It’s taken a while for me to get my thoughts together about this book. I won’t lie, it’s a lot. This book is emotional and powerful and hopeful and heartbreaking. It’s also so well written and has amazing characters that are so real it’s easy to be immersed in the story. The story centers around rape culture, a specific rape and the group of high school girls attempting to fight back.
There are several different sets of characters, the actual “Nowhere Girls” start as a threesome of quirky high school girls who don’t fit into any clique or really fit in at all. Grace is a transplant to Oregon from Kentucky where her pastor mother was run out of town for being too open-minded at the altar of their church. Erin has Aspergers and not only defies the wildly inaccurate stereotype that people on the autism spectrum lack empathy, but she is the one who probably has the best handle on her emotional needs. And Rosina is her mother’s oldest (and only) daughter in an extended Hispanic family, where she babysits cousins, works in the family restaurant and defies the family’s expectations because she’s a free spirit and also dates girls.
The Nowhere girls expand to include a few dozen other students in their high school, all joining together to seek justice for a classmate who was brutally raped the previous year and everyone in town knows who did it. Also included are the girl’s parents, a mixed bag of well-meaning but flawed, teachers and a principal who are definitely part of the
Problem not the solution and the truly despicable boys who perpetrated at least the one rape that everyone knows of, and who write an anonymous, predatory how-to blog encouraging men to take whatever they want from women.
I found this book nearly impossible to put down and the sensitive and realistic approach to these characters and situations was so well done. There is so much to love and so much to loathe. This book makes me sad yet proud to be a woman, cautiously hopeful but realistically frustrated with our misogynistic culture and it makes me want to raise my sons in a way that they never think it’s OK to be anything at all like the boys in this book.
This is an excellent read but it’s an emotional ride, and I definitely needed a break to decompress after it was over. 5/5 stars ⭐️
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