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The Nowhere Girls

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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.

408 pages, Hardcover

First published October 10, 2017

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About the author

Amy Reed

40 books1,028 followers
Amy Reed was born and raised in and around Seattle, where she attended a total of eight schools by the time she was eighteen. Constant moving taught her to be restless and being an only child made her imagination do funny things. After a brief stint at Reed College (no relation), she moved to San Francisco and spent the next several years serving coffee and getting into trouble. She eventually graduated from film school, promptly decided she wanted nothing to do with filmmaking, returned to her original and impractical love of writing, and earned her MFA from New College of California. Her short work has been published in journals such as Kitchen Sink, Contrary, and Fiction. Amy currently lives in Oakland with her husband and two cats, and has accepted that Northern California has replaced the Pacific Northwest as her home. She is no longer restless. Find out more at amyreedfiction.com.

BEAUTIFUL is her first novel.

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Profile Image for chai ♡.
321 reviews156k followers
February 18, 2021
Grace has moved to Prescott, Oregon, and finds words of searing agony and sorrow carved into the wall of her new room and carving their hurricane path through her mind, pushing everything out of its way. Grace’s classmates, Rosina Suarez, a Mexican-American queer punk rocker, and Erin DeLillo, a girl with Asperger’s, explain that the former occupant was Lucy, a girl who was driven out of town after she accused a group of popular jocks in her school of gang rape.

Now that Grace had named Lucy’s anguish, it hung from everything, clinging like spiderwebs, unavoidable. She refuses to falter into painful silence and let the truth of what had happened to Lucy die like a song with no one left to sing it. Together with Rosina and Erin, Grace creates an anonymous group, “the Nowhere Girls”, as a call to arms for all the girls who were forced to remain still, stifled, and quiet, their pain always passing unremarked, by a system who didn’t care. A system that instead built a monument to their abusers’ crimes.

How long would the town cling to their denial, trying to cover these boys’ crimes as if with some threadbare blanket? How long until enough is enough?

“The things is,” Rosina says, “people don’t want to hear something that’ll make their lives more difficult, even if it’s the truth. People hate having to change the way they see things. So instead of admitting the world is ugly, they shit on the messenger for telling them about it.”

The Nowhere Girls is about the quiet competence and determination of young women doing remarkable things without knowing first that they can do them. Women taking a stand, linking arms with other women, advocating on behalf of one another to effect change, their ferocity softening not a whit. Women standing shoulder to shoulder, each seeing hope, a mirror of their own, brightened like newly burnished stones that had been muted under dust. Women who were still healing from things they don’t talk about, gathering up the silence like a mantle and carrying it along with them, step by step, until they’ve had enough.

Women on their journey to understand the magnitude of their own hearts, fierce and terrifyingly brave.

This story has an angry, deeply wounded heart that screams for your attention. Amy Reed speaks the unspeakable. She turns despair and triumph and rage into words, into something so visceral, something we can understand—and relate to. The Nowhere Girls felt like the physical manifestation of all the little words a lot of us have held in instead of speaking them—they sat burning on the back of our tongues like poison, ready to spew into the world. The truth of it was just overwhelming, an immensity that my mind fought to take in. As I was reading, a wave of emotion surged through me and it wasn’t anger, and it wasn’t hate. It was just this deep unnameable ache that I still can’t quite articulate.

The Nowhere Girls centers around three characters who are opposites, their struggle in each other’s environment equal, but its spirit crosses racial boundaries with an intersectional ease. The points of views were raw and sharp by turns; the chorus “Us” of unnamed characters in particular struck deep chords in me, as it represents all the demographic of women who have survived, thrived, and continue to exist even through society’s collective refusal to recognize and acknowledge their stories. In their despair, they were lost in the same darkness, breathing the same air, shrinking and expanding, going beyond the boundaries of the small spaces the world often leaves for them.

This is a book about feminism. It’s about liberation for all women, and an end of the oppression of all women, including women of color, trans women, disabled women, and queer women. It acknowledges that the patriarchy hurts us all, and it urges all of us towards working with an intersectional perspective to redress inequity, and always taking personal accountability for the ways in which our own words and decisions help perpetuate the culture we are fighting against.

The Nowhere Girls is horrifying, magnificent, utterly unvarnished. It’s one of those books you yearn to talk about with people, so faceted and powerful and unapologetic they are, so dangerously aslant our own day-to-day grinds. This entire review simply underscores how much sumptuous detail and dimensionality the author packed into her book—you just have to read it for yourself.

“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.” 

TRIGGER WARNINGS:  sexual assault, rape, suicidal thoughts, bullying, racial slurs, ableist slurs, homophobic slurs, transphobic comments.

If you liked this review please consider leaving me a tip on ko-fi !

Profile Image for Emma Giordano.
316 reviews115k followers
August 13, 2018
THIS. DANG. BOOK. Y’ALL. It’s a must read. One of the best YA books published in 2017. It’s so important, especially for young readers, and I cannot recommend it enough.

HARD TW: Rape, Sexual Assault

One of my favorite things about this book is the characters. Grace is the new girl who is fat and a Christian. I’m always so pleased to see books where fat protagonists are able to have a story that’s NOT about their body, but it is just a characteristic of who they are. I was also immensely pleased with the portrayal of a Christian teen – As I was very into my faith as a teen, I feel Grace is my favorite Christian YA character because her faith plays a constant part in her life but she is also so open-minded and exactly what a Christian should be.

Rosina is from a Mexican family who also is interested in women (I don’t believe an actual label is ever placed on her sexuality.) Her character really explores the relationship between latinx family members, the hardship of needing to work as a teen, discrimination as a teen of color, and briefly discusses the struggle of having undocumented family members. Erin is the final core member of The Nowhere Girls and she has Aspberger’s and anxiety.

Erin brings up thoughtful discussions about “Autism Moms”, how individuals on the spectrum are viewed as unempathetic and cold, and breaks every untrue stereotype you’ve heard for people with Aspberger’s. I cannot speak for the fat, Mexican, wlw, or Aspberger’s representation and I have yet to find ownvoices reviews for any of these, but I will say I noticed multiple instances where discussions about good rep that take place in the community were executed faithfully in this novel. There are also so many side characters that add to the story and show the complexity of women that I could not help but love.

A brief overview of important topics discussed that are covered in The Nowhere Girls are: feminism, rape, rape culture, sexual assault, sexual harassment, victim blaming, the concept of virginity, being sex positive vs. being not ready for sexual behaviors, female masturbation, consent vs. not saying no, the biased court system in sexual assault cases, biased school administration, misogyny, sexism, racism, immigration, ableism, SO MANY GOOD AND IMPORTANT THINGS TO TALK ABOUT

The only two small critiques I had were that firstly, some conversations (only one or two) that happened during The Nowhere Girls meetings felt a smidge too mature for a group of teens (I am not suggesting that teens are incapable of mature conversations of course, but I can best describe it as feeling as if I was watching a TedTalk on women’s issues by an adult professional as opposed to teens describing their viewpoints.) I feel the author’s voice may have overtaken the character’s voices in a few small situations, but then again, these are all important issues to be discussed that teens should know. I am not critiquing the inclusion of these conversations because I think they’re GREAT, but I think the execution was perhaps too sophisticated in some cases – it just didn’t always sound like it was coming from the mouth of an actual teen. Nonetheless, I’m still glad these points were addressed in the novel.

My other issue is one small scene where a classmate is talking to Grace about their trans sibling. They use language that suggests that being trans is something you can “decide” which it is clearly not. I took this scene to express the good intentions that some have on these issues, though they may in fact be harboring harmful ideals, but regardless of my interpretation, it wasn’t really addressed in the book. I wish there was a line to make it clearer that Jesse was just ignorant (where Grace could have corrected him) or any explanation as to why it was included. We do have a small perspective of a trans girl in the story (the story switches between Grace, Rosina, and Erin’s perspectives, but also has the perspective of “Us” meaning brief thoughts/actions of various girls around town) and her thoughts expressed a knowledge of at least some trans issues, so I was perplexed to see this line pass through the cracks.

Overall, The Nowhere Girls is a fabulous YA contemporary for teens wishing to learn about feminism and rape culture. This is such a wholesome, well-rounded book with expertly-developed characters and important themes discussed. I would highly highly recommend this to any reader; man, woman, non-binary, adult, teen, etc. Please give this immensely important novel the recognition it deserves.

This book was sent to me for free by Simon Pulse. I had no obligation to review this book and all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for daph pink ♡ .
947 reviews2,710 followers
April 27, 2022
4.5 stars❤️

The thing is,” Rosina says, “people don’t want to hear something that’ll make their lives more difficult, even if it’s the truth. People hate having to change the way they see things. So instead of admitting the world is ugly, they shit on the messenger for telling them about it.”


That's exactly what you can expect from this book!

This book hit a little personal to me and I am gonna talk freely about this. So this review is gonna be a review+ personal feelings basically a letter from one Nowhere girl to another!

To nowhere girls,
I hope you are listening!

You may not realise but you need this book( especially if you are 13-18 years) because No doesn't mean convince us or Yes doesn't mean you can do whatever you want with us.

Well I am not gonna give you plot summary or synopsis of the book just read it above.

It’s been killing me to not publish this sooner. Maybe it caught me at the right time or maybe it’s just that good, but The Nowhere Girls struck me right in my feminist heart at a time I really needed it to keep going. It’s not an emotionally easy book to read, as you might expect from any book with rape and sexism at its center, but it’s a fantastic read for the modern teenage activist.

Reading it is like sinking slowly into a massive hole filled with mud. And you want somebody to pull you out , but at the end it's you who have to do it for yourself.

"Because the girls are unstoppable. They are a force. They are a single body."

I really loved Reed’s refusal to shy away from the entrenched realities of sexism as well as the oft-overlooked erasure of internationalization within feminism yields a highly nuanced and self-reflective narrative that captures rape culture’s ubiquitous harm without swerving into didactic, one-size-fits-all solutions or relying on false notions of homogeneous young womanhood.

I wish I have read this book a few years back because I needed it more back then I need it now but nevertheless it was a great experience reading this book and those characters I really wanna talk about them !

So the story is written from four POV :-

1. Grace :- A newbie in school , shy and introvert who wanted to do something for thr girl Lucy who was raped by three boys of their school and nobody believed her. Grace wanted to change the system at school with her two other friends .

I personally feel I connected with her in terms of her feeling towards her parents who were highly catholic.

"She knew her role well and she performed it brilliantly, but that’s what it was: a performance. Some part of her always felt like she was lying."

2. Rosina :- Mexican-american, queer, punk rocker.

I really fell in love with her character , I could totally understand what it feels like to do everything what your parents tell you to do and still they don't understand you.

"She wants to go back to being empty. Being empty did not hurt like this. There is no risk when you are no one. There is nothing to lose when you have nothing."

3. Erin:- white girl with Asperger who admire android data and star trek and had a hard time believing she is not an android.

Personally she is my fav character , her sassy comments her quirkiness and her growth throughout the book was remarkable . Now I don't know much about an autistic person so it's not my place to comment about it much.

"Sometimes it’s the freaks of nature who end up being the strongest."

4. Us :- These were my favourite chapters , told from pov of various other nameless Nowhere girls , I liked them because I could see myself their , searching for answers of the questions I never dared to ask !

"But just because she’s not helpless doesn’t mean she doesn’t need help."

Though this story is a scathing indictment of misogyny and rape culture as well as an empowering introduction to feminism for teen readers. 

There were a few things I like to mention

• TW:-The Nowhere Girls is not a book for those triggered by sexism, sexual abuse/assault, and racism.

See, one of our three narrators has her own history of sexual abuse in her past.

We also get snippets from an MRA/pickup artist blog run by one of Lucy’s rapists and it is nasty.

And constant racists remarks faced by Rosina , for instance she was declared guilty by her principal because of her race and since she is queer too she faced a lot of racism.Because Rosina is the Angry Latina Girl in a very white town, she most be behind it, right? She goes as far as threatening Rosina with expulsion and exposure of her grandmother’s immigration status as well as lying to Rosina’s mother about her being on drugs.

• Second issue with the book is mention of a trans character just for the sake of diversity because nothing was done to her character , like I wanted the author to show us more of her story.

• Another girl contends with being labeled a slut by her peers and most of the town but her arc is cut abruptly short and leaves her, sadly and predictably, in mean girl territory instead of reaching for something bigger. I’d like to think these girls all have outcomes where they are able to embrace their own agency and feminism. But because The Nowhere Girls takes on so much there isn’t time to spell everything out on the page.

Well apart from all the above problems The Nowhere Girls is an ambitious, gritty novel that pulls no punches as it addresses complicated issues of rape culture and misogyny as well as solidarity and feminism. 

The Nowhere Girls is a novel full of potential and a powerful conversation starter.

I’ve gone on for a thousand words and could go on for a thousand more, but it boils down to this book is really really good . Just give it a try I promise you won't regret it.

Nowhere girl
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,095 reviews17.7k followers
October 28, 2018
“The things is,” Rosina says, “people don’t want to hear something that’ll make their lives more difficult, even if it’s the truth. People hate having to change the way they see things. So instead of admitting the world is ugly, they shit on the messenger for telling them about it.”

The Nowhere Girls is not your average feminist contemporary. There are several awesome feminist books from this year: I’ve been seeing people hype Moxie by Jen Matieu a ton this year. And while I did like that book a lot — it’s a great contemporary journey — this book goes far deeper. While books like Moxie offer feminism from the point of view of privileged cishet white women, Nowhere Girls wants you to see deeper than that.

This book focuses on three Nowhere Girls.
🌺 Grace → self-proclaimed fat girl and the more idealistic of the trio
🍀 Erin → smart and sarcastic Aspergers girl who I LOVE
🌺 Rosina → a latinx queer girl and literally the Most important to me

But the aspect of this book that stands out to me is the fact that this isn't about these three girls: it is about all the girls. Short "US" chapters give insight into so many different girls - a conservative girl, a closeted trans girl, a cheerleader unsure whether to believe the allegations, two girls kissing, a black girl finding no value in the white-centric feminism of her classmates. It is so, so powerful.

It is so, so powerful. Amy Reed does not pull her punches at. all. This is one of those books that made me feel claustrophobic reading it. The author makes her fucking points. She does not shy away from the full truth of rape culture or try to hide things under a veneer of a cute contemporary. And she definitely doesn't erase the fact that not every woman is white and cishet. It's overall a fantastic experience - horrifying, enrapturing, and beautiful.

What I loved about this book was the sympathy given to every girl in every point of view. These girls are coming from different backgrounds. These girls are coming from different points of view. They are multifaceted and flawed and none of them have a totally objective view point of view. But that doesn't mean their viewpoints aren't important. It doesn't mean we, as girls, are any less important. The chapter in which Elise and Trista rebel, and face different consequences for it, was so powerful.
But there's nothing she can do. She's a kid. She has no rights. Her parents get to decide what's right and wrong for her, even if they're wrong.

We are worth it. We are important. All of us.

Literally the only thing I didn't like about this book was one line not being explicitly decried: a line about a character's trans sister that seemed to imply trans people choose to be trans. That was literally it. The feminism is so intersectional and the characters are so developed and this book is so fucking powerful. I cannot recommend enough.

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Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,479 reviews19.4k followers
February 5, 2019
Y’all I have had an arc of this on my shelf since before it came out and I am KICKING MYSELF for not reading it sooner bc it was SO FUCKING GOOD??????????? If you haven't read this book yet and think you can handle the subject matter- READ THIS BOOK NOW YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.

TW: rape, slut shaming
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
720 reviews1,113 followers
January 4, 2019
"Sometimes it's the freaks of nature who end up being the strongest."

What an epic first read of 2019!

The Nowhere Girls is such an important book. Tackling serious topics including rape culture, sexism and sexual harassment to name a few.
This is what feminism is! Not man hating, not women thinking they are better than men, but simply the equality of the sexes. When women live in constant fear, there is a problem and this problem must be addressed.

Grace is new to town, her mother is a pastor, and after having a religious experience (due to falling off a horse) her mother's beliefs became much more liberal. Too liberal in fact for their current church - so they up and move from Kentucky to Oregon. Grace moves into a room with writing carved into the walls, the terror scratched out by a young girl - gang raped, but ignored and bullied until forced to leave town. I loved the portayal of a Christian family who are actually decent human beings. It was a breath of fresh air to read about people with faith who are kind, rather than ignorant bigots.

Rosina is fed up. Her family is Mexican and as the oldest girl in the family Rosina is treated like a servant; looking after all of her baby cousins, working in her Uncle's restaurant for barely anything. She is full of rage, and she hides herself from her family. She likes girls, and her mother would never accept this - Rosina is hardly accepted as it is. I loved Rosina's feistiness, yet she has the softest heart.

Erin is struggling, her mother doesn't understand her, and they frequently fall out. Being on the spectrum means many people ignore Erin, or ridicule her. Rosina is her only friend, shortly followed by Grace.

These 3 ordinary girls, become extraordinary when they create a group named 'The Nowhere Girls'. Having had enough of the entitled ways boys behave towards girls, wanting to avenge Lucy - the young girl whose rape was brushed under the carpet, they vow to take a stand.
Remaining anonymous, The Nowhere Girls cause a stir in their school and even the surrounding area. They will not be silenced, they will have justice, these girls refuse to be kept down.

An incredible story of the power between women, from all walks of life, different beliefs, different cultures. But when they stand together they are one. 5 stars!!!
Profile Image for elena ❀.
303 reviews3,158 followers
April 3, 2021
In another state, an invisible girl named Lucy Moynihan tries to forget a story that will define her for the rest of her life, a story no one claimed to believe.

It's really sad because that line is one of the most realistic lines for so many women of all ages in our present world. And what makes it even sadder is that nothing is being done because a "woman's voice" isn't the same; it does not matter. The word rape isn't a word many people like to use because it labels them, and it isn't a label they are glad and happy to have, to identify with. The Nowhere Girls pulls you into rape culture, and it is not just what is identified as it, or what many people label it as rape.

The Nowhere Girls is about many girls, but it starts with three: Grace, Erin, and Rosina. Together, they bring justice for Lucy. Together, the bring justice for many girls. Together, they bring justice for themselves. Together, they bring girls together.

The Nowhere Girls is about what speaking up can do. It is about what the power a man can use for his advantage, for control, for violence. It is about what the world considers rape and what it doesn't. It is about justice, movement, help, and understanding. It teaches us that they will always go for the innocent and young girls—to be manipulated, made into thinking they are worth it when they are only seen as objects, as toys, and not as girls who are actually wanted for who they are but for what they have. It is about girls helping girls. The Nowhere Girls shows us what we are in risk of.

The things is, people don’t want to hear something that’ll make their lives more difficult, even if it’s the truth. People hate having to change the way they see things. So instead of admitting the world is ugly, they shit on the messenger for telling them about it.

Trigger/content warnings for rape, sexual assault, slut-shaming, and groping. The detailed scenes of rape and assault are very descriptive and Reed is not afraid to provide it. They can be difficult to read but WOW, it really makes you judge and hate men and realize why our world is so fucked up.

Grace is a self-proclaimed fat girl who is the new girl in town; Erin is a Star Trek: The Next Generation addict with Asperger's syndrome; and Rosina is a sapphic Mexican working at her uncle's restaurant and just with those descriptions of them, I wish I had friends like this trio. It was, truthfully, one of the greatest and most beautiful trio I had ever read about. I think it is important to note that this group is so diverse and so different in every level, and I loved everything about it, especially Erin. By far, she's one of my favorite contemporary characters. Her awakening and the way she was able to come out of her shell, to tell us her side of the story, it was heartbreaking but also warming. I felt bad for her just how I felt bad for Grace and Rosina, but Erin touched a special place in my heart because of her character. She was labeled as a freak, a retard, a nobody, and I was just so happy she wasn't that for so many people, especially the people that love her. Erin was strong, thoughtful, broken, but she was also healing on her own and it was tough for her, but I rooted for her over and over because to me, she was always Erin Delillo, not a retard, not some Biology lover, or just a Star Trek geek, or a girl who can hack into the school's computer and gather information. Erin was a girl learning to accept her past, love her self, and realize that she is also worth every damn fiber in her body and much more.

Also, A+ to Amy Reed for including a vegan diet here because I can't tell you how long I've been waiting for someone to be vegan as a vegan myself. We need for vegan representation in books, that is all.

It will always make me happy when Latinx people are welcomed into the book world, especially when they're more than their background. Rosina comes from a Mexican family, likes girls (especially the cheerleader) and is working at her uncle's restaurant even though she...basically hates him and everyone else. You feel pity for Rosina—she is lonely, afraid, broken, and no one is able to heal her, not even herself. Rosina was literally living the life of her family, not hers, and I wish she had more chances, but I was able to see where she was coming from. I was so thankful Reed decided to give her someone, include someone meaningful in her life that saw her as Rosina and not just a Mexican who is also considered a freak and a nobody.

Every character in this is fucking broken and all you want to do is find their missing pieces and put them back together, but I really wish Erin and Rosina and Grace got what they wanted in the end, even though we will never find out. I want Rosina to be cuddling with her former cheerleader girlfriend while working with her girl punk rock band and giving the whole world a smile she never thought she would form; I want Erin to realize that she is much more than who she and others think she is and yes, I want her to be in love with Otis and realize he really loves her for who she is; I want Grace to remember that she is a hero and that Lucy is thinking about her, even though they don't know each other. I want these broken but healing girls to find rest, be delighted, and realize that the world will give them so much more than what they don't expect.

Other than these three impacting, strong, and wise girls, we also meet many other girls and many other people that you wish never existed in this book. All the other Nowhere Girls who shared their stories, rooted for themselves and the rest decided to sacrifice what they had to empower themselves. Margot, Amber, Connie, Abby, every other girl mentioned and featured is such a beautiful character who was slowly healing and trying to piece every piece back in its place even though they seemed to be scattered all over the place, just like some of their stories were looked.

The world is a dark place. It is a place where people can post things like that, spreading hate and darkness, and no one holds them accountable. It is a place where hurting people is too easy, and where helping them is too fraud. It is a place where the darkness is winning, where the darkness will always win.

This story is about rape culture and how men hold power, especially to girls, innocent and new girls who think losing their virginity to the most popular and cute guy in school is what she has been wishing for. Amy Reed doesn't go soft with this, she goes deep into what rape is and is not afraid to show what many females have to go through and are still going through. The descriptions are written in such detail. I suddenly felt like I was at Prescott High School, walking the hallways without being seen because I'm just an illusion, observing girls who had a voice they thought isn't valuable. People can be truly blind, especially when you're held accountable by people who think what your side of the story isn't enough because it doesn't fall into the spectrum of rape culture. There are characters here you want to yell at and tell them to open their eyes because they can't seem to be able to see what is actually happening, or they really do not give one single fuck about. Or both.

Rape is not about sex. It is about power and violence and control.

Girls here are labeled as sluts and whores when they sleep with a guy, whether they wanted to or didn't. But of course, when a male sleeps with a female they're instantly more manly, sexy, and have become people more females might even just want. The boys here think they have the authority to control the girls, and its fucking sad and disgusting. The blog the boys write shows what these boys actually do for fun and all you can do is take it in and just grip the pages until your fingers are red because of how disgusting it is to live in a world where this is still happening and being taken advantage of. Stories of the girls raped are tragic—whether they're 14, high, drunk, or didn't say no, it's totally okay for these boys because No doesn't mean No to them.

First, you are an object, then you are taken. Then you are destroyed and pounded into dust.

With everything disturbing and agonizing in this, there are many beautiful things about it. The trio of Grace, Rosina and Erin is beautiful, as I previously said, and I wish we got more of them in the end. the way their friendship grew and they didn't stop supporting each other. Although girls in this slut-shame each other and make fun of each other for their past actions, there is a lot of girl power, especially between the Nowhere Girls, and it is glorious. Girls here also don't judge and discriminate each other for what they did or what happened to them. They all have the main goal, and that is so bring Spencer, Eric and Ennis down, and they did, but their goals are also to encourage more girls to speak up, to come out and tell their story.

This book was so quotable that it makes you feel like you're living in the world these girls are living it, not just because we are, but because it's fictional but its realistic and all you feel is a pity, sadness and empathy for them.

I don’t know who would want to read this, but every girl should, no matter who they are. It is powerful, its empowering, and it shows what one voice speaking up for one person can do and what can happen. It is inspirational; it is encouraging. We can change what is happening to us, and we cannot do it if we do not act or speak up for what we have, for what is ours.

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.
Profile Image for Tani.
245 reviews258 followers
April 19, 2020

To be honest, I didn't want to post a review because there are many aspects in the book which can't be summarised. It's a book that a reader needs to be considerate enough to understand different perspective of the people, especially girls. As the setting of the book is in a high-school, the adult readers may find it a bit difficult to empathise the characters as most of them are teenagers. Nonetheless, it's a must read for every reader.

It's a book about three teenage girls who come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and go against the misogynistic views of their fellow townsfolks. The book covers up the topics of rape culture, slut shaming, body shaming, victim blaming, sexual assault and harassment, immigration, racism, sexism, biased authority system and many more topics that one can wonder in amazement that how did an author manage to cover everything up. The author has touched sensitive topics with emotions as well as rationality. The book comes with an original plot which makes it one of its kind. There are no stereotypes in the book. The interesting thing is that the main characters aren't flawless, perfect beauty queens which we find in most of the YA books. There's a lot of diversity in the characters who seem a lot like regular people.  

Out of my 300+ friends, only two friends have read the book and almost 30 have added the book in their tbr. What are you waiting for? Read it ASAP because it's one of books which may change your outlook towards the society.

Thanks for taking time to read my review. Happy Reading!
Profile Image for shady boots.
500 reviews2,041 followers
June 30, 2018
Originally I wrote a review that was more like me screaming and ranting frantically about everything wrong with the world, and I was typing so furiously that my fingers are throbbing and my keyboard would probably despise me if it were sentient. But I think I'm gonna scratch all that, because the time you spend reading my review would be better spent reading this book if you haven't yet.

Of course, there are plenty of wonderful, qualified reviewers here on this lovely site that will have a properly structured, well-thought-out review. If that is what you're looking for, then by all means read one of theirs. I can't stop you. But mine is basically going to just be me BEGGING you to read it if you have yet to. If it's on your TBR right now, literally bump this up to number one. If you've been holding off on it (like I did, which I'm still struggling to forgive myself over) then stop.

Please. This is one of the most important books ever written and it deserves your attention.
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
872 reviews3,756 followers
June 22, 2019
If I took a sharpie to just a few lines in this book, it would be 5 stars. It missed the mark on some of the representation in my opinion. But the commentary on rape culture was A+. It attempts to be inclusive, although a single book will never hit every angle thoroughly. One aspect that I GREATLY ADMIRED is that when talking about sex positivity it included the choice not to have sex. The choice to have or not to have sex should never be shamed.

tw: sexism, rape (both described and alluded to), rape culture, sex shaming, homophobia including slurs, racism, ableism including slurs, dead naming and misgendering trans characters, negative Latinx stereotypes, negative autism stereotypes (there's an attempt at combating this), questionable fat rep, mentions of religious conversion camps, volatile parent-child relationship with threat of disownment, controlling parent

Fat rep
As an ownvoices fat reviewer, I was disappointed. It's by no means the worst I've ever read though. One of the main characters, Grace, is described as chubby. She's one of the good guys, we root for her. And yet there are two adult characters that the author clearly wants us to see as bad guys who are immediately described as fat. And they are the only other characters described this way. It's very disheartening to see this lean on the "fat=bad" trope while trying to include positive fat rep in its protagonist. Additionally, there are several mentions of Grace's emotional state as weight. Like, she runs as though she's 50 pounds lighter when she's inspired. She feels weighed down by her body when she's sad. No other characters have weight related descriptions, she's singled out. Why does your fat character NEED to feel lighter in order to run? Why does she need to be portrayed as if her body is a burden? These are very brief and few instances, but fat rep needs to be better than this.

Autism rep
One of the main characters, Erin, has Asperger's Syndrome, which I believe is an outdated term for an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Some parts of the rep did feel stereotypical, but I personally appreciated that the narrative and Erin herself discuss stereotypes and why she fits some of them. This isn't something I can speak on, but here is a review I found that talks more about what the book got right and wrong for one reader: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Trans rep
**Please know that I am cisgender and do not wish to speak as any kind of authority on what is good or bad trans rep. Below are my opinions, influenced by what I've learned from other readers concerning other books. Since every other use of slurs and misic behavior is portrayed on page as hurtful but the transphobia is not, I wish to bring these up to warn those who feel they may be harmed by it. I have not found any ownvoices reviews on this rep on Goodreads or using Google at the time I'm writing this, but if you know of any PLEASE share them with me!**

A trans character is misgendered and the trans experience is mocked. (Chapter 7) When Grace first meets Jesse, a cis male, he mentions that his brother recently transitioned. He makes this statement by first slipping up and saying "my sister." While I'm sure it's valid for siblings to fumble over pronouns at first, that's not what this story is about and he goes on to joke about how his dad would react if Jesse had woken up one day and decided to wear a dress. I wholeheartedly agree that sexism plays a huge role in trans experiences, but it seemed to me that Jesse was belittling it. Playing it off as a choice or a whim. Jesse ultimately ends up becoming a love interest and he has an arc of growth, but nothing in the book ever shows him challenging his initial statements.

A trans character is dead named. (Chapter 2 & 38) There are 2 brief scenes from POV of a trans girl who has not transitioned and is not out to anyone (except the reader). In both scenes she is referred to by the name on her birth certificate, although she internally states her name is Adele. Since the character is not out and no one knows they should be calling her Adele, maybe this isn't considered dead naming? But since the reader knows, I don't see why the name that did not reflect her gender had any reason to be used. The scenes would not have changed at all if it had just been cut out. At the very least, these scenes could be triggering.

Audiobook: 2 stars. Although Rebekkah Ross's performance is good, this had the worst production quality I've ever heard. It was clear that SO MANY lines were re-done because you can hear the audio clarity change. The re-done lines have a more tinny/echoey quality, like they weren't recorded with the same settings. I have listened to over 60 audiobooks this year alone and it's normal to hear shifts like this a handful of times in one book, but I have never heard it happen so often. It was very distracting for me.

If I have completely overstepped in my assessment of the rep I don't identify with, please let me know (DM if preferred). I want to know. Thank you. <3
Profile Image for tappkalina.
666 reviews414 followers
November 13, 2021
Let my first sectence be this: everyone should read this book.


I know I'm late too, but better late than never.

It's amazing, obviously, but very upsetting. I don't really cry over books, but this one made me ugly cry at least three times. Not beacuse it's that sad, but because I felt so angry, frustrated, helpless and powerless.

Fortunately, the end was this huge hope bomb, but of course that made me cry, too. I'm not joking, cryig is a spiral with this book.

So yeah, I'm a mess, but that's ok.

Happy tears are the best.
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,072 reviews51.4k followers
July 5, 2018
maybe I’m too old and cynical for this

I want to preface this review by saying that I’m glad this book exists and that it’s a really important read that will really help people. At 23 though, it just didn’t resonate with me as much as I would have liked.

I think that was due to 2 main issues. Firstly, I felt the rapists in this book were a little over the top. It’s so easy to immediately get disgusted with complete pigs so it made little sense to me how the rapists got away with their actions. Portraying them as greasy low lifes felt over the top and ineffective. I think it would have been more interesting to combat the more subtle sexism and justifications for rape that seem to be rampant in this day & age rather than to recycle tired townie has been rapists as the stars of the show. I know that probably sounds like an odd critique but I prefer dimension to my characters, even the horrible ones.

And then my other issue was the third person omniscient writing. It made it so hard to relate to these characters or care about them. I did appreciate something different about each of the 3 girls but by the end of the story I really didn’t care what happened to any of them.

Did I like anything??? Yes. I thought it was an innovative plot that I haven’t seen before and I loved that women uplifted each other. The second to last chapter of this book had be tearing up because of it. I love love LOVED the sapphic relationship, the acceptance of autism, and having a religious character who wasn’t portrayed as an outcast/weirdo.

And I also think the varying perspectives on sexuality and sexual experiences that were discussed in this book were so well done and needed. Girls that are high school aged should know how important consent is, what their bodies do, and how they should conceptualize themselves.

Overall mixed feelings but i would definitely recommend this to high school aged people.
Profile Image for Silvia .
642 reviews1,428 followers
May 9, 2018
Updated May 9th because there was so much going on in this book that my bi ass forgot to mention the f/f romance!

This was one of the most powerful YA books I've ever read. It was engaging, empowering, and inclusive. I keep thinking that it could have been more inclusive, but then again the three MCs were an autistic girl, a latina queer girl who gets the girl at the end (YES THIS HAS AN F/F ROMANCE), and a fat girl. And the thing is, this is not a book about the MCs. It's a book about all the girls. I loved the "us" chapters that focused on different girls and showed us a lot of different perspectives in regards to the events of the novel, to life experiences, to each girl's relationship with sex, and so on. What never failed to be there was a deep sympathy for every girl, even those who didn't seem "nice".

As I don't live in America and I think the way rape culture manifests where I live is very different, it's kind of hard for me to judge whether all of the things showed in this book were realistic and especially if all of those were possible at the same time. But the point is, every single thing was realistic and real and it's happening every single day, and it may manifest in different ways in different countries, but it's still very much an universal phenomenon that this novel tackled in an incredibly raw but also delicate way.

I'm so happy that this book exists and that teens can read it. Gift this book to teens, boys and girls and enbies, because it might be the most important book they'll ever read.

A LOT OF TRIGGER WARNINGS and these I'm gonna mention probably don't even cover it but: sexual assault (on and off page; graphic), rape culture, violence, self harm, misogyny, transphobia, (past) drug addiction, ableistic language...... listen, I'm not the most qualified person to talk about these so just generally be really careful and if you have some questions you can DM me and I will try to answer the best I can
Profile Image for Grace (BURTSBOOKS).
153 reviews360 followers
May 22, 2018
Absolutely FANTASTIC. This is going straight to my favourites shelf - I cannot wait to recommend this to every single person I possibly can FULL REVIEW TO COME ONCE I SORT OUT A COHERENT WAY TO EXPLAIN HOW MUCH THIS BOOK MEANS TO ME
Profile Image for Bren fall in love with the sea..
1,596 reviews287 followers
December 27, 2020
"It is all the girls, all their voices, calling out as loud as they can. They burn through darkness. They brand the night.”

The Nowhere Girls
by Amy Reed

An anthem for women everywhere!

Possible triggers..Rape is the topic. Graphic rape scene.

This book should be required reading...everywhere.

It isn't for everyone. As you may have seen, it is about a group of girls who, rise up to get justice for a fellow schoolmate who was gang raped.They form the Nowhere Girls.

The Nowhere Girls are seeking, not just justice, but to open the minds and eyes of the community where they live about rape and the treatment of women in general.

The Nowhere girls are angry. They are angry at the lack of justice the former student at this school received, they are determined to change things.The Nowhere girls are your neighbors....your friends..and yourselves.

So the group is formed..and they are anonymous....however...they have no idea..nor does anyone else...what they are about to unleash....

I loved this book so so much and was so deeply moved by it, I sort of demanded (or begged) my book group to have this as one of out selections.

It isn't for everyone. It is heavy duty reading and the subject matter could be triggering to some people.

Some of my fellow book members did not care for this. It is written in an unusual style which I loved but not every book is for every person as we all well know.

This style is that the story is told from many different POV'S..all from females. Some of these females are major characters but not all of them.

I adored the style but not everybody will.But if the themes of the book interest you..this is one to read. I loved it, everything about it and am so glad that I found this book. Five awesome stars.
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,519 reviews8,984 followers
March 31, 2018
A bold, fascinating novel that takes on rape culture and female sexuality, The Nowhere Girls will please fans of gritty YA fiction, similar to that of Courtney Summers and Hannah Moskowitz. The novel follows three young women - Grace Salter, Rosina Suarez, and Erin Delillo - who create an underground feminist club to protest the rape of a former student at their high school, as well as the current overall epidemic of sexual assault. While the book focuses on the actions taken by The Nowhere Girls and the consequences they face, each of the three main characters get story arcs as well. Grace contends with being the new girl in town after her southern Baptist preacher mom converts into a radical liberal and moves their family far away from their former community. Rosina struggles to carve out space for herself and her passion for music amidst her conservative Mexican immigrant family who wants her to work all the time. Erin tries to maintain her new relationships while coping with a trauma from her former high school. These three unite with The Nowhere Girls to make a change in the deeply sexist culture of their school, a culture that has stayed silent on the issue of sexual violence for too long.

I give The Nowhere Girls four glowing stars as it addresses sexual violence, female sexuality, and diversity in meaningful and frank ways. I applaud Amy Reed for including such important and nuanced ideas about sex, consent, feminism, etc. in this book. The characters contemplate and fend with issues such as how to best fight against rape culture as a group and as individuals, the retribution and silence that authority figures enact on those who speak up, and what it means to please oneself and create pleasure with men while staying true to your values. While doing a wonderful job of portraying female solidarity, Reed highlights how divisions can grow within movements that are not inclusive, by writing brief snippets from the perspectives of a black girl, a trans girl, etc. Her three main characters also have marginalized identities (i.e., Grace is fat, Rosina is queer, Erin has Asperger's) and at least from an initial reading, Reed writes these women with sensitivity, compassion, and strength.

I detract one star because Reed took on a lot in this book and it thus felt like some issues got short-changed. In particular, I felt that Rosina's familial conflict could have used more space, and Amber's whole character could have been explored with more depth. I know that as a society we over-glamorize romance as a whole, so I do not just blame Reed for this, but I felt that some of the time devoted to romantic subplots could have been dedicated to fleshing out other issues. In addition, sometimes I got pulled out of the prose because it seemed so focused on getting a message across - but I do not feel too bad about that because the messages here are very necessary.

Overall, a great read I would recommend to fans of young-adult contemporary novels. Glad to see that YA as a genre continues to push fiction and literature to address pressing issues like sexual assault and patriarchy. Finally, this book includes graphic descriptions of sexual violence, so some readers may want to watch out for that if that might be triggering to see.
Profile Image for Suzzie.
916 reviews162 followers
April 24, 2018
This. Book.

I absolutely loved this book. These female characters and their strength are tremendous. This is one of the best books I have read so far this year. The Me Too movement has sparked so much debate and discussions and I think this is the perfect time for a book like this to be out for reading. It is inspiring and really frustrating at times because of some of the injustice but overall it is just incredible. This is a must read in my opinion.

My quick and simple overall (because my family is starving and I have to cook): Amazing. ❤️❤️❤️
Profile Image for Olivia-Savannah.
788 reviews492 followers
June 19, 2020
This book came into my life and totally hit me with a surprise emotional sucker punch. It was everything I needed at the time, and more! I really wish more people were reading and hyping this book up because it deserves all the love.

For starters, can we talk about all the representation! We’ve got three perspectives, and within those three you get autistic rep, Latinx rep and fat girl rep. The Latinx main character is also lesbian, so we have intersectional lgbt+ rep. And as well as that, Grace and her family are liberal Christians! You heard me. LIBERAL CHRISTIANITY. It meant so much to me to finally have a young adult book where Christianity was more in line with my own views. It was nice to see a portrayal of my religion that I could relate to, agree with, and also celebrate. Unless I’m reading Christian fiction, that’s quite rare. Anyway, that isn’t the main thing about this book, so I’ll stop going on about it…

Instead, let’s talk about how this one tackles rape culture and sexual assault in such a meaningful, powerful, and considerate way. Huge content warnings for those two things! It was kind of astounding to me that people can be like this, as I haven’t come across it in this level of extremism before. But it’s absolutely disgusting and obviously, needs to change. I know a lot of people don’t like comparisons, but I would say that this one is similar to THUG. But instead of tackling racism, it’s aimed at rape culture. There was nothing more I wanted to have said about this topic than everything in this book. It included and covered all the points I would’ve brought up and more.

It manages to be so all inclusive because the author cleverly and creatively uses ‘us’ chapters. Although the storyline is limited to our three main perspectives, ‘us’ chapters say a few lines from different girls in different situations in the town. From the ‘us’ chapters we get to see how different girls view sex, what their thoughts on all the events are, and we also get to see things from other minority’s perspectives. In that way we get some thoughts on the movements from characters in different social, class, and economic situations, as well as other minorities such as trans teens and black teens too. I loved how these chapters allowed the author to be so inclusive!

Be ready for this one to make you feel all the emotions. I’m not a crier when I read, but if I was, I probably would have teared up. At times I felt angry. I felt sad. I felt happy. I felt like I needed to jump up and get into feminist activism right away! The author knows how to bring it all out in you.

While reading this book, I could practically feel the girl power vibrating from between the pages and entering my soul. It is so feminist and girl uplifting, and I totally need to read more books like it. There are also some really strong female friendships formed in this book, and I was so here for it.

I also really liked the ending. Somehow, it was simultaneously hopeful, realistic, happy and heart-breaking. If an ending can even be all those things at once, this was definitely it. It had me clutching the book at 2am and wondering how I was supposed to process everything.

Basically, it was the perfect book for me. Remember that the genre is contemporary, so it is heavily a character driven book. There is character driven suspense in some places, but it is by no means a plot driven book. If you’re that type of reader, it might not be as good a read for you. But I believe it to be such an important and powerful book that I would recommend it anyway.

This review and others can originally be found on Olivia's Catastrophe: https://oliviascatastrophe.com/2020/0...
Profile Image for ambsreads.
656 reviews1,393 followers
November 1, 2017

M I N I   R E V I E W
I tried to work out how to write this as a full-length review, however, I was stumped every time I went to start or tried to work out what I wanted to write; here I am doing a mini review which may become longer than anticipated.
The Nowhere Girls was a book that I was scared to read. I really didn’t know what was going to happen throughout. However, I am left in tears. I have tears rolling down my face, as I realise how many girls aren’t believed when they come forward with their cases of sexual assault or rape. In the light of the #MeToo campaign that trended on Twitter recently, I think books like this are even more important. They’re eye-opening and conversation starters. They’re vital to this changing generation as we make our selves aware of what is right and wrong.
This particular book follows a format of focusing on different people. For a large part, it focuses on Erin, Rosina, and Grace, three girls who become unlikely friends and founders of The Nowhere Girls. With Grace only new to the town and living in the home of a girl who was run out of town after (accurately) accusing three males of rape Grace is desperate to make a change. The three girls do this and they do it in a way that shakes the small town of Prescott.
The other POV’s are ‘Us’ which follows many girls, switching between and sometimes not even naming them. It may be them during sexual encounters or just their thought process. I really found these chapters to be a powerful addition to this book. The remaining chapters that aren’t ‘us’ or the three main characters are random characters throughout the story. Some girls get their own chapter and some are some painfully gut-wrenching I just wanted to reach into the pages of the book and help them.
The Nowhere Girls touches on so many important topics and includes so many important elements. There is an extremely diverse cast featured throughout well and it seems the author used own voices beta readers to make sure her representation was correct. I can’t speak on that personally, but the acknowledgements do acknowledge this.
I was so completely involved in this book from the first chapter. I was made to feel repeatedly uncomfortable by the content and the graphic nature as we dive into the horrors of sexual assault and what means no. The way other girls treat each other is also highlighted in this book, as the group The Nowhere Girls tries to eliminate girl hate. It was refreshing to read a group of empowering young girls.
Overall, this is one of the most powerful books of 2017 in my opinion and definitely an important book that touches on the rape culture of our world.
Profile Image for MissBecka Gee.
1,600 reviews637 followers
December 25, 2017
This book was freaking AMAZING!!!!!
There were tears, there were giggles and there was some loud swearing while flinging the book angrily onto the floor.
It's a library book though sooooo the actual flinging was imaginary...respect the library books!
Also I think I want to be besties with Erin.
Profile Image for kate.
1,223 reviews947 followers
May 22, 2020
Powerful, sickening, hard hitting and so incredibly important.
This is not an easy read by any means but it’s painfully necessary.

TW: use of homophobic & ableist slur, rape, racism, homophobia, sexual assault, sexual harassment, fatphobia, ableism, ableist language, deadnaming, fatphobia
Profile Image for rebecca .
232 reviews213 followers
March 3, 2020
i think this book did a really good job dealing with highly emotional topics like rape culture and the overall misogynistic society we sadly live in. it made me cry several times, which was probably exactly the point it aimed to make.

the strongest part of this story is definitely its diversity. we have poc, queer girls, girls who enjoy sex, girls who do not want to have sex, autistic girls, and and and. there are many important heart-to-heart conversations about sex, rape, and, most importantly, what it means to be a girl/woman.

what I also really liked was that this book took a step beyond feminism. it questioned feminism, calling for a truly intersectional feminism. a feminism that also listens to black girls, to more conservative girls.

I think that everyone should read this book. while it is a rather easy read, it still tackles a lot of important topics, especially in times of the #metoo movement.
Profile Image for Acqua.
536 reviews192 followers
February 21, 2020
The Nowhere Girls, or Why Good Intentions and a Good Message Don't Make a Good Book: A Novel

I could start by saying that this is possibly the most heavy-handed thing I've ever read. And it's true. But I feel like I can forgive some of that if I do agree with the message and think it's really important, especially if the book is aimed to younger readers. Since these two things are true, I won't hold it against this book. It's a story about rape culture and women fighting back that at least attempts at being intersectional, and I really appreciated that, and I honestly think books like these can have a positive impact.

However, I also think this book tried to do too many things at the same time, and ended up neglecting some aspects it really shouldn't have, and I will hold that against it. If you don't have the space or the ability to give certain topics the page time they deserve, you do not put them in your story for shock value or token points.
Some examples:

→ Casually mentioning that a side character is basically being forced to pray her sexual orientation away will make me completely uninterested in the following romantic development of the main couples.
You could say that this is a novel about young women, and these are things that can and do happen to young women. However, mentioning it casually, like that, and never bringing it up again? I have a problem with that. My opinion about things like these is that you only write them into your story if they add something to it, only if it's really necessary. You know, the same exact thing we say about rape in fiction.

→ When I started this book, I thought "I found a character who has sensory issues in a book that isn't a trashfire about it!" and as it turns out, I spoke too soon
Let's talk about Erin DeLillo, one of the three narrators, who is an autistic girl who has sensory issues and loves marine biology. I have sensory issues and love marine biology, and Erin DeLillo felt like the uncanny valley of representation: so similar, that the parts that aren't are jarring.
(And I don't mean that in the way "she's interested in romance and I'm not" or "she loves organizing and I couldn't care less". That doesn't really matter.)

This book gets a lot of things right. It gets what it means to be "the crazy one", the one who leaves a crowded room screaming for no apparent reason, who is that sensitive to sounds and smells.
It also gets some major things wrong. Erin is forced by her mother to follow a very specific (vegan, I think?) diet. This would be fine if Erin had chosen it, but she hasn't, her mother wants her to do that because she thinks it would make Erin less weird. This is never really dealt with. And it's horrifying. Not only for the "I want to change you" aspect, but also for something that is really glaring to me: you should never encourage a person with sensory issues to restrict their diet (unless, of course, there are allergies involved).
Having sensory issues means that you already can't eat many foods because their texture is that repulsive on a physical level. Erin never struggles with an even more restrictive diet, this book doesn't even consider that could happen (had it given me some reason for why that doesn't happen....) and that felt fake to me. Sensory issues don't disappear when they're not convenient for the plot anymore, which seemed to happen multiple times in this book.

(Also, the marine biology infodumps? Disappointing, that's all stuff you can find out in a matter of seconds with google.)

Another thing: I often didn't like the way this book talked about romance - as a goal, as something everyone wants, as something that is so essential that not having it is sad.
And the romance storylines themselves? They were so lackluster. Even the f/f one.

Maybe I could have at least enjoyed some aspects of this book more if I had read it in English. Sadly, I haven't, and if you're thinking about picking up the Italian edition, don't.
Things that happen in the Italian edition of this book:
→ "people of color" becomes "black people". The person who is talking is a Mexican girl and she's talking about her family.
→ "I don't like my food to touch" (oh, I have that problem too) becomes "I don't like to touch my food" (that really would be concerning)
→ there's the word "gasteropodo" in it. I feel like crying. (For non-Italians: the singular of Gasteropodi is "gasteropode")
→ it misgenders a trans character at some point, while the English version doesn't (at least, not there)
the writing is all-around terrible.

So: great message, solid overarching plotline about women supporting each other, and so many details that took me out of the story continuously.
Profile Image for Kristy.
1,070 reviews149 followers
June 7, 2018
Grace and her family have just moved to a new town after her Baptist preacher mother has a spiritual experience and their small Kentucky town decides she is far too progressive for their community. Grace is shunned and the family basically flees for more open-minded pastures. Erin is a beautiful girl who loves science and Star Trek: The Next Generation. She also has Asperger's and a secret. Rosina is a lesbian struggling to be herself within the confines of her conservative Mexican family. She dreams only of playing music and escaping her town, instead of taking care of her gaggle of cousins and working in her uncle's restaurant. Grace soon learns that the former occupant of her new house was Lucy Moynihan, who accused some popular boys of rape. Lucy wasn't believed, had a breakdown, and left town. While she's never been one to stand up for anything before, this angers Grace in a way she cannot fully describe. Erin and Rosina empathize with Lucy's situation, too. So the three find themselves an unlikely trio, and they do something even more unlikely: they form a secret group, made up entirely of girls, to protest the horrible culture at their school--a culture that condones things like rape and mistreatment of women. The group quickly takes off and the three girls realize that the group--and this cause--is far bigger than themselves.

This is an incredibly timely, wonderfully descriptive, and well-written novel that encapsulates the struggle felt by teenagers and young women in dealing with sexual assault, rape, and violence against women. There's a definite trigger for sexual assault/rape, so do avoid this novel if that is an issue for you. This book can certainly be painful to read, but it's an amazing read and incredibly powerful, as well.

The theme of boys and men getting away with horrible things in their towns seems so popular of late in books I've been reading. That could mean that The Nowhere Girls is repetitive, but it's not at all. It's a wonderful additional to this topic, which is a discouraging one and quite representative of how things are in our current society.

For me, the strength of this novel came with its characters and its brutal honesty. I really loved the three main characters, especially Erin, and just felt for all three girls. This is the first book I've read by Amy Reed (but won't be the last), and I was so impressed by her writing. The girls pop off the pages. The novel is written from the perspective of Grace, Erin, and Rosina, as well as Lucy and "Us"--a section that depicts the state of things from various high school females. Reed gives us a fairly diverse cast, including Rosina, whose family are Mexican immigrants; a character with autism in Erin; and several LGBTQIA characters. And, of course, it's wonderful to have so many female perspectives represented. We also get a few glimpses of some of the boys via excerpts from a despicable blog, which is quite effective in its own right.

As I said, so much of the strength of this book comes from its honesty. It doesn't shy away from the fact that the female teens are dealing with some very harsh realities in relation to sex, and it makes it clear how much they truly have to deal with. There are some extremely powerful moments in this novel (there's a chapter that occurs with some of the girls in a model home, and it's just wow. Amazing). It lays so much bare about what high school girls truly must go through. I found the brutal and realistic look at women and sex refreshing--albeit terrifying and heartbreaking. Rape, sexual assault, the power of sex, the way these women use sex to relate to each other and to boys--it's all there, and the result is heartbreaking, sad, powerful, and yes, sometimes hopeful.

A few times, I wasn't sure if I always believed how the authority figures dealt with the girls and their group, but, truly, it's probably a realistic portrayal of small town America. The ending was also a little neat, but still worked in the context of this novel. I kept thinking how much I'd like my daughters to read this book when they're older, because there is so much here: so many talking points and truths and so many wonderful and strong women among all the sadness.

In the end, this was a slow-moving book at times, but it was so well-written and a very powerful read. The characters are so strong, and you truly become part of their world as you read. I feel as if this is a must-read for female teens, and it's just so timely now in our culture, where the news brings more sexual assault talk each evening. There is something about this book that will leave you with hope, despite the horrors, and that's so important right now. Definitely a worthwhile read.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Edelweiss (thank you!) in return for an unbiased review; it is available everywhere as of 10/10/2017.

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Profile Image for Tijana.
325 reviews153 followers
October 8, 2019
"It is all the girls, all their voices, calling out as loud as they can. They burn through darkness. They brand the night.”

Some might think of this review as spolierish (I don't really), so I just wanted to put up a warning.

I'm mad, okay?
Girls get raped and they go to the police station and the officer is all like oooh, it's all bullshit, you're just looking for an attention, I'm not buying it, the guy you're trying to blame is a family friend of mine, na-ah, that ain't gonna happen.
And they're like, oh well, police isn't on our side, what do we do now?
Like, go to the other fucking station? That man is not the government himself! And how about notifying the parents?? Not hiding serious stuff that's been happening and getting into trouble with them because you're hiding something big.

Other than that, this book was amazing.
It was amazing and I hate it and I can't believe I didn't read it sooner.
And it made me want to castrate every teenage boy.

Quite a journey, I'd say.
Profile Image for Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd).
1,224 reviews256 followers
September 23, 2017
“The things is,” Rosina says, “people don’t want to hear something that’ll make their lives more difficult, even if it’s the truth. People hate having to change the way they see things. So instead of admitting the world is ugly, they shit on the messenger for telling them about it.”

I really loved this book so much! The Nowhere Girls is empowering and inspiring, and I am filled with so much love and respect for other women after reading it. We follow misfits Grace Salter, Erin DeLillo, and Rosina Suarez as they come together to challenge the rape culture that forced a girl to move out of town after accusing three popular students of rape. The Nowhere Girls grows into a movement that changes the lives of the student body as more girls come together and support each other.

Things I Liked
I really loved Grace Salter, she’s the first main character we’re introduced to and I immediately liked her. She feels incredibly amounts of empathy and truly wants the best for people and for justice and fairness to be realities, but she is prepared to fight for them.

Erin DeLillo was another of the main characters and I loved her so SO MUCH. I loved that we got to see a main character with Asperger's. We really get to know her, not just who she is on the spectrum. We see how she views relationships and lives her daily life - what she loves, what she fears. I loved her passion for science (something we do not share, but I could feel how much she loved it). I loved how she talked about how asperger’s presents itself differently in girl and goes overlooked. I love that she challenges the idea that people on the spectrum are emotionless and lack empathy - they just process and confront situations differently. Erin was just awesome and so strong and amazing.

Rosina Suarez is so fantastic! She is so unapologetic and brave. I love that she completely lets Erin be herself and supports her - their friendship was fantastic. She is so selfless for her family even when she’s unhappy. She also has a very adorable wlw romance with former cheerleader, Melissa that is so sweet and cute.

The friendship that develops between the 3 main girls, Grace, Rosina, and Erin, was awesome and I loved every minute of it. The support that develops from the Nowhere Girls was inspiring and gave you hope that things can get better.

I really loved all the unnamed POVs of the Nowhere Girls. They were all clear and distinct, but create a vibrant and unified story of trying to take agency and power in a system that works against them. The group talked about power, choice, double standards, solidarity and we see how girls experiences and beliefs differ - and even see some talking about the white privilege in the group, how they are seen as powerful crusaders not angry black women. The group is a very collaborative movement with no one trying to overshadow others. And I loved seeing girls coming together to support other girls in the only way they knew how. I also liked that we get to see them call out guys for doing nothing as perpetuating rape culture, not just guys who rape, and some guys actually acknowledge this and change.

I really loved Grace’s mom! I love that she talked about acceptance for ALL people. Her outlook on faith and religion and the necessity of change was great and really resonated and inspired Grace to do what she felt was right - and take action.

Things I Didn’t Like
There was an instance of misgendering a character’s trans sibling that felt unnecessary. It seemed like a lazy slip and wasn’t needed.

The gross blog of “The Real Men of Prescott” was infuriating! It was filled with rape apologists and misogynistic language and made me want to punch someone in the face. The boys will be boys mentality and the sheer entitlement is enough to make anyone’s blood boil. Thankfully, this book is about challenging all of these beliefs and actions, but it’s hard to read about this and realize people like this actually exist.

The Nowhere Girls is such an important book that confronts and challenges rape culture and misogyny, while giving young girls the power of choice and agency. I loved the strong female friendships that develop and the bravery we see from so many characters. This was such a great book and I can’t wait to read more from Amy Reed.

Trigger warning for rape and sexual assault

I received a copy of the book from Simon Pulse via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Hilly &#x1f390;.
709 reviews1,325 followers
July 11, 2018
3.5 stars

This book was so powerful and hard-hitting and I wish more people would read it. I especially wish boys and men would read it.

The entire book criticizes how society depicts and treats women and I was so damn pleased with all the critics I read. I was also disgusted and horrified by sexist men and rapists’s thought here included. They were so real and disturbing, and the knowledge that there are real men thinking these things just makes me want to cry and throw up. It also makes me want to found my own Nowhere Girls movement to see them all in jail for the rest of their sick and pathetic lives.

I had never read a book with a main character that has Asperger’s, but I can say without a doubt that she was my absolute favorite and that I want to read more books with this type of characters.
Honestly this book was so freaking diverse. If you want to read diverse books and you feel like you’ve read all of them and don’t know where to look anymore, pick this one up.

Critically this book would deserve 5 unconditional stars but since I rate books based on my enjoyment I can’t not consider the fact that I was a bit bored most of the time (maybe because there wasn’t a precise plot?), and that I didn’t connect with the characters because of the writing style. In my opinion, the third person just didn’t work to deliver the personal feelings of the entire cast of characters.
But that’s more of a it’s-not-you-it’s-me situation.
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