ARC Review – Those Girls by Lauren Saft

18249315Title: Those Girls

Author: Lauren Saft

Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: Junior year, the suburbs of Philadelphia. Alex, Mollie and Veronica are those girls: they’re the best of friends and the party girls of the school. But how well does everybody know them–and really, how well do they know one another? Alex is secretly in love with the boy next door and has joined a band–without telling anyone. Mollie suffers from a popular (and possibly sociopathic) boyfriend, as well as a serious mean streak. And Veronica just wants to be loved–literally, figuratively, physically….she’s not particular. Will this be the year that bonds them forever….or tears them apart for good? 

Huge thank you to the publisher for letting me read an advanced copy of this book!

River’s Review:

You’re either going to like this book or hate it. And I can see why a lot of people will hate it. There’s a sad rawness to this book that will hit a lot of people the wrong way. There’s slut shaming, horrible girls being horrible to girls, horrible boys treating girls like dirt, and oddly enough one voice of reason that pops in and out through this entire book shedding some light on how just wrong all of them are.

I love books about pretty people doing awful things. And this was one of them. Those Girls are the IT girls. They’re the hot girls, the fun girls, the party girls. Mollie is dating the hottest guy in school no matter how much of a asshole he is to her she clings to him because she wants to keep that image. Veronica just wants attention and takes it anyway she can get it. And Alex doesn’t have the guts to go for what she wants.

I felt so sad for these girls. I remember being in high school and calling my friends bitches and whores and “joking” when you really mean what you’re saying. I remember girls bragging about having sex so they’d seem experienced and otherworldy. I remember girls who just wanted attention and would do anything to get it. I see it on TV, I hear about it from friends who now have kids. And it’s fucking sad. And this book shines a lot of light on how sad it is that girls live in a society like this. And how they think it’s okay. How Mollie was starving herself and letting her dick of a boyfriend do whatever he wanted with her just to hope that he’d love her and desire her. That Veronica was throwing herself at everybody and letting everyone do whatever they wanted with her because she was so alone. And I’ve been in Alex’s shoes, too in love with someone that you’re scared to tell, too wrapped up in this but he’s my best friend we can’t ruin what we have BS to actually try to do what I wanted.

Oddly enough Alex’s younger brother, Josh, is the voice of reason in this book. He tells the girls on multiple occasions that they deserve better, that they are better, that they shouldn’t act the way they do. That they can be better because they’re good people. But they never listen. But I loved that he was cheering for them, that he believed in them. Because yeah it sucks that Veronica’s parents aren’t ever around, and that Mollie’s mother is an oppressive religious nut, and that Alex’s father walked out on them. But they could have done better for themselves.

This book is about friendship and how it’s so hard for girls to respect each other when all they see is women disrespecting each other in the world around them. I remember in high school and college I was always friend with guys because I didn’t want to deal with girls. Anytime I did make friends with girls they was cat fighting, boyfriend stealing, back stabbing, and even a case of being Single-white-femaled. I didn’t like being treated like crap because I was thin, being looked down upon because I wasn’t hooking up with anyone, being treated like a baby because I didn’t like to talk about sex or get super drunk. How I wish that girls could just be friends without all the competition.

I originally was going to give this book four stars but dropped it a little when things took a different turn than I had expected them to. Things were getting dark and dangerous and I thought that if the book was going to take it as far as it did that it was going to keep going and really rip things apart. But at the last minute it pulled back and everything was, well, not okay, but way more okay than I had expected.

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