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Rebel Girls

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  422 ratings  ·  161 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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Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  422 ratings  ·  161 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
Sarah Ames-Foley
This review can also be found on my blog.
disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for review consideration. All of the opinions presented below are my own.

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
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.
Jessica | Booked J
Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Review can be found here at Booked J.

(3.5) As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

As one of my most anticipated reads of 2019, Rebel Girls was at the tip top of my TBR for the end of summer. Look at that cover! Check out that synopsis! I mean, surely, you can see why it was a priority read for me.

Sign me up for girls supporting girls, which is one of th
Melanie  Brinkman
When life gets your fellow girl down, you stand back up with her.

It's 1992 and the rumor mill of one Baton Rouge high school is churning. Word quickly spreads that Athena Graves' little sister, Helen, had an abortion over the summer. Athena knows that it doesn't matter what Helen did or didn't do, but at their conservative Catholic High School, those words have the power to get her expelled. The sisters aren't ready to go down without a fight. Along with a few of their best friends, they band to
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
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
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
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
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an e-arc of Rebel Girls by Elizabeth Keenan in exchange for an honest review!

It happened again. I was suckered by a gorgeous book cover. Rebel Girls had it’s pros (one being the book cover), but it unfortunately, also had plenty of flaws.

Rebel Girls has a case of important topic & concept, but not-so-great execution.

Rebel Girls deals with the taboo-subject, abortion, at a Catholic high school. Rumor has it that Athena’s sister, pro-life Helen, had an
Aug 21, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I very rarely give one-star ratings, so I feel like I've really got to back this up.

I went super long in my full review, but it's not really that complicated. I only give one star to a YA book that I didn't enjoy if I think that book is poorly written and I think it's bad for the world of YA.

My complaints with the writing are the easiest to back up.

→The protagonist, Athena, has almost nothing to do with the actual story. As a self-insert for the author, she only serves to filter everything that
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
Sep 26, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This did not work for me on any level.It was long yet didn't go anywhere,was repetitive and the characters were really one-dimensional.Also the main character claims to be a feminist but spends the entire book judging every single other female character and finds all of them lacking,exactly how I found this book.
Sarah Perchikoff
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book could not have been more my thing. Feminism, pro-choice, and girls protecting and fighting for each was like it was made for me! When I first saw this book, I was a little worried about how it would handle the abortion situation, but luckily, it dealt with it really well, focusing on each girl having their own choice rather than one thing being right for all people. But before I talk too much (lol), let's get to the review!

The book starts off with Athena and Helen Graves beg
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
I absolutely judge a book by its cover, and this one was an eye-catcher. I was pumped to find that it dealt with abortion rights, feminism and the Riot Grrrl movement. Yes, please!

The biggest hill I climbed with this book was the initial pacing - it killed me to wait nearly 100 pages to find out the rumor that the entire book was supposed to hinge on. And even then, it took another 40 or so pages before the plan of solidarity really took shape. That said, once the girls started working together,
I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley

This was really cute! I'm normally not one for the contemporary genre or books that focus so much around what I would generally call 'teen drama', but this was actually really relatable even as an adult and reminded me a lot of my teen years. I think the book did a good job of portraying the girls' struggles in a realistic manner and showing that it is possible to grow and change your opinions on things and also that you can protest something and
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
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 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed many aspects of this book but there were definitely some flaws here.

I loved the whole idea of the plot, two sisters go to a strict Catholic school and a rumor is started involving the youngest sister. I liked that it discussed a serious topics of abortion and bullying. I enjoyed the author weaving through some 90s music references and other references to 90s culture. I loved the feminist aspects in the story as well. Athena, the main character, was very true to trying to rise above get
Carter Skye
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.
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, arc
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,
Anamelia Regan
This definitely wasn't the book I was hoping for. I wanted a fight for feminism and reproductive rights. Instead I got an angry teen that spends the first half of the book pining over a guy more than supporting her sister or protesting against pro-lifers like her best friend, who seemed far more interesting
I enjoyed the 90s nostalgia and the good music, but it read more like a wannabe love letter to Bikini Kill than anything. There wasn't enough rebellion, and Athena was a pretty crappy feminist
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked how the relationship between the two sisters developed and strengthened, and generally how they both grew and matured over the course of the book. That experience of learning new things which leads to a deepening of one's personality felt very true to life in terms of my own experience as a teen. I also liked how the group of girls fell on a spectrum of viewpoints about abortion, and how they each held onto those beliefs while still being able to come together for a single goal, a ...more
Note: an eARC of this title was acquired via NetGalley.

On its surface, Rebel Girls is a book about abortion, which shouldn't have been a dirty word in 1992, the year the book takes place, or even now, in 2019, but it still kind of is and so here we are. 🤷‍♀️ I loved that Elizabeth Keenan decided to write a book focusing on abortion—as well as feminism, female friendships, slut-shaming, and bullying—because where were those books when I was a teenager? It took me until I was 26 until I remember e
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