Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan

Let’s just admit it—high school was hell. And if it wasn’t, I’m so happy for you. But for most of us, high school was a confusing time because we were trying to figure out who we were. And this novel definitely takes you back to that time. 

Yet it isn’t some blast from the past. Despite how advanced the human race has become, we still face intolerance, bigotry, and suppression of self. And this book absolutely tackles that. However, it digs deeper into the complexities of being part of the LGBTQ+ community. Whether you’re out or not, everything isn’t so black and white and things get even more complicated when you’re falling in love.

Ruby is the school’s bad girl. Think Maeve from Sex Education. And I really felt for her. Her mom is obsessed with her becoming a beauty queen and living out the dream her mother lost by having Ruby. (Yeah, a lot to deal with.) But Ruby dreams of going to college for automotive repair. Cars are her jam, until Morgan comes on the scene. Now she’s thinking that Morgan might be her jam too, but she’s never felt that way before, or maybe she has but she isn’t sure. Plus, she’s sure her mom wouldn’t be too keen on her “switching teams.” It would ruin her beauty pageant image. Ruby is just trying to hang in there until she goes off to college. 

Speaking of Morgan, she has had to transfer schools due to her coming out and her former school arguing that her homosexuality goes against their core values, or some bull**** like that. Not only that, she is suing the school for discrimation. You go girl! Except, because of this lawsuit, she can’t run on the track team at her new school and that begins to take its toll. Not to mention, the scary-yet-sexy chick that is Ruby is definitely creating butterflies in her stomach. But Morgan doesn’t want to get her hopes up because Ruby is still figuring herself out and Morgan can’t get caught up in that again. 

Coming out is unique to the individual and there’s no one way to do it. Nor should you do so for someone else.

Can I just say I didn’t like either of our leading ladies. But hear me out. Both Ruby and Morgan are wonderfully complex characters. Yet what makes these two so unlikeable is how they treat other people. Morgan is a champion for the LGBTQ+ community but she’s not very perceptive of others’ needs. She has a habit of projecting her fight onto others, and not everyone’s coming out is like hers, nor should it be. Coming out is unique to the individual and there’s no one way to do it. Nor should you do so for someone else. And I felt she didn’t quite understand that. Then there’s Ruby, who is struggling with her own sexuality and the clear pressure she’s getting from home should she ever step outside the norm. And while I sympathize, that does not give her an excuse to play with people’s emotions. 

Some Girls Do is more than just what some girls do. This novel tackles heavy issues on sexual identity and the fight against those who would discriminate against you because of who you are. But ultimately, this novel is an educational read, teaching you how to come to terms with who you are and how to treat other people.

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