Some Girls Are is not a feel good book. It isn't a whimsical teen romance. It contains no vampires or werewolves or fairies. It doesn't take place in a dystopian future, as Courtney Summers realizes the present provides chaos enough. This book is firmly planted in reality, a reality parents everywhere fervently hope isn't true of their kids at their local schools. But it is. And that's what makes Some Girls Are an important book.
Regina Afton is someone I would have hated in high school. As part of the mean girl clique, the Fearsome Fivesome, she ruled the school with her crowd of malicious little dictators, casually destroying people who weren't worthy of breathing the rarefied air of the truly popular. But, when something horrible occurs at a party, the high school rumor mill churns Regina up and spits her out, and she finds herself friendless, humiliated, and a target. Her ex-friends engage in a vicious revenge campaign, pushing Regina to the limits, both psychologically and physically.
As the bullying intensifies, Regina forms a tenuous friendship with Michael, a boy who was once a target of the Fivesome. Through this relationship she begins to come to terms with her past, and slowly tries to make amends for her prior awful behavior.
But Some Girls Are is not a trite after school special. It's hard for Regina to change. And she can't undo the damage already done. She's hurt people, so wouldn't it make sense to cheer on her destruction? It would, but we want Regina to succeed, even if we don't always trust her ability to do so. Regina is a struggling, morally complex character. She's someone trying to take responsibility for her actions in a world where life would be whole lot easier if she didn't. That study of actions and consequences, cause and effect, is a rarity in YA lit, and adult lit, for that matter. It makes for a fascinating, emotionally compelling book. I highly recommend it!