Stacylane19's Reviews > Some Girls Are

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
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Aug 07, 2012

really liked it
Read in August, 2012

This was the first Y/A book that I've read about high schoolers, other than Ned Vizzini's hilarious Be More Chill. This book was like a decadent snack - I read it in one afternoon - and it truly did hold my interest, even though it's about the angst and not-niceties of high school mean-girl cliques.

The beginning feels rushed - Regina, the second in command to a real beast of a pretty, feared popular girl named Anna, finds herself the bored designated driver at her one of her boyfriend's famous senior year parties. Anna's boyfriend, drunk and sloppy, (spoiler alert from the first ten pages) lunges at Regina and forces himself upon her, almost raping her in an apparently empty room, with Anna passed out close by. With reservations, Regina goes to the the home of Kara, the bottom-tier girl in her clique, for help. She is home sick from the party, lives close, and is the only other girl in the clique who isn't drunk. However, the two girls are serious frenemies. Regina and Anna enjoy bossing Kara around and belittling her, and Kara is jealous of Regina's place of honor as Anna's "BFF." By the next day, Kara has used the confession to turn Anna and the clique against Regina. At the point where this happens we don't know much about the personalities and back stories of anyone, which is why to me the first few pages feel rushed, but it turns out that's not really necessary. It's the same old, same everywhere story: The prettiest girl in a small town with a Benz has the opportunity to be the nicest girl, but would rather be the meanest. She picks other pretty girls to accessorize herself with, and they rule the school with their cute, dumb, drug-dealing, pre-Ivy league boyfriends in Hallowell, Connecticut.

It all smacks of Tina Fey's wonderful "Mean Girls" - the girls are called the "Fearsome Fivesome" and wear color-coordinated outfits every day - save for one thing: these girls are real-world mean, not Hollywood mean. Courtney Summers here does a wonderful job of making daily life absolute hell for the girl who has betrayed her queen bee best friend. The talk and the revenge are all vicious, and all things that really are happening in high schools now. Even the way Summers shows Regina's perspective of the teachers - they seem to subconsciously bend to the will of the popular, never appearing or noticing what they should, when they should.

Regina, however, is no angel. She is as guilty as the Evil Anna in ruining schoolmate's lives, reputations, and causing hatred and hurt feelings. She hates doing it, living on antacids to relieve the physical pain that causing emotional pain has wrought on her. But it hadn't stopped her, until the tables were turned.

She makes a tenuous acquaintance of Michael Hayden, a misfit emo guy who sits alone at lunch, largely due to the fact that Anna, Regina and their clique spread horrid rumors about him for sport. Although I'm not sure that in reality they would be a pairing, the way Summers has them dance about Michael's distrust for Regina and Regina's inability to convey her sorrow for having done what she did is very realistic. Michael and Regina have one thing in common, and that is the delicate thread that allows them to communicate.

What made the story most enjoyable for me was that Regina never sat down and took what the girls dished out. Being Anna's best friend had taught her much about vindictiveness, and even though she was desolate and crushed (they started a "YouSpace" page called IH8RA - I Hate Regina Afton - and almost the whole school joined) she was furious enough to show up to school every day, not only facing her torturers but sometimes seeking them out to get back at them. She was a fighter after having been a coward for so long, and I admired that. I just wanted to see how it would all turn out for the mean girls in the end. Doesn't everyone?
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