Three 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.
This was a book that was recommended to me after reading Moxie, which dealt with the same issues that Nowhere Girls has which is the issue of sexual assault and rape culture.
The book starts with Grace, moving to Prescott after her mother has a “feminist awakening” and getting run out of her old town. She lives in the house where Lucy, a sexual assault lived before she was run out of town after accusing the boys on the football team of rape. After meeting Rosina and Erin she begins to figure out what happened to Lucy and hopefully tries to find justice for her.
Rosina, is a queer latina who spends most the book dealing with her huge extended family and also working at her families Mexican restaurant. Her main arc deals with how she has to deal with her family values, especially with her being a queer latina and being forced to choose between family and a normal life.
Erin, is one of my favorites. Mainly because she is a Trekkie and any book that makes references to Star Trek especially TNG is fine in my book. But she is also a character on the autism spectrum. While I am not on the spectrum, it was nice to see a fully fleshed out character on the spectrum.
This book also reminded me a lot of Moxie. mainly due to the fact that it deals with high school girls trying to combat sexual assault on their campus. This dealt with a more proactive approach in which the girls withhold sex from their boyfriends or other boys at school, and it starts a movement with the school.
There is also a very misogynist blog post that keeps popping up with the book called The Real Men of Prescott, which is just as vile as I could describe it. It is basically a Pick up artist blog that brags about the number of women he is “scoring”. I would also say trigger warning when reading those parts of the book, it gets pretty graphic.
There is also a lor of great minor charcters who are also fleshed out such as, Margot, who is the student body president, Melissa who is the head cheerleader and Sam who is in drama club. Even though they didn’t have POV chapters like the core three girls, they still were fleshed out characters that added a lot to the story.
This book also does a good job at tackling the issue of rape culture especially in high school and how a lot of young girls don’t really have a support system when it comes to rape, and also what happens if a girl accuses a boy of rape. The main idea of The Nowhere Girls is to make sure that girls has a voice to be heard and come together. The main strength of the book lies in sisterhood between the girls and with what is going on right now I feel that it is needed.
It also does a good job at tackling religion. Grace’s mom is a pastor for a Congregationalist church, which is a very open minded church, and it provided some much needed religious commentary especially coming from her mom.
This book was an extremely powerful read that does a good job at tackling the issue of sexual assault. This is the first book I read by Amy Reed and I may pick up more of her books. It also deals with female friendship and working together to fight an injustice. For fans of Moxie, I highly recommend it. It also has great characters that you would love to root for