Normally when I think of mean girls, I think of high school. Not that I personally had a to deal with mean girls all that much (and I was not one myself). But teenagers are the ones with the insecurities and pettiness to be mean to their peers for stupid reasons – like no being cool enough or not conforming.
But in The Girls Are All So Nice Here, the mean girls go to college. And I supposed I could see how that is possible too at a hoity-toity institution that it could be possible that such immaturity could travel to college aged-girls. And it’s kind of XXX mean girls. Because the mean girls aren’t just mean, they are slutty and dangerous too.
From the Publisher:
A lot has changed in the years since Ambrosia Wellington graduated from college, and she’s worked hard to create a new life for herself. But then an invitation to her ten-year reunion arrives in the mail, along with an anonymous note that reads “We need to talk about what we did that night.”
It seems that the secrets of Ambrosia’s past—and the people she thought she’d left there—aren’t as buried as she’d believed. Amb can’t stop fixating on what she did or who she did it with: larger-than-life Sloane “Sully” Sullivan, Amb’s former best friend, who could make anyone do anything.
At the reunion, Amb and Sully receive increasingly menacing messages, and it becomes clear that they’re being pursued by someone who wants more than just the truth of what happened that first semester. This person wants revenge for what they did and the damage they caused—the extent of which Amb is only now fully understanding. And it was all because of the game they played to get a boy who belonged to someone else, and the girl who paid the price.
Alternating between the reunion and Amb’s freshman year, The Girls Are All So Nice Here is a shocking novel about the brutal lengths girls can go to get what they think they’re owed, and what happens when the games we play in college become matters of life and death.
When Ambrosia arrives at her freshman year of college, she has a chip on her shoulder. Like the size of Antarctica. It’s obvious she’s a certain type of girl, but she isn’t confident and instead of appreciating the fact that she’s smart and pretty, she is immediately on guard against her sweet roommate Flora. She thinks Flora is mocking her and trying to prove something over her.
When she meets sully down the hall, she’s in awe. Sully is the cool girl. She does crazy things and is at every party on and off campus. And she takes an interest in Amb. And Amb, being completely insecure takes the bait. She thinks that she’s cooler being friends with Sully and can’t see that people like Sully eat everyone up and spit them out. Even friends. Especially friends.
In The Girls are So Nice Here, Laurie Elizabeth Flynn switches back and forth between college and present day. Amb has reformed herself. She is married to nice guy, has a decent career, and has left her college days behind. Until she decides to attend her college reunion.
One thing that doesn’t make sense to me is why Amb would walk into that reunion. After all, she knows at the beginning of the book what we all know at the end. Still, she seems to have lasted four years there (which I also really don’t understand.)
It took me a little bit to get into and I didn’t feel like the twists and turns were all that thrilling. Instead, the book seems like a cautionary tale of how to not be in college (or really ever) and the dangers of messing with people’s heads. Special thanks to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review.
This one is out March 9, 2021. Get your copy.