For What It's Worth

Friday, April 5, 2019

Review: Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne young


The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their Guardians, the all-girl boarding school offers an array of studies and activities, from “Growing a Beautiful and Prosperous Garden” to “Art Appreciation” and “Interior Design.” The girls learn to be the best society has to offer. Absent is the difficult math coursework, or the unnecessary sciences or current events. They are obedient young ladies, free from arrogance or defiance. Until Mena starts to realize that their carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears.

As Mena and her friends begin to uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening there—and who they really are—the girls of Innovations will find out what they are truly capable of. Because some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns. ~
Goodreads

Source; ARC provided by the publishers in exchange for an honest review

Review:

I’ll be honest and say that it took me a little bit to get into this book at first. I had read, and loved! Young’s The Program series and there were just too many similarities that made it feel repetitive. But then the author turned all that on it’s head and made this a series that stands entirely on it’s own, seamlessly blending genres into a horrifying tale of misogyny, abuse and ultimately... empowerment.

The characters, including the main POV of Mena, come off pretty bland at first but that’s because she is a student of The Girls of Innovations Academy – an elite school that accepts only the best. And in this case, the best means only the most beautiful and obedient of girls so that they can be trained to become the perfect wife for the men awaiting their graduation. They are taught to be bland and it takes a bit before Mena starts to come into her own personality and voice.

After a chance encounter with a boy on one of the girls infrequent field trips, Mena starts to question the things she’s been taught at the academy and pushes back.

You do not push back a the academy without consequence.

This is where Girls with Sharp Sticks starts to shine. A boy may have been the catalyst (and on ongoing source of support) but it’s the girls who use their fierce bond to outsmart and out maneuver the men who have been controlling both their minds and bodies for so long.

I’m not going to say much more – because there are a few twists. While not entirely surprising to me – they were genuinely creepy and will make you squirm and want to rage against the system because, while this is an exaggerated – fictional account, there is plenty of reality to recognize on these pages.

Girls with Sharp Sticks is a stand alone novel but leaves enough open to continue on with stories from the other girls from the academy.

31 comments:

  1. I'm really excited for this one. I just bought it last week and need to make time for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It started slow for me but was quite horrifying and twisty.

      Delete
  2. Everyone seems to be liking this one from the reviews I've read.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It would make me too angry. I know it's kind of the point, but...I have enough men in my life doing that already LOL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It takes a bit of a sci-fi twist but some of the scenes made you stabby (with how real they are)...but the girls handle it lol

      Delete
  4. Yeah, the true horror would be seeing the similarities to real life like with Margaret Atwood's Handmaiden's Tale. I still have the first book from The Program series waiting for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read that yet but yes - the parallels are frightening.

      the Program is fantastic Sophia. I hope you read it soon.

      Delete
  5. I would love a sequel (and I think there is one coming?) and I loved it once it got going! I agree though it took a little while.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is! I'm curious if it will be a direct sequel - because I thought there was more to Mena's story or a companion novel - which seems to be the case. Or maybe a dual pov?? That would be cool!

      Delete
  6. This one sounds great! I keep seeing it around and I feel like I have yet to hear about someone disliking it.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everyone I know has liked it so far. I loved Greg from book Haven's review - https://gregsbookhaven.blogspot.com/2019/04/girls-with-sharp-sticks.html

      Delete
  7. I've seen this one around a lot but it doesn't appeal to me... I'm glad it had some interesting twists and got over it's disappointing start.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It wasn't so much a disappointing start as much as similar to her other series. But that all changed so it ended up being a good twist.

      Delete
  8. When I first saw this book I thought not looked good but the more reviews I read for it the more I wanting give it a read. I've not read any Suzanne Young books before so for me it should hopefully feel original as I have nothing to compare it to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you would like this one Becky. And really, it ended up being very different from her other books.

      Delete
  9. I read Peogeam last year and I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it when it come out. I am intrigued about this book though, I love a twisty book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The girls are pretty amazing so I definitely think you would like that aspect of it Amber.

      Delete
  10. The review you wrote! Wohooo

    SOunds good too

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know!!! One down - a million to go lol

      Delete
  11. I've been hearing good things about this one, so that's great you liked it!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yay I am so glad you liked this too! I remembered you saying that there were similarities to The Program, so I wasn't sure if you would, yay! And now, I feel much better about starting The Program series, so this is like a win-win for us hahah. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are some things, in the beginning, that are VERY similar to The Program and I wasn't really interested in reading that story again (even though I loved it!) but she takes it in a very different direction.

      Delete
  13. Sounds like you enjoyed it despite the slow start!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really did! There ended up being a reason for her Mina's bland demeanor and any similarities to The Program disappeared.

      Delete
  14. I'm not usually into books like this, but it does sound a bit intriguing. The fact that it's a standalone (or can be) makes it more interesting to me. It's great that you found a book you loved! Thanks for sharing your review. 👍✨

    ReplyDelete
  15. The similarities to the other would have really bugged me I think. At least she eventually made it different.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This sounds interesting!! Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Even though it was a difficult one to get into at first, I am glad the author turned everything around and made this series so unique to her other one and it was able to be shocking that way! I haven't read anything by her yet but maybe that is something that needs to change.

    ReplyDelete
  18. It's tough when a character is meant to bland or emotionless or anything like that. Because obviously they're not poorly written, but it still can make them hard to care about or get interested in while reading. Glad you seemed to enjoy this once you got further in though :-)

    ReplyDelete
  19. The worst part of it was that the software only worked intermittently and the data was not accurate. You obviously canot confront anyone about what you have discovered if the information is not right. คําคมความรักซึ้งๆ

    ReplyDelete