You know the books that have no redeeming qualities or deeper meaning, but you keep reading them anyways? Well, Those Girls is one of those books. I spent a whole Sunday afternoon reading Those Girls rather than doing meaningful tasks, like my homework. But throughout the afternoon–even when I finally finished the book==I never felt a sense of fulfillment. Personally, it was impossible to truly enjoy reading Those Girls because the author tries too hard to write something similar to Courtney Summers’ Cracked Up to Be but fails. While Summers breathes humanity into all of her character, Saft sucks the humanity of her characters away.
Meet Alex, Mollie, and Veronica, the shallowest and most horrible book characters to ever grace the earth. They’re those girls–the party girls, the popular girls, the self-centered people to avoid. Alex, the so-called nicest of the three, is in love with the boy next door and has secretly joined a band (What a scandal!). Mollie suffers from a sleazy, disgusting boyfriend and a serious mean streak. And Veronica “just wants to be loved–literally, figuratively, physically…” She’s down with anything. Will their junior year be the year that bonds them or tears them apart forever?
The official synopsis states that Lauren Saft’s debut novel is “honest, hilarious, and thought-provoking.” I’m going to dispute each aspect of that phrase, beginning with the honest part. Honestly, no one would consider secretly joining a band to be something scandalous. And, more importantly, no three friends are this terrible. No friends would be horrible enough to even consider drugging another friend! As for the hilarious part, what part of slut-shaming, questionable consent, and drugging other people is funny? Oh, right, none. What’s truly funny and questionable is that the writer of the synopsis thinks everything rotten, drugging, and slut-shaming is funny. And let’s talk about the whole “thought-provoking” aspect of Those Girls. Books like these are only thought-provoking when there’s character development, pivotal moments in the narrative, and unhinging questions relating to humanity. And Those Girls has none of these aspects.
A lot of readers have been comparing the books they’ve read to crack. I think comparing Those Girls to crack is most adequate because it’s so bad for one’s literary soul, yet so, so addicting. I was so addicted to this book that I read it in one sitting, even though the book itself is low-quality. Literary crack for the win…just kidding.
This is probably the first book I can’t say anything good about, so I can’t recommend it without lying through my teeth or my computer screen. My honest opinion? Don’t bother reading Saft’s novel. Turn to Courtney Summers’ novels instead.
Rating: 3 out of 10
Publisher: Poppy (June 9th, 2015)
ISBN #: 9780316403665
Length: 336 pages (Hardcover)