I have known Suzanne for a lot of year now, back to when her series The Program came out. I DMd her in 2015 and we have been chatting books ever since. I was even lucky enough to get to read a draft of Girls with Sharp Sticks probably back in 2018 before it was a full book. With that said I am really excited that not only is Girls with Rebel Souls out in the world fo you all to read, but that Suzanne has been kind enough to stop by the blog and answers some of my questions!
1) Congrats on another amazing series! I feel like I have been on this journey from the
beginning and it has been such a fun one. Speaking of the beginning, where did the idea
of the Girls with Sharp Sticks trilogy come from? Was it always planned as 3 books?
Like most of my stories, it came from a combination of ideas. I’d already started a story about a school for AI, but didn’t have the plot to finish it. Then one day on Twitter, I read a story about a billboard that read “Real men provide. Real women appreciate it.” After I barfed, I wrote a rage-poem I called “Girls with Sharp Sticks.” From that poem and the other idea I had, I began to develop what would become the published story. I wanted to show girls supporting girls and how powerful that could be, even in the face of the patriarchy. I thought the series would be two books, but the world kept growing and it needed to be a trilogy.
2) Ending a series is hard to do but you managed to do it amazingly with Girls with Rebel
Souls (out March 23rd). Did you know from the beginning how Mena’s story was going
to end or did it happen organically while writing?
I always knew where most of the girls would end up. With the exception of Lennon Rose – she has always been my wild card. But it was difficult to wrap up the trilogy because I wanted to make sure I addressed the issues, but also in a realistic sense considering our world has only started to address them. So I had to leave the society with room to grow.
3) Speaking on Mena, she has grown so much over the course of the series but one thing
remained true, her loyalty to the girls. Why was this such an important characteristic for
her to have?
The friendship between the girls is the most important part of the story, in my opinion. Through all the gaslighting and abuse, Mena’s friendship and love with the other girls is the most powerful force in the story. It guides her, heals her, and protects her. A lot of stories I read growing up focused on the “mean girl” plot and I wanted to take a moment to show that when we stand together, we are exceedingly powerful. Powerful enough to take down an institution. Powerful enough to change society.
4) What is the one thing you want people to take away from Mena’s story when they finish
That Mena and the girls love each other, no matter what. In the end, they have to save themselves, just like our society has to save itself. No one is coming in to do it for us. It’s hard work. But with love and determination, Mena was able to move forward with her found family, with her love interest, and with a new outlook on the world.
Series: Girls with Sharp Sticks #3
Published: March 23, 2021
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The girls make their final stand in this third and final novel in the thrilling, subversive near-future series from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Young about a girls-only private school that is far more than it appears to be.
Never underestimate a girl with a rebel soul…
The girls of Innovations Academy escaped the confines of their unethical school, fought against the system protecting predators who targeted girls for harassment, and they’re not done yet. They’re still not free.
Reeling from one revelation after the next, Mena and her friends begin to unwind the truth of their existence and, as a result, their destiny. The men from Innovations Corporation still hunt them, the woman who created them still wants control over them, and worst of all, Mena realizes that through all her pain, all her tears, the world of men has not changed. There is no more time to hope for the best. The girls know they are in a battle for their lives, a war for their very existence.
The girls of Innovations Academy have sharpened their sticks to fight back, they have fought for justice with blood from their razor hearts. And now, the girls will choose their true nature...and how they define their rebel souls.
Could these covers look any more amazing?!
Who has read the series?