The Nowhere Girls // Important Messages on Feminism & Rape Culture aka Read This Immediately [ARC Review]

So I absolutely ADORED The Nowhere Girls.

Pretty cover?* Check. Important messages? Check. Great characters? Check. AND SO MUCH MORE.

It was just such an inspiring book, and it’s something that I feel EVERYONE needs to read, because it’s just so so powerful. It made me feel all sorts of emotions—sadness, anger, frustration, hope, bittersweetness… I’M JUST A MESS FROM THIS BOOK OKAY.

Just read it pleeeeeeease.

*Obviously this comes first.

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Amy Reed // October 10, 2017

The Nowhere GirlsThree misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Who are the Nowhere Girls?

They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.

Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.

[synopsis taken from goodreads]

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for generously providing me with a beautiful review copy! This did not affect my opinion in any way.

view my review on goodreads HERE!

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  • It tackles rape culture and shows you just why the world is so messed up. Like, of course, a girl who’s raped by three guys definitely is trying to get attention, and not, idk, MAYBE TRYING TO REPORT THIS AWFUL & SICKENING CRIME????
  • But not only does it just portray so many horrible assumptions and behaviors towards rape, but it also talks about how even tho some rapists get punished, some get punished less because of the fact that they’re white or rich or “don’t look like a rapist”.
  • And it ALSO talks about how, while a rapist may go to jail for their actions, the victim will never be the same again, no matter what happens to the rapist. I think this is something SUPER important that people forget, so it’s great that this book included it.
  • It discusses sexism and horrible views on girls in a well-written, realistic way. We read from the perspective of someone who actually like,, HATES girls and thinks them good for only “f*cking and making meals”* and while it’s vile and horrifying that humans think of other humans this way, it’s definitely realistic???
  • This book is honestly so quotable that I wish I could share it all with you, but let’s just say that many many parts of this book made me want to actually literally HURT someone because what was written was true and it SHOULDN’T BE. It was just so. realistic. and completely eye-opening.

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  • IT. IS. REAL. This is the real deal. It tackles REAL topics and talks about REAL things that are happening right now in this world, believe it or not. It seems horrible, it seems unfair, it seems absolutely disgusting—but it is REAL and that is why this book is just so, so powerful.
  • Okay, now that I’m done with just the message part of it: There is so much diversity! Grace is “fat”, Rosina is Mexican and lesbian, and Erin has Asperger’s. Like um,, yes?? Where is this diverse cast of main characters in other books????
  • The individual character arcs are amazing. The characters grow SO MUCH throughout the whole book and it’s just beautiful to read about?? Grace becomes more confident in herself despite the size of her body, Rosina learns to embrace herself even tho it may not be the person her family wants her to be, and Erin slowly heals from her own *SPOILER* rape *END* and lets others in.
  • NO. GIRL. HATE. Um??? yes??? please??? There WERE some slut-shaming comments but it was  the girls all bonded over their fight for rights and respect. They were all so supportive of each other and it was just beautiful.
  • The writing is so pretty?? There were also multiple POVs that were mostly the main characters’, but then there was also an “Us” chapter, and IT WAS WRITTEN SO LYRICALLY and beautifully?? It just added so much more to the story.
  • Also it was in third person and 1) I LOVE THIRD PERSON WITH ALL OF MY HEART, and 2) how often are contemporaries in third person????


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  • The whole book is really slow-moving, but I think it just feels that way because this is SUCH a heavy and gritty topic. Still, it was pretty hard to just really FOCUS on the book (especially when I got blindly angry at stupid characters and the stupid world and AHDJALKFKSKA).
  • The ending is a… good ending. I don’t want to spoil it, and there’s NOTHING wrong, but I just want to say that while it was a good ending, it’s not necessarily realistic. It doesn’t need to be, BUT I just wanted to make that clear. :))
  • We were introduced to a VERY IMPORTANT CHARACTER in like the last 50 pages?? And this character was vital to the ending of the book??? Like if they are important to the book’s ending, I’d like to read about them a little before, you know, the end????

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  • There was also a really offensive part concerning trans people. It was said by the brother of a trans guy, and it wasn’t called out on??? He said, “If I wanted to be a chick […]”
  • I think the point of this was to point out sexism: if he “wanted” to be a girl, his parents wouldn’t let him, but if a daughter “wanted” to be a boy, his parents would be allow it. BUT. This is really offensive because trans people don’t WANT to be that gender? They ARE that gender.
  • There were so many characters that I just got confused sometimes??? (And by these characters, I mean the members of the Nowhere Girls).

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such an important & inspiring message, realistic, well-written, beautiful characters, EVERYONE JUST READ THIS

Just READ THIS BOOK. It has such an powerful message in our world today, and the characters are honestly just beautiful, including their arcs. The whole book is written gorgeously.


shall we chat

do you want to read the nowhere girls? are you a feminist? how do you feel about the way rape is being treated currently? what are some feminist books/books with important messages??? I LOVE THEM

P.S. i’m posting this a day late bc i was traveling all of yesterday and i THOUGHT the post would be ready… but no

sign off 2.0


76 thoughts on “The Nowhere Girls // Important Messages on Feminism & Rape Culture aka Read This Immediately [ARC Review]

  1. I read this book last month and loved it. I think we need more books that actually call out sexism, and it’s great to see a YA book actually discussing rape culture.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WONDERFUL review, may!! i’m totally down for any book ever that has to do with feminism and/or rape culture, especially in YA books. so, thank you for letting me know this book exists bc omg i need to read it NOW!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh this book sounds incredible May. 🙂 ❤ I'm really glad you loved it so much and you're review and all the positive you've listed for it have made me determined to read this myself. I'm sure The Nowhere girls will be a book I love just as much as you did.
    This sounds like a really important book, and I love stories which tackle hard and real issues like this one and like The Hate U Give as well, it's great to see those messages and stories in YA fiction. Plus the fact that there's diversity and no girl hate makes this a must-read for me. 🙂
    Great review May. 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a great review, May, this book sounds so, so good. I’m not sure if I want to read it, because I’m always a bit nervous to read these kind of books dealing with these subjects. They are SO important for sure and need to be read, I’m just a bit sensitive overall ahah. I’m SO glad to hear there’s so much diversity and that the writing style was beautiful, it makes me so very curious to read it and see it for myself. Maybe someday I’ll try! 🙂
    I don’t know why, but thinking of your question, I thought of the book, Only Ever Yours, by Louise O’Neill. It was a CRAZY book, but it was so, so good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank yoou! 💕 Ah, I hope that one day if you DO decide to read it, you’ll love it — it truly is an important, poignant book! 😊

      Louise O’Neill??? I’ve read a book by her (Asking For It) about rape culture, but I didn’t know she’d written another one?! I’ll definitely have to check it out!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi May! This review is AMAZING!!! I want to point out though, that when you said that “trans people don’t WANT to be that gender . . . they ARE that gender”. This is wrong, because a boy will remain a boy and a girl will remain a girl no matter what gender they think of themselves as. Genesis 1:27 says, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” When a male is born a male, he cannot change, no matter what he tries. He can have surgery after surgery, and change his outward appearance, but he is still a male. Although I disagree with the whole transgender thing, I believe that we still need to respect the people for who they are on the inside, but there is no need to honor their fake gender and call them a boy (or whatever they want us to call them) when they are actually a girl. Changing genders is dangerous and wrong.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you!!

      Sorry, I have to disagree with you. I think we all have different opinions, especially on a controversial topic like this. I believe that your outside appearance does not define your gender. And actually, I think that being respectful of people’s genders INCLUDES honoring their “fake” gender, as you say, but I’m not one to dictate your actions. 🙂 Also, you said, “honor them for who they are on the inside”, as if the outside and insides of a person are two separate matters — and they are, in my opinion. Just like a person’s outward beauty does not define what they are like on the inside!! But this is just my opinion, of course, and I totally respect yours and your religious beliefs. 🙂


      1. Thank you for sharing your beliefs, May! I really appreciate that you do it in such a respectful way. Normally, I would get a lot of hate emails/comments in response to my words, but yours were kind and respectful. Thank you so much! Also, I’m sorry if I came off pushy or something like that. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. First off I am DEFINITELY a feminist. Okay this book sounds absolutely positively AMAZING but I just did some poking around on my library website and its not on there 😦 oh well I WILL find it somewhere!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. So like… I think I need this????? Literally, that guy sounds DISGUSTING and I would literally not be able to not murder him while reading.

    Omggggg yessssssss no girl-girl hate!! That’s actually fabulous because tooooo many books have that I find? I think that drama and hate is what puts me off of a contemporary?

    But YAS to the feminism and it sending powerful messages!! Great review 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This book sounds really powerful. Rape needs to addressed. My older sister was raped by our dad which is seriously the worst thing ever. Thank goodness our parents our divorced now, but it’s frustrating because the courts say he’s completely innocent. Anyway, sorry for that strange little rant into my personal life, but it really needs to be addressed.

    ~ Pip

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh my gosh… Pip, I’m so shocked and sad to hear that. I hope your sister is doing okay and I’m glad that your parents divorced. It’s completely horrible and wrong that the court says your father is innocent (did they blame your sister?). Yes, rape really does need to be addressed! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, it’s really terrible. She’s doing really well! It happened when she little, but she was waaay to scared to say anything until about age 16. She lived in constant fear while our parents were together, but no one knew why. They separated 4 years ago and my older sister (now 20) is so much better! Me and my younger sister were also abused, but not to the same extent. I was spared the most, honestly.
        And no, they don’t blame her, they just think our Mom coached her to say that. Anyway, our courts are kind of messed up. 😛

        Sorry again about ranting. I’m not usually the ranty type.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh my gosh. That is absolutely horrifying and shocking to hear about, especially that you and your younger sister were abused. I’m glad to hear that everyone (including you) is okay now. That’s just absolutely… horrible. Wow. Sending all of
          my love! 💕💕💕

          Liked by 1 person

  9. do you want to read the Nowhere girls? –> YES YES YES YES OF COURSE. It sounds amazing and your review MAKES ME SO EXCITED!

    are you a feminist? –> YES YES YES YES OF COURSE. The only thing that puts me apart to most feminist is by saying ‘All men are trash’. STILL FEMINIST THOUGH AND PROUD.

    how do you feel about the way rape is being treated currently? –> horrible! women are blamed ‘for not speaking out earlier’ BUT UGUGH THEY SPOKE OUT NOW. Do you know how freaking difficult that is? People DON’T BELIEVE THEM> It’s difficult to speak out. AND IT SHOULDN’T HAPPEN IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    what are some feminist books/books with important messages??? –> haha. wow. i’ve read SUCH LITTLE FEMINIST BOOKS. I’m sorry.

    Liked by 1 person


      oh god, i HATE people who claim they are feminists but hate men or think they’re superior to men. true feminists believe in equality and it pains me that people view feminism as man-hate bc it’s NOT

      YES YES YES exactly. “they should’ve spoken up earlier” well you’re not listening now, you wouldn’t have listened then

      Liked by 1 person

  10. i want to read this book????? but i’m scrrd because the aspergers rep??? hmmmmm like technically that character should be referred too as a person w/ high functioning autism but??? ummmm im extreme scrred because i will literally burn this book if the rep isn’t done right so ummmm

    i’ll probably read it (but i don’t know how much i’ll like it, im so nervous!!!) but also i would like to say i am a man hater, i hate men forever and always soo hmm

    (love u and ur great reviews !!!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i have no idea if the asperger’s rep is good bc i’m not v knowledgeable with autism ?? i’m pretty sure that the character herself mentioned that she had autism but in the blurb it’s referred to as asperger’s

      i hope u like it bc it’s a great book for the man haters 💖

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ik i’m just scrrrrd also did i mention how much i hate men????

        women are truly the best things to ever exist and men???? who are they??? please explain????? tbh i would be happy to never see a man again

        Liked by 1 person

  11. literally going to buy this book asap i need to read this!!! i love feminist fiction esp. when it talks about real life issues, and i feel like there are so many portrayals of rape in fiction nowadays that don’t acknowledge the actual tragedy it is and the impact it has on the victim. it sounds like this book actually talks about the aftermath for the victim, and all of the awful things that follow on from such a traumatic experience, especially one that is often disregarded to ‘protect’ the actual assaulter.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yessssss! I’ve never heard of this book before, but I am adding it to my Goodreads list immediately!!! Thank you so much for posting it. Have you read Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis yet? It’s a dark YA story about revenge that addresses rape culture in a big way! I loved it. One of my favorite reads of the year. Also, Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston is another amazing book about the aftermath of a rape and the strength of female friendship. I love both so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aaahh, I’m so glad to introduce you to this AMAZING book to you!! ❤ And oh yes, I read & LOVED Female of the Species! Such an amazing book. 😍 And ooh, I had no idea Exit, Pursued by a Bear was about rape & female friendship! I'll definitely have to add it to my GR TBR now. 😉 Thanks for the recs!

      Liked by 1 person

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