18 May 2013

Review: September Girls by Bennett Madison

September Girls by Bennett Madison 

Expected Publication: 21 May 2013 by HarperTeen

Pages: 256 (hardcover)

Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy

Source: Publisher for review


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.

My Thoughts

The first thing that attracted me to September Girls was the cover.  Despite the fact that coupled with the synopsis it strongly hinted at a mermaid story, which I have pretty mixed feelings about, it also sounded kinda mysterious too, which was an added drawcard.

The very first thing that struck me about the book was the language.  Not necessarily the swearing (I've got the mouth of a sailor so I can't really be that judgmental , but the mismatch between the dialogue and the story itself.  The language is quite lyrical and literary in parts, but the dialogue just made me think of chavs.  If you don't know what chavs are, you should totally Google them (if nothing else, it's great for a pick-me-up giggle).  And once I noticed that mismatch it really grated on me.

The characters try to be individual  but when it came to Sam and his brother and parents it felt like they were trying all a little bit too hard.  There's something of a mystery about Sam's mother which is never completely explained, and his brother is such a stereotype and goes from best-buddy-brother to almost non-existent, even before there is a good reason behind it.

Sam himself really wasn't very individual or memorable, and I think if I had found him more appealing I would have enjoyed September Girls much more.  After all, he's the main character, and it's his story, yet he almost fades into the background.

There's also a huge lull in the middle, where I was waiting for something to happen for what felt like 200 pages of back and forth, something bordering on insta-love, and a family dynamic that really just didn't mesh.

However, I was totally intrigued about the Girls.   Their POV is a gradual reveal rather than an information dump, and the writing of it is almost poetic.  I also liked that the ending was more open than a happily ever after story.

Overall, I'm completed conflicted about this book.  There were parts that I loved, such as the POV of the Girls themselves, parts that I was completely ambivalent about, such as the interactions between Sam and his family, and parts that frustrated me, such as Sam's plodding personality.  There are flashes of brilliance but there were just too many mismatches for me.


  1. I've never heard of this one but I'm thinking that may be a good thing. While it does sound interesting going by your review I doubt it would be something I'd read. Thanks for the review Kat!
    - Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

    1. It's just so...disjointed. Nothing fits properly :(

  2. I've read some pretty bad reviews of this book. The cover is gorgeous but I don't think I will be reading this one. Great Review! I thought you did a great job balancing the negatives and positives about the book. :)

    1. Always look on the bright side, right? ;)

  3. After reading several negative reviews, I decided to skip this book. I don't think I'll enjoy this based on the things you've said. I hate it when the MC is so forgettable.

    1. I found him forgettable, but some others really disliked him. However, he does feel very realistic as a teenage boy - although he's definitely not someone to crush on!

  4. I've read some pretty horrible reviews for this book. I can't say it's anything that would have interested me before but that doesn't really help.

    You did bring up a few different things in your review that weren't mentioned in the others. It was nice to read the pros and cons.

    1. I was shallow and attracted by the cover :|



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