Monday 26 March 2018


Who are the Nowhere Girls? They're every girl. But they start with just three:

Grace, the preacher's daughter who unwittingly moved into the old house of a victim whose pain adorns the walls.

Bold Rosina, whose heart has become hardened by all of the straight girls who broke it.

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 a girl they had never met, Lucy Moynihan, the victim of a sexual assault who was victimised further by people who found it easier to believe she had cried wolf than to confront what had really happened to her. A girl who, through the course of one evening, went from an excited teenager who felt wanted by a boy for the first time, to someone else entirely, with 'a voice in the darkness, giving her a new name: Slut'.

Together, they form the Nowhere Girls, and decide to avenge the rape of a girl none of them knew.

This is a book I was interested in reading since I first heard about it. Like Asking for It and Moxie, it's an important story that should be read by every girl and every woman. No matter how old we are, we were all just like these girls once. And we grew up to be the women still fighting against a very sexist system determined to oppress us.

When Lucy reported what was done to her by three popular guys, she was victimised, ostracised and labelled something she wasn't. So her family moved away from the small town of Prescott. But when Grace moves into Lucy's former home and finds some disturbing messages on the wall, she starts to wonder about the girl who put them there. 

Rosina and Erin are friends, but couldn't be more different. Rosina's part of a large Mexican family and is expected to work in the family restaurant, babysit her cousins and pretty much not have a life. Erin is on the autism spectrum and has a hard time associating with other people, keeps to her daily schedule, enjoys Star Trek: The Next Generation, and has a secret she carries with her.

Grace meets Rosina and Erin at her new school and starts asking questions about Lucy. When she hears the story, a fire is lit within Grace and together, these three friends start The Nowhere Girls. A movement that starts slow but soon sweeps over the school and spreads into the community.

But when a large group of girls rebel against the patriarchy, trouble is sure to follow...

Wow. This book is so powerful. 

It's an amazing story about three teenagers who want to get justice for a girl they don't know. A girl everyone shunned when she told the truth. A victim everyone--even other girls--decided to insult and ignore, instead of helping. Lucy didn't get the justice she deserved, so the Nowhere Girls will.

I loved the concept of starting a movement in the name of a girl who was wronged by a corrupt system we see way too often. While also trying to stop the violence from happening to someone else, and educating EVERYONE along the way.

Another aspect of this book that is totally awesome is how well everything is mixed together: the everyday teenage experience, how confusing it can be to be a girl, the many different family dynamics and faiths featured, as well as tackling something so huge. Fighting the system is always a hard thing to do and there will always be someone trying to stop them, but these girls stay strong. Even when their own principal--a woman--bows down to the pressures and tries to ruin everything.

There's nothing worse than women and girls who let the patriarchy infect and drive them to push a false narrative about gender.

The Nowhere Girls is an intriguing and addictive book that kept me glued to the pages from start to finish. I loved every raw and heartbreaking moment of what was going on, even when things got so infuriating my blood was boiling. Even when things got uncomfortable and my heart went out to these girls and their awesome cause.

This is a very important book!

The Nowhere Girls are all of us.

The Nowhere Girls, October 2017, ISBN 9780349003078, Atom

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