Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers | Book Review

Some Girls Are By Courtney SummersBook Title/Author: Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Publisher/Year
: 2010 St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Contemporary YA
Series: No
Other Books From Author: Cracked Up To Be, This Is Not A Test, Fall For Anything,

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Borrowed from a friend!

 

 

 

 

 

Regina is best friend’s with the most popular girl in school and the keystone of their group “the Fearsome Five.” They have the reputation for being super popular but also being really nasty and being capable of ruining people’s reputations without even blinking. A nasty rumor that isn’t at all true starts to circulate that pits Regina and Anna against each other and Regina finds herself being ignored and on the outs. Soon enough she finds herself the target of a major revenge plot and bullied relentlessly. Regina doesn’t find much pity in the rest of the student body, the same people she has terrorized, but begins to find a reluctant friend in a guy who had a hand in destroying socially. As she fights back against her old friends she also fights to be forgiven.

WOW. Courtney Summers, I will be reading all of your books. Some Girls Are was one of those most venomous mean girl stories I’ve ever read and made me want to dive into these pages and drop kick these girls. I love the “popular mean girl fall from grace” kind of stories for some reason (I just read Speechless by Hannah Harrington recently which was great) but this one was the most powerful, authentic feeling one yet. I read most of this while on vacation for 2 hours in the TUB because I couldn’t put it down long enough to get out. I kept having to blast hot water and I ended up looking like a pruny old lady but Courtney Summers pulls you in, friends. I never knew what was going to happen!

It was such an interesting experience to watch Regina fall from grace because you feel so conflicted. On the one hand, you can tell she is a mega biotch who has been a HUGE bully and so you kind of hate her from the start. But early on you have sympathy pangs for her because something terrible happens to her and it all gets twisted into an AWFUL rumor by someone in her group. But then you think, (about the rumor aspect… NOT about what happened to her), “pshh girl got what is coming to her with all HER nasty rumors she’s started.” But then as the bullying gets worse from everyone in school you feel for the girl. Having a heart…it’s a bitch sometimes! I can’t stand to see anyone get bullied and what happens to her is TERRIBLE and nobody deserves it. I felt really emotional and sick about it because it felt so real. I’ve never been bullied before but I’ve heard about terrible things and seen stories about kids being bullied to the point of suicide and it angers me. Courtney Summer made sure your heart would flip flop over whether to like/dislike Regina but you could agree she didn’t deserve THAT.

I loved the characterization and the arc of Regina. For these years her identity has hinged on being the second most popular girl in school…part of the Fearsome Five (what a lame-o name to call yourselves lol). That’s who she is. She’s done a lot of things to a lot of people and now starts to understand what it is like to be in their shoes. What I loved is that, even though I was pulling for her, she left a bad taste in my mouth a lot. She really did. Just because somebody becomes an outcast doesn’t mean they automatically change or stop THINKING the way the used to and I loved that Courtney Summers didn’t try to sugarcoat her for the sake of making her more “likeable.” I felt like the glimmers of goodness in her that I saw really came from somewhere that was buried and I was rooting for her to dust it off and BEGIN to see that she could be a better person. She had to endure a lot to learn things about herself and about how she wanted to live and I felt like that’s true of life a lot. We don’t learn things easy most of the time thus I don’t expect a character to suddenly be this different person when their circumstances change.

I also love that Regina didn’t have these characters who were, no questions asked, just NICE to her and felt bad for her. Sometimes I feel like there is always, in books, that ONE person who automatically scoops them up and is nice to them and that CHANGES THEM FOREVZ. It felt realistic that Michael and others would be skeptical of her and not so welcoming and she had to do a lot of the CHANGE herself and make amends for what she has done. I also thought it was really realistic that she DIDN’T tell anybody like her parents or a teacher. So often, teens feel like nobody will believe them or it will cause them to be ostracized even more for telling. Plus a lot of times people think it will go away if you endure enough.

Color me very, very impressed. Where have you been all of my YA reading life, Courtney? You gave me a plot that I couldn’t resist that delivered on so many levels. At the very height of the bullying I was appalled and ready to dive in and kick some mean girl butt with Regina even though she herself was not entirely forgiven in my mind. I had very intense and conflicting feelings towards Regina most of the time, Summer’s intent I’m sure, which was actually awesome because it’s a testament to that struggle we have in our head and our hearts where we feel conflicted about justice, compassion towards people who you feel don’t deserve it and second chances. Courtney Summers lets us grapple with that while reading the most page-turning, appalling story of mean girls and bullying. It was so addictive but I feel weird saying that because of the subject matter?

 

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers Book Review

 

Let’s Talk: Have you read this? Heard of it? If you’ve read it, what did you think? Did you like it as much as I did? Did you like Regina and find her redeemable? What are some books you’ve read that deal with the “mean girl fall from grace” trope or bullying?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 28 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

Comments

  1. Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads says:

    Some Girls Are was MY first Courtney book too!! And I had a similar reaction — WHY have I only discovered her now? (I have Magan @ Rather Be Reading to thank for suggesting this one!). Plus, she’s Canadian too — yeeeeaaaahhhhh!!!

    This Is Not a Test was also awesome, but in a totally completely different kind of way.

    • I’m glad I started with this one!! At least we’ve found her nowww. I wonder if she is coming out with anything else soon?? But for now I will catch up! Carla was the one who said I MUST read it.

      This Is Not A Test stayed off my radar because I was like mehh zombies..idk.

  2. What a great and insightful review! I’m a huge Courtney Summers fan (am hosting a read-a-long for her books in Sept. actually!) She always manages to rip your heart to shreds but give you a little glimmer of hope at the end. So glad you liked Some Girls Are and hope you enjoy the other books just as much!

  3. I love books that keep you reading for hours and that you just can’t put down. I haven’t read anything by Summers but I think that I am going to have to pick something up. I have been seeing nothing but good things about her books. I loved your review Jamie. Your excitement over this book was infectious!

    Thanks,

    Sara @ Just Another Story

  4. I love mean girls type stories more than any other so I am totally reading this book ASAP. I love Courtney Summers so I already know I’ll probably like this one. And it sounds totally brutal which is a yes in my book. I’m so so happy you reviewed this one!

    • YES RACHEL ! I thought of you when I read this (not YOU but your like for these kinds of books) and I was going to text you and see if you’ve read it!

  5. I actually read this book for my graduate reading list while prepping to write my thesis, and I, too, was absolutely blown away by this story. You totally nailed the complex character-building that made this story much more real and interesting. It really didn’t fall into any of the usual tropes. What I remember being the most impressed by was the way she portrayed the scene with Regina being locked in the closet, and how I was literally sick to my stomach and in a panic while reading it. While in many ways, I thought it was almost good for Regina to see what rumors can do to someone, it also hammered home the idea that NO ONE should have to endure the things she goes through in this book. There was also an incredible feeling of hopelessness that came across very strongly because the bullying didn’t seem like it would ever stop, and it makes you really understand why some kids who endure this kind of torment every day may be driven to things like suicide. This was a very, very strong book, and I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it as much as I did!

    • YES! That moment in the closet was SOOO tense and I literally held my breath! And I so agree…I really didn’t know IF it would end…I really didn’t know WHAT Courtney was going to make her endure next! I feel so weary and beat down along WITH Regina.

      Thank you for your super insightful and wonderful comment!! Loved hearing your thoughts!

  6. I have yet to read any of Courtney Summers’ books but I’m planning to change that soon. I’ve heard so many good things about the stories she writes and I can’t help but want to read it too. I’m so glad you liked this one! I just love books that deal with real issues because they are usually so relatable and honest. Lovely review. :)

  7. I’ve always struggled to enjoy Courtney Summers’ work. While I didn’t mind This Is Not A Test, I’ll admit that I often find it difficult to read a story in which 99% of the characters are abhorrent, which continually seems to be the case in the majority of Summers’ novels. I don’t necessarily need them to be traditionally ‘likeable’, but it makes it extremely difficult to connect with them in a meaningful way. If I’m being honest, I worry that Some Girls Are would be bad for my blood pressure, since I’m sure I would lose my temper the second I began to read about the girls’ treatment of Regina. While I think that there’s a desperate need for such books, particularly given the climate of today’s society and an increasing problem with the issue of bullying, I’m not sure I could subject myself to such a difficult story. I read primarily for pleasure and this novel might prove more than I could bear. I am really happy to hear that you enjoyed it, though!

    • It really is SO hard to read a book where all the characters are terrible! This was definitely hard with this book BUT there are points where you do connect with Regina because of the nasty rumor that gets spread about her and what ACTUALLY happened. I think that this book made me think about it more seeing the treatment Regina goes through because even though you’d HATE somebody like her and be like “well you are getting a taste of your own medicine” you remember everyone is human and doesn’t deserve that. It’s something that you really grapple with throughout the novel and I loved that though I totally understand your reasoning for maybe NOT wanting to read it!

      Awesome comment! You seriously are the best ever.

  8. OH YAYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Ok, so I haven’t read this one yet but I KNOW BEYOND A DOUBT that I will love it because I just love this author. Your description and and this entire blog post just reminds me of the other books of hers that I’ve read and I just know that you’ll like her others too. I’ve read Fall For Anything which is a contemp and This Is Not A Test, which is a zombie book but to be honest it was more like a contemp with some zombie-lite mixed into it. (I think I actually said something like that in my review, haha.) She has such a lovely language that does indeed pull you in and you just want to crawl inside of her words even though her characters are going through things that are the opposite of how lovely her words are, ya know? Isn’t that amazing, how an author can DO THAT? I love that, it’s one of my favorite things when I can find an author that writes in that way – opposite to the story, if that makes any sense. Anyway, ALSO, doesn’t that cover just pull you in too – the way those two major colors kind of confuse your eyes, like opposites. Like Regina is a mean girl but is experiencing what the mean girls do this time around? Just brilliant. I can’t wait to read this one. I don’t think I’ve ever read a review of it, but dangit I want my hands on it. It’s been a while since I’ve been in Ms. Courtney’s world but it’s time to dive back in. Thanks for making me remember how much I LOVE IT THERE. xoxo

    • That makes me feel better what you said about This Is Not A Test bc I was a little wary of it! I think I am going to do Fall For Anything next. And YES good point that I didn’t think of…she really DOES write these horrible, cringeworthy things but the actual language is just BEAUTEOUS. And I actually never noticed the cover..WOW!

      I’m happy to join you in this CS happy place :)

      • Great choice! Fall For Anything is really great, I think you’ll like it. However if you ever want to try This Is Not A Test – it’s like the mildest zombie book ever. It was…kind of nice, which is weird. HA! xo

  9. Can I just say that I love your post-it note summaries? Too cute and great idea!

  10. *and a great idea

  11. I don’t read a lot of contemporary novels. I prefer fantasy and dystopians, but this sounds really good! I think I would probably like it based on your review. Although the entire time reading I would just be picturing Regina George from Mean Girls. Do you think the author did that on purpose? It can’t be a coincidence right? Great review!

  12. I’ve only read This Is Not A Test – but it sounds like I definitely need to read this one. I’ve been reading a lot more contemporary lately, and I think I’d like to add this one to my list.

  13. Yay so glad you loved this one!! I’m obsessed with Courtney Summers… and this one was my fav one of hers. I think I read it in one night bc I couldn’t stop! This is Not a Test was good too. I didn’t want to read it at first bc I’m not a big zombie reader… but it was about so much more than zombies! Cracked Up to Be is good too… it’s the one most similar to Some Girls Are. Until All the Rage comes out in 2014 bc I heard it’s about mean girls too!!!! So Excited!!

  14. Ahh you’ve made me so excited to read this! I’ve only read This is Not a Test and keep thinking I should give her contemporary’s a try. Also I love books that keep you so addicted that you stay in the tub forever! That hasn;t happened to me in awhile.

  15. I really need to read something by Courtney Summers. I have heard such great things about her and have yet to read one.

    This book sounds so great! Great, great review!

  16. Some Girls Are … before I read it, I was like, “Some girls are what?” The answer is clearly “bitches.”

    I thought it was fantastically well written, but it was just so sad and dismal and bitchy that I don’t think I could ever read it again. I liked This is Not a Test better! It’s a zombie book … but not one of THOSE zombie books. :-) You should read it!

  17. Great review, Jamie! I bought this one on sale at Amazon and LOVE Courtney’s work … and she’s a fellow Canadian! I do like the mean girl books and love how Courtney weaves in such serious issues to her stories. Can’t wait to read it!

  18. Sandy S. says:

    This month I just read this book thanks to you and really loved it. I have just finished The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door by Karen Finneyfrock yesterday and I could scream from the rooftops. Oh, this book was fantastic! All she wanted was revenge on the girls from last year but when Drake walks into her life, she’s confused at road to take. You need to check out this book.

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