Author: Courtney Summers
Publication Date: 1/5/10
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Blurb (GR): Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard--falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High... until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around. Now Regina's been "frozen out" and her ex-best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend... if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don't break them both first.
Tensions grow and the abuse worsens as the final days of senior year march toward an explosive conclusion in this dark new tale from the author of Cracked Up To Be.
What a mean, ugly, venomous, relentlessly cruel book this is! I almost developed some ulcer myself just by being in the main character's head.
The "mean girls" novels are not something that interests me very much in YA lit. Ever since Before I Fall I feel mildly dissatisfied in how such stories generally unfold. In Before I Fall, for instance, I thought there was a lot of humanizing and excusing of mean girls going on, with not enough of owning up to their actions and atoning. Some Girls Are is more pleasing in that respect.
Regina, one of the school's meanest mean girls, ends up to be the target of her friends' (or frenemies') wrath and finally tastes her own medicine. The treatment of her is vile, but hey, who cares, she was distributing the same sort of punishments just a few days ago. She deserves everything that's coming her way, right?
Hm, maybe. I won't lie, seeing an ex-mean girl suffer was pretty awesome. At first. But once you get to know Regina a little better, you can't help to feel horrified for her. And it's not only about the abuse (the beatings, humiliation, almost rapes) - she gives back almost as much of it as she takes. It's more about her inner world. Her mind, constantly fixated on fighting back, on guilt, on memories of being a part of a group of so-called friends who can squash you in minutes, on pressures of always hating and being hated. It's an awful way to think. It's a damaging way to live.
I can't say I enjoyed this novel. You can't enjoy a punch to your gut that this book is. But I did appreciate it. I appreciated that this novel doesn't make excuses for Regina and forces readers to forgive her. There are some things in life that can't be easily forgotten and fixed with an I am sorry. But something more important happens here - a mean girl breaks out of the circle of hate and violence and maybe becomes a slightly more aware person. She has to continue carrying the burden of her past actions though. No easy fixes here.