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Bad Girls Never Say Die

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From the acclaimed author of Moxie comes a gripping gender-flipped reimagining of The Outsiders that explores the deep bonds of female friendship and what it takes to be a "bad girl."

1964. Houston, Texas.

Evie Barnes is a bad girl. So are all her friends. They’re the sort who wear bold makeup, laugh too loud, and run around with boys. Most of all, they protect their own against the world. So when Evie is saved from a sinister encounter by a good girl from the "right" side of the tracks, every rule she's always lived by is called into question. Now she must redefine what it means to be a bad girl and rethink everything she knew about loyalty.

In this riveting story of murder, secrets, and tragedy, Jennifer Mathieu puts a female twist on S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders . Bad Girls Never Say Die has all the drama and heartache of that teen classic, but with a feminist take just right for our times.

304 pages, Hardcover

First published October 19, 2021

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About the author

Jennifer Mathieu

13 books1,318 followers
I'm a high school English teacher, writer, wife, and mom who writes books for and about young adults. My novels are MOXIE, THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE, DEVOTED, AFTERWARD, and THE LIARS OF MARIPOSA ISLAND.

My fourth novel MOXIE is a film on Netflix, directed by Amy Poehler!

My sixth novel, BAD GIRLS NEVER SAY DIE, will be out in October 2021. It's a gender-flipped, feminist reimagining of one of my favorite books of all time, THE OUTSIDERS.

All my novels are published by Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan.

My favorite things include chocolate, pepperoni pizza, and this super hilarious 1980s sitcom about four retired women called The Golden Girls. I can basically quote every episode.

I live in Texas with my husband, son, dog, and cat.

When it comes to what I read, I love realistic young adult fiction (duh), creative nonfiction, super scandalous tell-all memoirs and unauthorized biographies, and basically anything that hooks me on the first page.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 392 reviews
Profile Image for Provin Martin.
240 reviews31 followers
May 11, 2022
Bad Girls Never Say Die has been hailed as ‘a modern day, female version of The Outsiders. ‘. I think it would make S.E. Hinton proud!

Evie Barnes is a teenager growing up in southern Texas during the 60’s. She thinks she’s a bad girl because she hangs out with Connie and the rest of the bad girls. But the truth is: Evie is a little soft. She doesn’t skip all of her classes. And she respects her grandma and mother, whom she lives with.

Connie‘s been sent away for her bad behavior, but now she’s back. Evie joins the girls to celebrate Connie’s return. They decide to go see the shows at the drive-in theater. While getting refreshments, Evie sees a new girl from her school, Diane, getting picked on. Even though Diane is part of a different crowd, Evie still defends her. This comes in handy since Evie is attacked later that same night and it’s Diane who saves her. But at what cost?

Diane and Evie now share a secret and that secret starts an unlikely friendship between two girls from different sides of town. Your heart will be warmed by their friendship until the last pages are read.

In similar form to the authors previous book, MOXIE, readers will be rooting for the female characters as they stand up for their rights and claim their place in this crazy world.
Profile Image for Leo.
4,300 reviews385 followers
July 7, 2022
It comes to no surprise that I gave this 5 stars as I did the same with the first book I read by Jennifer Mathieu "Moxie". This had me engaged all the way through and I really like her writing style
Profile Image for Mallory.
1,118 reviews76 followers
October 23, 2021
Overall I give this book a 3.5 rounded up for star selections. I feel like if it hadn’t advertised being a gender swapped Outsiders I might have liked it more, but you set yourself up when you remake a classic. I liked the characters and the general story, but I felt there was something missing that left me disinterested in the story. I do like the look at what makes a “bad girl” versus a “good girl” in the 1960’s. There are some great seeds about feminism in here, but I thought it lacked the punch of Moxie. Evie and her friends live on the poor side of town and they wear lots of make, cut school, and smoke. They are bad girls and Evie’s grandma worries about her soul. One night a new girl in the neighborhood, Diane, has a life changing run in with Evie at the drive in. But Diane isn’t from their side of town and Evie’s friends are less sure she belongs with them.
Profile Image for Stay Fetters.
2,061 reviews129 followers
August 5, 2021
"Running wild is a way to forget what put our hearts through so much pain in the first place."

The Outsiders meets Grease with a dash of The Goonies. Don’t forget your rocky road ice cream!

The Outsiders is a book that always stuck with me. It was the only mandatory school reading that I was actually excited about and still love to read to this day. So the synopsis for this jumped right out at me. Did you say girl gang? Sign me up!

To take a classic and make it your own without ruining its reputation takes a lot of courage and hard work. So I applaud Jennifer for taking that approach but this wasn't what I was hoping for. I wanted something different and unique. What she does here is mashes two movies and a book that are very popular and changes the gender of the lead characters.

So we get The Outsiders with the street-tough girl gang, we get Grease after a boy from the wrong side of the tracks falls for a girl from the high-class area, and let's not forget about the Goonies with Never Say Die. I thought this was supposed to be original? I felt as if I was reliving what I have already experienced but with no singing and dancing. *Pfft!* Lame!

Now before you send the villagers for my head, hear me out. I love the earlier works by this Author and Moxie is one of my favorites. What her earlier works have are creativity and uniqueness. They made you feel a certain way and got your emotions involved. This wasn't like that at all. It's Groundhog Day without the dancing gopher.

Bad Girls Never Say Die was not the book for me and it wasn't what I hoped it would be. It was too much like a lot of other popular items of pop culture and I just wasn't having it. I wanted to love this one so bad because who doesn't want to read about badass females taking over? I'm very proud of Jennifer for taking that leap with a classic but it was a no for me.
Profile Image for CYIReadBooks (Claire).
589 reviews87 followers
November 9, 2021
It is the mid 1960’s when social economic status played an important role in the lives of teens growing up in an era of unrest. Among those teens are a group of girls from the rough side of town whose reputations preceded them; and not in a good way. They are known as the bad girls.

Evie, Connie, Sunny, and Juanita don’t live in a posh neighborhood and don’t attend the best high school. Instead, they are relegated to a less than stellar high school who provided more of a babysitting service rather than an education.

On a fateful night out on the town, Evie is assaulted by one of the better neighborhood and well-to-do boys, Preston. As Evie struggles to fend off her assailant, she ultimately succumbs to the assault and blacks out. Evie then wakes up only to discover that Preston is dead — stabbed to death by one of the rich girls, Diane.

What follows is the unlikely friendship between Diane and Evie. And how Diane forms a camaraderie with the bad girls in a time where Diane would be shunned and/or ostracized by either side of the tracks.

While I have to admit that although I was intrigued by an excerpt, and the premise of The Outsiders retelling, I wasn’t convinced that I would enjoy the novel. Was I ever wrong! I loved that the story is told from Evie’s perspective as Evie isn’t as jaded like the others in her circle. Evie still has a moral compass and isn’t swayed easily into the bad girl syndrome. Diane is an innocent, but wise. I truly appreciated Diane’s empathy, especially since she was considered an outcast in her own societal circle.

The plot moves slowly at the beginning as it is done purposely to set up the scenarios that are about to unfold. Brilliantly done, it sets up the reader for a heartfelt conclusion.

Would I read more from this author? Absolutely! I love Mathieu’s writing style and Bad Girls Never Say Die is one of those books that you should take the time to read without expectation and without any preconcieved notions. Five outstanding stars.

I received a finished copy of the book from Roaming Book Press through the Bookish First Raffle. The review herein is completely my own and contains my honest thoughts and opinions.
October 21, 2021
Evie and her friends are bad girls in 1960s Houston, Texas. They wear bold makeup, smoke cigarettes, skip school, and run with the greaser boys.
Evie’s life is changed forever when she’s saved from a sexual assault at the drive-in by a good girl from the wealthy part of town. The traumatic night sets off a chain of events that will uncover secrets, test loyalties, and put lives in the balance.

Just writing that makes it sound far more interesting than it really was. I am a huge fan of Mathieu’s novel Moxie so I was thrilled to have an ARC of her latest, Bad Girls Never Say Die. Advertised as a gender-flipped The Outsiders, it also reminded me in several ways of That Night (book by Alice McDermott, made into a movie starring C. Thomas Howell and Juliette Lewis) as the young MC Evie finds herself in the middle of a tragic romance between two characters.

The entire story felt too contrived, following predictable plots common to this era and lacking heart as well as originality. So much of this felt cheesy as the characters themselves even acknowledge the fact that all of the events unfold over about 10 days. While that makes it sound like a story you can breeze through, it’s weighed down by repetitive conversations between characters and lacks development in several important ways. I never made a connection with the characters or the story.

Thanks to Macmillan Children's Publishing Group/Roaring Brook Press and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Bad Girls Never Say Die was released on October 19, 2021.

For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com
Profile Image for kaitlyn.
143 reviews133 followers
October 15, 2021
thank you netgalley, jennifer mathieu, and macmillan children’s publishing group for providing me with an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review. i was initially interested in this book because of moxie, which has been on my tbr for years. i became even more excited finding out it was a retelling of “the outsiders” – but i feel like it fell flat in that aspect.

this isn’t a bad book by any means and has some unique qualities to it. however, it did seem predictable while reading, and i never became fully engaged in the story. the writing was fine, but the characters seemed average and the pacing was slow. there was one point in the middle where i considered stopping it, but the ending held a couple of twists so i’m glad i continued.

i feel like my main issue with this one was that i felt a bit… old for it. it had important themes such as sexual assault and how women were treated and seen in the sixties, but it also seemed like it was meant for the younger end of the young adult section. i appreciated evie’s friendships and learning more about diane (who was my favorite character) as well as the world mathieu built.

3 stars, not bad, but maybe just not for me.
Profile Image for Stacy40pages.
1,267 reviews88 followers
October 17, 2021
Bad Girls Never Say Die by Jennifer Mathieu. Thanks to @bookishfirst @roaringbrookpress and @netgalley for the gifted e-Arc and final copy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

In a gender-swapped retelling of The Outsiders in 1964 Texas, Evie and her friends get involved with a girl from the nice side of town.

I love anything The Outsiders so I’ve been highly anticipating reading this one for a long time. Before I start, let me say that no one will ever replace Dallas Winston for me.. but Connie Treadway is pretty darn tuff and cool. I really loved reading this one. While it’s a retelling, don’t expect to know how it will unfold; there are differences. Bad Girls Never is about female friendships against societal expectations and it’s just really good; entertaining, sentimental, and meaningful. Give it a read.. The Outsiders fan or not.

“Maybe we do get sent away. But you know what else is true about us? Bad girls never give in. And bad girls never say die.”

Bad Girls Never Say Die comes out 10/19.
Profile Image for Shannon (It Starts At Midnight).
1,138 reviews1,009 followers
October 26, 2021
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

Here is how you know that Jennifer Mathieu is an incredible writer: I started the first chapter of this book thinking "wow I hate every single person here", and by the end of it? I was in love. The titular "bad" girls have so much heart, and are just trying to come of age in a world that doesn't want them to live outside of some ridiculous patriarchal and arbitrary rules.

It's 1964 Texas, which is comparable to... well, 2021 Texas as it turns out. Racism, sexism, and homophobia are rampant. Schools are still segregated, and pretty much everyone who isn't a straight white guy is treated as "less than". Evie sees this early in the book, when she is attacked by an acquaintance on the way to the bathroom. She realizes that it doesn't matter how forcefully she yells for him to stop, and he taunts her with that realization.

Throughout the book, the girls face these aggressions from every direction: In school, in their families, among their peers. It's beyond disheartening, and it could easily wear the girls down. But in this story, Evie and her group decide to fight back and stick together in the face of oppression. Many people tell them they can't/won't succeed without tying themselves to some man, that they must behave a certain way. Evie even has arguments with her own mother, who insists that the only way for Evie to be successful is to be saddled to some guy. But again, Evie and her friends aren't taking these messages lying down.

Without giving away too much (because the synopsis is fairly vague), there is a story about teen pregnancy. It's powerful, because so many of the societal responses to a young woman's pregnancy are exactly the same today as they were fifty-plus years ago. The girl "had gotten herself pregnant", say the masses. When in reality, that is positively absurd and not at all how biology works, I have heard that very phrase in this actual century. And now, here we are, dealing with women's rights being stripped in Texas. The timing for this release is perfect; for it illustrates how positively vile these laws are, how harmful to so, so many people. How losing control of your reproductive rights means losing control of your agency, of your entire body.

Bottom Line:  Read this book, fall in love with it, then donate to the organization of your choice (see below).

Planned Parenthood (Also see resources to volunteer)

► Where to find abortion access in Texas

ActBlue Texas Abortion Fund

National Abortion Federation Hotline Fund

► Bustle Article with many additional funds, as well as volunteering options

Profile Image for Brittany (whatbritreads).
577 reviews1,056 followers
November 19, 2021
*Thank you to Team BKMRK (Hachette! for providing me with a copy of this book to review!*

This book is apparently a gender-swapped retelling of The Outsiders, but as I haven’t read that yet I’m just going to talk about it as it stands alone. It did definitely solidify my desire to read the original though!

This was one of those books that I picked up and didn’t book back down again until I finished it. The writing was fine and easy to fly through, coupled with a snappy pacing that just made each chapter feel like a breeze. It had an interesting plot to keep you wanting more and a fun little cast of characters you can’t help but root for.

The female friendship group here made it for me. I feel like the interactions between these girls ended up being so positive and nice and it was just quite wholesome to see a group of girls having each other's backs so fiercely - despite all of their differences. It was also nice to see on page development from some of the characters who started off quite standoffish come to warm to the others and be more open. It was my favourite aspect of this book. I feel like they all also need a hug.

There was a bunch of tiny plot twists in here that I didn’t see coming, and the overall atmosphere of the story was way tenser than I was expecting. I didn’t know where it was going and right until the very end it managed to surprise me. That ending was so bittersweet. It came completely out of left field for me.

My main criticism of the book was that perhaps it was a little too fast - which admittedly wasn’t helped by the speed in which I read it. The events happen over eleven or so days and you can feel it. I didn’t overly get emotionally invested in the characters and not all of them had enough time to fully develop. It was nevertheless a really fun read that I’d definitely recommend.
Profile Image for sarah.
314 reviews71 followers
October 18, 2021
Cover Story: Tuff Stuff
BFF Charm: Make It Rain
Swoonworthy Scale: 3
Talky Talk: S. E. Hinton, Savvy?
Bonus Factors: 1960s Houston, Ms. Norbury Award for Rad Teachers
Relationship Status: Stay Gold

Content Warning: This book features a scene of attempted rape. 

Cover Story: Tuff Stuff

Normally I'm not a fan of Big Face on covers, but this girl can GET IT. From her cat eye sunglasses to her ice cold expression, she's the epitome of cool, and while you could assume this is Evie, the protagonist of the book, I'm betting this gal represents an ideal, i.e. who Evie wishes she could be.

The Deal:

It's 1964 in Houston, TX, and Evie Barnes is slowly suffocating under the pressure of her future. Though she's only a sophomore, it's clear that she's expected to get married soon after graduation, just like her older sister, Cheryl. But Evie wants something more, something bigger, out of her life, and so she finds herself drawn to girls who really live: Connie, Sunny, and Juanita, a.k.a. "trouble" if you ask Evie's mom and grandmother. These gals drink and smoke and don't take shit from anyone, and even after Evie is accepted among them, she's still in awe. 

But her status as the sheltered baby of the group is torn away one fateful night by an attempted rape, which is stopped by the unlikeliest of allies: a rich girl from the right side of the tracks named Diane. In the aftermath, Evie and Diane begin to see that in spite of their differences, they're trapped by the same societal restrictions, and the only way to break free is to be, not "good" or "bad," but simply themselves.

BFF Charm: Make It Rain

She may not be as tough as the other girls, but Evie is a badass in her own way, because she dares to dream. Even though she's afraid of disappointing her family, she's brave enough to believe that her life can be her own, and I really enjoyed cheering her on while also wishing I had a time machine so I could get her the hell out of the misogynistic '60s. In fact, I'd take the whole gang, because they are fierce and amazing and okay let's be honest this might be the only way they would accept me since I'm not nearly cool enough to roll with them. Connie, the leader, is a total boss babe who has survived a terrible home life, and Juanita is an incredibly supportive friend and a proud Mexican American in spite of the rampant racism in Houston. Then there's Diane, who took me a bit to warm up to because she's kind of... a lot? But I soon discovered, along with Evie, that Diane is actually the strongest one in the bunch. 

So, yeah, could we get, like, matching jackets or something, y'all?

Swoonworthy Scale: 3

Connie's brother Johnny is a total MLD, a greaser with soulful eyes and a rap sheet. And while he's the star of a tragic romance, Evie isn't his Juliet. I'll refrain from saying more because spoilers, but this aspect of the story felt a tad melodramatic to me. Then again, what is teenage love but ALL-CONSUMING DRAMA?

Talky Talk: S. E. Hinton, Savvy?

More on this below, but Bad Girls Never Say Die is a reimagining of The Outsiders, and Jennifer Mathieu utilizes the same time period, which comes with much of the same culture and slang. She also channels some of S.E. Hinton's style, a choice I was slightly disappointed by after loving the voice of Moxie. Of course, Evie needs to feel like she belongs in 1964, and Mathieu certainly accomplishes that, but I missed the wit and dynamic personality of her previous novel. Fortunately there is still an abundance of feminism, with stirring lines like this: 

"No, it seems like if you want to really love and feel and breathe in this city, you're labeled as trash. Or bad. Especially if you're a girl."

Mathieu also deftly explores Evie's feelings of shame as the victim of sexual assault and the fallacy, still lingering today but especially rampant back then, that she might have been "asking for it." And on that note alone, schools miiiiight want to consider swapping out The Outsiders for this book—I mean, no offense to S. E., but the times, they are a-changin'!

Bonus Factor: 1960s Houston

When it comes to the "historical" side of this historical fiction, it's clear that Jennifer Mathieu did her research, and the result is a colorful portrait of Houston in the midst of social change. I lived in Houston for eleven years, so I adored reading about old haunts like Winkler's Drive-In; iconic businesses like Foley's; and neighborhoods that have endured like ritzy River Oaks. But even if you don't share my love of H-town, I suspect you'll still feel submerged in the time period, made tumultuous by recent integration and raucous by rock 'n' roll. 

Bonus Factor: Ms. Norbury Award for Rad Teachers

Evie has an "honestly swell" English teacher named Miss Odeen, who introduces her class to revolutionary figures like Jerrie Mock, the first woman to fly around the world, and Fannie Lou Harmer, a Black civil rights activist. By exposing Evie to these role models, Miss Odeen is blowing her future wide open with possibility, and it's a wonderful reminder of how inspiring (and vital!) teachers can be.  

Relationship Status: Stay Gold

Book, I think you're pretty cool—I mean, tuff—and I totally dig your girl power, not to mention your historical vibes. Even though you weren't exactly what I was expecting, I'm glad we met, and if those Socs come around, don't worry, I got your back. 
Profile Image for Caitlin.
22 reviews12 followers
October 17, 2021
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review

Bad Girls Never Say Die is a gender-flipped reimagining of S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, following Evie after she is involved in a murder and is saved by a “good girl.”

This one was one of my most anticipated books this year, and it did not disappoint!

This was a really interesting look at the social status at its set time period: 1964, Houston. I loved the dynamic between Evie and Diane and seeing a slow trust and eventual friendship grow between them after being involved in such an earth-shattering event. Seeing the social hierarchy between the “good” kids and the “bad” ones was really interesting as well.

I do think that the pacing was a little slow, especially in the beginning, but the characters and plot made up for it.

Overall, I definitely recommend this book. Fair warning, however, that this book contains a lot of content that may be triggering so be wary of that.
Profile Image for Sacha.
997 reviews
October 19, 2021
Thanks to NetGalley and Roaring Brook Press for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. Here is that review:

3 stars

I really enjoyed reading _Moxie_ right after it was released and was extremely excited to receive this arc as a result. While I cannot say I disliked the read, I just never really got into the characters or events.

Evie is the m.c. of this young adult/historical fiction piece, and she is part of a kind of _The Outsiders_ gender swap adventure. At the start of the novel, Evie has a traumatic experience that becomes even more traumatic in a different way; I'm leaving this purposely vague so as to eliminate the possibility of spoilers. After that point, there is no action at all. There is so much talking, fretting, and wondering where various characters are / wondering why they are where they are. For me, this felt tedious quickly.

This novel does present an interesting picture of its place and time, and that is all extremely depressing for women. There are also some difficult conversations around rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and the lack of choices for women. These are appropriate to the setting, but they are frustrating nonetheless.

I'll definitely be back for more from Mathieu, but this one did not bring me the engaging plot and characters I was expecting.

TW: rape and sexual assault
Profile Image for Leslie McKee.
Author 8 books57 followers
October 15, 2021
I love The Outsiders, and I hoped to feel the same with this book, but I didn't. I did appreciate the author's attempt to do a female take on the story, but it was a miss for me. The overall writing was fine, but the pace was too slow and the storyline too predictable. There wasn't much depth to the characters, and that made it hard to truly connect with them or stay engaged. I thought there might be a bit of mystery to it, but there wasn't. I think there was a lot of potential to the twist on a wonderful classic, but I just felt that, overall, the book didn't live up to that potential. Maybe I was expecting too much. Perhaps readers who have never read The Outsiders or saw the movie would feel differently about this one, as they'd go into it without the expectations or urge to compare/contrast the two. I've never read anything else by this author, but I may check them out in the future.

Trigger warning: sexual assault

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy, but I wasn't required to leave a positive review.
Profile Image for Renata.
2,498 reviews339 followers
June 11, 2021
HMMM I like the concept of "gender-swapped Outsiders" and I liked Evie as a narrator a lot but the pacing felt a little off and it felt a bit like...knowing? I guess it's the difference between historical fiction about the 60s and a work of contemporary fiction set in the 60s and written in the 60s, but something about it just didn't quite click with me.

Also similarly to the og Outsiders it kept feeling like one of the big secrets in play should be somebody's repressed queer desire but that never really came up. Still, it was engaging and I think fans of the Outsiders and/or the 60s in general will enjoy it.
Profile Image for kate ryan:).
69 reviews
September 15, 2022
“Maybe we do get sent away. But you know what else is true about us? Bad girls never give in. And bad girls never say die.”

Bad Girls Never Say Die is an amazing take on S.E. Hinton’s, The Outsiders. It follows our main character, Evie Barnes, and her group of “bad girls”, going into depth of the bonds between characters, while tugging at your heart strings.

I really liked this book! I thought it was a cool rendition of The Outsiders and I felt really connected to the characters. My heart goes out to Diane, she did not deserve everything she went through:( But in the end, the friendship between the girls was my favorite part. The love they have for each other and the willingness to do anything for one another is very moving.


“When you love someone, it’s like listening to a song you adore. And every single time you listen to it, you hear something new. And you know you’ll never get sick of listening to it. Ever. And as soon as it’s over, you want to listen to it again so you can know it even better. Until it’s just a part of you.” <3
Profile Image for Christy.
278 reviews
March 28, 2023
this was a thoughtful, well-done, almost character study of "bad" girls in the 1960s. style wise it reminded me a bit of Caroline B. Cooney or Lois Duncan teen books. maybe not super plot-heavy but delving into the rich, inner world of these characters.

it was much sadder than i anticipated. i have a new appreciation for women who lived through these years and felt so constrained.
October 22, 2021
I think this was supposed to be a story of women protecting their own, going for being bold and, well, being actually bold but no. While all the necessary ingredients were there, the whole just struck me as inauthentic. Of course, I wouldn't know just what lacks since I never lived that place, that era, still... There's probably something else that needs to be added to the recipe.

I think it's not the book. It's me.
Profile Image for Cassie Thomas.
454 reviews16 followers
June 29, 2021
Solid feminist take on The Outsiders.
Set in the 1960s in Houston, Evie was a “bad girl” who came across a River Oaks good girl who happened to save her life in a bad girl kind of way. As Evie takes you on the journey with Diane (the good girl), you also meet her crew and how they live their day to day. You are engrossed in the understanding of life on that side of the tracks, but you also learn the dark side to a River Oaks girl - you learn the lengths the rich parents will take to portray the “perfect” life and how quickly they will write off their own.

I can’t wait to recommend as soon as our kids finish The Outsiders during their 7th grade year and those who loved it and are now 8th graders - this will be their next read.
21 reviews
December 19, 2021
I really enjoyed this book! It was a really great story of female friendship and despite its setting in the 60s the major themes felt as relevant as ever.
Profile Image for Kimberly.
55 reviews
March 15, 2022
Very lightly inspired by the Outsiders... Don't expect to read this as a "gender flipped" version of the story. Instead, be ready for a solid story about friendship and girls banding together.
Profile Image for Tori.
2,812 reviews477 followers
October 31, 2021

I love Jennifer Mathieu's books. from The Truth about Alice to Moxie...Mathieu's strong storylines, unapologetic characters, and ability to connect with the ya age group are an appealing triaid that hooks me everytime.

Bad Girls Never Say Die is a feminst twist on S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. Told from a 15 year "bad girl's" point of view, readers are told the same story only from a female prospective. Getting beat up wasn't the worse that could happen to a female in the 60s or even now. Pregnancy, forced marriage, rape, and rumors are what destroy women. Star crossed lovers, disappointing lives, unlikely friendships, and the usual social issues are the building blocks of this story.

While I did enjoy the story, it was fun to match the original characters with their female counterparts and mathieu does an excellent job of feminizing the story without destroying the main theme, I did find myself inadvertanantly judging Mathieu for not meeting my own expectations. I wanted a little more drama and indiviualism in the storyline and character. I think that is a main issue when tackling a classic. If it's too familiar, you risk predictablilty but if you veer off too far, you risk alienating your readers .

Either way, fans of The Outsiders are sure to enjoy Mathieu's version if only for the trip back into that world.
Profile Image for Samantha Matherne.
551 reviews50 followers
April 17, 2023
This is a gender-flipped retelling of The Outsiders set in 1964 Houston, Texas. I see so many similarities to the classic, including this line about one of the characters: "But Connie knows what it's like to be hit. She says sometimes it's the only way she can be sure her parents know she exists." Fans of The Outsiders may recognize this as similar to a description of Johnny Cade, except Connie is the leader of the pack in this book. There is an incident that causes a murder, when one girl feels the need to defend another. The story wonderfully stands on its own while simultaneously being a reflection of Hinton's book. I loved it. It's even a YALSA 2023 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. I listened to and can easily recommend the audiobook.
Profile Image for Elly.
337 reviews49 followers
May 2, 2023
Evie est une Bad Girls et déteste les filles et fils des beaux quartiers. Avec ses amies, elles sèchent les cours, fument des clopes et ne se soucient pas des bonnes manières. Mais un jour, Evie va faire la connaissance de Diane et Diane va tuer un homme pour la sauver.

Bad Girls est un roman young adult féministe que vous ne pourrez pas lâcher ! C’est addictif, les personnages sont attachants, vivants, et j’ai été bouleversée par l’amitié et les secrets de Diane et Evie. J’avais déjà beaucoup aimé Moxie, mais ce roman dépasse toutes mes attentes. C’est un coup de cœur plein d’émotions, de rage, de colère et d’amour !
Profile Image for Erica Chilson.
Author 36 books431 followers
October 25, 2021
DNF @43%
Automatic 3 stars

Moxie is on my favorites list, so I was eager to read another novel by the same author. Perhaps it's my mood, but I could not connect with the story nor the plot. I'm never a fan of retellings, as this is a female version of The Outsiders.

There was just something that felt forced about the story itself, causing me to struggle page after page. Attempting to read it for the better part of a week, picking it up every day and then putting it right down again.

I didn't feel as if it was an original take, the characters acting more immature for their ages and the era. There were parts where I felt as if the author was making fun of the culture of the time, which made it hard for me to take the plot seriously. At the same time, the pacing flowed like molasses, the interesting parts glossed over while the less than interesting was expanded, taking up far too much page-time.

This is definitely a case of it not being my cup of tea. Whether it's your flavor of tea, you'll have to pick up the book and find out for yourself.

To be honest, writers have a voice that transcends the story, and that voice did not sound anything like the one who created Moxie.
Profile Image for Amanda.
705 reviews18 followers
April 13, 2022
I was super skeptical about this because I haven't been in the mood for historical fiction lately, but I really enjoyed this. I didn't know about about Houston in the 1960s, but this was really well-rounded and descriptive, so my mental picture felt complete. Great story about friendship, self-discovery, and loyalty. I know there was some comparison to The Outsiders, but I've not read that, so no issues for me there. Recommend for YA historical fic readers.

*Read for SCASL book award committee
Profile Image for Amber.
2,326 reviews324 followers
October 30, 2021
The book advertises itself as a genderswapped The Outsiders, and as someone who didn't super love the Outsiders, I felt this did a good job covering the same themes. Fans of Mathieu will enjoy the writing and how she continues to use her words, but Outsiders fans maybe a little disappointed.

I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley; however, my opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Sola Owens.
27 reviews
February 7, 2022
Honestly, I hated this. There were very few things I enjoyed about this (mostly just Diane’s character haha) and I definitely think this book has its audience out there but in the end this lacked originality. All the characters felt very tropey and the story was VERY predictable. Even the important parts of this left out major details that left me with more questions than when I started. The writing style was definitely not for me and overall I feel as though this could have been executed much better.
68 reviews1 follower
October 27, 2022
This took way too long to finish and definitely didn't help with my reading slump. I went in so excited for a female centered version of The Outsiders, one of my all time favorite books. I'm leaving feeling unsatisfied and like this could have been done better. So bummed.
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