Title: The Nowhere Girls
Author: Amy Reed
Released: October 5, 2017
Trigger Warnings*: Abuse (sexual assault, rape), suicidal thoughts, deadnaming, bullying, ableist slurs, racist slurs, homophobic slurs, transphobic comments
Representation: Latina, queer, lesbian, autistic, fat, f/f romance, feminism
Synopsis**: Who are the Nowhere Girls?
They’re every girl. But they start with just three.
Grace, the preacher’s daughter who moves into the former house of a girl whose pain adorns the walls.
Bold Rosina, who dreams of a life of playing music instead of waitressing her uncle’s restaurant.
And misunderstood Erin, the girl who finds more solace in science and order than she does in people.
They are brought together by the idea of changing the narrative of Lucy Moynihan, the girl behind the graffiti in Grace’s bedroom. When Grace learns that Lucy was run out of town for accusing the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that she never got justice. Together, Grace, Erin and Rosina form the Nowhere Girls, and decide to avenge the rape of a girl none of them knew.
Hello and welcome to the new standard of YA feminist lit.
Sometimes the only thing worse than death is surviving.
The Nowhere Girls delves so much further into feminism, sexism and how minorities can be affected by sexism differently, than any other feminist YA books I’ve read. It is powerful and heavy and so incredibly important!
Also, get prepared for all of the quotes! I’ve been doing well lately with not letting them overrun my reviews but this time I don’t care because you need to see just how good this book is because you need to read it!!!
“I guess she’s a sophomore this year. Wherever she is.”
“Who?” Grace says, “What’d she do?”
Rosina shrugs. “She didn’t do anything. But it doesn’t really matter what actually happened. It just matters that she talked about it.”
The Nowhere Girls centres on a high school in a small town where the girls are sick and tired of keeping quiet.
After new girl, Grace, moves into the house of a girl who cried rape and left town, she wants to know what happened.
Grace makes friends with outsiders Rosina and Erin in the process and the girls decide to fight back. And they’re not alone.
The girls anonymously create the Nowhere Girls, a group focused on fighting against sexism together. Unfortunately, the people in power aren’t having it and will stop at nothing to keep the girls silent.
But they’ve been silent for far too long and once you find your voice it’s nearly impossible to lose it again.
Silence does not mean yes. No can be thought and felt but never said. It can be screamed silently on the inside. It can be in the wordless stone of a clenched fist, fingernails digging into palm. Her lips sealed. Her eyes closed. His body just taking, never asking, never taught to question silence.
There is a strength in girls that has grown over generations, beginning since the dawn of time.
It grew from necessity.
You can call it evolution, and I suppose it is.
But it is also a talent we learned through our pain and suffering thanks to a world that has cut at us since before we’re even born.
Religion plays a huge role in this book and it’s played a pretty huge role in my life, too.
When someone asks me what my religion is now I usually tell them that I don’t have one, or that I can recognize the possibility of a higher power. I think from now on I’m going to change my answer because this book reminded me how much I believe in girls and women.
I believe in the strength of girls, the power that women have, I believe in their ability to tear everything to the ground and rebuild a better world. That’s my religion.
Erin is more than capable of feeling. She feels too much. She is a raw nerve and the world is always trying to touch her.
I love everything about this book.
It’s incredibly diverse, even with just the three main characters alone. And it doesn’t stop there because the focus doesn’t stop there either.
This book is written in third person, which was perfect for this story because we’re not just shown things from Grace, Rosina and Erin’s points of views. We also have chapters title Us and they follow the stories of all the girls in the town.
We get to see things from the popular cheerleader’s point of view, from the view of a closeted trans girl, from women of all shapes, and colours and backgrounds who all live totally different lives and see things in different ways because of all the things that make them different and yet they have so much in common because of one incredible thing; they’re all girls.
“Why do you want to sit with us, New Girl?”
“I, um, I don’t know? I guess I just met you both before, and you seemed nice, and I’m new and don’t know anybody yet, and—”
“It’s okay,” Rosina says. “I was kidding. Of course, you can sit with us.”
“We’re not nice,” Erin says.
“Speak for yourself,” says Rosina. “I’m nice.”
“No, you’re not.”
“I’m nice to you.”
“I’m the only person you’re nice to.”
“Well, maybe I’m going to want to be nice to New Girl, too. So far, she’s being nice to me, so I’m definitely considering it.”
This book is as multifaceted as the girls themselves.
It’s dark sure, and like, you’ll definitely cry while reading it but it’s also funny. Like, really funny. Rosina is so fun to read and Erin is hilarious! If we could have a spin-off, with just a whole book about Erin, I would buy it in a second!
It has cute romances happening and we see Grace keep a boy she likes at an arm’s length and Rosina pining over the pretty cheerleader she thinks would never want her.
And Erin, my sweet Erin, being wildly clueless of the boy who really likes her and then being terrified when it dawns on her, because of everything that can mean.
“I wish things didn’t have to get violent,” Grace says.
“They already were violent,” Allison says.
This book is brilliant.
It’s not the cookie-cutter version of feminism, its dark and gritting and breath-taking as well as heart-wrenching.
The Nowhere Girls turns us girls inside out and shows the world exactly what we’re made of, what we’re capable of.
Our bones are made of steel.
Our skin is thicker than leather.
Our hearts beat thunderstorms.
Our eyes see everything.
Our voices are now screaming all of the cruel injustices we’ve battled with for our entire lives, for centuries, since the beginning of time.
We can’t be silenced anymore.
The girls are packed in so tight there is barely room enough to breathe, and still, more are coming. Cheers turn to screaming, shouting, crying. The sound is deafening, primal. It is every feeling, all at once. It is all the girls, all their voices, calling out as loud as they can.
They burn through darkness. They brand the night.
Most trigger warnings taken from Helena Summers’s review as it’s been a while since I read this!
Taken from Goodreads.
If you would like me to include links to purchase books from a specific store in my reviews please let me know!
💲I receive a small commission off the following link
I read this book as part of my 2018 Library Love binge, where I read as many library books as possible to take advantage of my great local library network!
To follow my binge reading adventure just visit my 2018 Library Love shelf.
Or I’ll also be updating my 2018 Library Love Blog Post as I go!
Have you read The Nowhere Girls?
What did you think of it?
What’s a book do you wish you had as a teenager?