It’s credit to Author Courtney Summers immense talent that we are actually able to sympathize with Regina’s plight despite her being extremely unlikeable and for the most part unrepentant for the damage she caused (and continues to cause) her own victims. This is a compelling character study of a girl everybody loves to hate who actually deserves it, and Summers holds nothing back. What Anna and Kara do to her is atrocious, but what she does back to them is no less so and the cycle of violence continues. It actually made me think about what goes on between Israelis and Palestinians, with Hutus and Tutsis and with other groups of sworn enemies day after day. How hard it is to forgive. And how hard it is to be the wronged party but to look for a peaceful solution instead of taking an eye for an eye.
At the heart of the novel though is Regina’s complicated relationship with Michael and the lengths she will go to in order to protect him once she gets to know him. He’s her path to redemption, but he’s not going to make it easy for her, and neither are her former friends.
No one is going to tell you this is a “fun” way to spend your reading hours, but it is a rewarding way: the novel is involving, moving and yes, gut-wrenching. And Summers has trimmed any trace of fat, resulting in a tight narrative that clips along at a pace that keeps you glued to the page despite the unpleasantness. I read it one sitting.
SOME GIRLS ARE is available in paperback now. Find out more about it at the author's website.