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Girls with Sharp Sticks
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Girls with Sharp Sticks
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"Enough plot twists to give a reader whiplash." —Cosmopolitan From New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Young comes the start of a thrilling, subversive new series about a girls-only...
"Enough plot twists to give a reader whiplash." —Cosmopolitan From New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Young comes the start of a thrilling, subversive new series about a girls-only...
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  • "Enough plot twists to give a reader whiplash." —Cosmopolitan

    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.

About the Author-

  • Suzanne Young is the New York Times bestselling author of The Program series. Originally from Utica, New York, Suzanne moved to Arizona to pursue her dream of not freezing to death. She is a novelist and an English teacher, but not always in that order. Suzanne is also the author of Girls with Sharp Sticks, All in Pieces, Hotel for the Lost, and several others novels for teens. Visit her online at AuthorSuzanneYoung.com or follow her on Instagram at @AuthorSuzanneYoung.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2019

    Gr 9 Up-"The only worthy girls are well-behaved girls." So teaches the staff at Innovations Academy, proud of producing the best girls, who are "beautiful, quiet, and pure." Mena trusts the men running the academy to know what's best. Yet when one of her friends disappears, Mena begins to question whether these men are acting out of protection or some darker purpose. Mena's journey out of complacent ignorance is harrowing and exhilarating. Young imbues her narrator with a keen intelligence that has been stunted with drugs and lies, and as Mena rids herself of those impediments, she unravels mysteries and learns how to fight back. This novel, the first in a planned series, is like The Stepford Wives refashioned for teens coming of age in our volatile modern era. The curriculum of the Innovations Academy is basically the ideology of rape culture made explicit: girls are expected to please and acquiesce to men, men cannot be expected to control themselves, and girls who have not remained pure are considered "devalued." Mena's initial parroting of these ideas, slowly giving way to questioning and then outrage, creates a suspenseful and claustrophobic atmosphere that eventually threatens to boil over with vindictive violence. The real fodder for ethical debate arises as Mena and her friends decide how to react to the truths they've uncovered. Readers will be inspired by Mena's awakening, and particularly by the unbreakable and loving sisterhood she shares with her classmates. VERDICT Highly recommended.-Elizabeth Lovsin, Deerfield Public Library, IL

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    January 15, 2019
    "Manners, modesty, and gardening" are the most important aspects of any obedient young woman's education.The 12 perfect, uniformly beautiful, very proper, and emotionally restrained young ladies in attendance at Innovations Academy must please the investors, creepy professors, and head of school as well as the increasingly odious Guardian Bose. Nightly "vitamins" and utterly horrific impulse control therapy eliminate any pesky behavior. Mena is close with the other girls, but when she meets a boy named Jackson on a rare outing, his concern and questions open cracks in her memory, which is hazy regarding life before Innovations. When one of the girls disappears, Mena begins to think for herself and question the school authorities' true motives. A few clues pave the way to the big reveals, and the girls cleverly utilize their outdated education to manipulate their minders. How these girls are treated is vile, but the views and practices underlying them weren't left behind in the 1950s. Young (The Complication, 2018, etc.) holds a mirror up to modern society's push for perfection and the still all-too-common repressive treatment of women and girls. Readers will be revved up for the inevitable uprising. Characters follow a white default; Jackson and one student have dark skin. Two of the girls are romantically involved.Despite a few predictable sci-fi elements, this is a suspenseful and timely read. Readers will look forward to the sequel. (Dystopian thriller. 13-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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