ARC Book Review: Some Girls Do
Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan is a very deep, in-depth story intertwined with a sweet and angst filled romance. The story touches heavily on the fear and dangers of coming out, how society fights against LGBTQ+ communities and the trauma that it causes, and abusive situations. This books moves through duo POVs with Morgan and Ruby. Morgan is an out and proud track star, having transferred schools because her old school was attempting to silence her and punish her for her sexuality. At this new school, Morgan meets Ruby, a closeted-bi pageant star who is stuck in a abusive situation with a mother forcing her own dreams on her daughter of living life as a pageant queen.
As mentioned before, this books touches on some pretty heavy and relevant themes. One theme that continuously came up was counseling. Even though Morgan is out, comfortable and proud with herself, and strives to make the world a better place for all LGBTQ+ communities (like becoming a volunteer peer counselor herself), the horrid incident with her previous school definitely left its mark and haunts her. Even though she doesn't want others to experience what she went through, Morgan becomes too wrapped up in her own experience that she neglects to think of other people's feelings and situations, if they're even in a safe enough environment to come out. While Morgan has all the best intentions, she definitely still struggles. Reading through counseling scenes was touching and extremely important. Healing is a constant process, and this book demonstrates this brutally but truthfully.
Ruby's story is another extremely important theme that's present through the whole book. Her mother is abusive, homophobic, and pushes her own dreams of becoming Miss America on Ruby. Ruby goes along with it because she feels obligated and guilty to make it up to her mother just for being born, because her being born was what stopped her mom from competing in pageants. It's definitely a touch situation to read. Ruby goes through a whole journey of finding the person she truly is under all that pageant makeup, a journey of gradually fighting for herself and what she wants, and a journey of becoming comfortable with her identity and loving herself, all the while battling against her mother, her community, and her own fears.
The ending did feel as though it wrapped up a bit too quickly, and I wish we had more scenes with minor characters who were struggling with their own identity (like Morgan's one girl friend crushing on their other girl friend but was never brought up again) or scenes confronting the friends' own internalized homophobia. However, this book does a wonderful job of highlighting important and relevant situations, of showing flawed characters working to better themselves, and at the same time showing the little happy moments life has to offer. And a sweet and angsty romance on top of it all.
ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Some Girls Do releases May 18th, 2021!
Where to purchase:
Check with your local Indie Book Stores!