When the world keeps kicking you and kicking you, and especially when that world is your own family, there comes a time when you say ENOUGH. For Winona and Lucille, each day has gotten rougher, whether it’s an abusive father or a neglectful mother and abusive brother. Enough is far more than enough.
HELLO GIRLS is the story of Winona and Lucille taking their strength into their own hands, stealing Winona’s grandfather’s Alfa Romeo convertible, and hitting the road to find whether that power will take them. From casinos to the fourth best truck stop in the U.S., through the fears and doubts and worries, they’ll have a lot to contend with, but always by their side is each other.
Published: 6 August 2019
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Category: Young Adult/Contemporary
Best friends are forged by fire. For Winona Olsen and Lucille Pryce, that fire happened the night they met outside the police station—both deciding whether to turn their families in.
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 generations 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. All they need is three grand, fast. And really, a stolen convertible to take them from Michigan to Las Vegas can’t hurt.
Rating: 4 Stars
CW: drinking (underage), drugs/drugging people against their will, possible eating disorder related talk, poverty, parental neglect, abuse by a parent
Holy crap did this book go on a whirlwind. It was a fast read because I could Not. Put. It. Down! ❤
There’s a lot of bad stuff that happens in this book, let’s be honest about that right away. Winona has an abusive father who is the kind of man that has a very perfect public persona (the dude is a weatherman with his own theme song, for crying out loud). He’s emotionally, physically, verbally abusive. Any interaction with him in this book sent chills down my spine.
Lucille’s brother is a drug addict and a drug dealer. He works for even scarier people and steals from Lucille, among other despicable treatment. Add to this a (possibly) loving but entirely neglectful mother who sides with this scumbag of a brother and Lucille is also in a bad situation.
Their strength comes from within and from each other. The insane things they get up to, from stealing a car to running away to a few other illegal activities along the way, just left you never quite knowing what turn they’d take next. Even as it was obvious that certain things, certain people, would need to be dealt with at the end, it was still so invigorating watching Winona and Lucille, quite literally, take the wheel.
There was some stuff that wasn’t quite copacetic. At one of their stops along the ways, Winona and Lucille meet up with Silas. Long story short, needing money, they and Silas comes up with a scheme in which Silas lures strange men back to his hotel room under the premise that they’ll be sleeping with the girls, but then Winona and Lucille drug them. Silas then drags the men away and dumps them somewhere. The whole scheme being dangerous as hell aside, given that they’ve known Silas for a couple hours maybe, the drugging people against their will is pretty ick.
Aside from a plot hole/twist hole near the end that I can’t really figure out, I enjoyed the book overall. There was, aside from the aforementioned shit that these girls go through before the book even starts, heartbreak. Friends can suck, family can suck, hell, just being can suck.
Do people deserve second chances? That’s a hard question to answer. What Winona and Lucille have to figure out on this trip is what and more importantly who matter in their lives and where that path is going to lead them in a world that is constantly trying to box them in.
“We’re not the Virgin Mary, but we’re not the Whores, either. They tried to make us into them, to box us in, and maybe at some point we fit where they wanted us, but they pushed too hard and we’re not those girls anymore. I’m not. God, Lucille, people like Stormy and Silas and Marcus take whatever they want, and for years—for our whole lives!—we’ve just let them. Well, guess what? I want things. I want something that’s just mine, that I took and kept. Don’t you? I mean, honestly, Lucille, don’t you?”
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Quotes included are from an advanced reader copy and may not reflect the finalized copy.
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