DNF Review: September Girls by Bennett Madison

May 27, 2013 Bennett Madison, Book Review, DNF, Edelweiss, HarperTeen, Mermaids, September Girls, YA, Young Adult 28


Title: September Girls
Author: Bennett Madison
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date: May 21st 2013
Source: From Publisher – Edelweiss

From Goodreads:

When Sam’s dad whisks him and his brother off to a remote beach town for the summer, he’s all for it– at first. Sam soon realizes, though, that this place is anything but ordinary. Time seems to slow down around here, and everywhere he looks, there are beautiful blond girls. Girls who seem inexplicably drawn to him.

Then Sam meets DeeDee, one of the Girls, and she’s different from the others. Just as he starts to fall for her, she pulls away, leaving him more confused than ever. He knows that if he’s going to get her back, he’ll have to uncover the secret of this beach and the girls who live here.

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Welp. I thought I would still give this one a try, despite the many poor reviews that have been circulating around the blogosphere. I was first attracted to the pretty cover and awesome title. I mean, I was born in September so I’m

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a September girl, right? Unfortunately, I found myself lacking any connection and flounced after 37%.

Sam is whisked away to a beach town by his father and brother for the summer, after his mother walks out on them. But the town is very strange, inhabited by all of these strange Girls who share similar eerie looks. Okay, sounds interesting. I mean, I knew all that heading into it, so that part was already mysterious and semi-interesting to me, but somewhere along the line, the follow through completely lost me.

First of all, Sam is a teenaged boy. I get that. And I remember teen boys with the swearing, inappropriate jokes and sleaziness that can go along with some of them. Sam wasn’t as bad as his brother, but the amount of “I need to get laid/get you laid” talk was annoying. And talking down to women, referring to them as hos or bitches. Man, I don’t want to read about guys like that. They were horrible enough to deal with in my real life high school experience. I don’t mind a good douchebag character now and then, BUT they need to have some sort of redeemable quality or have a bit of charm to go with it. None was found here. And maybe I didn’t give the characters enough time, but the plot was boring me and kept me from getting invested enough to wait it out.

But it’s not just the boys… even the girls call each other names as well. Ugh, really? These Girls were awful. We also would get small snippets from their point of view and it was strange and confusing, and bothersome.

We crawl onto land naked. We learn which clothes to wear. We learn how to do our makeup, how to style our hair. How to toss it with sexiness that appears unconsidered. The women think we’re tacky, but we’re not interested in the opinions of women anymore. We learned long ago how unimportant the opinion of women are. We are here because our mother could not protect us. We are here because our father had an “opinion.”

So. We learn how to use our breasts, our asses, our eyelashes, our lips. We learn how to get what we want.

No. Not what we want. We never get what we want, do we?

We crawl onto land naked. We learn to use our breasts (large but not cartoonish), our asses (heart shaped, unblemished), our eyelashes (impossibly long), our lips (smirking, exotic, and always, always glossy). We learn how to dance, how to flirt. How to toss our hair and slam shots and play pool (we are exceptional pool players, but we know it’s best to lose on purpose) and how to talk about football. We learn to fuck, yes, but it doesn’t take long to figure out that it’s almost never the fucking that gets you anywhere. It’s not fucking. Except in certain and very specific circumstances. Thrust, parry, thrust, thrust, kill. How are we to survive?

We learn quickly.

Sorry for the super long passage, but what is that? I almost set it aside right after reading this part. These girls act like weird, horny stalkers of this Sam, and only want to get him in bed. Oooooookay, then.

Did I like anything? Well I was curious as to what was going on with the missing mother and if it had anything to do with these mermaids. And a part of me is curious to what there Girls are exactly and what their purpose of being on land in this town is, and what their fascination was with Sam. And of course there is always the little part of my mind that wonders if I had read further, maybe there would have been a message to learn from all of this madness. Sadly, I’ll never know.

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

28 Responses to “DNF Review: September Girls by Bennett Madison”

  1. Tanja - Tanychy

    Uh I thought that this is a sweet summer read not a book about a guy that would piss me off. Damn. I didn’t see this coming. Now I’m giving up on this one as it sounds too annoying. Thanks for the honest thoughts Sara πŸ™‚

  2. Mel@Thedailyprophecy

    This book went on my ‘lost-interest’ shelf on GR a while ago. It sounds horrible. All the reviews I’ve read so far really make me wonder how this book got published in the first place..

  3. Chey

    Every review I see of this one has been DNFed! That’s so disappointing, but I’m glad I know not to spend money on this one. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Aman

    That excerpt is so hilarious. “Large but not cartoonish” Haha! Damn, now that’s going to be stuck in my head O.o Sorry it didn’t work out for you or anyone. I’ll remember to stay far away from this book when it comes out.

  5. Becca

    Eek! I have this book but I’m definitely not going to read it after all of the reviews. It doesn’t seem worth the time, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be boiling afterwards. I’m already scratching my head after a passage like that. I would hope that there’d be some sort of explanation for the misogyny, but it already says something if an explanation needs to be had at all. This book has seemed to alienate women, which is so bad considering YA is largely read by a female audience.

  6. Lauren Elizabeth

    Wow, I have read so many reviews that make me want to DNF my review copy before I even start. But I’m also slightly curious to check it out, if only the first ten pages, to see if I have a strong reaction to it. That passage you shared caused so much eye rolling I could barely get through it. If the rest of the book is like that, I think preemptive tossing is in order. Thanks for your honesty, and for letting us know you DNFd. πŸ™‚

  7. Lindy Gomez

    This book seems horrible! Thanks for the warning-I will not be reading it! I read that super long passage, and I agree that it was long, strange, and confusing. I would be annoyed to if I had to read boys talking that way about women through an entire book! Sorry friend for the big disappointment πŸ™

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escaper

  8. starryeyedjen

    Yeah…I decided not to even try this one. Which is sad, because I got that ARC, remember? πŸ™ It does have a pretty cover, though…

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