The Nowhere Girls

Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Who are the Nowhere Girls?

They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.

Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.

First off, this book has some DEEP triggers so don’t read this if you get easily offended and it might make you become a man hater if you aren’t already one. This is a brutal, difficult story to get through but it’s an important voice for those who feel like they don’t have one.

It’s not one you will necessarily ‘enjoy’ reading, it’s not the kind you sit down one sunny afternoon with the hope of just passing the time. It’s one you read with purpose, to learn, to understand and hopefully will walk away from wanting to be part of the solution rather than the problem.

We have multiple narrators giving us their view on how things played out and providing lessons on feminism, racism, rape culture and how we define sexuality in the modern age particularly when it comes to teens. Thankfully you get a decent amount of diversity so the views and issues are painted in a variety of contexts to give us a fuller picture of how different sets of people experience the same thing.

Since this is a book about rape there are characters you are going to hate, there are those who your heart will break for, and there are those who you champion. Some strong female characters are provided to show the power that comes when they can work together.

Your heart will break at times for what women are put through, how horrible it is when our own gender stands against basic rights that affects us all, anger at how men are treated as all powerful and the extent those in society will go to silence the dissenting voices who demand something as simple as the right to not have their bodies violated.

The issues this brings up are important to discuss and hopefully will provoke more people to stand up, speak out and bring about change.

Thank you to Netgalley and Simon Pulse for allowing me to review this!

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*image and synopsis from Netgalley

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