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Rebel Girls

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  78 reviews
“Echoing the punk-rock feminist movement of the early ’90s, debut author Keenan creates a timely narrative that will challenge teens to reflect on their personal values and engage in respectful discourse. A must-read.” –Kirkus, starred review

When it comes to being social, Athena Graves is far more comfortable creating a mixtape playlist than she is talking to cute boys—or
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Inkyard Press
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  104 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
More rebellion, please!

Most people wouldn't touch this topic with a ten-foot pole, so I'll give Keenan tons of credit for finding an eleven-foot pole :)

Rebel Girls explains the different viewpoints in the abortion debate in a way that's accessible to teens. It leans a bit pro-choice, but the story's focus is really on understanding others' views. That alone makes it worth a read.

My major problem is with the book's title--"Rebel Girls" doesn't involve all that much rebellion, but I guess "Work
This was a cool trip down memory lane.
A large chunk of my rating is for the nostalgia aspect of the 90's era.
The characters were interesting and the story was decent.
I would have liked more rebellion for a book called Rebel Girls.
With the setting being a Catholic school I suppose they did what they could within those confines.

Thanks you NetGalley and Harlequin TEEN for my ARC.
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
It's 1992 and Athena Graves is figuring out who she is in her Baton Rouge, Louisiana Catholic high school.  She has feminist views, a love for punk rock, and an appreciation for the up-and-coming riot grrrl movement after hearing a Bikini Kill demo while visiting her mom in Washington state over the summer.

Athena is shocked to hear a rumor spreading that her younger pro-life sister Helen had an abortion over the summer.  While the sisters know it didn't happen, Helen is embarassed and stunned wh
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway. Touches upon opinions of abortion at a Catholic School in the 1990s. Interesting read about how political, religious and a solely women’s issue shape one’s opinions of someone else
Jaye Berry
In fairness because this book isn't out for a couple months, I won't leave a rating because it's a low one. Still love the cover though.

While I appreciate the attempt and idea behind this book, it just isn't it. Everything is so messy and I'm sorry to say even the writing wasn't good. This book is all about a girl whose sister ends up in the middle of a bad rumor that is ruining her life at their Catholic school in 1992 until she decides to fight back.

That's one of my issues though, a lot of thi
Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
Rebel Girls really appealed to me based off the time that the book takes place in.  The year is 1992 and I was in high school then.  There were some definite reminders that felt accurate of the time period.  Others not so much.  Athena is the girl I wish I was.  While I thought I was feminist and had some feminist views, I wasn't into punk yet, I obsessed too much over boys, and I very much cared what people thought of me.  I wanted to fit in, not stand out.  In some ways, I'm still like that.  ...more
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
Rebel Girls, while enjoyable is probably going to be a mostly forgettable read for me. I loved the strong focus on sibling relationships, girl solidarity, and challenging belief you find harmful or disrespectful, but I just didn't connect with the characters as much as I wanted to. Sister Catherine was probably one of the standout characters and I loved seeing her throughout the story. Unfortunately, I didn't like any of the romances in the story - they were just too flat for me to care about. S ...more
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from NetGalley and Inkyard Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I LOVED this book. I feel like it did a pretty good job of filling the hole Moxie left behind when I finished that earlier this year. It’s smart, the characters are great, and it doesn’t hesitate to take on a difficult topic.

Before I go and squeal about it some more, I do want to leave some possible trigger warnings f
Sarah Ames-Foley
This review can also be found on my blog.

This book was, unfortunately, a struggle for me. I loved the cover and was excited to read a political, feminist YA. It just didn’t quite feel like that’s what I got. At first, I really enjoyed Athena’s thought processes and politics. What initially got me was how she ruminated upon the conflict one can face when trying to be a “good” feminist and respect other women while also struggling with the instinct to put them down when we feel threatened, somethi
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
As soon as I heard about this book, I knew there was a good chance that I would love it:

1. It's set in the 1990s in the south (Baton Rouge, Louisana).
2. The Riot Grrrl movement features heavily, especially Bikini Kill and their first tape.
3. It tackles an important topic -- abortion -- in a non-exploitative, non-melodramatic way.
4. It's written by a musicologist! (I've never met the author, so this is an unbiased review.)

I am happy to report that the book lived up to my expectati
Pamela Stennett
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

{I was given a copy of this book by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review and all thoughts are my own.}

Holy crap. This book is SO good, y’all. It’s not out till September but you should definitely read it. It basically covers the Life/Choice conversations happening in the south in 1992 (in a fictional Baton Rouge Catholic high school) and it’s got Riot Grrrls and 90’s punk rock and Bikini Kill and third wave feminism critique and
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book. Everyone ages 9 and up should have this put in their hands to read ASAP. When her anti-choice younger sister Helen is rumored to have had an abortion by their Catholic school's mean girls clique, her pro-choice, riot grrrl sister Athena and her friends build a campaign to counter the accusations and to make everyone rethink their positions on shame, privacy, and autonomy. Along the way, Athena, whose collections of zines and punk rock albums is a solid reading and playlist ...more
Athena leans into the riot girl movement of 1992 hard, even when it means idealizing an idea of feminism that's not existent and thereby failing to live up to her own impossible standards. That's the big point of this one, and it's handled well. Though a little longer than necessary, this is a great read alike to MOXIE or WATCH US RISE in that it's about girls who rebel against authority and the system more broadly. When a rumor about Athena's sister Helen circulates -- that she had an abortion ...more
Nemo (The Moonlight Library)
This review was originally posted on The Moonlight Library
I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Check out the original review on The Moonlight Library for gifs!

You would think, for a book that calls itself Rebel Girls, that there might be some actual rebellion going on in the plot.

It's not the author's fault (I hope!). Publishers can change the title of a book to whatever they want.
Mike Chen
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a 1990s teen who was into indie rock and Green Party and Rock The Vote, this book encapsulated so much of what I was feeling at the time (I'm old). But it's not just a nostalgia trip with great characters (though seriously, I would have been friends with Athena and we would have listened to Throwing Muses and The Replacements together), it's fun and funny and meaningful and provides accessible insight into what pro-choice and women's rights are about -- and why they're important. But also gre ...more
Bryn Coape-arnold
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun romp of a book that threw me right back to high school. All of the drama, all of the angst, all of the highs and lows that come with being a teen. The best part? It's set in 1992, complete with great pop culture references (including a Kids in the Hall reference - yes!) and appropriate clothing choices (Doc Martens anyone?).

Athena Graves attends a conservative Catholic private school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana but her beliefs don't quite align with the school's. When her conservative, pro-
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, own
I received a digital ARC of this title from Edelweiss for an honest review.

"Rebel girl! Rebel girl! Rebel girl, you are the queen of my world!". Athena attends a Catholic high school in Baton Rouge in the early 90s. This year, her little sister Helen is joining her. Helen is everything that Athena is not: she's outgoing, gorgeous, and popular. But when Athena's best friend's girlfriend spreads a rumor that Helen had an abortion over the summer after getting pregnant by a super racist classmate,
It's 1992 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Athena and her sister Helen are being raised by a single dad who loves them, but works long hours to keep them enrolled in an expensive Catholic high school. The girls spend summers with their absent-minded, pro-choice, feminist college professor mother. Athena, a sophomore over-achiever who prefers not to draw attention to herself, and Helen, a freshman with brains and beauty who has dreams of being a model and strong pro-life views, do not really get alo ...more
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
**Disclaimer: I received a free advanced reader copy of Rebel Girls by Elizabeth Keenan from Harlequin Teen through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to them for the opportunity!

Rebel Girls by Elizabeth Keenan is a contemporary historical fiction novel set in the early 90s in Louisiana. It comes out on September 10th, 2019. I gave it four stars on GoodReads, but it’s more of a 4.5 star read.

Here’s the summary from GoodReads:

In 1992 Baton Rouge, a single rumor has the power to
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"What would Kathleen Hanna do?"

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Netgalley. Trigger warning for depictions of misogyny, racism, and homophobia.)

I knew what the Riot Grrrl ideals were: Support girls around you. Don’t be jealous of other girls. Avoid competition with them. Being loud and crying in public were valid ways of being a girl. Being a girl didn’t mean being weak or bad. Claiming your sexuality, no matter what that meant to you, was a good thing. And the revolut
Jun 27, 2019 marked it as to-read
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When it is hot as heck outside and there is nothing cool to do but reading as everything else makes you end up a sweaty mess, it is the perfect day for a speed reader.

I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

In 1992 Baton Rouge, a single rumour has the power to change a girl’s life forever.
Aug 22, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book truly had the potential to wow me and it fell so far from even being average and I'm so disappointed. I spent over half the book just absolutely seething from how angry it made me feel. Further review to come once I can actually gather my thoughts.
Aug 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the female support system in this story. Featuring the classic mean girls was a perfect foil to the sisters who find themselves friends at last despite their different ideologies. The pop culture references and the 1990 setting should have felt like a reunion but I must have slept through the Riot Grrls movement.
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
(I received an ARC of this is in a giveaway)
I loved this! As a punk rock girl myself, Rebel Girls was the empowering feminist punk read I’ve been dreaming of! The characters were really the best part of this. I would so recommend this book.

Helen, she experienced the most development over the course of the book, and I started the book annoyed with her, and ended it loving her.
Sister Catherine, I loved her characterization. I rarely see religious characters with feminist views, and it was nic
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, read-2019
Enjoyable as an "issue book" (feminism, abortion), a nineties period piece, and a classic YA relationship book. I especially appreciated how realistically Athena and Helen's bond developed over the story, and how Athena's riot grrrl principles came in conflict with her more retiring personality. Recommended for fans of Amy Reed's The Nowhere Girls or Jennifer Mathieu's Moxie, or those who enjoyed The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez.
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First, off big thanks to you to Ink Yard Pres and Netgalley for giving me an arc to read and let me tell you I read. I binged. I finished this book at 3:27 AM because couldn't stop. There were so many things I liked about this book. Rebel girls are one of those books that have a great message for women everywhere.

something that I always look for in a good book is the story and this is such a good one. Heart-warming and inspiring, get you feeling the feels. The story does a good job of helping y
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

Rebel Girls is an absolutely fierce feminist masterpiece that I wish existed when I was in high school. I want to give a copy of it to every teenaged girl I know.

Its main character Athena Graves is a fledgling Riot Grrl at an extremely conservative Catholic high school in 1992 Baton Rouge. Her pro-life little sister gets accused of having an abortion, which could get her kicked out of school. Their band of friends teams
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review copy courtesy of Edelweiss.

I’m sure this book is meant for actual teenagers but it will probably strike more of a chord with ladies in their thirties missing their riot girl youth. And that’s okay - the recent past setting of the early 90s seems like it was a nostalgic choice of the author but this reader kept fuming that the story could absolutely be set in present time. This is a careful balancing of the tale of a pro-choice Catholic high schooler who discovers her anti-choice younger s
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book shows you just how fast a rumor something that someone can make up about you will and can change your life. I love the sibling aspect and that the sister took up for her sister Helen when a rumor comes up about Helen getting an abortion this hits some heavy heavy topics but is still a quick read
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