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Excerpt from The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The Nowhere Girls

by Amy Reed

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed X
The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2017, 416 pages
    Jul 2019, 432 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Cynthia C. Scott
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Print Excerpt

"Um, kind of?"

"I actually sort of meant it as a compliment. You're different. I like different. Where are you from?"

"A small town in Kentucky called Adeline."

"Huh. Well, there are a lot of rednecks here, so you'll feel right at home. You know whose house you're moving into, right?" Rosina doesn't wait for an answer. "Do you know what 'pariah' means? This was the town pariah's house. Have you read that book The Scarlet Letter? She was kind of like that, except not."

"I never read it. It was banned from my school's library."

"Wow. Even we're not that backward here."

Rosina's quiet for a while. She kicks a clump of weeds growing through a crack in the sidewalk. "I guess she's a sophomore this year. Wherever she is."

"Who?" Grace says. "What'd she do?"

Rosina shrugs. "She didn't do anything. But it doesn't really matter what actually happened. It just matters that she talked about it." Rosina's eyes shift around but nothing holds her gaze. She wants something to lean on. She is the kind of person who likes to lean.

"What do people say happened?" Grace asks.

Rosina shrugs. She is trying to act cool, trying to act like there aren't feelings running deep beneath the surface. But it is hard to act cool when you're not leaning on something, when you were already pissed off before this unexpected conversation even started, when the late afternoon sun is in your eyes and you're standing in the shadow of the house of that poor girl who deserved better and you should have done something for her when you had the chance.

"The thing is," Rosina says, "people don't want to hear something that'll make their lives more difficult, even if it's the truth. People hate having to change the way they see things. So instead of admitting the world is ugly, they shit on the messenger for telling them about it."

Rosina spits on the sidewalk, sickened by the slow heat rising from the pit of her stomach and threatening to burn her down. What is it about this quiet girl on the porch that is making her mouth move and flames come out? Is it simply because she's asking questions? Because she actually seems to care?

"Who gives a crap about some girl getting raped?" Rosina says with bitter sarcasm. "She wasn't important. None of us is important. The girl is gone. We should all just forget her." Rosina looks at Grace like she just noticed she's there. "You really don't say much, do you?"

"You've kind of been doing all the talking."

Rosina smiles. "Well, New Girl, do you have anything interesting to say?"

"Oh," Grace says. "Um ..."

"Time's up," Rosina says. "I'm out of here. See you at school, I guess."

"It was nice to meet you?" Grace says. Rosina tips an imaginary hat, then turns and lifts her leg over her bike.

"Wait!" Grace says. She seems as surprised as Rosina at the sudden volume of her voice. "What was her name?"

Rosina sighs. "Does it matter?"

"Um, yes?" Grace says softly. Then a little louder: "Yes, I think it does matter."

Rosina doesn't want to believe her. That would mean caring about something she can't do anything about. She doesn't want to say the girl's name out loud, because that would make her real, and what's the fucking point of that?

"Lucy," Rosina says as she hops onto her bike. "Lucy Moynihan." Then she rides away, as fast as her long legs can pedal.


"I practiced my routine for tomorrow morning," Erin tells her mother. "It will take me approximately one hour and fifteen minutes from the moment I wake up until I get to school. Margin of error is plus or minus three minutes. This schedule also assumes that I select and lay out my outfit the night before."

Excerpted from The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed. Copyright © 2017 by Amy Reed. Excerpted by permission of Simon Pulse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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