Girls With Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young

Girls With Sharp Sticks by Suzanne YoungGirls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young
Narrator: Caitlyn Davies
Series: Girls With Sharp Sticks #1
Published by Simon Schuster Audio
Published on 19 March 2019
Genres: Contemporary, United States, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook
Source: my local library
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RRP: $19.99
5 Stars

From New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Young comes the start of a thrilling, subversive new series about a girls-only boarding school with a terrifying secret and the friends who will stop at nothing to protect each other.

Some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns.
The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their Guardian, they receive a well-rounded education that promises to make them better. Obedient girls, free from arrogance or defiance. Free from troublesome opinions or individual interests.
But the girls’ carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears. As Mena and her friends uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening there—and who they really are—the girls of Innovations Academy will learn to fight back.
Bringing the trademark plot twists and high-octane drama that made The Program a bestselling and award-winning series, Suzanne Young launches a new series that confronts some of today’s most pressing ethical questions.

I thought this book was phenomenal.

It had everything I ever wanted.

  • Amazingly strong, lovely female friendship and no backstabbing.
  • Sweet yet realistic boy that isn’t required to save anyone because they save themselves
  • An intelligent heroine

I also thought this was plotted beautifully and really reminded me of Plato’s allegory of the cave. It had such a great dystopian feel to it, despite not being dystopian.

Basically, a bunch of incredibly beautiful teen girls are horrifically abused in a private boarding school that is much more like a prison, and they slowly awaken from their reality to discover why, and fight back. They become the girls with sharp sticks the title reflects.

I did wonder for a long time if the girls were actually human. With their masters being only men, and the men’s obsession with controlling and training the girls, and their reactions being obscenely over the top for even the tiniest of infractions, I wondered if it was a twist on The Handmaid’s Tale. I was really invested in discovering the truth of the whole thing.

I really liked Philomena as a lead character. She’s ‘spirited’, as the men say. I say she’s smart and a survivor. But what I liked even more than Men was her relationship to the other girls. They’re all so affectionate and supportive, and it was lovely to see. There is even some queer rep in there, with two of the girls being in a relationship kept secret for their masters. I also really liked this rep because one of those queer girls really wanted to be a mum, which I thought was really nice. Usually I tend to find young gay characters kind of assume they’re never going to have children.

I loved the way the girls learned to manipulate the men around them, too. I thought it was such a great feminist angle to take. The men used violence, but the girls used their love and support for one another, which I just loved.

At it was just written so well. I was never rewriting sentence in my head to make them make more sense, or thinking the author could have used a more effective word, or done a scene in a different way. I was completely immersed and engaged the whole time and I love that.

I really enjoyed this novel, read on audiobook by Caitlyn Davies. She did a fine job of narrating. At first I found it a little jarring because she seemed to be using the same kind of smug tone she used when she read The Shadows Between Us, but over time it softened and became more of Mena’s character.

I enjoyed this book I dove straight into the second one, so I am having quite a nice reading life at the moment thank you 🙂


About Nemo

A lover of kittens and all things sparkly, Nemo has a degree in English Literature and specialises in reviewing contemporary, paranormal, mystery/thriller, historical, sci-fi and fantasy Young Adult fiction. She is especially drawn to novels about princesses, strong female friendships, magical powers, and assassins.

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