The Nowhere Girls is as empowering as it is emotive. Amy Reed’s novel explores society’s vulgar reactions towards females who call out those of the opposite sex for rape. The book follows the story of a group of misfit girls who create a society (The Nowhere Girls) to try and raise awareness about sexism and sexual abuse, including that of a girl called Lucy who was gang-raped by fellow pupils at her school. Whatever you do, be prepared to feel incensed in behalf of the characters! This book carries an important message of female unity and strength and is thoroughly interesting to read. The following is a spoiler-free review.
Book Blurb: Grace wants nothing more than to be invisible at her new school, but when she learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town after accusing the popular guys at school of gang rape, she convinces Rosina and Erin to join her mission to get justice for Lucy. They form an anonymous group of girls to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students. As the Nowhere Girls grow in numbers, their movement becomes about more than sex and transforms the lives of its members, their school, and the entire community.
When Grace Salter moves into her new home, the last thing she expects to find are haunting messages scratched into the furnishings of her room. I found these messages to be effective at portraying the emotional turmoil of the girl who was gang-raped and whom the community did not believe. I found Rosina (a queer rocker) and Erin (the odd brainiac) to be really interesting characters; in fact it probably goes to show that no matter how different girls are as individuals, together they can be a force to be reckoned with! I also found the headteacher to be particularly well-characterised; a frustrating woman who acknowledges that there are problems yet does whatever she can to protect the reputation of her school.
The only criticisms I have is that I wasn’t sure how realistic the community’s reactions are to a feminist group in modern day America. There is an uproar and attempts at shutting them down, and although there are incidences when girls are not belived if they have been raped, I think it is unlikely that in this day and age a feminst society would be banned in a non-conservative town. Also I feel like some points in the book had such anti-men vibes that I began to feel that it was unnecessary to take it so far but that it my personal opinion. I felt that it may have been better to include some male involvement in the feminist society rather than just paint all men with the same brush.
Warning: contains content on rape and harassment.
Have you read this novel and what did you think? Does this sound like your kind of book? Let me know in the comments!