I loved this book enough that when I went to add it to my Goodreads list and saw it’s average rating of under 4.0, I was offended on its behalf. How dare other people not love this as much as me?
But I get it. It’s a weird, wild read. The central plot is this: three girls live on an island where other teen girls keep mysteriously disappearing. Something sinister and otherworldly is behind this, and they must figure out how to work together to find out what it is and stop it. The girls are all very different: quietly strong Marion, fierce (and black and bi and asexual, hooray for representation) Zoey, and patrician Val, and all manage not to become YA heroine stereotypes at any point during the novel. They all, in some way, battle with the internalized misogyny that is wrapped around the evil happening in their world. I can’t explain how this book is a giant metaphor for that misogyny without giving away important plot points, but the metaphor manages to both delicately threaded and blatant at the same time, at least from my reading.
I’m putting this as of a family with two of my other favorite YA reads of the year, I Stop Somewhere and The Nowhere Girls, in that none of these shy away from being about teenage girls fighting against worldwide issues of sexism and rape culture, but on their own small scale. This one is just as fierce and lovely as the other two, just set in a dark fantasy full of blood and monsters.