Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Welcome to the FFBC: The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

The Nowhere Girls

by Amy Reed
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 10th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary


Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Who are the Nowhere Girls?

They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.

Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.

Hi Amy!!  We’re so excited about THE NOWHERE GIRLS and for the chance to ask you some questions!  Welcome to the FFBC!


Favorite Book?

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, and Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison.

Favorite TV show?  

Friday Night Lights

Favorite movie?

Requiem for a Dream by Darren Aronofsky

Your Favorite Song?

“Between the Bars” by Elliot Smith and “Sweetest Kill” by Broken Social Scene

Favorite Food?


Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat.

Hogwarts, U.S.S. Enterprise, Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters 

What were your favorite books growing up?

As a teen, I loved Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen, the poetry of Anne Sexton, and everything by Tom Robbins

Favorite Quote?

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 
(Maya Angelou)

What are your fandoms?


Name a recent book that you read that you would recommend to our book lovers.

I assume you’ve all read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, but if you haven’t yet, do it immediately!


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about THE NOWHERE GIRLS?

It’s the story of three girls—Rosina, Grace, and Erin—who start a movement at their high school to fight sexism and rape culture at their school and get justice for a classmate who was raped. It’s about friendship, community, and girls supporting each other and finding strength in their solidarity.

THE NOWHERE GIRLS is a book that explores rape culture and the way our society treats victims of rape.  Authors like Courtney Summers’ books go into this topic as well— what other books would you recommend to teens wanting to read more books talking about this issue?

All the Rage by Courtney Summers was a huge inspiration for this book, as was The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith. I also really loved Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston because unlike so many books about sexual assault, the survivor had incredible support by her friends, family, and community. I think Brandy Colbert was absolutely brilliant in how she dealt with statutory rape in Pointe. The recent release Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu is very much a sister book to The Nowhere Girls, also about girls fighting sexism at their school by joining together and taking action. And of course the classic Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, which really paved the way for all of us to speak openly and honestly about sexual assault in YA literature. 

Which character (in any of your books) do you find yourself thinking about the most?

I think about Erin from The Nowhere Girls a lot. She was probably the most difficult character I’ve ever written, because I had to do so much research about Asperger’s and worked closely with sensitivity readers to make sure I got everything right. But I also feel closer to her than maybe any of my characters since Cassie in my debut Beautiful so many years ago. Despite our differences in neurology, I think I have more in common with Erin than most anyone I’ve written.  

Tell us your favorite quote from THE NOWHERE GIRLS.

“Sometimes it’s the freaks of nature who end up being the strongest.”

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write? 

I loved writing the scenes between Rosina and Melissa. Rosina is so tough on the outside and puts up so many walls to protect herself; she’s the kind of person who always has the perfect, witty thing to say. But she turns into jelly around Melissa and forgets how to be cool. I love the sweetness of their love story and how Melissa defies cheerleader stereotypes. I love how love makes Rosina vulnerable, and it is in this vulnerability that she finds a new kind of strength. 

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for THE NOWHERE GIRLS– Which one would you pick? 

“Axemen” by Heavens to Betsy

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of THE NOWHERE GIRLS.)


Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read THE NOWHERE GIRLS (specific music, snacks…)? 

I don’t know about perfect mood, but I’d love for girls to read this book together and talk about it. I could see a group of friends lounging around in someone’s bedroom with a couple bags of chips and some iced tea or bubbly water, reading quietly together then talking about the things that jump out at them. I really want The Nowhere Girls to inspire discussion among teens—about empowerment, sex, love, activism, feminism, sexism, social justice, friendship, and all the ways we can work together to make the world a better place. 

What’s next for you? 

I edited an anthology of personal essays by a bunch of amazing YA authors called Our Stories, Our Voices: 21 YA Authors Get Real About Injustice, Empowerment, and Growing Up Female in America. That’s coming out in Summer 2018. I’m also close to finishing the first draft of a magical realist YA novel about best friends from the wrong side of the tracks in the Pacific Northwest.

Thank you so much for everything, Amy!

Thank you!

The Lovely Bones, Speak, All the Rage, and The Way I Used to Be would all probably be on my top 10 faves of ever!!  I was so excited to see that they were important books for Amy as well.  The Nowhere Girls is one I've been so excited about, and I was lucky enough to meet Amy this year-- which was a HUGE highlight of my Chicago trip in June.  I'm very hyped about the magical realist book she's cooking up next.  It sounds so interesting!

Amy Reed was born and raised in and around Seattle, where she attended a total of eight schools by the time she was eighteen. Constant moving taught her to be restless and being an only child made her imagination do funny things. After a brief stint at Reed College (no relation), she moved to San Francisco and spent the next several years serving coffee and getting into trouble. She eventually graduated from film school, promptly decided she wanted nothing to do with filmmaking, returned to her original and impractical love of writing, and earned her MFA from New College of California. Her short work has been published in journals such as Kitchen Sink, Contrary, and Fiction. Amy currently lives in Oakland with her husband and two cats, and has accepted that Northern California has replaced the Pacific Northwest as her home. She is no longer restless. Find out more at amyreedfiction.com.

BEAUTIFUL is her first novel.

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  1. Love this!! (This book was already on my list so I’m crossing fingers!)
    PS. ‘Requiem for a Dream’ is a brilliant movie but it completely ‘does my head in’!