Thanks to Macmillan US for providing me with this physical copy, it hadn’t influenced my rating/review of the book in any way.
Trigger warnings : rape, bullying, sexual harassment, mentions of domestic abuse, drug abuse.
I hope I didn’t forget anything, this book deals with many issues and it can be a lot to take in. I think it can be especially triggering to rape survivors because there are mentions of rape and a somewhat explicit scene of almost-rape. Please be careful if you decide to read this book!
A Girl Like That is focused on the consequences of spreading rumors, of slut-shaming and of the whole boys-will-be-boys mind-set. And I think it did a great job at raising awareness of the hurt that can be caused by this behavior.
So many people find excuses for bullying, saying that the bullied person is too sensitive or that it’s just a joke or that there’s some truth in there or that the person deserves that (especially when slut-shaming is involved).
Bullying is never okay. Bullying is absolutely never justified. I absolutely despise (and yes, I’m going to use a strong word) people that are on such a high horse that they believe they help others by bullying them. ‘If I call them names, they will understand what they’re doing wrong and change.’ Sure, Susan, act like you’re not bullying others because you’re insecure about yourself.
Anyway, in this book the bully finally understood how her actions hurt the protagonist and that was nice to see even though it was quite subtle.
I think this book is really powerful as it portrays very well how easy it is for someone to get a bad reputation. Zarin gets a bad reputation for kissing a few boys, smoking with them and getting rides from them. And besides being called names, having blog posts written about her (full of gossip), she’s also being isolated from all the others because nobody wants to hang out with a girl like that.
The ending was very powerful, but kind of destroyed me and I kept thinking that maybe it shouldn’t have ended like this. I love justice, I hate unfairness and I just hated so much how people got away with what they did to Zarin, while she didn’t end up well.
But I kept thinking about it, I’m still thinking about it a few days after I finished the book, and I know it’s supposed to be a strong way to show that sometimes people don’t get justice. But ugh. I don’t know. This book saddens me so much.
A Girl Like That is a powerful book, it’s going to make you think a lot about our society, about what we teach our children, about sexism, bullying and the power of our words.
Did you read A Girl Like That? What did you think about it?
If you haven’t, what are some heavy books you’ve read? Also, do you think these books should have clear trigger warnings in their blurbs?
Tell me in the comments!