american girls by alison umminger
published: june 7th 2016
genres & keywords: young adult, contemporary
She was looking for a place to land.
Anna is a fifteen-year-old girl slouching toward adulthood, and she’s had it with her life at home. So Anna “borrows” her stepmom’s credit card an runs away to Los Angeles, where her half-sister takes her in. But LA isn’t quite the glamorous escape Anna had imagined.
As Anna spends her days on TV and movie sets, she engrosses herself in a project researching the murderous Manson girls—and although the violence in her own life isn’t the kind that leaves physical scars, she begins to notice the parallels between herself and the lost girls of LA, and of America, past and present.
In Anna’s singular voice, we glimpse not only a picture of life on the B-list in LA, but also a clear-eyed reflection on being young, vulnerable, lost, and female in America—in short, on the B-list of life. Alison Umminger writes about girls, sex, violence, and which people society deems worthy of caring about, which ones it doesn’t, in a way not often seen in YA fiction.
.:: RATING 5 STARS ::.
“JUST BE THE GIRL. DO NOT KILL ANYONE.”
“I JUST GAVE A THIRTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD EX-CON A BLOWJOB. DO I GET PAYED EXTRA?”
Yeah, I guess you could say I found this book funny *has a flashback to all my statuses of me laughing* okay, hilarious is probably the word.
I don’t know what I could say about American Girls that hasn’t already been perfectly said by many other reviewers. That it’s completely original? Unlike every other formulaic, pseudo-teen book out there? Because it’s all that and more.
It’s told by the refreshingly witty and sarcastic Anna, who’s just run away to LA. It’s a bildungsroman without sounding condescending and completely unrealistic. And it’s a story I could completely relate with.
American Girls conveys many important messages and deals with relevant topics that’ll speak to everyone. It’s not about romance, or angst, or anything like that. To be completely honest, I don’t really know what it’s about. I just know that it’s a must-read. A novel that speaks volumes but has a humor that doesn’t make this book suffocating.
And just for a second, maybe because it was California and you could understand how truly vomit-worthy fame could be only when you were right up next to it, I almost, kind of, understood what it might have been like to be a Mason girl.