Powerful and heartwrenching

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celiamcmahon Avatar


I'd like to give a shout-out to Macmillian for being so awesome with their readers. I received a review copy of the book in the mail in exchange for my honest review :D

If I could have stayed in this book for another 100 to 200 pages, I would have. The Outsiders was one of the first full novels I ever read and, like many people, it's one of those books that stick with you for years. It was a defining book for its time and reinvented the YA genre into something less cheesy into something a little darker. Just like its inspiration, BAD GIRLS NEVER SAY DIE takes you into a tragic and bleak time in a group of girls' lives in a time when racial equality and social standing were hot-button issues.

The line is clearly drawn. There are the "tea-sippers" of River Oaks and everyone else. Evie is everyone else, a girl in a small gang of outcasts without much money and broken homes. But one night changes everything and the gang finds themselves accepting in a "tea-sipper" named Diane who'd moved back to Eastside. Both Evie and Diane have to come to terms with what happened to both of them on that fateful night and come clean before the people they love get hurt.

The protagonist, Evie, was quite the enigma for me. She found comfort in her small group of friends, but a part of me thought perhaps she wanted to be something more. She straddled the line of good girl and bad girl, wanting the safety of her gang, yet realizing how wrongly she'd judged others. Diane, on the other hand, was perky and kind, the complete opposite of Evie, but he was also an enigma. She was portrayed as a very straight-laced girl (but we do come to find out otherwise), kind and friendly, yet she appeared ver unemotional when the catalyst occurred. For someone with a tragic past, I would have thought she'd act a little...different. I won't get into too much, but I didn't quite understand the lack of guilt or any feelings at all save for the quick, "I didn't mean to."

Like Mathieu's MOXIE, there is a large feminist theme in the book and a look into what women had to go through in the 1960s particularly. To think they merely ripped newborns from their underaged mother's arm is just heartwrenching. That complete lack of human decency that women are still dealing with all across the globe is so mind-boggling and infuriating. And to think now we are finally putting mental health at the forefront of society. What took us so long?

The book does not imitate The Outsiders but steps out on its own. Powerful, and heartwrenching, Bad Girls Never Say Die will leave you angry, hopeful, and satisfied all at once. A must-read for classrooms and home with the fantastic groundwork for some important discussions.