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A Special Place for Women

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,282 ratings  ·  262 reviews
It's a club like no other. Only the most important women receive an invitation. But one daring young reporter is about to infiltrate this female-run secret society, whose beguiling members are caught up in a dark and treacherous business.

For years, rumors have swirled about an exclusive, women-only social club where the elite tastemakers of NYC meet. People in the know whi
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published May 11th 2021 by Berkley Books
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  1,282 ratings  ·  262 reviews

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Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
Genre Blending done right!!!

To save her career and impress a man, down on her luck, journalist Jillian decides to follow the rumours and infiltrate a secret club for some tastemaker women of New York. Laura Hankin takes real-life ideas and adds the right amount of satire to create an interesting, outrageous, fun story that addresses powerful women, feminism/white feminism, women supporting, uplifting and empowering women. She adds a bit of fun romance to have us rooting for whose team we are on
Laura Hankin
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Hi, I wrote this! It’s wild and genre-bending and twisty, with plenty of comedy and romance (yes there IS some fake dating involved!). Think Never Been Kissed meets the insular society of The Secret History, with some Practical Magic vibes to boot. I really hope you enjoy it, and I’m more than happy to answer any questions about it, come to your virtual book clubs, tell you about the time I went to a psychic for research, etc… so please feel free to reach out. Also, the beautiful cover is out TO ...more
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Laura Hankin just officially became one of my favorite authors. This book is tense, spooky, unsettling, sexy, fun, and heartwarming all at once. Hankin is a fantastic writer, not to mention truly FUNNY.
Becca Freeman
Feb 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
I LOVED this book. Even after, as other reviewers mentioned, things got weird! The book is a fictionalized portrayal of The Wing, an elite women's-only club in NYC. The portrayal of the club and the women in it is so painfully spot on, this book "gets" NYC. I won't spoil anything, but there's a major twist at around 60%. At first I was unsure how I felt, but I ended up really liking the direction the book went in. HIGHLY recommend. ...more
Misha (Heartsfullofreads)
May 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Is this a thriller? No.

Is this book filled with an intense feeling of needing to know what in the world is going on? YES!

I flew this book in almost a day.
Jillian wasn't necessarily the most likeable character in the world. That didn't matter though because I definitely wanted her to succeed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this read.

Thank you so much to BerkleyPub and Netgalley who provided this EARC in exchange for an honest review.
Jessica Woodbury
2.5 stars. At first I wondered if this would be too similar to 2020's THE HERD, and while they were different enough in the end, they still both suffer from the same problem, if anything this one is an even worse offender. They want to be like "ugh white feminism, amirite?" but only in the most shallow way. Ultimately this book is not all that interested in taking down the idea of a secret, highly influential, all-women's group made up mostly of the ultra-wealthy and white. In the end it is not ...more
Kristina (heartsfullofreads)
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

This is not typically a genre I read so keep that in mind with the rating I gave it. My best friend read this and loved it so I decided to give it a try. The mystery aspect of this book was the best part. I definitely was intrigued and wanted to know what was going on. I also appreciated that this turned out to be a positive story about women.

I didn't love the main character at first but she grew on me. She did have some growth by the end which was good. Some aspects of
Megan Collins
May 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Here’s the sign of a great, unputdownable book: I got up early on a Saturday—a SATURDAY—to keep reading. I also went to bed past midnight (super late for Grandma Megan over here) to keep reading. Basically, I couldn’t stop. A SPECIAL PLACE FOR WOMEN revolves around a secret society for elite millennial women, and the journalist with nothing left to lose who’s determined to infiltrate their group and expose their rumored shady practices. I loved Laura Hankin’s last book, HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT, so ...more
Nov 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
The first 60% of this book was AMAZING and I couldn’t put it down, but then it took a strange turn and I felt like I was reading a completely different novel. 3.5 stars.
Ashley Blake
May 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult
I loved this so, so much.
May 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
I received a gifted galley of A SPECIAL PLACE FOR WOMEN by Laura Hankin for an honest review. Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review!

A SPECIAL PLACE FOR WOMEN envisions a secret underground club just for women named Nevertheless. They’re rumored to have all the power and influence to ensure their candidate get elected to office and to sway public opinion to bring down their enemies. No one has been able to pin them down, but reporter Jillian ju
Alexa Martin
Jun 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I know they say don’t judge a book by the cover, but as soon as I saw this cover with its glorious title and captivating description, I knew this book was for me! Laura wrote a hilarious, witty book that takes readers on a freaking JOURNEY! And I loved every single part of it! The characters in this book shine along with a plot I could’ve never predicted. I was up until 3:30 am finishing this book and I have zero regrets!
May 30, 2021 rated it did not like it
This book isn’t about influencer women, or a journalist trying to uncover wrong-doing, or even about whether women can support one another. It’s shallow YA witchcraft nonsense that’s been miscategorized. #disappointed
aNeedleinMyBookstack | Christine
Do you ever read a book or watch a show and desperately want to call/text all your girlfriends and OMG WE NEED TO TALK? That was me after reading to the halfway point of this new book by Laura Hankin. I had no idea where this book was going to go next and happily, for me, every twist and turn did not disappoint, and I thoroughly enjoyed this wild ride.

Jillian Beckley is a down on her luck journalist who shows up for a grand opening of a trendy new restaurant to support the owner and best guy fri
Elle G.
My Rating: 5 stars
Genre Women’s Fiction

Review Snapshot : Laura Hankin pens a compulsively readable women’s fiction novel that centers around a secret society of women in NYC! Things get weird in the middle, but I LIVED for the weirdness that went on! So. Good!


Ever since I read Happy and You Know It by Laura Hankin, I knew she would be an author I go back to over and over again. Her characters, while not the most likeable, are exactly as one would picture them; uptight and snotty el
Mari Chiodo
May 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book was not what I expected and yet was so much more. Definitely genre bending. I couldn’t put it down.
Amanda Woodruff
Dec 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so excited to get this ARC. I found this book very enjoyable and it hooked me from the first page. At approximately 62% I was thrown off when the plot took a bit of a twist and turn but overall this book was really good. I loved how relatable Jillian was and found her relationship with her best friend to be very enduring. Check out this book when it hits shelves in 2021!
May 14, 2021 rated it liked it
This one was just ok for me. I just wanted MORE. I felt the end was pretty anticlimactic after the "big reveal." ...more
Stephanie (read_with_steph)
What the heck did I just read?

This book is described as journalist Jillian infiltrating a secret society for rich, influential, feminist women in New York City. Rumors have been swirling that this cabal got the first female mayor of NYC elected, and then got her booted from office when she attempted to tax their wealth, and Jillian wants to get to the bottom of this.

For the first half of this book, I was torn between attempting to appreciate it as a novel, and feeling compelled to analyze it as
Sydney Cobb
May 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book hit all my things that make for a really, really good book. The plot was modern, addictive, unique, and very well developed. I LOVED the narrators personality in her internal monologue— she was so witty, funny, and relatable. This book took a very interesting turn a little more than half way through but it spiced things up and was a fun twist. The ending came pretty abruptly but it was the perfect ending to wrap this story up. This is my second book by Laura Hankin and I will be eagerl ...more
Kent Stratton
Jun 19, 2021 rated it liked it
I was not expecting this to end up where it did. Good premise and writing, but it didn’t go deep enough into the society’s history of wrongdoing for any possible conclusion to really feel impactful.
Erin A. Craig
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Some thing wicked(ly amazing) this way comes!
May 22, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Felt meh about this one
Kelly • Kell of a Read
Well, this was so delightfully strange and unexpected! I honestly had no idea what this book was about but as soon as I saw it mentioned I immediately placed an order because: 1) I really enjoyed Laura Hankin’s Happy and You Know It and 2) THAT COVER DESIGN!

I love going into books totally blind but I’m pretty sure no amount of pre-reading research could have prepared me for this one. While I definitely wouldn’t classify this as a thriller, it was unique, twisted, funny, and downright weird at t
May 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021, own-read
The one thing I love about having a 3 day weekend with Mondays off is that it already feels like the weekend is almost here again haha. The work week just goes so much faster!

This weekend I finished A Special Place for Women by Laura Hankin. I really enjoyed Happy and You Know It last year so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her newest release.

In this book we follow Jillian as she’s trying to refind her place in the journalism world after giving everything up to take care of her dying mother.
Mackenzie Leavenworth
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A Special Place for Women is Laura Hankin’s latest novel in which journalist Jillian Beckley attempts to infiltrate and report on NYC’s most powerful and secret women’s club - Nevertheless. A club that may have made and then destroyed the city’s first female mayor and has eyes, ears and influence in every borough. What will Jillian find as she makes her way past the tarot card readings and career workshops and into the elite inner circle of women? Will it be the exposé that could make her career ...more
Nikki DeVaux
Jun 08, 2021 rated it it was ok
Uhhh, what the hell.

This book was NOT for me, I almost DNF about 82 times because my eyes were hurting from rolling so much.

There were so many praises that it was genre blending done right, but I’m having a hard time even figuring out what ones - fantasy? YA? Mystery???

And Jillian, my GOD. She was f’ing insufferable- whiney, talking about how much she needs to have sex every time she even looks at a male (seriously, I do *not* care), her ridiculous inner dialogue & bratty attitude. Also if I
May 14, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

A Special Place for Women sort of felt like two different stories for me. There was a definite tonal switch between the first half and second half.

In the first half of the story, the protagonist infiltrates this secret society of powerful and wealthy women. This is presented as a commentary on elitism and how hypocritical these women were. They preach feminism and destroying the patriarchy, yet they are all privileged, wealthy, and white women. They abuse their power for their own selfi
Geonn Cannon
May 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
I liked this... didn't quite love it. But it's a rare case where the ending kind of saves the whole thing. I really liked how it ended. There was a romance I felt was obligatory (complete with a potential third option that I feel was supposed to maybe be a triangle? But he just seemed like he was... there). Both of her love interests, actually, just seemed to be potential partners just because they were straight men. "We should be together because why not."

But everything with the group was real
Kaila McCracken
Jun 13, 2021 rated it liked it
“I understood that to be a woman in the world was to spend so much time trying to act the right way. Be loud enough, but not too loud. Stand up for yourself, but pleasantly... Always, always I was trying to get it right, to find the balance, but here around this circle, naked but not sexualized, together we could flail and scream and open ourselves raw without worrying about anything else at all.”

If I could give half stars (damn you, GoodReads!) I would probably give this 3.5 stars rather than 3
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Laura Hankin is the author of HAPPY & YOU KNOW IT and the upcoming A SPECIAL PLACE FOR WOMEN. She's written for outlets like McSweeney's and HuffPost, while her musical comedy has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and more. She splits her time between New York, where she has performed off-Broadway and on onscreen, and Washington, DC, where she once fell off a treadmill twic ...more

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“I understood that to be a woman in the world was to spend so much time trying to act the right way. Be loud enough, but not too loud. Stand up for yourself, but pleasantly. Beauty was everything, but you shouldn’t rely on your looks. Always, always I was trying to get it right, to find the valance, but here around this circle, naked but not sexualized, together we could flail and scream and open ourselves raw without worrying about anything else at all. We were powerful and free, and I felt like I had when I went skinny-dipping for the first time: I was moving through something larger than myself, but also I was part of it, no parries between us.” 1 likes
“Their clubhouse was reserved for more secretive things. Worshipping one another’s menstrual blood or sitting around feeling smug about their success while professing to feel concerned about the world.” 0 likes
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