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Grrrls on the Side

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  70 reviews
The year is 1994 and alternative is in. But not for alternative girl Tabitha Denton; she hates her life. She is uninterested in boys, lonely, and sidelined by former friends at her suburban high school. When she picks up a zine at a punk concert, she finds an escape—an advertisement for a Riot Grrrl meet-up.

At the meeting, Tabitha finds girls who are more like her and a pl
Paperback, 230 pages
Published June 8th 2017 by Duet Books, the YA imprint of Interlude Press
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Average rating 3.48  · 
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 ·  138 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Carrie Pack
Mar 24, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Author's Note - including trigger warnings

Riot Grrrl was a moment in time that represented what being young and female meant within the greater context of our society. It also helped a lot of us to understand what was possible. Many young women knew that even though significant strides had been made for gender and racial equality, the world was far from equal. In the early 1990s, a group of socially aware young women created (some would argue that they stumbled upon) a feminist movement they d
Jun 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
Lord Jesus, give me strength to sort my feelings for this clusterfuck.

Review: https://weezieswhimsicalwritings.word...
C.B. Lee
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
90's kids aren't the only ones who'll appreciate this deftly crafted and fun, vivacious read. Tabitha is immediately likable and readers will identify with her struggles with her classmates and their insensitive comments and fat-shaming. Tabby's blossoming friendship with the Riot Grrrls and finding herself with new friends and cause is a delight to read, as is her learning about her own bisexuality and expressing it. The embedded zines are a lovely addition, as is the poetry and reading Tabby a ...more
Did not expect both fat rep and taking white feminism to task would be such huge parts of this book, but I am certainly not mad about it! I'd also expected music to be more central to it, but the 90s cultural aspect actually comes most strongly from zines, which I found surprisingly enjoyable to read considering they weren't something I was into in the actual 90s. Very curious how modern teens will feel about this book, since I think this really does feel like historical fiction, however modern ...more
Xan West
A copy was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I wanted to read this book because it's an f/f YA romance centering a fat girl, and I am always interested in finding more fat positive queer representation. I'm glad Tabitha never diets; there is no weight loss arc here. She has a bunch of self loathing and low self esteem around being fat, and is bullied for being fat; I know these things will likely resonate with other fat readers. They resonated for me, fe
☙ nemo ❧
based on the premise of an f/f relationship in the nineties and riot grrrl punk band, i thought i was going to really enjoy this book. but, it only took the very first line for me to realise that our relationship might be less than harmonious:

"Heather's got her stupid flannel shirt tied around her stupid, tiny waist. I don't know if I'm more annoyed she looks cuter like that than I do or if it's because I know she's only wearing it as a fashion statement."

followed a few sentences later by,

Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think this is a great book and i would recommend to anyone i know.

This book represented women and what it feels like living in 90s and being a women. Especially, if you are a woman, fat and bisexual. People always assume that they can charge your label.

Being a bisexual but had only dating girls must be getting a lot of "You date a girl. You're lesbian." this book discussed about this too.

I kinda hate it when the first few chapters were only show white feminism, but then it got better when 3
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley

I was a little hesitant going into this book. While I was certain I’d find the sapphic romance and the punk setting enjoyable, I was afraid it would once again be a book whose feminism only concerns and centers on white, thin, middle class women. I couldn’t have fallen further from the truth. Not only was our protagonist fat, not only was the romance interracial, white privilege was called out on multiple occassions, establishing this book as one f
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Therefore, I thank the publisher for a chance to read this incredible novel.

trigger warning for sexual assault.

Grrrls on the Side takes place during the Riot Grrrl movement of the early to mid-’90s.

Our story begins when 16-year-old Tabitha attends a punk concert with her friend, Mike. There, she picks up a zine and ends up going to a Riot Grrrl meet-up. Through this she meets Jackie, a black butch lesbian, who changes Tabitha
Maggie [storme reads a lot]
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you to the author for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I love this book a lot because it deals with so many important issues. I was drawn into the voice of Tabitha right away and sped through the whole book. There's a vast amount of great rep in the book... bi rep... weight rep... there's even rep about how feminism can become white feminism and the dangers of excluding women of color from the conversation. As a person of color... I consider myself non binary so I say person...
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
CR Daylex
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Mehh. I'm so conflicted about this one. I'm a brit so even though I'm old I don't remember this punk movement per say, but I still thought this one captured the "essence of the era" in the sense that it resonated with me about the types of feminist conversations that were happening in the early 1990s. But then I'm not sure if some of the problematic aspects of the book (specifically fat shaming and racism) were sufficiently discussed? But maybe they can't be because its a historical? I don't thi ...more
Laura (bbliophile)
Feeling very conflicted about this. Review to come.
Jane (It'sJaneLindsey)
I can't assign a star rating just yet. Some of this was great, some was not...overall I did find this underwhelming.
F.T. Lukens
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review to come. But great book with 90s nostalgia and on the page bi-rep.
This was overall fine, but not great? I was pretty interested in the 90s riot grrrl culture with the zines and punk music (I'm just slightly too young to have experienced it first hand) but I'm not really sure how much this would appeal to teens today who didn't already know about it. I wish the author had done more descriptions of the music, what it sounded like, and how it made the girls feel. I guess I love the idea of a YA novel being set in this time but Pack didn't have the best execution- ...more
I received an arc from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review

dnf @ 30%

I didn't want to dnf this book but there's so much fatphobia and homophobia on this I was struggling to read it. Specifically the homophobia was making me feel physically sick. There didn't seem to be much to the book but Tabitha sometimes going to the punk feminist meeting, kissing her girlfriend, and mostly getting abused at her school. And her love interest didn't think it was a big deal when her ex a
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD! Seriously this might be my favorite book I've read so far this year. It's either this or Dreadnought. It's amazing how much social commentary and diversity is in this book. You've got a fat main character who learns to love her body as it is and also one of her girlfriends specifically says that she loves her body and thinks it's attractive and that she's with her BECAUSE she thinks she's hot
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer
Definitely a little rough around the edges and super didactic at times, but it 100% has its heart in the right place and yay for diverse queer and on-the-page bi rep!
Naomi Tajedler
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book took me back 20 years or so ago and yet every emotion rung contemporary and true.
Carrie Pack does a wonderful job in pulling the reader into Tabitha's world, her mind, her worries and her growth.
Many Tabithas and Jackies are today's leaders of the resistance against injustice.
A lot of moments in the book felt like Pack had a time machine to my own teenage years, so it only incrzased my own appreciation of the story. That being said, as a European woman, a lot of the Riot Girls movement
Suzey Ingold
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'll admit to knowing very little about the Riot Grrrls movement/that era (it's a little before my time and my understanding is that it didn't have quite the presence over my side of the Atlantic...) but the girl power vibes really beat through the heart of this book even without knowing all the history. In all honesty, it was such a joy even just to read a book with a predominantly female group of characters, focused on their collaborations and relationships (both platonic and romantic). There ...more
Macy Klingerman
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading really good books lately, and this one is certainly no exception. I wasn't even born until 1995, a year after this book is set, but Grrrls on the Side still managed to create some sort of nostalgia in me for a scene and time I never got to experience. This book is a bit mixed media in the way that the author incorporates 'zines into the story. The 'zines really serve as a creative way to effectively bring to life the whole "90's" feel, allowing the reader to really transport th ...more
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Grrrls on the Side is a charming and in-your-face YA novel set in the 90s alternative scene. Tabitha discovers a local Riot Grrrl meeting and goes as an escape from high school and her unkind former friends. What she finds there is more than an alternative movement, people with whom she can think about feminism, consider her own sexuality, and be faced with big issues like racism that she had barely encountered before in her privileged world.

Pack’s novel combines the angry 90s setting that may b
Dani St-Onge (Literary Lion)

Disclaimer: A free copy of this book was received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

1994. Punk is in. Fat isn’t. At least that’s how it seems to Tabitha. Her ex-best friend bullies her, she hasn’t ever found a real group and her only friend is a guy she hangs out with behind 7-11. When Tabitha is given a flyer for a Riot Grrl meet up, she finally finds a group. Then she begins to discover a lot more about herself.

The absolute highlight of this bo
Aug 09, 2017 marked it as to-read
Lea (drumsofautumn)
Grrls on the Side was a novel I was very excited to pick up. It sounded like a badass story about 90s feminism and I was looking forward to seeing some f/f romance. Ultimately I felt disappointed by this story and the lack of character development.

I think while the book had very good intentions to fight white feminism, it just didn't really work out. There is a lot of problematic things said in this book and most of the time they do get challenged but it's still not handled well. I'd highly reco
Les Joseph
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Picture this. It's the early 1990's, and grunge and punk are the music of the time. Flannel shirts, combat boots, and zines, Grrrls on the Side by Carrie Pack showcases the Riot Girl movement of the early '90's with heartfelt poignancy. This whole world was a bit after my time in high school (but not much!) so most of this was new information for me. It doesn't mean I couldn't relate because boy could I and Pack has given us a book that will definitely take you back while making you think at the ...more
K.E. Belledonne
What I loved about this book was it so clearly mirrored my own teenage years and angst -- only cooler. I didn't know about Riot Grrrls, or punk, or bisexuality, or really anything outside my own little world in the least-culturally-diverse state in the US. While reading, I kept thinking "if only I'd had this book back then, how different my high school life might have been". I found Tabitha very relatable and seeing these new things through her eyes I know would have absolutely blown my mind -- ...more
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

When I first heard about this book, I was so excited! Riot Grrrls! Punk! A fat bisexual Main Character! And all of these points were delivered on, sometimes even quite well. But for a book that praises itself on intersectional feminism, there is still a lot of terrible things going on.

For a really long time in this book, racism goes unchallenged. Sure the black girls that are affected by it don't like it,
May 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtqiap
This would've probably been a four star book if it wasn't for the fact that a dude forced himself on the protagonist because he was biphobic/homophobic af (strike one), the protagonist's first girlfriend didn't see that incident as a big deal at all and ended up breaking up with the protagonist over it (strike two) and the protagonist's second girlfriend insisted that she had to be a lesbian because the protagonist had only ever dated two people and they were both girls so she couldn't possibly ...more
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Carrie Pack is an author of books in multiple genres, including Designs on You (2014), In the Present Tense (2016), and Grrrls on the Side (2017). She is a recipient of two Foreword Reviews INDIES Book of the Year Bronze awards: in 2016 for In the Present Tense (science fiction) and in 2017 for Grrrls on the Side (young adult). Grrrls on the Side was also a finalist in the Bi Book Awards.

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