Wednesday, April 17, 2013

September Girls by Bennett Madison

Available May 21st from Harper Teen 

Source: Received eBook copy from publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Book Description:

When Sam's dad whisks him and his brother off to a remote beach town for the summer, he's all for it-- at first. Sam soon realizes, though, that this place is anything but ordinary. Time seems to slow down around here, and everywhere he looks, there are beautiful blond girls. Girls who seem inexplicably drawn to him.

Then Sam meets DeeDee, one of the Girls, and she's different from the others. Just as he starts to fall for her, she pulls away, leaving him more confused than ever. He knows that if he's going to get her back, he'll have to uncover the secret of this beach and the girls who live here.

My Thoughts:


3 stars - A boys coming of age story with the flavor and feel of an Edgar Allen Poe tale less the creepiness. 

I've seen some not so nice reviews of this book.  I can understand where their coming from.  This book is different and I do mean all the way different.

Sam is the main character and the story is told from his POV except when it's not.  What I loved about being in Sam's head was that he is perfectly a teenage boy.  He felt very authentic and real to me.  He's awkward and not some perfect male.  His older brother is the smooth one.  He's cute but not a chick magnet.  And he still has his v-card.

Because we are reading from a teenage boys POV there are all the normal thoughts going through his mind that one would expect.  Yeah, he likes to spent some quality time with his manhood.  Yeah, the F word is used on a pretty regular basis.  Yeah, it can be just like being with a teenage boy.  I loved how it felt so real.

Now, let me stop and say that this is NOT a romance.  Please do not think that it is.  If you go into it that way, you will be upset and stop reading it.  Yeah, I swooned it last week but that was because I so loved the description in Sam's head of the kiss.  There are kisses.  There is sex.  It's just not the focus of this book.

Now, what is it that makes this book Edgar Allen Poe like?  It's the voice of the girls.  Some chapters are this voice telling us about the girls.  Giving us hints that we must sort through and figure out.  I must admit that the first of these chapters had me thinking I was in the twilight zone.  Symbols and double meaning - nothing explained, it was craziness at best.  But it also fascinated me.  I wanted to understand, so I kept reading.  I will admit that I still don't understand but I'm okay with it.  Because this story wasn't an event with a conclusion but the coming of age of a boy went on vacation not knowing who he was.  He found himself along the way.  He found his family along the way.  He became content.

The HEA effect has no home here but it may not be needed.  What is a HEA anyway?  The book ends and the characters are permanently stuck happy?  Yeah, that's it exactly.  But this story goes on, after it ends.  Not with a sequel or campaign but on it's own.  The characters are not done.  They cannot be stuck in a happy spot for good or for bad.  I was okay with it.  It felt right though I would have liked it to be different.

So if you are confused even more about this book now that you've read my review, you are probably ready to give it a shot.  Don't expect answers there though, just enjoy the ride. 


  1. I have a copy of September Girls but I haven't read it yet. Based on your review, it doesn't sound like the book I was expecting it to be AT ALL.

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

  2. Hmmm....ok. I'd like to read it at some point, but maybe not one I'd move things around for. Thanks Pal!

  3. seems you have a really firm grasp on this story, and I love how you explain it. I always enjoy a guy pov. I may give this a try at some point. Excellent review, Pal!

  4. This book certainly sounds interesting, if nothing else. I might give this a shot at some point, because it does sound different. Thanks for the review!

  5. This is the first review I've read that actually makes me want to read this book! I will definitely try to check it out now!

  6. It's nice to see a review that actually speaks positively about this one. I might actually give this one a go at some point now. Great review.