Enraged by unpunished sexual assaults and the unchallenged rape culture at their high school, three new friends resolve to take action.
White high schooler Grace Salter has just moved to Prescott, Oregon, and finds messages of pain and anguish scratched into the walls of her new room. Overtaken by curiosity, she does the unthinkable for a new girl at school and talks to two girls during lunch: Rosina Suarez, a Mexican-American queer punk rocker, and Erin DeLillo, a white girl with Asperger’s who admires the android Data from Star Trek. They both explain that the former occupant of Grace’s room was effectively run out of town after accusing three popular jocks, two of them current students, of gang-raping her at a party. Grace is incensed and, together with Rosina and Erin under the collective pseudonym the Nowhere Girls, rallies other girls in the school to rise up against misogyny, rapists, and the power structures that protect both. Reed’s refusal to shy away from the entrenched realities of sexism as well as the oft-overlooked erasure of intersectionality within feminism yields a highly nuanced and self-reflective narrative that captures rape culture’s ubiquitous harm without swerving into didactic, one-size-fits-all solutions or relying on false notions of homogenous young womanhood.
Scandal, justice, romance, sex positivity, subversive anti-sexism—just try to put it down. (Fiction. 13-17)