From the acclaimed author of MOXIE comes BAD GIRLS NEVER SAY DIE, a gender-flipped reimagining of S. E. Hinton’s classic THE OUTSIDERS that strikes all of the same notes of rebellion, loyalty, and yearning to belong but with a new, deep exploration of the bonds of female friendship. Set in 1960s Houston, BAD GIRLS NEVER SAY DIE is a YA novel following Evie Barnes and her group of friends — “bad girls” from the wrong side of the tracks who skip school, wear dark eyeliner, and run around with boys.
Their parents and teachers might scoff at their rejection of gender norms, but they don’t care. Being prim, proper, and pink is for the rich “tea sippers,” anyway. They’ve got each other and that’s all that matters. But when Evie finds herself being saved from an attempted assault by a rich girl from the “right” side of the tracks, she is forced to reconsider everything she thought she knew about what makes a girl bad.
BAD GIRLS NEVER SAY DIE stands on its own two feet, offering a version of 1960s Houston that reads as a work of historical fiction exploring the class, race, and gender roles of the time period. If you are familiar with THE OUTSIDERS, however, Mathieu’s reimagining does a fantastic job running parallel to its inspiration.
In my experience, THE OUTSIDERS is the one required book that students tend to enjoy and seek out readalikes for. I look forward to being able to recommend BAD GIRLS NEVER SAY DIE to those who come into the library looking for their next read after THE OUTSIDERS.
Potential spoiler alert in the content warnings:
CW: attempted sexual assault, violence, death, forced adoption