[ARC Review] Valley Girls by Sarah Nicole Lemon

[ARC Review] Valley Girls by Sarah Nicole Lemon

Title: Valley Girls
Author: Sarah Nicole Lemon
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Hardcover
Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publish Date: May 8, 2018
Setting: Yosemite, CA
Drugs, Underage Drinking
Korean, Pakistani, Mexican,
Lesbian

Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Netgalley and Amulet Books for this free copy.

This is such a long time coming, and I’m trying to clean up all my ARCs that I have before the end of the year, so we will see how I do. I’m glad that I was able to get a physical copy of this book though by the time it already came out so that I could read it without looking at my screen. The monotone voice of the Text to Speech kind of makes me tune it out so I haven’t been doing that as much, but it still helps in a pinch.

  • Pacing and dialogue seem rushed
  • Still not really sure what this is about besides climbing in Yosemite National Park
  • Unfortunately this is my first DNF of the year, and I couldn’t push through after the first 200 pages.

Rilla feels abandoned by her older sister Thea because she left West Virginia without her years ago. I don’t really know what the reasoning was behind it, and by the time I stopped reading, I didn’t really know much. But I was also really disappointed with Rilla and how she kept trying to justify why it was okay to our her sister in front of Lauren (even though Lauren is Thea’s girlfriend) and how there wasn’t a problem with it. Lauren did an amazing job straightening up Rilla and calling her out on that behavior, but Rilla didn’t even apologize for it. Not to Thea or to Lauren. It was just very disturbing.

For the first 100 pages (where I’m at while I type this exact sentence), I haven’t felt much of anything for any of the characters. If anything, I felt confused because each chapter didn’t seem like everything a part of it really should have been together. By the time I got to the first 200 pages, I felt the same way really.

Some of the dialogue felt like there were parts missing, like there should have been more of a discussion in between the beginning and the end, and whenever some of the characters looked confused or just stopped talking, even I was confused. I couldn’t always follow along with Rilla’s thought process, which made it even more confusing for me to see where she was coming from in her head.

I unfortunately didn’t connect with the story enough to want to finish it. Rilla kept putting herself down so much that it was making even me feel hopeless about her, and I usually don’t let characters get to me like that. I don’t know. I felt like she really punished herself too harshly over the things that weren’t the important things, and then that justified why she could behave as the bad sister. It didn’t make sense to me, why she would self-sabotage herself so much. I know that it’s not my place to understand someone’s thought process, or make judgment on it. Unfortunately, it prevented me from finishing the book, and I wasn’t finding many positive things to say about it.

***Disclaimer: I did not see many reviews for this book to share (the ones I saw were on Goodreads with no links), so I shared the only three that I actually found.

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