Review: Those Girls by Lauren Saft

Those GirlsPublished: June 9, 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 336
Format: e-ARC

Some girls will always have your back, and some girls can’t help but stab you in it.

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?

Those Girls¬†takes three incredibly unlikable characters, makes them “best friends,” and then throws them all together into one spectacularly messed up book. So to say the least, this isn’t going to be the right one for everyone.

“With friends like these, who needs enemies?” describes this book really well. The three main characters, Alexis, Mollie, and Veronica, describe themselves as being best friends, but in reality, their relationship is extremely toxic. I felt from the start like they were definitely just friends out of habit, rather than because they actually had any affection for one another.

Going into the book, I thought it’d be a coming of age novel, but it isn’t, not really. The book focuses mainly on the three girls’ super messed up friendship, and their relationships with the boys in their lives. There’s a lot the girls could come to terms with, but I felt like they never really learned from their mistakes, or learned much of anything at all. There were quite a few loose ends, some a bit more unsettling than others. I actually would have rated the book a bit higher, but I was pretty disturbed at one of the turns the book took, which wasn’t resolved in a way I found at all satisfactory.

Those who like stories with unlikable narrators will likely find something to enjoy here, but the complete lack of real consequences for the girls’ actions can be frustrating, and while Saft puts a lot of work into making them feel human, their complete disregard for each other at times undoes a lot of that. That said, I had a hard time putting this book down – it was hard to look away from the trainwreck the girls were setting up for themselves and I wanted to see how it would all be resolved. So, if you enjoy stories with unlikable narrators, toxic relationships, and a lot of shock factor thrown in,¬†Those Girlsmay be the book for you. If those things aren’t your style, you may want to steer clear of this one.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the opportunity to read this book!

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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