Great Re-Telling if a Classic

filled star filled star filled star filled star star unfilled
lawingate23 Avatar


Our narrator is Evie Barnes. She is 15 and resides with her mother and grandmother. She considers her four-girl posse at Eastside High her true friends; however when the rich and privileged Preston Fowler, River Oaks boy, tries to rape her outside the bathroom at the Winkler Drive-In. Her unlikely rescuer is a girl named Diane. Evie comes to think of as "this strange girl from the right side of the tracks who had the guts to save my life." Diane's only recourse against Preston was a switchblade, and using it proved fatal.

After the girls flee the murder scene, they lie low and bond over their predicament, although for Evie there persists a central mystery about Diane: why a "tea sipper" like her is living with her alcoholic aunt and going to Evie's school. A few days after the murder, the cops pick up an Eastside boy, and hence an easy target, as a suspect; as Evie puts it, "Who was going to believe a bunch of kids from the wrong side of the tracks over tea sippers with daddies in important places?" Still, Evie is reluctant to come forward with the truth: "What if the cops don't believe that Preston was trying to hurt me? What if they think Diane and I were just making it up? Or worse, that I asked for Preston to mess with me?"

Bad Girls Never Say Die offers a guided tour through outdated thinking about gender, especially the idea that it's the girl's fault when she's pursued by an aggressively libidinous male. The book has some stock characters, but Mathieu (Moxie) is supremely good at getting at the intuitive feminism of the disadvantaged teenage girls anchoring her story.