Trouble Girls

St. Martin’s/Wednesday. Jun. 2021. 272p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250757241.
Gr 9 Up–All 17-year-old Trixie wants is a weekend away from her small town, her mentally ill mother, and the “hogs” whose leers trigger PTSD from a childhood sexual assault. She’s especially eager for time with Lux, her best friend and crush. But when Lux is sexually assaulted at a bar, Trixie’s retaliation causes them to flee the state. When they finally see news, they learn their actions have gone viral, with the #MeToo contingent on their side and violent “hogs” against them. As their desperate flight continues, Trixie and Lux decide they can trust only each other. But will their love be enough to counter the weight of bad decisions, a media firestorm, and the pursuit of law enforcement? This breathless Thelma & Louise road trip features vivid characters and intricate worldbuilding. Trixie is a sympathetic protagonist who makes bad decisions for understandable reasons, some spurred by her traumatic past and some by her attempts to take control of her own narrative. Despite the impossibility of a happy or even hopeful ending, readers will root for her. Ethnicities are unspecified; Trixie’s hair is “the color of used coffee filters” and Lux has freckles. Because of violence, language, and sexual situations/themes, this is recommended for high school libraries.
VERDICT This LGBTQIA+, #MeToo, Thelma & Louise road trip will appeal most to readers who prefer vivid characters and ethical ambiguity to happy endings.

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