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Ordinary Girls

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  671 ratings  ·  164 reviews
Perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Mlynowski, this heartfelt and humorous contemporary take on Sense and Sensibility follows two sisters—complete opposites—who discover the secrets they’ve been keeping make them more alike than they’d realized.

For two sisters as different as Plum and Ginny, getting on each other’s nerves is par for the course. But when the family’s fi
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by HarperTeen
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Petra There is one gay character, the tenant of the main characters, but I don't think that really warrants the tag.

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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  671 ratings  ·  164 reviews

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Miranda Reads
Jan 04, 2020 marked it as to-read

We can look at this one of two ways, either I'm a bit late to do a Christmas Book Haul video or I'm hella early for next year.

(Click the link to see what other books arrived via the polar express).
Sep 08, 2019 rated it did not like it

I've just wasted several hours of my life on complete nonsense. This book has no plot, no likeable characters I could root for, no character development, no good writing, NOTHING. I don't understand how this book has such high ratings because I literally cannot tell you what this book is about or what the point of it is because it has no point and no story.

The writing is too weird. The MC thinks and talks like a character from a Jane Austen novel, but also like an average modern teen and it jus
Rec-It Rachel
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this. It was like little vignettes within larger acts and very different from WHO'S THAT GIRL
Stephanie Fitzgerald
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Y.A. and older
I really enjoyed this! Having never had a sister, it was fun reading about the ups and downs of their relationship. Plum is a girl after my own heart; she thinks in book quotes, and loves her two poodles!

Red Flags:
This is definitely a book for Y.A. readers and older. There is some vulgar language used, and there is a scene involving a possible suicide attempt.

Memorable Quotes:
“I can’t even watch those extreme plastic surgery shows where people lie on a table like sliced deli meat wrapped in blue
Samantha (WLABB)
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, contemporary, arcs, ya
From the opening, where Plum lamented how she had never been good at beginnings, I found myself totally engrossed with her storytelling and this tale. There was something about Plum's voice, that made me want to get to know her better, and I could not the resist the charm and allure of her quirky world.

This was a tale of two sisters - one very dramatic, the other quite pragmatic. They had their ups and downs with each other, but their relationship was the heart and soul of the story for me.

I ado
ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS. It's amazing. And I could spout out a soliloquy about how wonderfully smart and fantastic and important it is, but you should just read it for yourself.

It's a quiet, warm, poignant story about the complex and emotional bond between sisters, with a hint of tragedy and romance. Upon finishing the story, expect to feel utterly content and complete.
Blodeuedd Finland
So nothing really happens, and a lot of fancy words are used, but, it was just so lovely to read a YA book where ok so there was some drama, but it was real drama. It was calm, and then a storm might come, but they weathered it.

Patience and Ginny lives with their mum in a crumbling house. Too big, too old, plumbing that goes out, not enough money to care for it.

Their mum only works part-time at the uni, her paintings does not sell. Money is a problem.

Ginny is a dramaqueen in the old sense, I mea
“So I suppose I will start on that sunny Saturday in September when I first realized how acutely I wanted to murder my sister.”

Ordinary Girls is a story about sisterhood; the ups and downs, the fighting and the hugging, wanting your sister dead and then wishing she would never leave. That is ordinary Girls. It has a ton of super dramatic characters, which to me only made the story that much more enjoyable. It is silly, but chock full of heart.

The sisters themselves, Plum and Ginny, are as differ
Book Hunter
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult-read
This is a story of two sisters that could not be more different – 15 year old Plum is the sensible, logical, not-brilliant one and her older sister Ginny is the hyper-sensitive, melodramatic, smart one. This book was a nice surprise. I thoroughly enjoyed it and laughed aloud quite often. I loved the setting of an old house and all the small, quirky details of family life. The romance was surprisingly sweet and charming. The writing was a delightful mix of classic and modern with plenty of humour ...more
Tina Hoggatt
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A funny, smartypants exterior conceals a loving and emotional center in this angst ridden tale of two sisters at the end of the school year, the brilliant eldest awaiting college entry news and the younger trying to find a way to let her own light shine. Loss, grief, jokes, literary allusion, mini lessons on writing and story, delicious kissing, and intermittent disaster speckle this wonderful novel by a talented YA author.
Corinne Wilson
The Blatchley sisters' huge ramsackle house is strewn with pets, copies of Jane Eyre and Little Women, paintings by their mother, DVDs of Jeeves and Wooster/old classic movies/Jane Austen adaptations, and family inside jokes. It would definitely have appealed to teenage me, so I picked up this book despite my tendency to roll my eyes at Jane Austen adaptations.

Thornburgh doesn't try too hard at adapting every aspect of the Dashwood sisters' adventures the way fanfic authors so often do with P&P
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Thornburgh's writing just isn't for me, running heavily on quirk and very literary. I also wanted this to be a retelling, when it's more inspired by based on the opening. Also, another very personal pet peeve: the chapters are SO LONG.
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book because it was about everyday life so I could relate to it. I found it funny and relatable however not much went on throughout it. There was a good ending because at the struggles the girls were going through were resolved. I would recommend it to girls.
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
The characters in a Blair Thornburgh novel feel as if they’ve escaped from an episode of Gilmore Girls and that should annoy me. It really should. However, as with her last book, WHO’S THAT GIRL, I found ORDINARY GIRLS inherently charming and brimming with so much heart that any initial annoyance I felt disappeared early on. It’s occasionally over-the-top and melodramatic as any loose retelling of an Austen classic can be, but it’s near impossible to not be immediately invested in the plights of ...more
Kate Brauning
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is so "sisters" it had me calling mine to tell them how annoying/wonderful they are. It's hilarious and genuine, perfect for fans of old movies, weird families, and creaky beautiful houses. Go get it, you can thank me later.
Jan 03, 2019 marked it as to-read
saw the cover and I was like "is it gay? is it gAY?? IS IT GAY???"

...then I read the blurb
Emer (A Little Haze)
DNF @7%

Dear God what is this mess that somehow thinks it's an homage to all things Sense and Sensibility??? That first chapter came across as if the Marianne character was on crack! And the overly convoluted style of the prose???? Heavens no. This book would give me a headache if I continued. Plus it seems rather on the junior end of the YA scale so not for me at all.

Two DNFs in the space of 24 hrs..... Like freaking buses really!
Sarai Davila
This book was extremely underwhelming for me. I love Sense and Sensibility, so I was pretty excited to read a modern adaptation of it, since I think it's a bit of an underutilized story. But this book just didn't capture the original spirit for me, nor did it inspire in me any of the feelings that Jane Austen is always able to do. I thought the spins on the different hardships the sisters go through was a cool way to update things (college struggles, friendship issues, social anxiety, etc.), but ...more
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Holy cats, this book was fun! We've got a sister story, we've got a large, rambling, moldering house story, we've got a quirky family story, we've got an outsider story and we've got it all packaged together with sparkling writing, and astute observations.

If you're a Jane Austin fan this is a book for you.

Also, what a great cover!
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen
Plum could not be more different than her excitable sister, Ginny. Ginny has a group of friends at their private school, while Plum doesn’t have any at all. She’d much prefer to do advance reading for her classes than engage with others her age. Ginny is about to graduate from high school and longs to get accepted into her university of choice, but it’s not that simple. First, she has to be accepted and then she needs enough financial aid to attend. While they may live in a large home, it’s fill ...more
Rachel Penny
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars!!
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
With shades of Sense & Sensibility, Jane Eyre, and Little Women, this book feels just as familiar and friendly as falling into an old classic. Introverted Plum and dramatic Ginny hit all the strides of a stereotypical sister relationship, but Ordinary Girls follows it through and turns it into a discussion about mental health that I found totally necessary and refreshing. ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
In her family of three (her father died ten years ago), 15 year old Plum is the sensible, logical, not-brilliant one. Her older sister Ginny is the hyper-sensitive, melodramatic, brilliant one, whose moods rule their lives. Right now, Ginny is panicking about college (she's always panicking about something), and her desperate need to get into Penn and get financial aid and become the brilliant scientist their writer father predicted back in the day. Plum is more concerned with keeping their crum ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was pretty middle of the road. Seemed almost more middle grade than YA. I'm not big on contemporary YA so maybe this just wasnt my cup of tea.


•Nails the sister dynamic right on the head. Seriously made me miss my sisters.

•The portrayal of the struggling widowed mother was my favorite part of the book. She is absolutely doing the best she can but parenting 2 vastly different teenagers alone on minimal income is tough. Especially when your family is used to a certain way of life
Sasha Wichita
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ordinary Girls is an original, heartfelt story about two sisters in high school. Their circumstances are relatable but the setting is fresh - they live in a crumbling house from the 1800's that is a character in itself. Plum and Ginny's financial troubles are a compelling force in the story, but the family drama also allows for satisfying character arcs.

While the blurb called this a "take on Sense and Sensibility," it's important to note that it's more inspired-by than a direct retelling. Also,
Colline Vinay Kook-Chun
I expected a retelling of Sense and Sensibility and I was a little disappointed – the connection to Austen’s novel is very slim as there is too much that has been changed. Yes, the story describes the relationship between two sisters who are trying to find themselves in the world but that is about it.

The novel, however, does stand out in its own right. My favourite character was Plum. I enjoyed her snarkiness as well as her independence. She is a girl who realises what the problems are and seeks
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh gosh that's fun. Inspired by Sense and Sensibility but not bound to it, Ordinary Girls turns things on upside-down. Here it's the younger sister, not the older, whose head is firmly on her shoulders; here the characters are not flung bodily from their home at the outset of the book; here there is romance, and unlikely romance at that, but it doesn't (glory hallelujah) overrun the book.

I've read enough retellings to know that I'm happiest with this sort of thing. 'Inspired by' leaves a lot mor
Erin Cataldi
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
An adorable, quirky young adult book perfect for every angsty teen (or adult) that read Jane Austen, Little Women, and Jane Eyre on the reg. Two sisters could not be more different; Ginny, the older, smarter, more frazzled sister is forever getting on Patience's (aka Plum) nerves. Patience has forever lived in the shadow of her older sister's intelligence and there are times when she can't wait for her sister to go off to college in a year (if the family can afford it). They live in a gorgeous, ...more
Jill Jemmett
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a great story about sisters.

I flew through this book. I loved the way that Patience narrated it. She was very mature. It sounded like a Victorian novel, though the subject matter wouldn’t have been in a novel in the nineteenth century.

I enjoyed the family dynamic of the story. Their mother was an artist who often had too much on her plate. The house was also an important part of the story, because it was falling apart, which kept interrupting their lives when they had to fix it. The rel
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“I am never going to make it,” Ginny said into the fake Formica. “I am going to be rejected from everywhere and end up alone. I’m going to be the college equivalent of a spinster.” 0 likes
“You know, you could try not worrying about everything all the time,” I said. “It might help.” 0 likes
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