Author: Savannah Avery
Released: May 5th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 144 (paperback)
Buy: Girls on Amazon
Seventeen year old Coco meets a group of girls who have everything she ever wanted- friendship, independence, beauty and attention from boys. But being one of the girls isn’t easy. The group’s leader M has strict rules and requires all of her girls to use their bodies to make her money. What is Coco willing to give up to become one of the girls?
Girls was original and unique, I haven’t read anything like it.
The book is a harsh reminder that trafficking does happen in real life. It also shows how naive and easily- influenced young girls are, and how vulnerable. This isn’t one of those YA novels that young teens should read because sex and violence is featured in the book. That being said, it isn’t just limited to a Young Adult audience, I think people of all ages (over 15) would be interested in this book.
Coco starts off as a quiet, insecure girl that goes on a date with a boy in her class and when she turns him down for sex he tells the whole school that she is a ‘tease’. When M defends her one day in class, Coco becomes infatuated with her instantly and she isn’t the only one. M’s girls worship her. Coco soon finds out that they have sex with boy for money but they don’t just do it for the cash, they like having power and control over them. M likes the attention. After watching Katherine perform with a college boy who she calls a ‘repeat’ Coco is intrigued and wants to know how it would feel to be that wanted and desired by a guy. She wants nothing more than to be a part of the group, and above all, for M to like her. So will she agree to do what they do? Will she give away her body for money, just to be like them?
I can’t tell you much more about the plot without spoiling it but the only criticism I have about the story is, it was mostly Coco’s thoughts and not much action. However, I absolutely loved the writing style, it was poetic and elegant.
I love how Savannah built the character’s, I could imagine what they are like clearly in my head. We get to know their personalities a little bit but not much, just like Coco doesn’t really know anything about them. They remain a mystery, especially Kitty. She doesn’t talk much but we know she is sad or she seems it to Coco, and she is very reliant on M.
Katharine was Coco’s least expected friend but she turned out to be the one she got closest to. She talked more than the other 2, even though M always tells her “Talking too much makes the words become meaningless.” Or something along those lines (I can’t find it)
I hated M, she was manipulative, controlling, exploitive and a bully. She is mean to the girls and then later she is trying to be comforting to them, stroking their hair or holding their hands. The worst part is that even though she is all these things to the Girls, they still adore her.
I found it all very sad and I felt sorry for every one of these girls (yes, even M).
I can’t spoil the ending but I have so many questions! Let’s just say I feel as clueless as Coco does at the end. Overall, I really enjoyed the book. It was what contemporary fiction is all about, it gives us a window into a corner of everyday life (in this case, trafficking) We experience how it would feel to walk in Coco’s shoes and it was dark and miserable even if she thought she was happy with the Girls for a short time. I hope this book raises awareness of human trafficking because it definitely opened my eyes.
Thank you to Savannah Avery for providing me with this lovely read (in no way did this influence my review or rating)