Book Review: Those Girls by Lauren Saft


Those Girls by Lauren Saft may be the nadir of the Gossip Girl generation. This YA novel follows three high school juniors: Mollie, the anorexic mean girl with the trophy boyfriend; Veronica, who will proudly sleep with anyone to get attention; and Alex, the “artist” and comparatively good girl, who’s hung up on her best friend, Drew. Though the girls claim to be BFFs, their relationships are barely holding together under their rising tide of insecurity, resentment, and self-destructiveness. Things aren’t great at the start of the story, and they just keep getting worse. Veronica has absentee parents, and is newest to the trio and still feels excluded by Mollie’s and Alex’s long history. Mollie feels threatened when Alex suddenly joins a rock band and makes new friends. Alex is in emotional hell after foolishly fixing Drew up with Veronica. All three girls allow guys to treat them like absolute crap, treat each other like absolute crap, and deal with their serious problems by partying as hard as possible. Midway through my reading, I went out with a friend and told her I didn’t think I could finish this book because it was so depressing. Then I came home and basically speed-read the rest on the faint hope of a little redemption. It was a fruitless quest.

Lauren Saft is a decent writer, and I’d give her another chance with a different type of book. Her portrayal of general female insecurity rings especially true when she shows the same event from different perspectives – one girl feels exposed and ill at ease doing something, while the girl who’s watching envies her and thinks she has it all together. But I found the girls of These Girls completely unlikable, and was deeply uncomfortable witnessing their downward spirals. I wanted to sit them all down and demand that they get some self-respect, rehab, and therapy. (Yeah, my maternal instincts manifest through fictional characters.) In the end, the only character I was rooting for was Drew.

Recommended for: people who enjoy/are not depressed by The Bling Ring, or pretty much anything on the E! network

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Even REALLY honest reviews like this one.

PS: I have several book reviews to burn off, so you may see more of them than usual in the coming days!

About Brenda W.

Christian. Memphian. Reader. Writer. True blue Tiger fan. Lover of shoes, the ocean, adventure, and McAlister's iced tea. View all posts by Brenda W. →
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