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SPOILER ALERT!

Review: Those Girls

— feeling bad smell
Those Girls - Lauren Saft

When I first got one of those 'Read Now for the first 1000 members' email from Netgalley for this title, I was quite excited. I never get those. So I went and downloaded the read it now option.

 

Though adding it to my Goodreads page and seeing the huge amount of negative reviews for the title, my enthusiasm began to dwindle, especially as I read some of the reviews. I read the first 10% and was rather put off almost immediately.

 

This review will be spoiler filled and ranty.

 

First scene is two girls in a car heading to a pharmacy cause one is worried she’s pregnant and every other word out of her mouth is an expletive. She wants the B Plan pill cause her strict Catholic mom won’t let her go on the pill. Right there I had a really bad feeling about this book. The girl wanting the B Plan pill, Mollie comes across as an up tight self important whiny entitled little bitch. Her friend Alex isn’t much better.

 

I nearly DNFed right there,  but pushed on with it. It was pretty damn terrible. The whole thing seemed to be about privileged private school girls getting wasted, high, partying and having sex. Revolving around three characters – Mollie and Alex and a third girl called Veronica. Veronica is constantly referred to as trashy, slut, whore and a whole host of that sort of name calling.

 

Truth be told Veronica is the most likeable character in the book. Yes, she has copious amounts of sex but so what? She’s completely confident in who she is, she’s rich, she’s pretty, she’s got something appealing about her that draws both the girls and boys in her direction. Veronica, in spite of her reputation, has a much deeper side to her you get a glimpse to in her chapters. She does some pretty stupid things, including sleeping with Mollie’s boyfriend which becomes a huge plot point later on in the novel.

 

Mollie is a flat out bitch. Horrible horrible horrible girl. She’s got an air of entitlement to her, an attitude and a foul, foul mouth. Everything is about her, people are the foulest insults imaginable if they don’t tell her things. Everything is about her awesome super cool boyfriend (hottest guy from the neighbouring boys school no matter how awful of a person he is). This girl seems to have no self esteem either. The boyfriend is a douchebag.

He smokes, he drinks, he pressures her, a few times she mentioned sex hurts, he doesn’t care where she is, sticks it in regardless, but in spite of his many many faults she has to keep trying to please him cause he’s totally the hottest guy in school and he’s love her eventually right? How about a big ass NO.  Mollie is constantly judging everything around her as well. Makes her really tiring and me as the reader wonder how on earth this girl could have any friends at all with her vile personality.

(show spoiler)

 

The third girl, Alex, is supposed to be the nicest most “normal” one of the bunch. She’s the tom boy type girl who gets on really well with the boys, though no actual boyfriends, and has a secret passion for music which I get the impression is supposed to make her “deeper” than the others.  

She’s in love with her best friend Drew who has a thing for Veronica. This makes Alex uncomfortable and God knows why – but she encourages them to get together. When they do – all she does is bitch to Mollie about it. While she has joined a band from the local high school and got a quasi boyfriend out of that. They make out a lot but she whines when not much else goes on. Clues are this dude knows she’s got the hots for someone else and wants moments with her to be memorable rather than sex for the sake of sex which seems to be what all the other girls do.

(show spoiler)

 

Most of the drama revolves around things like this. A lot of partying and worrying about who’s sleeping with who and getting drunk and getting high. There’s a game of truth or dare at one point where some rather personal questions come up and people get pissy. Mollie’s asshole of a boyfriend dares her to make out with Veronica. Which later on leads to the most uncomfortable threeway I’ve ever read. Again, a point on Mollie’s low self esteem, she does it just to make the boyfriend think she’s hot. Wishing she was drunker at the time it happens, does not make for fun reading.

 

While the whole thing was pretty awful mostly, it was at least amusingly bad, but it was like a where is this whole train wreck of a book going?

 

At some point Veronica starts screwing Mollie’s douchebag boyfriend and finally, Mollie finds out. And is absolutely furious. She and Alex decide to get revenge…by roofie-ing Veronica at prom to make her pass out so they can strip her and leave her somewhere in public for everyone to see her so Veronica will be humiliated. (Though by this point Alex is doing the same thing – sleeping with a best friend’s boyfriend and no one things to get this sort of brainless revenge plan on her? ) The fact that Mollie has roofies available to her is disturbing enough.

(show spoiler)

 

At least there were some consequences for their actions at prom. Though in spite of all the drama and backstabbing, and screwing everyone else’s boyfriends, the girls don’t seem to care.  They are punished for prom drama (all three of them) but seem to move past everything pretty quickly. Which left me as a reader completely and utterly baffled

(show spoiler)

.

 

It made me think of the Gossip Girl books and at a stretch Leah Reader’s Black Iris both are pretty much along the lines of the same thing –  teens, sex, partying, drugs and revenge. Unfortunately for me, ‘Those Girls’ just didn’t have the arrogant charm of Gossip Girl, nor did it have the brilliant writing and shock factor of ‘Black Iris’.  I got the impression that this book was trying to combine the two. It didn’t work.  The whole thing was pretty awful, as I mentioned, but at least had an amusement factor. Though that last bit made me really really hate it. 

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for the chance to view the title.