Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Published by St. Martin’s Giffin, an imprint of Macmillan
Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, the group of girls at the very top of the social ladder at Hallowell High School. In fact, she was the best friend of the clique’s It girl, making her the second most popular girl in her high school. That is, until rumors began circulating that Regina messed around with said girl’s boyfriend – now she has been frozen out of the group, and is the target of some of the worst bullying and mind games the school has ever seen.
I’ve been hearing good things about Courtney Summers for quite some time now. It would be an understatement to say that I had high expectations going into Some Girls Are – I was honestly expecting to find a new favorite YA author, and thank goodness I actually did find such an amazing author in Courtney Summers!
This book is heartbreakingly realistic. I was not popular in high school (I wasn’t unpopular either, just somewhere in between), so I can’t say that I know what it feels like for Regina to be the coolest girl in school one day, and the most hated the next, but her pain came alive on the pages. I remember how certain people in high school were the targets of the bullying, and how horrifically they were treated by those “in charge” of the social hierarchy, and Summers portrayed this so well. What happened to Regina is sad but an unfortunate reality for many high school students.
Regina truly came alive on the page for me. She was real to me, and as I was reading the book I could completely understand her and empathize with what she was going through. The other characters were incredibly realistic, too.
It would be easy to read this novel and think that Regina deserved what she got, that because she spent so much time tormenting other students at the high school she deserved to be the outcast and feel what those students felt. But it’s impossible not to like Regina – she was just as scared as every other kid is in high school, only she was scared of falling from the top – and it happened to her. Nobody deserves the kind of treatment Regina has to deal with, and it is beyond heartbreaking to watch her suffer.
The one positive to what Regina goes through is that she is able to gain real understanding of the mistakes she’d made in her life. She ends up becoming friends with a boy she used to pick on, and while I don’t want to give anything away, this friendship is really a catalyst for her to explore who she is as a person, separate from the clique she thought she needed to be a part of.
This book truly touched me and I highly recommend it for fans of young adult novels. Courtney Summers is definitely an author I plan to watch.