Hello Girls

Katherine Tegen Bks/HarperCollins/. Aug. 2019. 336p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062803429.
Gr 10 Up–In small-town northern Michigan, Winona Olsen and Lucille Pryce are high school seniors, who are sustained by their unlikely friendship. Winona is the sheltered daughter of wealthy, beloved meteorologist Stormy Olsen, who she tells herself is “particular, not violent,” despite a cigarette burn to the contrary. Lucille is a diner waitress struggling to keep the electricity on for her working-class family, an effort that is continuously undermined by her drug-dealing leech of an older brother. When Winona finds a letter from her supposedly-dead mother hidden in her father’s study, she impulsively steals it. Fearing his violent retribution, she also steals her grandfather’s car, and Lucille, enraged to discover that her brother is selling roofies, takes his stash. Together the girls set off to find Winona’s mother in Las Vegas, on a road trip punctuated by gambling, a 7-11 hold-up, and a handsome drifter, hotly pursued all the while by Winona’s father and a Midwestern drug lord. This novel offers a witty, sharply-observed critique of patriarchal norms and of the societal tendency to simultaneously sexualize and infantilize teenage girls, as well as a fierce celebration of the power of female friendship. Sparkling dialogue, larger-than-life hijinks, and the empowering agency of the protagonists all add to the appeal.
VERDICT A smart, fast-paced, and immensely enjoyable YA take on Thelma and Louise. A first purchase perfect for fans of Jeff Zentner’s Rayne and Delilah’s Midnight Matinee or Kody Keplinger’s Run

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