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Girls with Sharp Sticks #2

Girls with Razor Hearts

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It’s time to fight back in this second novel in a thrilling, subversive near future series from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Young about a girls-only private high school that is far more than it appears to be.

Make me a girl with a razor heart…

It’s been weeks since Mena and the other girls of Innovations Academy escaped their elite boarding school. Although traumatized by the violence and experimentations that occurred there, Mena quickly discovers that the outside world can be just as unwelcoming and cruel. With no one else to turn to, the girls only have each other—and the revenge-fueled desire to shut down the corporation that imprisoned them.

The girls enroll in Stoneridge Prep, a private school with suspect connections to Innovations, to identify the son of an investor and take down the corporation from the inside. But with pressure from Leandra, who revealed herself to be a double-agent, and Winston Weeks, an academy investor gone rogue, Mena wonders if she and her friends are simply trading one form of control for another. Not to mention the woman who is quite literally invading Mena’s thoughts—a woman with extreme ideas that both frighten and intrigue Mena.

And as the girls fight for freedom from their past—and freedom for the girls still at Innovations—they must also face new questions about their existence…and what it means to be girls with razor hearts.

390 pages, Paperback

First published March 17, 2020

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About the author

Suzanne Young

46 books4,636 followers
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 www.suzanne-young.blogspot.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 485 reviews
Profile Image for Tucker  (TuckerTheReader).
908 reviews1,585 followers
June 25, 2020

Many thanks to Lauren at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review
"Save the girls. Save the world.

SIGH. I have mixed feelings on this one. There is a side of me that is like: FIVE STARS! PERFECTION! I LOVE IT!
And there is a part of me that is like:

And, because of this, I simply won't feel comfortable with a rating above 3.5 stars.

So, what's this book about?

It’s been weeks since Mena and the other girls of Innovations Academy escaped their elite boarding school. Although traumatized by the violence and experimentations that occurred there, Mena quickly discovers that the outside world can be just as unwelcoming and cruel. With no one else to turn to, the girls only have each other—and the revenge-fueled desire to shut down the corporation that imprisoned them.

The girls enroll in Stoneridge Prep, a private school with suspect connections to Innovations, to identify the son of an investor and take down the corporation from the inside. But with pressure from Leandra, who revealed herself to be a double-agent, and Winston Weeks, an academy investor gone rogue, Mena wonders if she and her friends are simply trading one form of control for another. Not to mention the woman who is quite literally invading Mena’s thoughts—a woman with extreme ideas that both frighten and intrigue Mena.

And as the girls fight for freedom from their past—and freedom for the girls still at Innovations—they must also face new questions about their existence…and what it means to be girls with razor hearts.

Let me start with the positive because once I start talking about the negative, it's gonna come pouring out of me and it will seem like I hate this book which I don't... there was just one aspect that was annoyed the crap out of me.

I absolutely loved book one, Girls With Sharp Sticks for so many reasons, all of which were in this book.

The plot twists - Holy moly, Suzanne Young can really write plot twists. Every time, I felt sure about a character or an aspect of the plot, Suzanne Young just threw in a twist that perfectly shifted everything in the most shocking and enjoyable way!

The girls - I truly adore the relationship all of the girls have with each other. It's inspiring and heartwarming and I can't wait to see more of them in the third book!

And now onto the aspect I hated (nay, despised)... Suzanne Young tried to include wayyyyy too many topics and tried wayyy too hard with them. And by topics I mean all of the following (she tried to discuss all of these):

-Global warming

There might even be more but I lost track. Let me just say that each and every one of these are EXTREMELY important topics that NEED to be discussed. That said, Suzanne tried to cram them all into one book and rather than being insightful, it just ended up feeling forced and cringey.

Also, of all these topics the most frustrating one was sexism. I know that by discussing sexism, I am wading into dangerous waters so let me say now that I am in no way trying to be offensive or unkind. These are my opinions. If you disagree, tell me! (kindly)

The way male privilege and sexism was covered in this book was truly horrendous. The blanket statement "Men are bad" was constantly being reinforced so many times. Rather than going into toxic masculinity, misogyny, or in any way properly diving into the topic, it was just the constant "Men are bad. Men are evil."

I think there was maybe one point where Mena thought "Maybe we shouldn't generalize" but that was soon forgotten and the rest of the book was "men are bad". Yes, it's true, there are men who are bad but we CANNOT continue to use these blanket statements because that is literally what sexism is!

Just as it is not okay to say "All women are overly emotional and illogical", it is equally not okay to say all men are misogynistic.


And because I want to avoid generalizations, I also want to recognize that (thank god) not all people think this way! This chunk of my review is addressing those who do think that way.

And, Suzanne Young, in case you're reading this, I want to stress that this is in no way a comment on you as a person. You are a very talented writer and I don't think you meant to cause harm. If you feel like I misinterpreted any parts of your novel or want to clarify something, please don't hesitate to reach out to me!

Overall, this book, despite its nearly fatal flaw, was enjoyable and I still recommend it!

Bottom Line:
3.5 stars
Age Rating - [ PG-13 ]
Content Screening (Spoilers) -
Educational Value (3/5) - [Highschool experience, Dealing with wounds, Technology]
Violence (5/5) - [Sexual and physical harassment/violence, Fights, Injuries, Death]
Sex (3/5) - [Off-page sex, Sexual themes, Discussion of sex, Sexual violence]
Language (3.5/5) - [F**k, D*mn, D*ck, Sh*t, Sl*t, B*tch]
Drinking/Drugs (3/5) - [Underage drinking, Medicinal drugs]
Content and Trigger Warnings - PTSD, Racism, Sexism, Classism, Homophobia, Sexual harassment, Physical harassment, Violence, Death, Injury, Social anxiety
Publication Date: March 17th, 2020
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Science Ficton/Dystopia

Girls with Sharp Sticks (#1) - ★★★★★
Girls with Razor Hearts (#2) - ★★★★☆


OMG! This was just as good as the first one if not better!!


I talked about this book in my latest booktube video!


i'm still in love with this cover







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Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
2,991 reviews363 followers
March 2, 2020
Girls with Razor Hearts was everything one would expect from the talented Young. It was so realistic in it's simplicity, horrifying in the what ifs, thought provoking, unique, and so, so, addicting.

I even dare say I loved this more than the first, which, let's be honest is rare in most series, trilogies, and duologies.

The girls were more fierce while also still maintaining their love for each other and those they've come to trust. In fact, the girl power in this book is what really makes it stand out. Girls in this horrible dark world that Young has created, have very little power anymore yet theses extraordinary girls, are winning that power back and are refusing to back down. They are going to fight for what is right, fair, and deserving.

I love love the women these girls are becoming. How they are progressing and changing and adapting.

I can not wait to see what is in store for them next. This was every bit as dramatic, exciting, and enchanting as it's predecessor and I want more!

*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,093 reviews1,509 followers
April 14, 2020
Girls with Razor Hearts by Suzanne Young is the second book in the thrilling young adult science fiction fantasy Girls with Sharp Sticks series. This second book picks up almost immediately after the end of the first book and would be best enjoyed by starting at the beginning of the series with Girls with Sharp Sticks.

In the first book of the series readers were introduced to Philomena or “Mena” who was one of the girls attending Innovations Academy, an elite and somewhat secretive boarding school where girls were graded more on looks and manners than academics. When out on a field trip Mena met a teenage boy that captured her attention which lead to the beginning of Mena and her friends catching onto things at the school that were not quite what they seemed.

This series continued to have a creepy and thrilling vibe to it as it picked right back up after the huge ending of the first book. The girls are now out of the school and onto a new quest which again kept the pages turning as I became invested once again in what their future would hold. This one did have the slight middle book feel as it did leave room for more but hopefully the series will prove to continue to be just as entertaining.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for JenacideByBibliophile.
208 reviews126 followers
March 17, 2020
Actual Rating: 3.5

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Simon and Schuster – SimonTeen, for an honest review.


The Caregiver.

The Doll.

The Educator.

The Seductress.

The Companion.

The Rebel.


“…the corporation created us to replace the girls in society who they couldn’t control.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“We were programmed to be obedient, but then we woke up.”


The girls have finally escaped Innovations Academy, along with the possessive and cruel men who promised to protect them. Having been bred to be obedient, subservient and to idolize men, the girls have finally awoken. They are no longer docile and afraid. They have found their sharp sticks, and they have procured their razor hearts. But what they didn’t expect upon leaving Innovations Academy, was that the outside world wasn’t going to be as welcoming and beautiful as they hoped. As the girls try to heal their bodies and hearts, they are pushed to find an investor in the academy that might be their ticket to tearing it all down. Though they have each other and immense love in their hearts, they soon realize that bad men weren’t just confined to the walls of the academy. That darkness lurks around every corner, in repulsive behavior and peer pressure. So the girls do what they do best…they fight.

Girls with kind Razor Hearts

Open your eyes, my father said.

The 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 make them proud afraid

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Girls with Razor Hearts is the second book in the amazing feminist sci-fi series, Girls with Sharp Sticks. After learning the truth behind their pasts, and what really went on at Innovations, the girls are on the outside with a mission to take the corporation down and to save the girls they left behind. But as they try to navigate this new world, they are still tracked down by people close to the academy – like Leandra, the headmaster’s wife who is also like them, and Winston Weeks, a prominent figure in the company. Leandra says she also wants to take the corporation down but needs the girls to find the top secret investors who are keeping Innovations afloat. Unsure of who to trust, the girls go along with Leandra’s plan while also searching for a way to free their girls.

“I scream in my head when I see the scalpel in her hand. She brings it to the center of my chest and slices me down the middle. Then she reaches inside and pulls out a heart of razor blades.”

Girls with Sharp Sticks shredded my heart and made me ache for unbreakable female companionship.

It gave me hope and filled my heart, instantly making me love and care for these beautiful, spirited girls. And in Girls with Razor Hearts, I was happy to find that these girls were just as loving and compassionate as before. Their bond with one another is a fierce gentleness that I have sadly never experienced before. It is so pure and untouchable by darkness. No matter what, these girls look out for each other and their best interests. They only want the best for one another – to be loved, respected, accepted and free. Mena, Sydney, Marcella, Brynn and Annalise are each unique and have traits that show pieces of their hearts. Their sharp minds, their tenacity, their nurturing nature and unwavering resilience. No matter what befalls these girls, their loyalty to each other can never be broken.


“The other girls are my strength, and I theirs. Together, we’re powerful.”

The plot in this second installment takes a drastic turn into a world that unfortunately closely mirrors our own. As the girls search for the son of an investor in a private school across the country, they realize the behaviors of the men from Innovations wasn’t just secluded to their former academy. They quickly become subjected to the cruel nature of boys who have been given too much power. Boys who take and abuse, and continue to without consequences or fear of being told on. The girls are put down and ridiculed while others look on, afraid to step in, and they are forced to play a game with the boys so they don’t make it worse for themselves.

“I’m sick of faking nice as a way to avoid violence, avoid menace.

Girls have to play nice or face the consequences.”


The behaviors from these boys is appalling and disgusting, but unfortunately, it isn’t something we as females have never experienced before. Suzanne Young has put the patriarchy under a blinding spotlight that shows the darkness and prejudices that are very true, even in today’s culture. It is sad and heartbreaking to see, but even more so because of the realistic nature of it all.

But while the message behind this book is extremely important, I feel like the story as a whole has slightly suffered due to unrelenting preaching that fills these pages.

I am a feminist to my core, but there is a point when a message becomes so repetitive that it becomes preaching. By the time I got halfway through this book, I felt like the disdain for the behaviors of men was being shoved down my throat. This series started out as a poetic tale that held important truths that were being discovered by beautiful souls, but it has turned into 390 pages of why men need to be taken down. In some cases the author says that men need to be taught, but then a few pages later it is being conveyed that they need to be destroyed. I am all for a book that educates and shines a light on the horrors that women face, but I don’t want the entire plot to be overshadowed completely. But that is what happened.

In Girls with Sharp Sticks, the reader is shown the fear and confusion that the girls face. It is raw and breaks down the realities and expectations that society places on girls, but it is delivered in innocence and sweetness. It felt so pure and honest, with an effortless nature that sang to my soul and stung my eyes with pride. But Girls with Razor Hearts seems to have lost that gentle ease. It felt forced, jagged and slightly aggressive in it’s voice. Instead of showing me the trauma that plagues the girls, I was told.

There were a lot of words and not enough feeling.

Though I am not as impressed with book two as I was with book one, I have high hopes that book three will tie things together and go back to the series’s roots. There was still a lot of thrilling and exciting things that happened in this sequel, with the return of characters and the introduction of new ones. But I feel like this might be the stepping stone to the next installment, and I am very interested to see where Suzanne Young takes this. This was a great sequel, but I really want to feel a bit more from book three.
Profile Image for Valliya Rennell.
347 reviews229 followers
May 10, 2021
1.75 stars
**Although is a spoiler free review (spoilers are hidden), there may be spoilers for book 1, Girls with Sharp Sticks**

If there would be more than one book more in this series, I'd DNF it. I had a few qualms with Girls with Sharp Sticks, but I found the overall plot to be engaging and the feminism to be well represented. At the end of my review, I stated that I feared that this sequel was about to do a lot of man-hating because of what happened during the last few chapters. The generalisations weren't as bad as I thought they'd be, but this book went down a totally different rabbit hole.

Hours after Mena and the other girls find themselves escaping Innovations Academy, a plot to end the corporation that made them begins to unfold. Leandra tasks the girls with finding one of the original Investors in Connecticut. Mena and Sydney end up going to Ridgeview Prep where they are faced with the misogyny of high school boys and learn about microaggressions. But Academy officials are on the hunt for the girls, will they find the Investor before they're taken back to the Academy?

Alright, an interesting direction for the book to go in, right? Unfortunately, the writing degrades a lot:
“We’ll have to admit that we’re not human. And that everything we’ve ever known was a lie.”

I mean come on. Really? There is also another "I'm not like the other girls" joke later one, which just feels 4th wall breaking for no reason. But other than the actual way of forming sentences, the writing of the commentary decreases too. This book tries to tackle a lot of issues mainly local sexual harassment at a young age. Thing is, it is done in a hyperbolised way so as to make it obvious to the reader what is going on. I know it is crazy, but readers generally will pick up on hints and you don't need to make Ridgeview Prep seem like Innovations 2.0. Microaggressions are so powerful because they are small everyday things that slowly eat away at you. Suzanne Young doesn't capture it well. In fact, she makes somewhat of a caricature of it. If you want to read a book that explores similar themes, please read My Dark Vanessa . If you want a movie that discusses these themes in nuanced ways, please watch Promising Young Woman. This book simply does not accomplish what it wants to. In trying to discuss these topics, actually a part of the plot falls apart, but I'll address this in spoilers.

Overall I think this book is less enjoyable because of its plot. Its predecessor relied on the twists and turns as the reader didn't quite know what was going on and you were on the journey with Mena to figure out what was occurring in Innovations. This book is pushing its agenda onto you, but does so in a manner that makes you cringe. Are there some good moments? Yeah of course, there is a teacher through whom I think the role of the bystander is portrayed in a thought provoking way, but these occurrences are rare. So the girls are looking for the Investor right? Right, so, without spoiling, let's just say they aren't too involved in the actual finding of him. I wish I could say more, but there really isn't much to say. Instead we get more information about the groups of people involved in the scheming. This was definitely a more 'theme' and exposition based novel.

Before I close this review out, I do have to discuss Jackson. He is the sweetest. Best character in the entire crew. Mb>To be fair, I found that Marcella, Annalise, Sydney, and Bryce were just grouped in with Mena and given the occasional dialogue, but they didn't really do much other than that. Annalise shows some initiative in the end, sure, but the others are either used as a plot device or a laugh-factor. Sydney had a few good scenes through which the author also tries to tackle racism, and I think she accomplished that better than she did her portrayal of misogyny. Other than this though (and really I'm talking maybe 20 pages), the girls are blank slates. Jackson isn't, and he has my heart.

I can't say I loved this novel. It was just below 'ok' for me. Nevertheless, I will read the last book eventually.


Books in Series:
#1 Girls with Sharp Sticks: ★★★.25
#2 Girls with Razor Hearts: ★.75
Profile Image for Amelie.
90 reviews39 followers
November 24, 2020
“Our beauty is a distraction from our deadly potential.”

Girls With Razor Hearts was a powerful, gripping story, which continued on right where Girls With Sharp Sticks concluded, and followed the mission of the girls to go undercover in another school and seek more information about one of the investor’s to cut the funding directed towards the Innovations Academy. But the girls soon realise that the outside world is just as cruel and dangerous as the academy, which is clearly shown through the horrible treatment the girls face from the males at their new school.

While I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first one, it was still a highly enjoyable sequel which tackled concerning issues in society which really made me question the current situation at hand. The writing was easy to follow and highly engaging, and while I found some of the plot twists to be quite predictable, the book itself was still quite suspenseful and impactful. In some ways the fact that the girls were attending a normal school made it easier to relate to them as well. While the girls were focused on their mission, I loved how they weren’t afraid to use their voices to speak out for the girls being harassed and silenced at their new school, and this book clearly raised issues about such crucial issues in society that need to be corrected.

“Deeply felt emotions are our power. Our ability to feel is just as important as our ability to think.”

I loved how close the girls were and how they were always there for each other. The sense of companionship and love they had for each other was incredibly touching, and while it was sad seeing the trauma the girls had been put through from the suffering they had faced, I loved how they helped each other overcome their pain, and fought back against societal norms and the patriarchy. It was horrible seeing how there was a lack of women rights, as well as, sexism and male dominance over the girls in the school. This book clearly shows the negative effects of the patriarchy and how the girls were treated as inferior to males, resulting in reluctance to challenge authority, and expectations to do what was in preference of males. However, I found it to be incredibly empowering to see the girls fight back and challenge these societal norms, and the themes of friendship were expressed incredibly well in the book.

“Our reaction to their violence is what the girls and I are trying to weigh out now. You don’t beat a monster by becoming one yourself.”

I loved how this book brought to light issues that are relevant to society, and really made me question what would be the appropriate change to resolve such issues in society. For example, we see how some of the characters are fuelled by their desire for revenge, and seek to have females take charge instead. While this is an understandable view which even Mena and some of the girls considered, it was obviously not the right solution as we should be working towards gender equality and you can’t defeat evil with evil, as two wrongs don’t make a right.

I loved how this book showed that change can be slow and sometimes when you do the right thing it feels insignificant and meaningless, but it’s little steps that matter and add up to the overall picture, and persistently working towards positive changes no matter how gradual it may be, can have overall positive effects and aren’t completely meaningless. And while males were painted in a negative light for the majority of the book, I liked how the book showed that not every single male is bad, especially in Jackson’s case, where he supported Mena and the girls no matter what, without hesitation.

Overall, this was still an enjoyable sequel to Girls With Sharp Sticks, which again challenged relevant issues in society, and I found it to be incredibly powerful and engaging! I cannot wait to read the final book in the series, to learn how everything is finally concluded, and what will become of the girls!

4/5 stars

Profile Image for Jen Ryland.
1,451 reviews899 followers
February 16, 2020
I really enjoyed Girls With Sharp Sticks and appreciate the feminist themes of this series so I'm sad to say this second installment was a bit of a miss for me.

I felt that GWRH suffered from a problem I used to frequently see in YA dystopian trilogies. At the end of book one, the characters finally figure out how to make their harrowing escape from the repressive regime in which they've been trapped. This is great for the characters but ... then what? In addition, for some reason the couple in the book almost always ends up separated in book two which means all the romantic tension also drains away. As a result both the plot and characters start to feel like they are spinning their wheels. A recovery can be possible in book three, though sometimes not. (I feel like this needs its own blog post, so thanks for bearing with me.)

My favorite parts of Girls With Sharp Sticks were the relationships between the female students at the academy, the mystery of the creepy goings-on at their school, and Mena being bravely and dangerously drawn to the outside world ... and Jackson. I thought it all worked really well! But in this book, to me it all felt watered down.

In this installment, two of the escaped girls go undercover at a co-ed private school (in Connecticut?) to try to identify one of the sons of the financial backers of the Innovation Academy so they can get information to bring the project down.

We already know the main mystery of the girls (see spoilers above). I thought the new school setting was way less mysterious and compelling. (Yes, this book makes the point that the new school and its male students are infuriatingly sexist and misogynistic, but we already knew that about the story world from the first book.) Jackson, the love interest (and one of the few nice guys in the series) gets almost completely sidelined.

I can see on here that other readers are still loving this series, so keep in mind that a) I'm not the most enthusiastic dystopian reader and got a bit overloaded on it during its YA heyday b) I am of the opinion that many dystopians should be standalones, ending with the escape and c) this is ALL just my take and you might completely disagree!

Read more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Let's be friends on Bookstagram!

Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!
Profile Image for Monica (crazy_4_books).
661 reviews115 followers
July 14, 2021
This series is YA at its best. I can't say much about this sequel without spoiling the first book.
The feminist roots that were explored in the first book are now even more present, very explicitly. Like the first book showed, men are portrayed as predators who use women for their own desires and then dispose of them. The girls from the Academy after learning at the end of the first book what they really are, now they realize the outside world isn't much better and most men are assholes, and some women are quite awful too. So, they go rogue, make a plan, try to put it in motion and fight for their freedom and their lives.
The first book contained a sense of mystery that now isn't there anymore because of reveals, but the plot has some good twists especially during the last 70 pages that rounded up my rating. It's as fast-paced as the first book. There's more action scenes in this one. Some new characters, some new revelations and more development on some characters which were in the first book. It begins right after the end of the first book and ends with a cliffhanger. Prediction: "Girls with rebel souls" will probably be the title of the third book. I'm sorry for being so vague about it, but I don't want to ruin it for anybody.
The first book is like the YA version of Season One of "Westworld" and this one is similar to the third season of "Westworld", not exactly the same but it has an aura about it. I also don't want to spoil "Westworld" for anyone who's interested in that show and has not seen it yet. The inspiration from TV show "The Handmaid's tale" is now more vivid.
Go pick up this series. It's really good.
Profile Image for Pine tree leaf stick.
182 reviews303 followers
August 22, 2020
I enjoyed this book, but it wasn’t as good as Girls With Sharp Sticks. I liked Girls With Sharp Sticks because there were constant plot twists and crazy stuff going on and it entertained me the whole time. That book was a solid 5 stars all the way through. This one started off kind of boring. Closer to the end, I got scenes like those I loved in Girls With Sharp Sticks, but this one didn’t hook me as much.

I don’t really have much to say because I still liked the characters and all that. I think the plot was just less interesting. I’m interested to see what’s going on with Leandra and Lennon Rose, but this book kind of seemed like a bridge between the events of the first book and whatever will happen in book three.

Girls With Sharp Sticks intrigued me because of the obvious abuse that the girls didn’t question and all the conspiracy theories I had surrounding the academy’s practices, but this one didn’t have the same catch.

And I’m only saying all the negative things because I don’t know how to compliment good books without spoilers. This book has...what do people say about second books? You may think that I’m now going to answer that question but I genuinely have no idea because I don’t have enough brain cells to remember.

Profile Image for Howard.
1,123 reviews69 followers
April 20, 2020
3 Stars for Girls With Razor Hearts (audiobook) by Suzanne Young read by Caitlin Davies. Not as interesting as the first book but still ok. Narration is still good.
Profile Image for Jenn.
1,706 reviews286 followers
November 23, 2020
2.5 Stars

After the explosive first book, I was greatly disappointed in this one. What seemed to be an interesting plot full of twists and surprises, just turned into what felt like a feminist rant about how all men are evil and they should die.

After the end of book 1, we see our girls striking out on their own on a mission to take down the Academy and the investors. While that appeared to still be part of the mission, it gets escalated very quickly to almost a world domination level - which really turned me off. What I liked about the first book - the sisterhood, girl power - felt exploited here.

The main theme of this book seemed to be sexism - a very important topic and something we need to continue to talk about. But the way it was portrayed just didn't seem realistic. There's overt sexual assault in this book, right in front of adults such as teachers and principals, yet nothing is done or discussed. I get that we have rape culture and our society likes to blame the victim, but it just went over the top here. I also have never been a fan of "I'm a feminist therefore I hate all men" trope and that was very strong in here.

Another issue I had was how trusting the girls were. Coming from the academy where they learned everything they knew was a lie and not being able to trust anything, they certainly latched onto new people here super quickly. It just made no sense.

And finally, where were the shocking twists? The gasping revelations? The major "twist" was extremely predictable.

I think this book lacks world building. In the first book, we were stuck in the school with little hints of the outside world. We knew what the girls knew which was very little. But the girls have been on the outside now with access to the internet, yet we as the audience still don't know a lot about this world. I just want it flushed out a little more and then maybe all these weird actions of people will make a little more sense. I really hope Young is able to bring the series back on track and give us something on the same level as the first one.
Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,693 reviews855 followers
July 27, 2022
#1) Girls with Sharp Sticks ★★★★☆
#3) Girls with Rebel Souls ★★★☆☆

As much as the first book took me by surprise, Girls with Razor Hearts reminded me of my initial expectations for this series. The plot was watered down and implausible. While there was still a massive focus on solidarity and female friendships (thank God), I found the rebellion plot did little to engage me. There is no doubt in my mind that I’ll finish the series off but I might have to lower my expectations slightly.

Trigger warnings for .

▷ Representation: f/f side couple.

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Profile Image for Cortney -  The Bookworm Myrtle Beach.
807 reviews101 followers
June 3, 2021
Well, this book was kind of a bummer. For how much I loved Girls with Sharp Sticks, Girls with Razor Hearts was a disappointing follow up. It was missing the magic and the "let's all fight the patriarchy" rage that the first one inspired in me. It all felt forced and contrived to get that reaction.

It was still OK. I just hope the final book channels what made the first one special.

Profile Image for Brittany.
845 reviews111 followers
April 13, 2020
4 Stars!!

" Save the Girls, Save the World."

Make me a girl with a razor heart…

It’s been weeks since Mena and the other girls of Innovations Academy escaped their elite boarding school. Although traumatized by the violence and experimentation's that occurred there, Mena quickly discovers that the outside world can be just as unwelcoming and cruel. With no one else to turn to, the girls only have each other—and the revenge-fueled desire to shut down the corporation that imprisoned them.

The girls enroll in a private school with suspect connections to Innovations, to identify the son of an investor and take down the corporation from the inside. But with pressure from Leandra, who revealed herself to be a double-agent, and Winston Weeks, an academy investor gone rogue, Mena wonders if she and her friends are simply trading one form of control for another. Not to mention the woman who is quite literally invading Mena’s thoughts—a woman with extreme ideas that both frighten and intrigue Mena.

And as the girls fight for freedom from their past—and freedom for the girls still at Innovations—they must also face new questions about their existence…and what it means to be girls with razor hearts.

Most of the time I have to re-read books that have sequels because I want to refresh what was going on- I didnt have to do that with this one!! I remembered it vividly. Maybe because in my last review, I compared it to The Handmaids Tale
, and Westworld
having a child. You just dont forget that Fiction BABY.

As I read through this installment- I found it also had glimpses of 13 reasons why.
These books are so fun because it shows how the characters start off being so timid and scared and through out the series as they find out more things about themselves, they become stronger, more bad ass- and the best part is the girls are actually civil with one another and get along. There is no shaming or any type of competition with girls and that is such a great thing to read in a novel in today's time.

I really enjoyed Menas character arc in book 2. The way she doesn't put all her trust in certain people and how her discernment is really starting to grow. I sadly wish there was more Jackson in this book, but alas this is a story about "GIRLS" finding their strength. I absolutely love this series and look forward to book 3! Highly recommend!
Profile Image for Robin.
837 reviews191 followers
March 16, 2020
I received this as an ARC from Simon Pulse via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Oof.... this was so rough. I will try to keep this pretty brief, because in all honesty, I started skimming around the 45% mark and don't really have anything good to say.

This book lacked an semblance of subtly or finesse. Every single sentence felt like it was trying to be quote worthy and impactful. Every character was an over the top caricature. I felt like I was being beaten over the head by a caveman with a club - men bad.

I'm all in for feminist literature and taking out the patriarchy, but damn... Every single male in here was utter abusive garbage - except, of course, for the lone "love interest". And on top if it, this book felt the need to tackle every topic under the sun - sexism, racism, global warming, classism, wealth discrepancy, bullying, abuse, harassment, the list goes on. It was too much and made the book feel like it lacked any determinate direction.

The plot was minimal and meandering at best. The dialogue was awkward. And it drove me mad that there were paragraphs of exposition directly following every action scene reiterating what happened. For example - a character wraps her arms around a character then starts walking them up the stairs. Then in her head she states, and I quote: "I'm helping him up the stairs". Exactly zero people walk up the stairs and think to themselves, I'm walking up the stairs. Readers aren't stupid, you don't have to spell it out, I can clearly see what is happening.

Overall this was a mess. If you enjoyed book 1, I recommend leaving it there and skipping this sequel.
Profile Image for The Nerd Daily.
720 reviews344 followers
April 12, 2020
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Nathalie DeFelice

A story about female empowerment during a dystopian future was just the story I needed right now. This story doesn’t just center around one female though, but a group of young women, fighting to liberate themselves from being abused, used, and neglected by those who hold power. These young women have taken the reins for themselves and dive deep to see just how far they are willing to go for their freedom. I was hooked to this book from start to finish and I cannot wait to see what happens next. This is a sequel, so if you haven’t read the first of this story, you might want to pick up Girls With Sharp Sticks first. It’s simply stunning, you definitely don’t want to miss it. I will warn you that both of these stories have triggering material in them. Although nothing is specifically depicted, the characters do recall memories of abuse and trauma. If you’re sensitive to these topics, you might approach this book with some caution. However, I do still recommend this book, because I feel like it is a very strong read!

Girls With Razor Hearts picks up just after the ending of Girls With Sharp Sticks. Mena and her friends have escaped Innovations Academy to find that the real world is no less cruel than what they experienced within the academy walls. Despite the trauma the girls have experienced, they’re fuelled to seek revenge on those who did them harm, and ultimately take down the corporation that took them prisoner. They start by enrolling in Stoneridge Prep, where the girls are hoping to identify the son of an investor with links to the corporation. Their mission is to take the corporation down from within, with help from Leandra, who’s proven herself to be a double agent, and Winston Weeks who’s gone from academy investor to rogue agent. The girls are wondering if they are simply trading one form of control for another…along with a voice that keeps sneaking into Mena’s thoughts. The voice whispers about extreme ideas that are both exciting and frightening to Mena, but as they face new questions about their past and future existence…they’ll have to start figuring out what it means to be girls with razor hearts.

This story is fast paced from the beginning, which was exciting for me. If you’re still not sure, but love fast paced stories, you’ll be hooked in the first thirty pages. More importantly, Suzanne Young continues to deliver those insane plot twists from the first book. There were definitely some shocking reveals in this sequel that I’m excited to see others read. It definitely helped build up anticipation for the third book. The plot in this book continues to keep you on your toes, and it seems like nowhere is safe for these girls. Mena is trying to figure out if the voice in her head is a sign that she’s more broken than she already is, all the while also trying to keep it together long enough to take down the establishment that abused her for so long.

Mena continues to be the primary perspective in this book, although reader’s will be delighted to see a new voice come into play at the end. Mena does quite a bit of character development in both good and bad ways. She’s trying very hard to figure out how to play a game where someone else holds all the cards, she’s hearing the voice of someone who might be after more than just liberation, and trying to keep someone she’s interested safe by cutting off communication. There are so many important conversations going on, that it was a bit confusing at times, trying to keep up with all the things going on in Mena’s head. However, she had some stellar badass moments.

Suzanne Young tackles a lot of “-isms” in this book, which was definitely commendable. Sexism, racism, and classism are all subjects that come up frequently in this book. There are also scenes that deal with homophobia, bullying, and PTSD. I can’t speak to the representation of some of these, but what I can say is that at times it felt like there were a lot of messages that were trying to be handled at one time. I do appreciate the willingness to give platforms to these important subjects, and I think that once the third book is out things will be more cohesive. There were some generalisations made that I feel are driving one of the main plot points of this book, and I would love to talk about it more, but you have to read this book! I’d love to discuss it further with someone.

I loved the focus on the girls in this story, while still making a little time for romance. Respectful, consensual romance. On both sides. If you’re not big on romance, it’s definitely not a significant part of the story, and it doesn’t take away from anything that it’s there. I can also see some other relationships forming, and I’m very curious as to how that is going to play out in the next book. I certainly hope it plays out for the better. *fingers crossed*

With such a fast pace, I finished this book in a few hours of a day. If you’re finding yourself with more time on your hands, I definitely recommend adding this to your tbr list. While there are a few mixed messages, it’s a worthy read full of thrills and plot twists that will drive you to turn the page until the very end. This is an 8/10 for me! Add it to your TBR!
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,127 reviews458 followers
March 19, 2020
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult / Science Fiction
*Rating* 3.5


Girls with Razor Hearts is the second installment in author Suzanne Young's Girls with Sharp Sticks trilogy. It’s been a few weeks since Philomena (Mena), Sydney, Annalise, Brynn, & Marcella escaped Innovations Academy after learning a devastating secret: they're not human. Coming to terms with the fact that they are AI, created by men to be controlled and dominated by men, they are devastated and shell shocked. The girls now have one goal in mind, revenge. But, they are also trying to learn about the school's investors so they can destroy them.

*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*

Profile Image for Lindsay.
1,248 reviews219 followers
May 19, 2020
The follow on from Girls with Sharp Sticks expands the setting into a future US where the rights of women are under serious threat. Unfortunately a heavy-handed approach fails to reproduce the cleverness of the first book.

Mena and the rest of the escaped girls from Innovations Academy are learning to live in the real world, but they're under threat from several sources. The people who run Innovations are still looking for them, but so are separate groups that wish to use the girls for their own ends. In an effort to track down a major investor in their creation, Mena and Sydney enroll in a private school, Stoneridge Prep, only to discover that the same level of sexism that thinks it's ok to create female bodies with robot brains with no rights, turns out to be rampant and institutionalized at this new school.

I had trouble with this book. The first book demonstrated sexism and its particular manifestations in a specific environment crafted to be that way very successfully. This one carries forward similar ideas but transplanting those attitudes into the real world comes with problems. The book can't seem to make up its mind between open tolerance of sexism in society and people being shamed and facing consequences for their misogynistic and racist attitudes.

It's a book that demonstrates a lot of the frustrations of a feminist living in a US under the grip of right wing conservative government and a society where some religious groups have an oversized say in social policy, but does so in an exaggerated enough way that it makes it hard to suspend disbelief.
Profile Image for brutallyhonestbookworm.
125 reviews10 followers
May 7, 2020
um where’s the rest of the book. I don’t want to wait for another one!! But other than the fact that I have to wait for a third book I really loved this book. It was as good, maybe even better, that the first.
Profile Image for ♠ TABI⁷ ♠.
Author 15 books478 followers
Want to read
September 17, 2019
Edelwiess needs to calm down okay I already love it so it can wait a few days before approving my requests instead of answering in 5 minutes
Profile Image for Andi (Andi's ABCs).
1,539 reviews187 followers
February 26, 2020
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. When I finished Girls with Sharp Sticks I was completely blown away by the journey Suzanne Young took her readers on. She took an idea she had and made it into something that is so hard to describe without spoiling the epic twists and turns in the book. So when I heard there was going to be more in this world I was so very excited. And when I finally got to read Girls with Razor Hearts I was even more thrilled because simply stated…it was amazing!

Girls with Razor Hearts picks up where Girls with Sharp Sticks leaves off. If you haven’t read Sharp Sticks then I recommend running out and picking it up, reading it, and then grabbing Razor Hearts.  The girls have left the academy and have one plan, to take down the whole institution. With only one lead the girls are enrolled in a snobby prep school and soon learn there is more evil in the world than just the men at Innovations Academy. With only each other to rely on, the must work together to take down these men at hurt women, but at what cost to them?

The thing I loved about Girls with Razor Hearts (and Sharp Sticks) is how it can easily cross the line into a ‘hate all men’ stereotypical book but Suzanne has worked hard to make that not the case. Through the eyes of Mena you learn that there are some really horrible, bad men out there, but there are also men that are good and kind and genuine. Mena sees that not everyone is the same and they should all be judged the same. She refuses to take a side unless it is the side to end the way people are treated because of who they are. That right there is the message I get from these books and what makes me love them.

There is not a lot of things you can count on in life, but I can always count on Suzanne Young to give me a 5 star read that will have me wanting more and that is exactly what she did here. Razor Hearts is more about girls being stronger together to take down people that are trying to hurt them and it left me dying for the next book. Definitely read this fantastically crafted story. You won’t be disappointed.
Profile Image for Lisa Mandina.
1,839 reviews416 followers
March 20, 2020
I really was excited to get a copy of this to read after how the first book Girls with Sharp Sticks ended. This was really intense from the very beginning, but I also like how it picked up almost immediately after book one, and that way, with the comments and things the characters said and did, I was able to pick right back up to remember exactly what had happened.

What’s sad is that the school they go to now that they’re out of Innovations Academy is a private school, with boys and girls, but it seems the boys are just horrible and get away with all kinds of treatment of the girls. And what is worse is that the administration of the school lets it go. Not to mention the teachers and school security officers who blame the girls for the things that happen to them. It’s very much what is seen in society today, and it is interesting how it is written into this story.

The extra bit to this is that the “girls” aren’t completely human as we learned in the last book. They are A.I. But they still are worried about people hacking into their brains. Not only that, they learn that they may have expiration dates/self-destruct modes built in to their wiring/programs.

This story keeps you on the edge from the very beginning until the very end. And we’re left still needing a lot of things to be solved. So I’m very glad to see there is a book three supposedly coming out next year.

Review first published on Lisa Loves Literature.
Profile Image for Leo.
4,247 reviews385 followers
November 29, 2020
I thought this was the last book at first but I'm glad I was wrong, can't wait for the third one to come out next year. I love this series, it's just to wonderful crafted. The girls in a boarding school fighting evil is becoming a favorite thrope of mine and I definitely want to read more books like that. I enjoyed the dystopian feel to it, even if it isnt. The huge debate on sexism even if it's over dramatic for this story to work, I highly enjoyed it. Felt a little like a YA young adult. The dynamic between the characters and the dialogue is close to perfect and the evil characters are written with prime skill. They evil yes but you can see in their twisted minds they think they are right. Don't like when I characters are just evil, without having a good base to it. Ugh I want the third book so bad!
Profile Image for Nova Syzygy.
586 reviews41 followers
May 5, 2020
In a world where incels finally got what they wanted, radical feminists and SJW’s fight for themselves. Actually normal, rational people Mena and her friends try to fight for equality, instead of trying to kill all men and/or all humans.

Review to come later.

Pre-reading Review:
I seem to have forgotten how to English very well, so this next bit about my thoughts on this book cover and summary will be in caveman-speak:

ooh oh wow pretty cover i want buy i need buy need book yes pretty cover razor metal thing in chest nice i buy soon
Profile Image for Serena ♡.
151 reviews6 followers
May 30, 2022

it’s a great sequel, better than the first one in my opinion. but i did miss some bits as far the activism goes (would’ve liked to see more addressed on racism, homophobia and deeper into the misogyny, since it’s all intertwined anyway). it does get quite personal, i liked that.

also the narrator (i mainly listened to the audiobook) gets the books “vibe” very well across… which isn’t exactly a good thing, since i find the writing style very abrupt and… boring. i can get behind it tho, since the book in general was very enjoyable
Profile Image for Nevena.
76 reviews35 followers
June 25, 2021
You have no idea how angry I am with the truth contained in this book. There was a rage boiling inside me that I didn't even know I could contain. So much injustice, disrespect, humiliation towards women ...

I believe the girls will win in the third book, (if not, I will burn the books) but again, how do you deal with that in the real world?


Profile Image for Elizabeth Aguilar.
577 reviews56 followers
March 29, 2020

Quick thoughts: While the plot twists were a little less impactful than its predecessor, Girls with Razor Hearts was nonetheless a great sequel. However, it did feel a bit like a filler on the way to fighting the BIG Bad.

Overall, I continue to read because I love the girls' friendship. I also appreciate having a predominantly female cast with complex characters.
Profile Image for Amber (Ambee's Bookish Pages).
502 reviews56 followers
January 10, 2020
The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz

Thank you so much Simon Teen for sending me an ARC of GIRLS WITH RAZOR HEARTS to read and review!

I adored Girls With Sharp Sticks, it was the one book that I read in 2019 that I couldn’t stop talking about. So, when a copy of Girls With Razor Hearts appeared in my mailbox I had to dive into it right away. It’s been a couple of days but all I can say is: wow. Girls With Razor Hearts was a thrill ride from page one and did not let up till the last page. Speaking of the last page: WHAT. THE. HECK. How can Suzanne leave us like that?!

Girls With Razor Hearts starts right where Girls With Sharp Sticks ended. Mena and the girls are fleeing from Innovations Academy after learning a devastating secret: they aren’t human. Coming to terms with the fact that they are AI, created by men to be controlled and dominated, they are devastated and shell shocked. But underneath the devastation they are desperate to get the other girls out of Innovations Academy. Leandra, the head master's wife appears to be a double agent and tells the girls to track down Winston Weeks, an investors in the academy. If Mena and the girls can identify the heads of the corporations they could shut down innovations for good. Their first lead is that a member is laundering money through Stoneridge academy, a private school in which their son attends. The goal is simple: get close to the investor’s son, get him to spill and get his father out of the way. Only, things aren’t that simple.

I talked about in my Girls With Sharp Sticks review that if a book doesn’t make you angry, then it isn’t doing it’s job. Girls With Sharp Sticks did that for me and now I am adding Girls With Razor Hearts. It makes me angry in a sense that some of the examples in Girls With Razor Hearts is something we see day to day, whether in real life or on the news. The dystopian setting or this novel is very close to our current world and as a woman that is unsettling.

Viewing not only how Mena and the other girls who escaped Innovations Academy but the girls who attend Stoneridge are treated is appalling. Mena is witnessing sexism and racism first hand for the first time and where many woman in this society have learned to back down and keep their heads down, she refuses too. Essentially, she escaped the Academy to be in another dangerous game.

The twists and turns that this book takes doesn’t slow down for a second. Every time I thought my heart was going to stop racing and things were going to calm down Suzanne threw another plot twist in to keep her readers on their toes. A lot of my questions from Girls With Sharp Sticks were answered but this book left me with so many more that I can’t wait to see answered in the next book.

Overall I really enjoyed Girls With Razor Hearts and I am eagerly awaiting news on the next book. I highly recommend this book to all sci-fi fans but also people who want to read about girls standing up for themselves and not taking anymore shit from the men who try to control them.
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