Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Girls with Sharp Sticks (Girls with Sharp Sticks, #1)” as Want to Read:
Girls with Sharp Sticks (Girls with Sharp Sticks, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Girls with Sharp Sticks

(Girls with Sharp Sticks #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  5,485 ratings  ·  1,224 reviews
The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their Guardians, the all-girl boarding school offers an array of studies and activities, from “Growing a Beautiful and Prosperous Garden” to “Art Appreciation” and “Interior Design.” The girls learn to be the best society has to offer. Absent is the ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Simon Pulse
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Girls with Sharp Sticks, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Amber (The Book Bratz) I found it to be more thriller/contemporary with a dystopian twist
Paula Weatherly I’m somewhat of a “prude” when it comes to protecting our kiddos, so in my opinion, this is not suitable for middle school students. The “f” word is u…moreI’m somewhat of a “prude” when it comes to protecting our kiddos, so in my opinion, this is not suitable for middle school students. The “f” word is used by one character multiple times. There is a scene where the girls take a “quiz” in a “women’s magazine” and it deals with oral sex. I’m appalled that the book is targeted to the YA audience, but I’m sure that’s because the main characters are teenage girls. If you do decide to use this, I would get parents to sign a form to allow their child to read it, otherwise you’ll risk complaints after the fact. Good luck! (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,485 ratings  ·  1,224 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Girls with Sharp Sticks (Girls with Sharp Sticks, #1)
Nilufer Ozmekik
5 disturbing, breathtaking, irritating stars!
This book is definitely a combination of Ira Levin’s Stepford Wives and Michael Crichton’s Westworld. It’s an inspirational example of dystopian thriller! I held my breath, bite my nails, cursed the characters but I couldn’t put it down as if my eyes and hands were glued to the book. It was so exciting, exhausting and definitely nerve-recking experience but interestingly I enjoyed it so much!
Especially the last twist was memorable! You may foresee,
‘the handmaids tale’ meets ‘replica’ in this feminist sci-fi tale that the YA genre needs.

i adore suzanne young. i think her ‘the program’ series is one of the most creative and relevant stories, so i knew the idea/concept of this new series wouldnt disappoint. without wanting to give away anything important, its refreshing to see so many aspects of a social issue described and personified. i appreciated how this explored womens rights, combating misogyny, and the ethics (or lack, thereof) of g
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Life at Innovations Academy seems great to Mena and the other girls: the men might be controlling and expect very high standards from each of the young women, but that's normal, isn't it? And if one of the girls were to step out of line, a punishment would be expected, because that's just how life is for 'exemplary' girls like Mena.

Boarding school setting, men being trash, and girls loving and supporting other girls: if you didn't already guess, I was super here for this one as soon as I he
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

Many thanks to Lauren at Simon & Schuster Children's Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review
Girls with kind RAZOR hearts.
Open your eyes, my father said.
That day I was born.
You will be sweet, he promised THREATENED.
You will be beautiful
You will obey FIGHT BACK.
And then he I told me MYSELF
Above all
You will have a kind RAZOR heart.
For that, they will love FEAR you.
They will protect REVERE you
They will keep RUN FROM you.
Because you belong to them NO ONE.
So be a girl to m
Holly  B
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
A new Dystopian, Sci-fi thriller series from Suzanne Young

I'm a sucker for any setting featuring a private boarding school or academy. This story is set in an elite all-girls school called, " Innovations Academy" .  There is much more going on than meets the eye. Report cards measure beauty, compliance, poise, decorum and an attitude of obedience. You get the picture.

Every student is beautiful and has a "sponsor", the professors are creepy and the head of staff is called " the guardian " and
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Re read June 2020
I enoyed it as much - if not more - thannthe first time around.

Woah. I loved this one. It was so edgy, so wtf is going on in this school, how are the girls corrected and taught, and so aware of women rights! Amazing lecture. Does anybody know when the 2nd one is comig out?

Vid review here on November, 13rd, 2019
4.5 Stars!!

"Demonstrate your value to those in attendance by showing how appealing a beautiful, obedient girl can be. Hold your tongue. Bat your eyes. Smile. Be best."

Just imagine for a minute if.... the dark and sadistic world of West World....

AND Handmaid's Tale....

HAD A BABY..... it would be something like- Girls With Sharp Sticks!!

In Girls With Sharp Sticks, we are thrown into a world that seems to be on the edge of a New Wave of Dystopia. While the normal world still goes on out
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
4.5 ⭐️
A thrilling, horrifying and unique feminist sci-fi/dystopian/mystery book!

"Some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns."

Mena and her friends are pupils at Innovations Academy, a boarding school for girls, but something is not quite right there...The girls start to realise that there are many dark secrets, and that nothing is as it seems.

I lovvvvved this audiobook! Caitlin Davies was an excellent narrator, conveying such emotion, suspense and tension. She had me so hooked from e
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young is the first book of a new young adult science fiction fantasy series by the same name. Really this first book of the series is a bit o of genre stew as it has a bit of dystopian vibe, a bit of romance and can also be quite thrilling as the story unfolded.

Philomena “Mena” is one of the girls attending Innovations Academy, an elite and somewhat secretive boarding school where girls are graded more on looks and manners than academics. When out on a field tr
May 22, 2019 marked it as to-read
Thank you to Simon & Schuster and Suzanne Young for sending me a finished copy of this book.

I was obviously mistakenly put on a list of cool people to receive this book but I'm not mad.

I'm super excited to read this!!!
Schizanthus Nerd
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Okay, so this is going to be more of a warning than a review but I’m hoping it will give you a different reading experience than the one I had. The book itself is amazing and I cannot wait for the sequel. However, I’d seen marketing that compared this book to very well known TV series, a movie and a book, and armed with those names I was easily able to predict the most important spoilers in this book before I began reading. So, my warning is this:

Stay well away from marketing, reviews that may
May 31, 2018 marked it as to-read
let’s be real I’m only in this for that cover
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was probably exactly what my reading slump needed, i flew through it and enjoyed it immensely.
This book doesn't have the most surprising twist, in fact i saw it coming from a mile off, but that's not to say it was a bad twist. I actually think the twist was really well done and i enjoyed the story more because of it.
(how many times can i say twist in this review?!)
Karima chermiti

Only beautiful things have value

And I was right; Goodreads spoiled the entire book for me. I don’t really how to feel about that and what to do. Saying that girls with sharp sticks was like Westworld meets The Handmaid's Tale was like saying this is a book about (view spoiler) and that’s exactly what the book was about. You know it’s not that hard to put one and one together and to get two as a result

For the first time ever, I wen
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Simon and Schuster: Simon Pulse, for an honest review.


Girls with Sharp Sticks is a YA Fiction with a message that is most certainly, non-fiction.

You’re not leaving here without a few stab wounds to your heart and soul, so get those bandages ready.

Innovations Academy breeds obedient, beautiful girls. They are taught to set a table in Modern Manners, how to speak and act formally in Social Graces Etiquette, to keep their figures in
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dystopia
2.5 stars (half star added for the cover)

I thought this book had an interesting premise and touched upon important topics like women's rights and equality. Unfortunately, the plot was moving at such a slow pace that I was thinking of DNF-ing the book after the first quarter. Even though the 'big twist' is not revealed until the very end, you can pretty much guess where the story is headed quite early on. In the end, I'm glad I persevered and finished the book, but I won't be continuing with the
"The girls were taught untruths,
Ignorance the only subject.
When math was pushed aside for myth
The little girls adapted.
They gathered sticks to count them
learning their own math.
And then they sharpened their sticks.
It was these same little girls
Who came home one day
And pushed their daddies down the stairs."

This was such a delightful and creepy read. I will admit, it took me some time to get into the story because the beginning is really slow, but once I did, I couldn't stop reading.

I always f
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars!

I always adore Suzanne Young's writing because her books are imaginative, dark, and always completely unique.

When I saw Girls With Sharp Sticks I knew that I needed it and most of all, I knew that I was in for quite the treat and quite the ride.

Girls With Sharp Sticks is like the school for Stepford Wives. Where they are grown and cultivated and...well brainwashed. It was horrifyingly fascinating and I couldn't get enough of it with, after each chapter, things started to get clearer
Monica (crazy_4_books)
It feels so GOOD to rate a book 5-stars and add it to my top favorites after a series of 3 or 4-star books! I wasn't expecting to like this one so much that I'm ordering the next book, oh yes! Read 75% of this book in one day. Stayed up until 2.30 am last night.
The girls at Innovations Academy are beautiful, young, well-behaved. They're being watched 24/7 by the Guardian, a creepy doctor, the principal and his wife (also creepy), so they "can" get an excellent e
Apr 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
An elite private school prepares young ladies for their future lives as Stepford Wives. You can pretty much guess the rest.

I would have liked a bit more depth, but having said that, this pretty much served exactly what I expected and what I wanted at the moment ie. a quick and entertaining enough read that didn't ask much of me.

I did like the ending. I feel like there is the potential for a very good story should Young choose to keep going. This is the only book by her that I've read, though, s
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow.. this was a fun one!!!

Let's just start off by admiring that awesome cover! My goodness.... I hit that request button a little bit based off that. This was such an addicting, creepy, and engrossing read!

This book was nothing that I expected in all honesty but in a GREAT way. This book deserves a raw 5 stars alone for the creativity! I am very impressed with Suzanne's style and am eager to read the sequel to this book!

Girls with Sharp Sticks is an experience that you don't want to miss. It'
4.5 stars

Girls With Sharp Sticks was so hard to put down! I finished it within two days, because I had to know what happened next. The book has everything I could possibly want - a boarding school that hides MaNy EvIl SeKrItS, strong female friendships, and a group of angry women to bring down the patriarchy.

I'm finding it hard to put down my thoughts into words, because reading it was so uncomfortable but also so good? You should be aware of content warnings such as sexual harassment and emotio
♠ TABI ♠
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, hypewagon
'They gathered sticks to count them
learning their own math.
And then they sharpened their sticks.'


I'm going to write a longer review because I need to re-read this to properly focus my thoughts about this amazingly powerful book . . . so this is waiting until I get my hands on Girls with Razor Hearts.

After reading Caidyn's review he gave me the concept idea of Look What You Made Me Do as the GIF theme for my eventual review.
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kfa, scifi, found-family, ya
But when they couldn't control women
The men found a group they didn't disdain -
At least not yet.
Their daughters, pretty little girls
A picture of femininity for them to mold
To train
To control
To make precious and obedient.

She would make a good wife someday, he thought
Not like the useless one he had already.

The little girls attended school
Where the rules had changed.
The girls were taught untruths,
Ignorance the only subject.

When math was pushed aside for myth
The little girls adapted.
They gathered
Latanya (Crafty Scribbles)
Let me tell you about this book. Honestly, I wanted to scream as each chapter ended. Creepy. Cruel. Scary. This book sets itself from the rest of the dystopian genre because I can see these academies popping across the country and world, thanks to misogyny and idiocy blending with male hysteria towards smart girls and women.

Here's a little background: Mena (short for Philomena) attends an exclusive all-girls boarding school, where they learn how to be a proper woman. Yes. You read that correctly
Cora Tea Party Princess
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 Words: Control, manipulation, perfection, rebellion, life.



W E L L.

Content warnings: physical abuse, graphic violence, murder, PTSD, infertility, mental abuse and manipulation.

I have to admit that when I first picked up Girls with Sharp Sticks I had Expectations. It was promising to bring together some of my favoruite things: a boarding school setting, feminist themes, dystopian storyline. And this book blew my expectations out of the water.

Parts of this story had my toes curling. Par
Adah Udechukwu
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Girls with Sharp Sticks was an exhaustive and weird novel. I was immediately bored after the first 5 chapters and the 25 chapters after that didn't change things at all.
I never really got into the novel. The novel was off from start to finish. The novel was not compelling and there was no desire to continually read on.
The novel was bland
Valliya Rennell
3.25 stars

"If you believe in equality, you're a feminist. Sorry to tell you."
- Emma Watson

There is a lot to discuss with this one, oh boy. Girls with Sharp Sticks follows Philomena Rhodes and her friends as they attend a peculiar school called Innovations Academy. This academy is run by men that teach them how to be obedient, beautiful, and quiet. Because that is all that a girl needs to be right? However when a girl named Lennon Rose goes missing and Mena finds a book of outrageous poems, a fig
Andi (Andi's ABCs)
This review was originally posted on Andi's ABCs
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Since coming across The Program in 2013 I have been a fan of Suzanne Young and her books. There is something about the way she tells a story that sucked me in from the get go. I swear every time I need a new book by her I don't think she can write any better than she has and yet she constantly proves me
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 stars.

Holy crap!

That's pretty much how I felt when reading and completing Girls With Sharp Sticks. The title alone is what sold me to buy it as well as the premise. This is definitely a top contender for my favorite reads of 2019.

CW: Assault (various kind), violence, grooming, misogyny.

Girls With Sharp Sticks takes place in a finishing school, Innovations Academy, where our main protagonist, Mena, and her friends are taught to be perfect, obedient girls. They have to look perfect, be submissi
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Killing November (Killing November, #1)
  • The Grace Year
  • Wilder Girls
  • A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, #1)
  • All Your Twisted Secrets
  • We Set the Dark on Fire (We Set the Dark on Fire, #1)
  • The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious, #3)
  • Be Not Far from Me
  • Two Can Keep a Secret
  • One of Us Is Next (One of Us Is Lying, #2)
  • Deadly Little Scandals (Debutantes, #2)
  • The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious, #2)
  • The Similars (The Similars, #1)
  • I Know You Remember
  • You Owe Me a Murder
  • Slay
  • You Must Not Miss
  • Heroine
See similar books…
Suzanne Young is the New York Times bestselling author of The Program, The Treatment, and several other novels. She currently lives in Tempe, Arizona where she teaches high school English and obsesses about books. Learn more about Suzanne at ...more

Other books in the series

Girls with Sharp Sticks (3 books)
  • Girls with Razor Hearts (Girls with Sharp Sticks, #2)
  • Untitled (Girls With Sharp Sticks #3)

Articles featuring this book

If you love reading as much as our colleagues, then your summer fun itinerary will most likely include books. To help inspire ...
114 likes · 38 comments
“Shame is the best teacher.” 10 likes
“I'm starting to see how unusual our lives are here. And the more I recognize it... the more I want to change it.” 5 likes
More quotes…