I'm the Girl / Courtney Summers / Book Review

Georgia made a mistake. She knows that as soon as the pictures come back: smooth, bare, beautiful. And way too expensive, even if the man she met at the mall can make her a model like he promised. Not that he's promising that anymore, after she shelled out her brother's money for the photographs.

No, Georgia made a mistake, but she knows how to fix it: Aspera. Aspera is a different world, nothing like the poverty Georgia has known all her life. Aspera is where her mother worked before she died. Aspera, that resort for the world's elite up in the mountains, will surely let Georgia have a job.

But on her way to Aspera, Georgia finds something she wasn't meant to: the dead body of thirteen-year-old Ashley James. The investigation--and her new employment at Aspera--throws Georgia into a world she never expected, and there are more players--and more villains--at play than she ever would have guessed. 


It is absolutely unconscionable that this book has been published for and marketed toward children. YA is a marketing category enjoyed by a lot of people, a fair chunk of them adults, but it is, at the end of the day, a category meant to be for teens--that is, minors. The amount of on-the-page assault in this book would be too much for an adult audience. For an audience of children, it is entirely reprehensible. I cannot in good conscience recommend this book to anyone.


  • Family: One of the few things that I appreciated about this book was its inclusion of family. Characters like Georgia, who are easily taken advantage of, often have no family to speak of--or no functioning family, if they do have an (addict) mother or father. Georgia might be an orphan, but her older brother has stepped in to care for her. And he does care for her a great deal, as much as he fails to protect her in this book. I appreciate his inclusion, at least. 
  • Hard Reality: One of the things that I appreciate about Courtney Summers is that she doesn't steer away from hard characters and terrible realities. The things that happen to Georgia in this book aren't unthinkable--which is part of what makes the things that happen to her so terrible. This book goes too far, but I can at least commend Summers for going there at all. A lot of authors would avoid it entirely. 
  • Growing Relationship: A lot of YA romances happen fast, fast, fast. They meet, they crush, and they are so, so in love in that (quick) order. This book doesn't move so fast. It also doesn't move glacially slow. These girls grow on each other. They support each other and figure out life--and then their respective feelings--together. And that more realistic pace is nice. 


  • Gratuitous: Anyone who has read Courtney Summers's work before won't be surprised to know that this book is harsh. But from the very first page, the narrative here is rough, rough, rough. The on-page assault (with no repercussions, I might add) is a lot. One assault would be a lot for the market. This book had significantly more than one. The sex and sexual violence in this book weren't just harsh. They felt gratuitous, and that's not a word that I use lightly. I would highly advise, for anyone who doesn't want to fill their head with sexual violence, to AVOID, AVOID, AVOID this book. 
  • Jumbled: On top of the content issue here, this book had a narrative issue as well. That is, the narrative ends up pretty jumbled and hard to follow. It makes sense, coming from the perspective of a character who is repeatedly and horrifically assaulted. Her narrative perhaps shouldn't come out quite coherently. But for readers, it can be tough to follow without any sort of grounding in the world. From page one, this book goes, goes, goes without much through-line. 
  • No Reflection: I'm not a person who needs a happily-ever-after. I don't even need a happy-for-now. In some cases, I even prefer not to have a nice  and neat conclusion. But here, in this book soaked in assault and marketed toward teenagers, I would expect at the very least for this narrative to end on a note of reflection. Hope would, of course, be better. But this book ends in nothing. There's no reflection. Nothing changes. It's just terrible, awful, horrible through to the end. 



Fans of Courtney Summers's The Project might enjoy this new harsh reality. Those looking for a new dead-end protagonist after Laurie Devore's A Better Bad Idea may enjoy this new girl-at-the-end-of-the-line. 


Publisher: Wednesday Books
Date: September 13, 2022
Series: N/A
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Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.


  1. Sounds like she was the girl…

  2. Blimey, that's not the review I expected. I haven't heard of this book before but it does sound strange that it's marketed towards young adults with those content themes being so intense.

    1. I always try to find something positive in the books I review, even if they aren't my cup of tea. Most of my reviews are fairly positive for that reason, but this one sat very wrong with me.


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