Thursday, January 30, 2020

Review - Girls with Sharp Sticks (Girls with Sharp Sticks, #1) by Suzanne Young

Title: Girls with Sharp Sticks (Girls with Sharp Sticks, #1)
Author: Suzanne Young
Pages: 400
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: 19th March 2019

Blurb from Goodreads:

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.

My Review:

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Simon and Schuster UK Children's and NetGalley*

Innovations Academy is an exclusive boarding school for beautiful girls. They are taught how to be gracious, how to manage a household, and, most importantly of all, how to make men happy.
Then one of the students, Philomena 'Mena' Rhodes, discovers that there might be more to Innovations Academy than there seems, and that the girls' lives are more controlled than they realise.
What dark secrets lie within Innovations Academy?

In a few ways, Girls with Sharp Sticks reminded me of Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill - the way that the girls were controlled, and how angry that made me.
It was scary that I could totally imagine schools like Innovation Academy existing in real life, with men controlling how women should look and act.
My favourite thing about the book was the theme of friendship - Mena was very close to her fellow students, and I really liked that that they were all so supportive of each other. It was nice that there was no bitching or back-stabbing for a change.
I wanted to break into the school and rescue the girls myself. Especially Lennon Rose, who I wanted to hug and tell her that everything would be okay. I liked Mena too and thought she was a relatable protagonist.
The plot was good, but the first half suffered pace-wise for me. The second half when all the secrets started being revealed was a lot more interesting. However, I did have an inkling what the twist would be.
The writing style was engaging and easy to follow. I would read another book by the author if I got the chance.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read.

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