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Mean Girls Meet Desperate Housewives: A Review of Lauren Saft’s “Those Girls”

Goodreads.com Description: “Junior year, the suburbs of Philadelphia. Alex, Mollie and Veronica are those girls: they’re the best of friends and the party girls of the school. But how well does everybody know them–and really, how well do they know one another? Alex is secretly in love with the boy next door and has joined a band–without telling anyone. Mollie suffers from a popular (and possibly sociopathic) boyfriend, as well as a serious mean streak. And Veronica just wants to be loved–literally, figuratively, physically….she’s not particular. Will this be the year that bonds them forever….or tears them apart for good? Lauren Saft masterfully conveys what goes on in the mind of a teenage girl, and her debut novel is raw, honest, hilarious, and thought-provoking, with a healthy dose of heart.”

I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Lauren Saft’s Those Girls was disturbingly good! It was like “Mean Girls” met up with the cast of “Desperate Housewives”.

There was so much drama going on amongst prep schoolers. It made me glad to no longer be a high schooler. I attended a private co-ed school. The stereotype back then was kids who went to same sex schools were overly obsessed with the opposite sex. After reading Saft’s book, I wonder if that was a stereotype or just a keen observation on life.

Saft’s characters were well-developed and oh, so complex. My favorites were Alex and Drew. Out of all the characters, they were the most normal. Alex and Drew spent too much time trying to figure themselves out and handle the drama in their lives. And, that drama came courtesy of their friends Mollie and Veronica. Oh my god! Those two girls were the worst ever. Totally mean, totally self-absorbed and totally pitiful. They weren’t true villains. They were just confused girls trying to play big girl games.

It took me a minute to realize who the real villains were in Those Girls. Each girl was her own villain. Each of them had personal demons that needed to be excised. Mollie used sex with the hopes of keeping a guy in love with her. Veronica thought promiscuity was the road to success. Alex tried to hide her true self behind the guise of being every guy’s good buddy. She could hang with the fellas and they accepted her openly. Saft gave readers a glimpse at how a trio of girls tried to deal with anorexia/bulimia, self-deprecation and insecurity. I only hope that today’s youth aren’t using these tactics.

Those Girls was a well-crafted tale with a lot of social relevance. It made me wonder about issues facing today’s high school girls. Do they understand that actions have consequences? Clearly Mollie, Veronica and Alex didn’t understand that until it was too late. But, did they learn their lessons? We shall see. Lauren Saft is working on a sequel to this thought-provoking story.

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