Monday, 1 September 2014
Review: Girls Like Us
Girls Like Us by Gail Giles
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was invited to read and review this book by the publisher via Netgalley.
I struggled at first to get into this book, it took me a while to get into the flow because it was written in a way that portrayed a very heavy southern accent and it didn't feel natural to read. I read through 8% of the book and then put it down, not sure if I was going to be able to go back to it. I picked it up a week and a half later determined to give the book a chance and with a little perseverance I managed to get comfortable with the accent and writing.
The story switches back and forth between Quincy and Biddy. Biddy, starved of oxygen at birth, was abandoned by her mother and left in the care of her grandmother, a cruel woman who resented being left with a child who wasn't perfect. Quincy, who grew up being handed from one foster home to another after her mothers boyfriend disciplined her with a brick, causing trauma and disfigurement to her head and face. Both girls struggle to find their place in the world and each face different challenges.
The two girls, after graduating from their high school special ed class, find themselves placed together in the home of Ms. Elizabeth. Each with their own strengths and weaknesses have to learn to live together, to compromise and to cope in the real world. The story is both heartbreaking and uplifting, life is not easy and people can be cruel, but with a little support and the love of friends anything is possible.
I'm not sure how I feel about this book, it was a hard read for me due to the heavy accent and I understand why the use of words like "Retard" and "Speddie" but I still didn't feel comfortable reading them, it felt like I was supporting the use of the words, which I realise is kind of silly but it felt that way all the same. There was one scene in the book that seemed out of place, like it was either rushed or thrown into the story after the fact. The scene with Ms Elizabeth and the judges wife (don't want to give spoilers) didn't work for me, it kind of pulled me out of the flow of the story instead of adding to it in anyway.
I did enjoy it, it was both sad and uplifting it had me smiling and tearing up at points and I'm glad I stuck with it but I think the heavy accent ruined it for me.
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