Six Angry Girls by Adrienne Kisner
Raina is going to demolish her senior year—until her boyfriend breaks up with her, and the heartbreak causes her to forget to submit her cause for a new school play and the sophomores select Our Town. Fed up, grieving and wanting more, she quits drama and joins a knitting club. Meanwhile, Millie is struggling as well. Her father wants her as a Cinderella-servant and the Mock Trial team voted her out—despite her being the reason for their success! When Millie and Raina realize they have more to gain by joining together than standing alone, they form their own all-girl Mock Trial team.
Step 1: Beat the boys.
Step 2: Smash the patriarchy.
Step 3: Take over the world.
Because nothing that defeat the wrath of six angry girls.
It. Has. Everything.
Knitting, Mock Trial, yarn bombing, smashing the patriarchy, high school, revenge, knit genitalia, letters to the editor, and many different kinds of girls.
Some, like Raina and Millie, want to be on the team. Others slowly warm over to the idea. And one joins at the last minute to smash everything down. There are bi girls, lesbian girls, straight girls, cis girls and a trans girl, and girls of color.
“Here’s what I’m recommending—a long, flat scarf. Great project to start, easy to correct mistakes, useful in the Pennsylvania winter, thoughtful gift, and can be used to choke someone. Perfect both practically and metaphorically.”
While I feel that the book faltered in the girls and their interactions themselves (most of the Mock Trial team felt like tokenized stick figures), the book shined with the other secondary characters. I loved the women of the Dropped Stitch and their political activism, and I loved the librarian and lawyer-turned-yoga-teacher. I loved Raina’s mom, a tired, single parent working as a nurse on the night shift and trying to do her best by her over-achieving daughter.
I loved Raina and Millie’s ambition, and their desire to find themselves and do right by themselves and their teammates, particularly when in sticky situations (like when their yarn activism intersects with Mock Trial—seriously, is there only ONE judge in this area?).
And as much as I loved Raina’s mom, I was so angered by Millie’s dad. He was such a dick and took Millie for granted—he wanted a full-time servant to cook, clean and care for him, without recognizing that she was a person with her own hopes and dreams. It was no wonder that her mom left and remarried, and I did feel strongly for Millie’s dad’s new girlfriend, but only for a little bit. She was awful, too.
And the Mock Trial teacher-dude was an underhanded dick too. Actually—pretty much all of the dudes in this book were dicks in one way or another. Very few had any redeeming features.
“Do you girls need to get home by a certain time?” said Ms McClain.
“Nope,” everyone said.
I also loved that this felt very much like a group of teen girls. They weren’t all friends, but they became friends. They came from all different walks of high school to join the team, and each had their own motivations for being there (one was actually forced on there by the librarian, but semantics).
And again, I loved Raina’s mom. She gave Raina time to figure it out, and even went, look kid, you’re eighteen. You have a lifetime to figure your shit out. It’s okay.
And honestly, that was a big sentiment of the book. That it’s okay to try something new and realize that you love it, even if that something might not get you into your dream college. That it’s right to do the right thing, even if that right thing means that you will probably not get you into your dream college. And that it’s okay to not jump immediately into the next big life step, because life happens and dreams might get deferred for a moment, but the friendships and connections you make along the way last a lifetime.
So check this out if you want to read about a diverse group of girls researching the law, fighting for what’s right and yarn bombing!
I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review
Six Angry Girls releases August 18, 2020, from Feiwel & Friends.