REVIEW: Girlhood

by Cat Clarke

Pages: 384 paperback
Publisher: Quercus Children's Books
Publication Date: May 4th 2017
ISBN: 9781784292737
Received From: Quercus Children's Books


Harper has tried to forget the past and fit in at expensive boarding school Duncraggan Academy. Her new group of friends are tight; the kind of girls who Harper knows have her back. But Harper can't escape the guilt of her twin sister's Jenna's death, and her own part in it - and she knows noone else will ever really understand. 
But new girl Kirsty seems to get Harper in ways she never expected. She has lost a sister too. Harper finally feels secure. She finally feels...loved. As if she can grow beyond the person she was when Jenna died. 
Then Kirsty's behaviour becomes more erratic. Why is her life a perfect mirror of Harper's? And why is she so obsessed with Harper's lost sister? Soon, Harper's closeness with Kirsty begins to threaten her other relationships, and her own sense of identity. 
How can Harper get back to the person she wants to be, and to the girls who mean the most to her?


Cat Clarke's books are some of my all time favourites so when I heard that there was a new one on the way I happy danced for at good half hour! Girlhood did not disappoint with it quickly becoming my favourite Clarke book to date!

Girlhood is the story of Harper and her time at Duncraggan Academy. Harper doesn't come from a long line of old money like most of the girls at Duncraggan but landed in it's hallowed halls after her dad won the lottery. Harper and her twin sister Jenna always wanted to go to boarding school so after Jenna's death Harper was even more determined to go for the both of them. Her sisters death hovers over every aspect of Harpers life like a stinking black rain cloud but at Duncraggan Academy she has the chance to start again fresh. However, with a new girl moving in down the hall Harper finds herself in a situation she never dreamed of and her life starts to take a turn for the worst, pushing the limits to her new life to breaking point.

There was something about the characters in this book that I really quite admired. Harper (our main protagonist) is all kinds of broken, taking the strength she needs to live day to day from the friends around her. So when things fall about she is left with only the broken parts, forcing her to deal with things she would much rather leave swept under the metaphorical rug. I think there where moments where I simply wanted to shake Harper and tell her to open her damn eyes to the people around her! However, I couldn't get too annoyed at her because we're all a little bit blind to the things going on around us sometimes and it was her flaws that I think made her connectable.

What I love about Cat's books is that she isn't afraid to show the darker side to being a teenage girl. The whole sugar and spice and all things nice theory is a load of poppycock and being able to look past the stereotypes and show the different sides of human behavior at that age is really important. At that age friendships can be fragile, identities are tested and we discover who we are in the darkest of moments. After all, it is our mistakes we learn from. With Girlhood there was moments that sent shivers down my spine and there are moments that make me laugh but it is the vulnerableness of these girls that kept me hooked. Their relationships are pushed to their limits as they have to learn to be better than they thought they could be in situations that no one should have to go through.

Overall I really enjoyed this book! There was something eery and and creepy to the story that kept me on tender hooks from the very beginning. I read this book in a couple of sittings and I didn't want it to end! Cat's writing style is effortless and so easy to read that I felt that I was in a castle in Scotland myself at times. Girlhood comes out this week (May 4th) and if you haven't preordered it yet I would highly recommend it!

1 comment:

  1. I literally can't wait to get my hands on this book. I've read most of Cat Clarke's others in a day or less, so looks like this one will be the same. :)
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