Girls on the Verge by Sharon Biggs Waller
Camille couldn’t be having a better summer. But on the very night she learns she got into a prestigious theater program, she also finds out she’s pregnant. She definitely can’t tell her parents. And her best friend, Bea, doesn’t agree with the decision Camille has made.
Camille is forced to try to solve her problem alone . . . and the system is very much working against her. At her most vulnerable, Camille reaches out to Annabelle Ponsonby, a girl she only barely knows from the theater. Happily, Annabelle agrees to drive her wherever she needs to go. And in a last-minute change of heart, Bea decides to come with.
Girls on the Verge is an incredibly timely novel about a woman’s right to choose. Sharon Biggs Waller brings to life a narrative that has to continue to fight for its right to be told, and honored.
Note: I lost the majority of my notes for this review because my phone was wiped (thanks T-mobile!) so I’ve probably forgotten a few things.
I’m starting to realize that while I do love a good YA Fantasy, I really appreciate YA that’s relevant to real life. This book could not be more relevant to the world that we live in right now.
I really appreciated that the book opened with a quote and statistics and ended with the author’s personal abortion story.
I don’t dislike Camille, but I don’t love her either. I get that she’s a teenager but some of her actions were just annoying as fuck. Like her whole swooning over Leo thing. Sweetie, it’s just an accent. Relax. I’m glad she finally told her mom in the end but I also kind of wish that we had seen what happened after that.
I adore Annabelle. I appreciate that she isn’t just talk and she actually acts on what she believes. Getting Camille the pregnancy test, taking her to Mexico and calling out people who have an issue with reproductive rights. I’m not quite sure why the part about her getting kicked out of the program was necessary though. I don’t feel like it added anything to the story and it’s not like we saw her after she moved.
I can’t stand Bea. The way she responded to Camille telling her that she was getting an abortion was so fucking dramatic. You’re crying because someone made a choice about their own body and you don’t agree with it? And then you literally fucking abandon her.And the fact that she had the nerve to get mad that Camille didn’t tell her that she’d had sex. She isn’t obligated to tell you anything. Also, you’re mad that she’s making a new friend, but you were the one who wasn’t there for her when she needed help. I just feel like she made a lot of it about her and I don’t like people like that. Great character contrast but otherwise, fuck her.
The sad part about all of this is that everything that happens with the pharmacist, the judge, the crisis clinic…all of it is true and none of it makes sense. The judge told Camille that she wasn’t mature enough to decide on her own that she wanted an abortion, but thinks she’s mature enough to be a mother? How the fuck does that logic work?
Another takeaway from this is that we need better sex education. Thinking that you can’t get pregnant on your first time is something that shouldn’t still be believed.
I liked the writing for the most part, but there were times when the dialogue felt forced. Certain uses of slang and hashtags made it feel like the author was trying (and failing) to be relatable. Honestly, this book doesn’t need that because it’s relatable enough as is.
As infuriating as much of this book was, that’s what made it such a good read.