Review: Those Girls by Lauren Saft

Those Girls by Lauren SaftThose Girls by Lauren Saft
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Alex and Mollie have been best friends since kindergarten. Veronica, whose promiscuous reputation is her claim to fame, has recently joined their ranks. At the start of their junior year, each girl has an agenda.

V longs to turn over a new leaf and be the kind of girl a boy wants to keep around for more than an hour. Her good intentions are pretty constantly foiled by her revealing outfits and her drunken escapades.

Mollie wants to bring romance back into her relationship with her hot-and-popular boyfriend, Sam. She’s willing to do just about anything to keep him.

Alex needs a change. Mollie’s Sam obsession left a hole in her life that she’s ready to fill. A garage band might be exactly the change she needs. The change she doesn’t need? Her best friend (and secret love) Drew going after Veronica.

The drama does not stop, from page one all the way to the end. Rotating narrators (all three girls take turns spilling their guts) keep the story flying forward and reveal what each girl really thinks as events unfold. It’s nonstop gossip, parties, social disaster, love, and heartbreak.

Despite the quick pace and the celebration of friendship between girls, I had a hard time connecting with Mollie. She’s selfish, vindictive and extremely negative. I couldn’t really get why the other two valued her as a friend. I found Alex to be much more palatable, but ultimately disappointing. I had the most sympathy for Veronica. In a home with absent parents, it made perfect sense that she had little sense of social cues and relied on her body to form connections with people, then felt depressed when a one night stand didn’t result in a relationship.

The story definitely captures the catty spirit that sometimes plagues high school girls. While Alex and Veronica seem to have learned some hard lessons and grown personally by the end of the story, there were some elements of the resolution that were not believable. (See spoiler section below.)

Language Content
Extreme profanity and crude language used really frequently.

Sexual Content
Several explicit scenes depicting sexual encounters (one in which two girls make out, another involving two girls and a boy) as well as crude references to sexual situations and encounters.

Mollie’s boyfriend is all about the sexual pressure. Gross.

Spiritual Content
The girls go to a Catholic school. Mollie’s mother is very religious and forces Mollie to attend extra church services and say extra prayers when she misbehaves. (These efforts don’t appear to affect Mollie’s personal beliefs or her behavior.) At one point, Mollie commits to sabotage a fellow student and claims she has Jesus on her side. (I think she was aiming for funny, but because of the nature of her intentions, it fell pretty flat for me.)

Alex’s family is Jewish. She laments not being invited to celebrate Christmas with her friends and being bored around that holiday.

Violence
None.

Drug Content
Lots of scenes in which teens drink alcohol or smoke pot. Someone slips a roofie into a girl’s drink.

Spoiler
Mollie’s boyfriend (total schmuck) cheats on her with Veronica. Alex has sex with Veronica’s boyfriend. These are pretty serious betrayals. Yet, just a few weeks later, they’re all happy and friends again. Totally did not buy that. Did not seem possible, especially for someone as image-conscious as Mollie. Drew’s reaction to the whole thing was a lot more my speed. He pretty much up and headed for the hills. Too much drama. Bravo, dude.

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About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she's not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.
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