We did it! We're officially halfway through the Read-Along! How awesome is that? Today is the final discussion post for month two's book: SOME GIRLS ARE. It's been one emotional ride but we made it through (possibly with a few more bruises on the heart).
**WARNING: Spoilers for SOME GIRLS ARE***
Okay, so I apologize for leaving you guys off with a cliffhanger last time (I promise, it was accidental!) but wow, what a last chapter right? We ended off with Regina sending out the mass email with all of those nasty secrets in it. The next day, everyone is talking and Regina is, let's be honest, pretty smug about it. She has a conversation with Liz that I think is really stunning. Regina says "...But they got what they deserved." and Liz replies "And what did you deserve?" It brings up, once again, this idea about 'getting what's coming to you'. Does Regina deserve what Anna and Kara do to her? They sure think she does. And Regina thinks Anna and Kara deserve to have all their secrets exposed like that. It's this really murky gray area, isn't it? What people 'deserve' to have happen to them. Who says any of us have the right to decide that? It's not okay what Anna and Kara have done to Regina but, is it okay what Regina does to them in return? Is revenge okay when you didn't cause the cycle? What do you guys think?
Because then we come to Michael's reaction. He isn't happy for a number of reasons, one of them being he knows this isn't going to end it. He knows the cycle is just going to continue on. When she asks him directly about the matter of deserving, he responses with "I think some girls are just...fucked up." Another one of those murky answers. But, appropriate. Because I don't think I could answer that either. A part of me wants to be like "Yeah! Take them down! Get them back!" but the other keeps thinking "How is this making it any better? Is any of this really okay?" It's the visceral anger I feel towards the girls warring with the sadness of the whole situation. How about you guys?
Then, we get to a scene that made me put the book down. Michael's journal. You see, I read SOME GIRLS ARE for the first time back in my last year of high school (three years ago now...yikes) and I completely forgot about this scene. So, I was re-devestated reading it again. Summers really writes this scene well because I felt this complete sense of panic. I felt like I was running alongside Regina reading note after terrible note. When we finally get to the storage room, Anna is there with her terrible (yet admittedly brilliant) plan. It's absolutely devastating reading from Regina's perspective to this scene because she's so broken and hopeless. She had that little bit of hope that maybe, just maybe, it was all over only to have it ripped away from her. And to see just the beginnings of the hell Anna and Kara plan to put her through is horrendous. It gets worse when Michael finds out though. I think one of the worst things about being a reader sometimes is wanting to shout at a book, shout the truth everyone is hiding, and knowing you can't do anything. That feeling of being helpless as you watch these terrible things happen, hoping someone will do something because you can't. SOME GIRLS ARE is definitely one of those books were that helplessness gnaws at you. I wanted to tell Michael, to stop his and Regina's hearts from breaking, full-well knowing I couldn't and it probably wouldn't help anyways. Do you guys ever feel helpless when reading, especially during this book?
And then it gets worse with the scene after gym. I mean really, Summers, couldn't you give us a break?! (No, you couldn't. And no, I wouldn't have wanted you to).
Then there's a brief interaction with Donnie. Brief but stunning because it hits you once again what happened that night and just what kind of pain it has caused Regina. Then we get to the party and the interaction with Josh and the interruption by Kara. As soon as she walked in that door I think we all knew Regina was done for. That Kara would tell and Anna wouldn't let this slide. So, when they pull over in the middle of nowhere, we all knew it wasn't going to end well. The violence becomes physical. Anna throws a punch like it's a joke but Kara, Kara is the one with so much vile hatred in her and she throws punches to break. She kind of seems to snap and loose all sense of control in this scene, and Regina bears the brunt of this horrific onslaught. None of the bullying up until then was really physical. A few attempts but nothing substantial. A lot of people do not understand just how powerful mental bullying can be. That it's not really bullying because no one gets "beat up". Anna and Kara don't have to lay a finger on Regina to utterly ruin her. To break her down so completely. They do that with words. There wasn't a single punch thrown until the very end of the book and yet we've seen just how destructive words can be. With Regina. With Liz. With Kara. With Michael. They all had words thrown out like razors at them that just kept cutting and cutting. What did you guys think? Are words more powerful in your eyes than any punch can ever be? Or do they both destroy in different ways.
The scene ends with one of the most stunning lines of the book, in my opinion. Regina keeps trying to say how Anna is being played but Anna replies with such anger saying "Kara's not that smart". This lines makes me kind of question everything. Because it makes it seem like Anna knew this whole time that Kara was lying about Donnie's attempted rape, but destroyed Regina anyways. As I was reading it again while writing this post though, I'm even questioning that. The way Anna says it so angrily, so desperately, makes me think she wants to believe in the lie. That maybe she knew but refuses to believe she could be played like that. I honestly don't know anymore. Either way, it just proves how selfish and disgusting a person Anna is. Because even if she believe in the lie Kara told, she believed it because it benefited her.
Do you guys think she knew all along or that she just didn't want to believe she could have been lied to like that?
And then we get to the end. And it's Liz that ends everything. She finally threatens to do what should've happened so long ago: break her silence. To say something. I love that it's Liz that does this. Like, after all this time, she finally gets to say enough. Regina doesn't run around jumping for joy, she doesn't go out and celebrate. Instead, she sits. Empty. Like all the fight has been drained out of her. Like everything has been drained out of her. And then, her little pocket of hope, Michael, comes out and puts his arm around her. No grand romantic gesture. No kiss. Just support. When you finally read that last line, it's like all the adrenaline you've felt throughout the whole book just rushes out of you. Personally, I felt empty too. I felt wrecked. Then, suddenly, was overwhelmed with emotions. I couldn't help but crying. This book rips you up, punches you in the gut, and leaves you broken on the ground.
Anna and Kara don't get in trouble for what they've done. They aren't "brought to justice". Summers doesn't give us a neat little bow of an ending. We get the jagged broken pieces handed to us, and the knowledge that this is how it is. That things aren't always perfect. But, that there's always that little bit of hope to look forward to. I thought it was the ending the story needed, and the only one it should have had.
We're done! What did you guys think of the book overall? Did you like the ending? Tell me in the comments!
Get ready for more heart-shredding moments cause FALL FOR ANYTHING is next and that one is gut-wrenching.
- Ciara (Lost at Midnight)