Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers [ TW: RAPE ]1
Title: Some Girls Are
Author: Courtney Summers
Publication Date: January 5th, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Rating: 4 stars
I love characters that everyone else hates. I love the asshole jocks, the douche villains, and especially, the evil popular girls. So a book where the main character is one of the mean girls? Even though it could go so terribly, terribly wrong, I am immediately intrigued.
And thankfully, Some Girls Are got it so very right.
Regina Afton is one of the most popular girls in school, being the best friend and second-in-command of Anna Morrison, the school’s queen bee. Her clique is deliciously vicious – they start rumor campaigns, they destroy reputations, they ruin lives. Regina and her friends are those girls that everyone loves/hates. However, one party changes Regina’s social status overnight, when Anna’s boyfriend comes very close to raping her. In her desperation, Regina goes to the only person she can, Kara, a frenemy and member of her clique. This was the wrong move, and Kara takes this opportunity to ruin her reputation by convincing Anna that Regina had sex with her boyfriend behind her back.
So begins Regina’s exile from her friends.
One of the things that makes me want to gush is that Courtney Summers doesn’t make Regina a good person. She’s not the unwitting accomplice to Anna Morrison’s alpha bitch, she doesn’t have a change of heart, she doesn’t decide that she wants to be a better person. She’s just a mean girl that we can sympathize with. And we sympathize with her because Courtney Summers makes these characters real. They’re three-dimensional, and they’re unforgivable, completely bad people, and I love them.
When Regina decides she wants to take Anna down, it’s not to save other students from her reign of terror, and it’s certainly not because she thinks it’s the right thing to do. It’s because she wants revenge. Some people were disappointed with the fact that Regina doesn’t morph into a good person, but I am so glad, and it seems so much more real that way.
Right after Regina loses her spot at her lunch table and with Anna and the others, she becomes anxious – she can’t be alone, so she sits next to Michael, a boy she has bullied in the past. Michael might be the only decent person in this book, and even then, he can be kind of a jerk at times – although he is completely justified. Michael seems indifferent (if a little irritated) by Regina’s presence at first, but it doesn’t take a lot for him to blow up at her and her self-centered audaciousness. As anyone can guess, Regina and Michael end up having a romance. I’m not convinced that it’s a completely functional relationship, but that might be one of the reasons I loved it so much. Their chemistry was palpable, their issues were real, and I couldn’t help but route for them to get together and somehow, despite their multitude of problems, make it work.
The other characters – from Regina’s ex to Anna herself – don’t make it easy for Regina to be happy, with or without Michael. This book is brutal, and those girls are downright abusive. Not only do they torment Regina emotionally, but there’s a good deal of violence, as well. Anyone who is a fan of three-dimensional douchebags, good contemporary young adult, or high school dramas, or just a plain good book with wonderful prose and great characters, should give Some Girls Are a chance.