Thank you, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers via Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book!
Those Girls is not for me. I tried over several weeks, but in the end, I had to give it up (around 73%). I know, that is actually pretty late in the game, but I kept hoping there’d be some redemption or improvement. I’ve been skimming since 50% in an attempt to finish and life is just too short, folks.
The last paragraph of the Goodreads synopsis says, “Lauren Saft masterfully conveys what goes on in the mind of a teenage girl, and her debut novel is raw, honest, hilarious, and thought-provoking, with a healthy dose of heart.”
For all of our sakes, I hope this isn’t what is going on the minds of very many teenage girls; it certainly wasn’t going on in mine (and to be clear, I was no saint). Basically, from the beginning, it was superficial, non-stop bad girl/mean girl antics. Sex, drugs, rock and roll with privileged, yet somewhat broken teen girls is the name of the game – if you’re looking for anything else, it isn’t here. And really there is no substance to the bad/mean girls. Readers get a hint of why the girls do and say what they do, but never any actual discussion or real content.
Next, these girls are supposed to be friends and I know there is definitely some catty backstabbing that takes place in high school, but this book glorifies it and pretty much hinges on it. From start to the 73% I completed, these girls wanted nothing but to tear each other down – I never got the sense that they even remotely liked each other (they are “best friends”). The book definitely gave new meaning to the phrase, “With friends like these, who needs enemies!”
Additionally, I didn’t find anything hilarious or though-provoking (see original quote). Quite the opposite – I felt like the important issues were glossed over and seriously minimized. Readers are led to assume that there are some serious issues at play here (eating disorders, depression, abandonment, drug addiction, etc), yet none are actually brought out in the open or really dealt with. Instead, there is often shaming or even bullying represented.
I felt like this story jumped from one bad behavior/decision/person to the next. I never felt the need to finish. I never liked or even remotely connected to any of the characters. I did, however, often feel disappointed and saddened by the over-the-top shock tactics.
I was provided with an ARC of this book by the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not compensated for any of my reviews.