September Girls

September Girls - Bennett Madison

This was, overall, a meh read for me. I really disliked the first 50 pages or so, and then it got better, and then it had an anticlimactic ending. It didn't send me into a feminist rage, but I can't really recommend it either. 

 

Sam seems like an okay guy. He tries to understand his mother leaving, although he is understandably upset about it. He's interested in masturbation (as teenagers are). He's disgusted by his brother's crude comments. He really pissed me off exactly twice:

 

1. When he gets mad at his mom for acquiring friends.

2. For the first 30 pages we listen to Sam talking about women, staring at women, thinking about women, thinking about getting laid, talking about boobs and beauty and all that...and then when a woman touches him for a split second to long (in his mind) he is "creeped out", "weirded out", "suspicious", and "nervous". WTF. This could have been turned into a commentary on objectification, but instead it was just sort of there. 

 

Jeff is a misogynistic jerk. He gets slightly better when he gets "tangled in the pussy web" aka liking a woman long enough to treat her like a human being and not a piece of ass. 

 

We're told DeeDee is special, but never really shown that she is special. I did like her bit on the Bible because I think it highlighted how women are portrayed in the Bible. I didn't take it to mean that she actually thought Lilith etc. were hoes (is that the proper plural?)

 

Taffany seemed awesome. Kristle...we were all set up with her to learn magical lessons about how it's not okay to slut shame...and then that fizzled out or wandered off or something.

 

One thing I thought this book did well was show how complex relationships and people's emotions can be. It's absolutely possible to be angry at someone and still love them, to want to see them and hope they don't show up at the same time. It showed lots of shades of gray in all the relationships in the book, which was nice.

 

Annnnnnd it turns out the curse is different from what we've thought this whole time. Or not. We're not really sure. It could be anything, actually. Surprise!

 

In the end though, I couldn't really figure out what the book had been about or what it was trying to say. Was it about manhood? Family? Mermaids? Feminism? First love? Losing your virginity? Curses? Boners? Slut shaming? Magic? Ponies? I feel like it was about all of the above, but didn't wrap any of them up in a particularly conclusive way. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel at the end, or what the book is trying to say, so instead I feel like there are worse ways to spend a couple hours than reading this book, but there are probably better ways too.