Sunday, May 19, 2013

September Girls by Bennett Madison

September GirlsAuthor: Bennett Madison
Publication: May 21, 2013
By: Harper Teen

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

This was my initial thought regarding this book...The best thing about this book is the cover. 

While my overall feelings about SEPTEMBER GIRLS have not necessarily changed, they have been altered a bit and here's why...

I had a fantastic conversation about this book today with the equally fantastic Diana Peterfreund (FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS) who shed some new light on this for me.

What originally attracted me to this book was a combination of hype, synopsis and serious cover love. I was expecting a romantic summer read about mermaids but that is not what I got.  I'll be honest, the characters came across as sarcastic and cynical to the point of offense to me (I can only speak for myself) and much of the content turned me off. I struggled to even finish it because I was not enjoying it at all.

HOWEVER, after having chatted with Diana, I have come to the conclusion that this book was wrongly covered - it doesn't accurately depict the story inside. It's still not a story for me per say, but there is a definite audience for it. (Fans of Chris Cutcher would most likely enjoy this.)  Regardless of my feels, it's a well written story and one that should be given a chance, in my humble reader opinion.  

If you decide it's not for you, great.  

If you read it and love it, awesome.

But at least you'll know going into it (assuming you bother to give this blog post a glance) what it is not. (The flowery summer romance mentioned above.)

I think Bennett Madison is a talented young writer whose book is being judged (unfairly) by it's cover. 

I also think it's author is being judged unfairly as well, but that's just me. *shrugs* :)



  1. THANK YOU for voicing out my thoughts on this book. I've read tons of reviews that practically ripped this book apart and completely told their readers not to pick it up but I definitely think that a certain kind of reader would enjoy this. Great insight, Jen!

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

  2. Great review! I actually did not finish reading this book. I just couldn't get past all the foul language (which I love in books, but felt was over the top in this one) and all the sex talk. I got half way through the book and felt like nothing was happening. I was so confused and just could not connect with ANY of the characters at all. *Sigh*

  3. Thanks Ellie. :) I think it helps to look at things from another perspective sometimes, even if you don't agree with it.

  4. I'm curious, what exactly do you mean when you say fans of Chris Crutcher will most likely enjoy this ? I've been a fan of his for a while,so maybe I will like this ?

  5. Kat, Honestly, I don't know if you will like this or not. Chris Cutcher's name came up when Diana and I were talking about similar writing styles to Bennett's. She was making the point that readers who are familiar with Cutcher's books know what to expect (darker, gritter story lines, etc.) whereas those going into SG expecting a chick-lit style romance based on the cover and blurb (like I was) would be surprised.

    I hope that makes sense?

  6. Yes, I'm sure someone will enjoy this book! After reading plenty of reviews, I'll probably have to pass and not because of those negative reviews, it just doesn't look like a book I'd fall in love with. The cover does look misleading and after reading your very well thought out and honest review, I'm glad you mentioned this. I'm not easily offended, but I did hear that the characters were hard to connect with and I wish it wasn't so. Anyway, great review Jen! :)