It’s Rebels Week on Andi’s ABCs, okay so it is 4 days, but whatever! What is Rebels Week? It is the “week” where Andi’s ABCs celebrates the upcoming release of the final book in Suzanne Young’s trilogy, Girls with Rebel Souls (out March 23, 2021). We are starting out with my reviews of the first two books in the series:Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young
Series: Girls with Sharp Sticks #1
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: March 19, 2019
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he 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.
Since coming across The Program in 2013 I have been a fan of Suzanne Young and her books. There is something about the way she tells a story that sucked me in from the get go. I swear every time I need a new book by her I don’t think she can write any better than she has and yet she constantly proves me wrong. But I can confidentially tell you that Girls with Sharp Sticks is 100% her most brilliant masterpiece yet. When I tell you that I loved this book, I mean it more than I can accurately explain. It is just such a memorable reading experience you truly won’t be able to find the words to describe your feelings.
Girls with Sharp Sticks is about Mena, a girl that goes to a school where she is taught how to be the ‘perfect woman’. The girls are told how to dress, how to act, and how to behave in order to please the men in their lives. They are conditioned to behave and be ‘proper’ and to obey. But when strange things start happening Mena starts noticing how unusual the school is and how sheltered the girls actually are. With the help of a new friend from outside the school walls, Mena opens her eyes and sees what’s really going on at Innovations Academy and she isn’t going to let it continue. When all the girls ban together the men of Innovations learn what the tag line says: Some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns.
This book was hardcore! And epic! And amazing! And fantastic! And any other adjective you can think of to describe such an unexpectedly powerful book. I was completely creeped out and disgusted reading it. These men were so vile and gross and 100% taking advantage of these girls to suit their needs. I swear I wanted to punch them all in the face so many times. But these girls, Mena, Sydney, Annaliese, Marcella, Brynn and Valentine (not a name a few), were actually what these men feared. These women together held all the power. They were the ones that were able to stand up for themselves and say ‘no, enough is enough’, and I loved every minute of it.
I want to say so much about this story. I want to tell you every detail and small thing I loved. But I refuse to ruin this experience. I strongly feel this is a book that everyone should read and will love. It is so unexpected and brilliantly done. I really can’t say any more than that. If you have trusted my book judgement in the past then trust it now. I swear it is worth it!
Now bring on Girls with Razor Hearts!
Series: Girls with Sharp Sticks #2
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: March 17, 2020
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It’s time to fight back in this second novel in a thrilling, subversive near future series from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Young about a girls-only private high school that is far more than it appears to be.
Make me a girl with a razor heart…
It’s been weeks since Mena and the other girls of Innovations Academy escaped their elite boarding school. Although traumatized by the violence and experimentations that occurred there, Mena quickly discovers that the outside world can be just as unwelcoming and cruel. With no one else to turn to, the girls only have each other—and the revenge-fueled desire to shut down the corporation that imprisoned them.
The girls enroll in Ridgeview Prep, a private school with suspect connections to Innovations, to identify the son of an investor and take down the corporation from the inside. But with pressure from Leandra, who revealed herself to be a double-agent, and Winston Weeks, an academy investor gone rogue, Mena wonders if she and her friends are simply trading one form of control for another. Not to mention the woman who is quite literally invading Mena’s thoughts—a woman with extreme ideas that both frighten and intrigue Mena.
And as the girls fight for freedom from their past—and freedom for the girls still at Innovations—they must also face new questions about their existence…and what it means to be girls with razor hearts.
When I finished Girls with Sharp Sticks I was completely blown away by the journey Suzanne Young took her readers on. She took an idea she had and made it into something that is so hard to describe without spoiling the epic twists and turns in the book. So when I heard there was going to be more in this world I was so very excited. And when I finally got to read Girls with Razor Hearts I was even more thrilled because simply stated…it was amazing!
Girls with Razor Hearts picks up where Girls with Sharp Sticks leaves off. If you haven’t read Sharp Sticks then I recommend running out and picking it up, reading it, and then grabbing Razor Hearts. J The girls have left the academy and have one plan, to take down the whole institution. With only one lead the girls are enrolled in a snobby prep school and soon learn there is more evil in the world than just the men at Innovations Academy. With only each other to rely on, the must work together to take down these men at hurt women, but at what cost to them?
The thing I loved about Girls with Razor Hearts (and Sharp Sticks) is how it can easily cross the line into a ‘hate all men’ stereotypical book but Suzanne has worked hard to make that not the case. Through the eyes of Mena you learn that there are some really horrible, bad men out there, but there are also men that are good and kind and genuine. Mena sees that not everyone is the same and they should all be judged the same. She refuses to take a side unless it is the side to end the way people are treated because of who they are. That right there is the message I get from these books and what makes me love them.
There is not a lot of things you can count on in life, but I can always count on Suzanne Young to give me a 5 star read that will have me wanting more and that is exactly what she did here. Razor Hearts is more about girls being stronger together to take down people that are trying to hurt them and it left me dying for the next book. Definitely read this fantastically crafted story. You won’t be disappointed.
Preorder Girls with Rebel Souls HERE.
Have you started this series yet?