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Some Girls Are    by Courtney Summers order for
Some Girls Are
by Courtney Summers
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2010 (2010)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Courtney Summers, author of the excellent Cracked Up to Be, brings us another powerful, gripping, edgy read in Some Girls Are, which shows just how mean and cruel young women can be to each other.

Regina Afton enjoys being one of the all powerful Fearsome Fivesome at Hallowell High, though some of the acts required to maintain that position have sent her to therapy and caused her eating disorder. Then, at one fateful party, she's almost raped by the boyfriend of clique ruler Anna Morrison. Regina chooses the wrong person to confide in. At school, long sleeves covering her bruises, she's shunned by the clique and her own boyfriend - already the injured party, Regina learns what it is to be on the receiving end of what she once dished out on Anna's orders.

Now at the bottom of the school social ladder - something that those she herself abused clearly enjoy seeing - Regina has nowhere to sit in the cafetaria and has to ask permission of 'Unstable Emo Writer Boy' Michael Hayden (one of her past victims and the son of her therapist) to sit at the Garbage Table. Her once friend Liz (another past victim) wishes her luck. And the observant Michael tells Regina, 'Everyone's afraid ... But no one more than you.'

Regina has good reason to be fearful. They spray-paint whore on her locker, dump her books in the pool, stalk her, push her down stairs, set up an I Hate Regina Afton group on YourSpace, and that's just the beginning. Then Regina, who lives on antacids, begins to reflect on her past behavior, to truly regret it, and to fight back. But the viciousness escalates. Only Michael shows compassion, though he clearly has reservations. Friendship grows between them ... and maybe more.

Events build quickly to a crescendo of social manipulation and violence. When Michael is threatened, Regina shows that she really has grown and changed. She finally clues in about high school that 'A whole world exists out of that hellhole.' And someone who was once a victim chooses not to remain a passive bystander. Some Girls Are, which will start your reading year off with quite a jolt, is absolutely not to be missed.

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