Hi, everyone, and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for the wonderful Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry! Read on for my thoughts, a few of my favorite quotes, and a giveaway!
Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro, Emily Henry
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on August 6, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Thrillers, Young Adult
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Thelma and Louise gets remade in this powerful, darkly funny teen novel from acclaimed authors Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry. Two teenage girls who have had enough of the controlling men in their lives take their rage on the road to make a new life for themselves.
Winona has been starving for life in the seemingly perfect home that she shares with her seemingly perfect father, celebrity weatherman Stormy Olsen. No one knows that he locks the pantry door to control her eating and leaves bruises where no one can see them.
Lucille has been suffocating beneath the needs of her mother and her drug-dealing brother, wondering if there’s more out there for her than disappearing waitress tips and a lifetime of barely getting by.
One harrowing night, Winona and Lucille realize they can’t wait until graduation to start their new lives. They need out. Now. One hour later, they’re armed with a plan that will take them from their small Michigan town to Chicago.
All they need is three grand, fast. And really, a stolen convertible can’t hurt.
Chased by the oppression, toxicity, and powerlessness that has held them down, Winona and Lucille must reclaim their strength if they are going to make their daring escape—and get away with it.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
content warnings: drugs, alcohol, domestic abuse, parental abuse, disordered eating, gambling, murder, violence, mentions of prostitution
Having read and loved books by both Cavallaro and Henry, I went into Hello Girls fully expecting to enjoy it, and it did not disappoint. It’s a story of unlikely friendships, revenge, road trips, rebelling against the patriarchy, and ruthless women. (So, pretty much all my favorite things.)
“Why did people lie ? With their words, with their voices, with their bodies, with their beautiful houses and beautiful clothes and sometimes even their faces ? Why couldn’t everyone just be what they were ? Monsters should look like monsters.”
The plot of this book is nothing revolutionary– it’s a YA road trip powered by revenge, of which I’ve read several– but what makes Hello Girls shine, in my eyes, is our two main characters. Winona and Lucille represent two of the myriad ways society attempts to pin women down, to keep them quiet, to force them into prescribed roles, to trap them. The two come from vastly different circumstances, but they’re united in their desire for more. They want better for themselves, and they’re not afraid to take matters into their own hands to get it. At its heart, Hello Girls is a story of friendship, the kind of pure friendship that means you would do anything for the other person. (There are also heavy hints that their friendship has the potential to bloom into a romantic relationship, but there’s no confirmation of this, nor is there any explicit queer rep in the book.)
It’s this friendship that drives the plot of Hello Girls. It’s your classic running-from-the-law-and-their-past road trip journey– complete with robberies, murders, slights of hand, and more!– but Lucille and Winona’s friendship is the driving force behind it all. The beautiful friendship dynamic provided an excellent reprieve from the often-dark subject matter. I wouldn’t say this is the most suspenseful story I’ve ever read, but it kept me on the edge of my seat enough that I never wanted to stop reading. This is absolutely one of those books to devour in one sitting.
I would be remiss not to mention that this book deals with some pretty heavy subject matter, so please use caution and check the content warnings before going in. The two girls are fleeing Winona’s abusive local-celebrity father, Lucille’s manipulative and thieving drug-dealer brother, and in general, the expectations that society, especially men, places upon young women (namely the expectation to follow orders, stay silent and docile, and take whatever is dealt to you by people in positions of power). Though Winona and Lucille don’t necessarily deal with their trauma in healthy ways in this book, the authors never sensationalized or trivialized it, which I really appreciated. Hello Girls often touches on the pervasiveness of misogyny, and it shows up on pretty much every step of Winona and Lucille’s journey. It’s a book that makes explicitly clear something we already know– men are trash. Anyone who knows me knows I loved this theme, lol.
“Despite the way the world had seen them, despite what it had demanded of them, the lies it had told and the love it had taken away, the insistence that they be both more and less than who they were, despite the rent they had to pay, the utility bills, the days in line waiting for them at the DMV, the interviews for jobs, the meals they would have to make and the floors they would have to clean and the windows they would have to close against the night sky–
Lucille had the confused sense that they were still girls.
At least today.
At least right now.”
And I’ll be vague to avoid spoilers, but though a bit predictable, I will say that I enjoyed the ending– although I think it’s going to be a polarizing one. Overall, I thought Hello Girls was a fun ride from beginning to end, with the added bonus of lovable-but-flawed characters and a pleasantly surprising undercurrent of friendship throughout. It’s the perfect book to savor during these last few weeks of summer.
follow the blog tour!
Prize: Win (1) of (5) copies of Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro & Emily Henry (US Only)
Starts: 1st August 2019
Ends: 15th August 2019
Have you read Hello Girls?