GIRLS ON THE VERGE by Sharon Biggs Waller


Age Range: 14 - 18
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A teenage girl struggles to get an abortion in Texas.

White cisgender Texan Camille had her dream summer planned out, complete with a spot in a prestigious theater summer camp. After an underwhelming one-night stand (her first time having sex), however, Camille discovers she is pregnant and decides to get an abortion. Afraid to tell her parents, she secretly gives up her spot at camp and embarks on a road trip to the Mexican border to access an abortion-inducing drug. She’s joined by a liberal feminist acquaintance and, reluctantly, her conservative best friend (both white), and together they journey to battle shame and misogyny and to find themselves. Set a year after Sen. Wendy Davis’ historic 2013 filibuster, Camille’s first-person, present-tense narrative alternates between her road trip and flashbacks to her previous experiences, including visiting a Christian crisis pregnancy center and attempting to obtain a judicial bypass, in hopes of getting an abortion without her parents’ knowledge. While readers will come to care about the characters and their relationships to some degree, the important informational content takes precedence overall. Meant to “sound an alarm,” Waller’s (The Forbidden Orchid, 2016, etc.) book is highly informative, filled with frank, detailed descriptions of our nation’s restrictions on reproductive health as well as the emotional and physical experiences of abortion.

A Forever-esque story for reproductive justice, this is a timely and vital book. (author’s note, resources) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 9th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-250-15169-8
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2019


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