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  • Cat Clarke


Girlhood was a gripping and compelling read I picked up not knowing what to expect, but thinking it looked and sounded good. I was correct. I read it in one day as I was determined to finish it and reveal answers.

The book was based around a girl named Harper, who lost her twin sister from anorexia after they both started a harmless diet. Ironically, Harper tells us the story of how their family won the lottery the day after the death, in fact, they won over twelve million pounds. Harper soon asked if she could go to boarding school, to get away from the shadows of her dead sister. As they had the money, she went, and the book takes you through her journey there unfolding secrets and revealing the truth.

Harper is part of a group of four girls at school, who are her best friends. This changes when the new girl, Kirsty, shows up. Kirsty begins their time at the school with the tradition the four girls make sure she experiences, lock her in a dark and confined hole in the old library, with only matches to last the night. However, Kirsty decides that she is determined to be best friends, have that one friend, with Harper, after she also gives her a torch for the night (as well as the matches!)

That one act of kindness, affected a year of events.

Soon, Kirsty starts to do everything with Harper and they realise they have more in common than they thought. Kirsty exclaims she got a scholarship to the school so is used to not having private yachts, massive houses and being sent presents every week, like Harper. She also says that her older sister died in a car accident, so she has to deal with the loss of that, like Harper does.

However, the friendships starts getting odd when Harper returns back to school and Kirsty is wearing Harpers dead twins old necklace.

As a reader, as the book goes on you are wondering what is truth and what is lies with the characters. The solid group of four friends that Harper was included in, starts to fall apart. The book is in 1st person, so you go through awful fights with her and it helps you feel the emotions with her. It makes sure you can understand what Harper is really feeling which made the book even more heartfelt.

I think the book was a clever way of describing how complicated and emotional girl friendships can be. Fights can be so upsetting, but the book almost taught you the bad and good ways of handling things that other people do to consciously or subconsciously, that upset you.

A clever message that was portrayed in this book was told by the event of the family winning the lottery after Harpers twin passed away. I think this was clever as it taught you that money can not fix everything at all, and you should make the most of the people around you more than the money you have. It can buy things, but it can't buy people. And it can't repair you from the way you are feeling.

So the main subjects that the book took you through were loss of loved ones, and friendship in its rawest forms. Throughout the book I was intrigued on the secrets it will reveal and I learn't more and more about the characters as it went on. Being a girl, the book make sure girls could empathise towards the friendships in this novel and the feelings that come with it.

The only negative thing I would say was I was expecting a massive twist at the end, and although there was quite a big secret unravelled, there wasn't a huge twist. Having said that, thinking I was dissapointed at the time, after I put the book down I realised the ending was great and it made it an uplifting book but also a thrilling one.

The book also portrayed a large message that forgiveness is key and there is always room for it (Specially in teenage girl friendships, however complicated they really are!) This was a good message that I will take with me from the book.

Overall, it was a YA book full of meaning and teenage girl life and the hardness that comes with it. It also taught you about loss and living the loss and how important it is to do that. It had so much emotion in and it is so real and relevant! i would recommend it to teenagers age 13/14-18.

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