I’m the Girl

Wednesday Bks. Sept. 2022. 352p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250808363.
Gr 10 Up–In Ketchum, the shadowy organization Aspera rules everything—including the local economy and law enforcement—from behind its gated entrance in the mountains. Despite a lifetime of warnings from her now-deceased mother, 16-year-old Georgia is determined to convince her brother and guardian, Tyler, to let her work there; not even finding 13-year-old Ashley James’s body on the side of the road can change her mind. When magnetic, beautiful Nora, Ashley’s older sister, demands Georgia’s help to find out if Ashley’s death is connected to Aspera, Georgia sees a way to solve everyone’s problems and impress her crush at the same time. But the further Georgia is pulled into the orbit of Matthew and Cleo Hayes, owners and monarchs of Aspera, the more she begins to understand why her mother was so adamant she stay away, and the less sure she is that she will ever get to leave. From the opening scene, Summers propels readers into an unwavering staring contest with some of the darkest truths the world has to offer young women. Georgia seeks approval and acceptance at every turn, while grappling with her growing understanding of the dangers she faces and trying to determine where her trust and loyalty should lie. Unexpected revelations and a quick pace keep the more disturbing sequences from being overwhelming, and the tenderness with which Summers handles even her angriest and most revenge-obsessed characters is on full display here, providing brief moments of respite from the rage and brutality.
VERDICT A powerful and important story recommended for all library collections, though with a caution for some sensitive readers.

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