyacinth Girl" is quite strained. It's not at all clear how the characrers---or which characters---are "hyacinth girls" or what makes one a hyacinth girl.

2) The plot focuses on more than one generation and neither is done justice to.

3) the bullying is vivid and realitistic; it's presented in an almos
Jun 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, amazon-vine, arc, 2015
Some parts of this book are very powerful, and I thought it did a good job of delving into the psychology, but it fell apart at the end a bit. Complete review to come.

Full review:

What I liked most about Hyacinth Girls is that it's a more complicated novel than it appears to be at first blush. Yes, it is a story about bullying, but it's a story that treats the issue in a subtler manner, which I think is to its advantage. Bullying is a far more complex issue than it's sometimes given credit for be
Bruce Gargoyle
I received a copy of this title from the publisher via Netgalley.

4.5 stars

Right off the bat, I have to acknowledge how unexpectedly noteworthy I found this story to be. When I flicked back to the blurb and found out that this was a “teen bullying” story I was preparing myself for the run-of-the-mill, mean girls scenario with cliques and rich bitches and everything we’ve seen before in a thousand movies and books. While the blurb gives the indication that this is a YA book, I think that this is a
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Some books entertain. Some books educate. Some books peel off emotional scabs and bring to the fore repressed memories and fresh tears. Lauren Frankel’s Hyacinth Girls, for me, is more of the last.

Rebecca is raising Callie– the daughter of her dead best friend. When she receives a call from Callie’s school that Callie has been bullying another girl, Rebecca refuses to believe it, as she knows Callie to be a gentle, sensitive girl.She does what any parent/guardian would do in supporting Callie, a
Kelly Gunderman
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Check out this and other reviews on my blog at

One of the most memorable books that I have come across is probably Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. Hyacinth Girls reminds me so much of that book, only much deeper. This book, as well as a few other books about bullying and the drastic consequences that it has on its victims, tend to shed light on the issue, and give it the light it deserves so that more attention can be paid to it, and everyone can under
Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
I received this ARC from Blogging for Books in exchange for my review.

This was another one of those books that I wasn't expecting to enjoy as much as I did. After I requested the ARC, I saw a few less than rave reviews on Goodreads and I almost let them put me off from reading it. At first, I just did not like the characters very much. Rebecca is guardian to 13 year old Callie, who is the daughter to Rebecca's best friend and her cousin. Both Callie's parents are dead and this book goes back an
May 14, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was not what I was expecting when I read the cover. I was thinking of a cliched YA bully story, and this was nothing like that. Callie comes across in the beginning of the book as a popular, blonde, clique-leader (think Regina George and the Plastics from Mean Girls). Both of her parents died when she was young and Rebecca, her mother's best friend, steps in to take care of her.

Rebecca has never had children of her own, she struggles to make ends meet, she doesn't have any love intere
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Hyacinth Girls
Lauren Frankel

The main and most important characters in this book...

Key characters are Rebecca...who is Callie's guardian...Callie's "friends" Dallas and Ella and yet another friend...Robyn.

My very brief story summary that includes bits and bobs from the beginning, middle and end of this book...

This is almost like a trickster tale...until we find out who is really doing the bullying. It's amazing...even in a book of fiction...that girls can be so incredibly "fight to the death"
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's been a couple of weeks since I finished this book so the details are a little hazy but in honor of book club, I'm going to post this review to the best of my ability.

I think what really sold me on this book was her soap-box piece at the end about how bullying is everywhere and it's a slippery slope. People (teens and adults) do and say really shitty things to other people because they feel shitty themselves. I really do think that bullying and making fun of others is a defense mechanism, t
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I had a hard time putting this book down. It was very well written and the author has a way of making you really feel for everyone involved.

I was the victim of bullying when I was in school and unfortunately, for the last two years as an adult from another adult female whom I have absolutely no connection to in real life. I am also a parent to two young children, one with Autism, so this book hit pretty close to home. I felt for Callie at the end. I understood how at her age you could get mixed
Dec 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Nothing infuriates me more than a good bully novel, and yet I keep on reading them even though I should know better. (A well done bully novel has me so angry I want to shake the book itself, and so hurt for the characters that I want to hug it.)

I'm ultimately giving Hyacinth Girls 3.5 stars rounded down because while parts of it are beautiful, I've read this before. There are only so many ways a novel about teenage girls and the truly fucked up things that they can do to each other in adolescenc
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookshelf, 2015
This book took me through a gamut of emotions…frustration, sadness, and anger. It reads like an adult fiction story but it would be beneficial for both parents and teenagers to read. The story focuses on the hot topic issue of bullying and addresses it from many perspectives. It reminded me in many ways of 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher but, in my opinion, this book was much better in how it addressed the issues.

What I Liked: Although very clueless most of the time, I really liked and related to Re
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
I saw this book being recommended by Stephen King on Twitter, so you can imagine my surprise when it turned out to not be what I expected at all, in a good way. [Sometimes I like to pick up books recommended to me without knowing what they are about].

It's a hard topic to write about, teenage bullying, trying not to make it sound like a soap opera with all the drama that goes on but also keeping it realistic. Because it is a subject that is full of drama, that hurts a lot of people.

At first I
Jessica Woodbury
Dec 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
At first I was really skeptical about this book. Something that starts with a girl accused of bullying only to have her guardian insist that she couldn't possibly have done it? Well, it's not exactly my cup of tea. I already know that there's more than this adult knows, that there will be teenage secrets, and it's hitting me on the head a bit too hard.

But I stuck with it. I thought this book had more potential than it lived up to. The late shift in narrators was awkward. The revelations came rat
Dawn Murray
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
A page turner for sure... I raced through this. A terrifying read - how a child could be such a stranger to a parent makes my hair stand on end. I liked how the author made the mother (figure) appear caring but also completely clueless. It was heartbreaking to read about all of the horrible events at school (and how absolutely horrible all the kids were/could be with very little encouragement) and then read how her mom suggested ice cream or a hug at the end of the day (which, when you don't kno ...more
Tina Arvin
May 11, 2015 rated it liked it
This one was tough to rate. The first half I read over the course of a week or so, a chapter or two at a time. Tonight I picked it up intending to read a couple chapters before bed and instead found myself up way too late on a work night finishing it.

I liked it...and yet...I think there were a few holes in the story and some daydream/hallucination/fantasy (WTF were they?) sequences that I clearly didn't understand.

The new shelf at the library pulls me in every time. I'm not sorry I picked this
May 28, 2015 rated it liked it
I have such mixed feelings about this one. This story, about a high school girl who is horribly bullied, could be poignant...but there was so much going on, it felt a little messy...there's the story that her mom died and she's living with her mom's best friend. And the grandma who doesn't want anything to do with her. And the wife of her father. And the correspondence with another girl...I had trouble sorting it all out. Maybe with some good editing, the book would have been a little easier to ...more
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

School bullying is never fun to read about, especially if you've ever experienced it. Girls are mean, especially in junior high school. I guessed the big twist early on in this book and it took away from my enjoyment of the story. I don't mind it when characters are unlikeable but the characters in this story just annoyed me in their unlikeablity.
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Got to say this one fell a little flat for me. The two different plots didn't gel nicely - sometimes I found it hard to catch on that the narrative had switched - and I really just felt like the point that the book was trying to make just wasn't being made in the best way. It felt underdeveloped overall to me. The bullying plot was a lot more hard hitting at the end of the book but it just came off as too little too late at that point.
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Woah cyberbullying. This is a solid and compelling novel about middle grade/transition to high school-age students: peer identification, independence and identity, online life. It's also about non-traditional families and loss. Multiple points of view (Rebecca, Callie, Rebecca) build the tension: their stories combine to make for an even richer narrative. There is a substantial amount of swearing, something that is worth mentioning when book talking to younger readers.
Dannalie Diaz
Apr 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Quite possibly solidifies my decision NOT to have children (who then grow up into nasty adults). A really well-written story about bullying, friendship, death, and a whole bunch of other sad stuff. I think the author was going for a huge twist that ended up being predictable, but still a good read.
Marianne K
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
Bullying through the eyes of a reformed bully. I just could not generate the needed sympathy for the young character. This book has to take the prize for most drawn out ending in the history of novels.
Morgan bookaddicts.ahoy
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this book 10 stars, I would, that's how good this book was. I wasn't sure about it at first, but I gave it a chance and wasn't let down at all. This book made me happy, sad, worried and on the edge of my seat. It has been a long time since I read a book with the power to do that.
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Disappointingly dull.
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just wow. This book is a stunner; well written, honest and scary all at once. Awesome.
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