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Updated: Aug 27, 2019

The Nowhere Girls throws no soft punches. No, this book hits hard in the places where it hurts the most. It’ll make your chest ache and keep you up at night. It’s terrifyingly accurate. 

When Grace Salter moves to a small town, she finds literal cries for help etched into the walls and baseboards and the small spaces of her new bedroom made by Lucy Moynihan, the girl who lived there before her. A girl who was gang raped while drunk by popular boys at school and subsequently run out of town when she reports it. And Grace Salter wants justice. For Lucy. For the other girls at the same school who are victims keeping quiet. When Grace becomes friends with Rosina, a queer punk girl from a conservative Mexican family, and Erin, an autistic girl obsessed with marine biology and Star Trek, together they begin The Nowhere Girls– a movement intended to change the toxic mindset of the town and the destructive culture, starting with the behavior of the boys at school who find girls to be nothing more than desperate bodies, playthings for enjoyment even if girls are too drunk or too high to consent.

The Nowhere Girls hits all of the topics no one wants to hear or talk about, the very real actions that make people uncomfortable. Rape culture, stereotypes, body image, self worth, sexuality, capability–those are just a few of the themes you find in the pages along with questions: Why are girls so mean to each other instead of supportive? Why are girls taught to bring each other down instead of uplift? Is there ever a time when complacency is your fault? Complacency is a theme that’s heavy throughout each girl’s perspective. Should you, can you, will you speak up for others when your opinion is the minority? Do you make yourself stand out at the risk of being an outcast or do you fold yourself and your morals down to fit into a society with standards and ideals you don't believe in? What does fitting in mean in a culture that perpetuates the worst of the worst? How do you effect change when you feel like just one small, insignificant person? Do children’s rights exist? In The Nowhere Girls, one girl is held hostage by her parents and subjected to prison-ish conditions. When do parents start and stop deciding what’s good for their kids and how do you stand up to a parent when they're wrong?

It’s heartbreaking how real the book is, how so many different types of rape occur to girls everywhere–and it's happening, right here, right now, all over the world. "Boys will be boys" is a sickening excuse made by those who don't want to admit that their sons have done something horrific and wrong. Girls must be "asking for it" by wearing shorts or tank tops or anything that shows more than a burka. Not to mention how they're treated by those in power when girls come forward. Authority figures decide what’s true and what’s not without facts and evidence and continue the never ending cycle of disgusting behavior. Girls are treated as unreliable while boys are saints. It’s disgusting and despicable and disgustingly despicably true. 

The Nowhere Girls should be read by everyone, of all genders, of all ages. It shines a spotlight on the mistreatment of girls and reminds you that rape, in any form, at any time, is unacceptable and rapists should never go unpunished, no matter how young they are, how much potential they have in life, or how much they're loved by their parents or town. It'll make you want to start your own group of Nowhere Girls


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