Thursday, February 13, 2020

ARC Review: Girls With Razor Hearts by Suzanne Young

Title: Girls With Razor Hearts (Girls With Sharp Sticks #2)
Author: Suzanne Young
Publication Date: March 17, 2020
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 400
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Review for book 1

It’s time to fight back in this second novel in a thrilling, subversive near future series from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Young about a girls-only private high school that is far more than it appears to be.

Make me a girl with a razor heart…

It’s been weeks since Mena and the other girls of Innovations Academy escaped their elite boarding school. Although traumatized by the violence and experimentations that occurred there, Mena quickly discovers that the outside world can be just as unwelcoming and cruel. With no one else to turn to, the girls only have each other—and the revenge-fueled desire to shut down the corporation that imprisoned them.

The girls enroll in Stoneridge Prep, a private school with suspect connections to Innovations, to identify the son of an investor and take down the corporation from the inside. But with pressure from Leandra, who revealed herself to be a double-agent, and Winston Weeks, an academy investor gone rogue, Mena wonders if she and her friends are simply trading one form of control for another. Not to mention the woman who is quite literally invading Mena’s thoughts—a woman with extreme ideas that both frighten and intrigue Mena.

And as the girls fight for freedom from their past—and freedom for the girls still at Innovations—they must also face new questions about their existence…and what it means to be girls with razor hearts.

Last year, Girls With Sharp Sticks became one of my unanticipated favorite reads! The mystery and dystopian aspects were enough to keep me constantly on the edge of my seat. I was so excited when I found out there would be a sequel that I couldn't wait to get my hands on it and I jumped right in!

Girls With Razor Hearts picks up immediately after the events of the first book. Mena and the other girls have escaped the school and have plans to bring down the corporation. This book was set entirely away from the school and, since the big mystery has already been found out, it had an entirely different feel.

Where Girls With Sharp Sticks kept me constantly engaged, this one was a bit less my speed. A big reason for this is the setting. Most of the book takes place in an average public school with two of the girls attending high school and navigating every day life. Mena doesn't understand why sexism is so prevalent in the school and immediately goes to work trying to change it.

On the one hand I really enjoyed this and probably would have even more as a teen. On the other, it was extremely on the nose. Nearly every man the characters come in contact with is essentially evil and it quickly became exhausting. As a woman who worked in a male dominated field for several years and, you know, exists in the world, I have encountered my fair share of misogyny and harassment. However, it was coming from literally every angle in Mena's world and it was a bit much.

While two of the girls are in school, the rest spend their time researching ways to bring down Innovations Academy. Although the huge reveal of the girls being AI has already come out, there are still a couple enjoyable twists and turns in this book. I do wish that a bit more was learned and more progress was made, but this was by no means a bad read.

If you enjoyed Girls With Sharp Sticks, you'll probably enjoy this one too. You'll enjoy it even more if contemporary YA is your genre! I'm excited to see what happens in the final book!