Friday, June 28, 2019

Girls on the Verge by Sharon Biggs Waller - OPTIONAL

Girls on the Verge by Sharon Biggs Waller, 228 pages. Henry Holt (MacMillan), 2019. $18.

Language: R (50 swears, 17 'f'); Mature Content: R (descriptive sexual encounter); Violence: PG. 



17yo Camille is the most promising actress at the "Globe" - a local Texas theater program, and is on her way to an elite summer acting camp. It's going to be a memorable summer, but her plans come crashing down when she discovers that she is pregnant. She can't bring herself to tell her parents, and her best friend's reaction isn't supportive, so she feels like she is completely alone. But when she runs into Annabelle, a girl she knows from Theater school, Annabelle agrees to drive Camille on a road trip to get an abortion. 

Set in 2013 when Texas had some very restrictive reproductive laws, Sharon Biggs Waller has found a beautiful voice in Camille. I thought this book would be more political than it was, while the author makes clear the political and religious resistance to legal abortion, the story isn't heavy handed or in your face.  Navigating the legal system at 17 is daunting, and Camille experiences both caring people and mean ones. While everyone's experiences are different, Camille, Annabelle and Bea give the readers characters they can relate to, regardless of their opinion of abortion and women's reproductive rights. Although some of the girl's discussions about sex and condoms are frank, Girls on the Verge could still be considered for a High School library. 

 Lisa Librarian

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