About Sad Girls:
School is almost out for Audrey, but the panic attacks are just beginning. Because Audrey told a lie and now her classmate, Ana, is dead. Just as her world begins to spin out of control, Audrey meets the enigmatic Rad – the boy who could turn it all around. But will their ill-timed romance drive her closer to the edge?
OK, so I’m going to start by saying I have never been more disappointed in a main character than I am right now. Audrey was a complete disaster and a waste of time and that is treading lightly with my words.
She was a self-centered character who despite the lie she told suffered no true consequences for her actions nor did she show an ounce of remorse for her actions. That was the first alarming thing I noticed. She also seemed to think she should be handed everything and not give anything in return. I was so hopeful that she would learn that this isn’t how life works except in this book it was. She was entirely right. I was shocked to see these opportunities just falling into her lap left and right. None of which she earned or deserved.
When Audrey first began suffering from panic attacks it felt almost like an insult to those of us who have truly experienced the severity of panic attacks before. Audrey started having the attacks in result to Ana’s suicide and her lie spreading around the town. It is because of her own guilty conscience and the weight that someone could find out the truth that flared these attacks to begin with.
Yet, I felt the approach to her panic attacks was to make us feel sorry for Audrey, like we could relate to her and reason with her, which I could not bring myself to do. I could not see past her lies and deceit to those around her long enough to even feel an inkling of sorry for her. In my opinion the panic attacks were well deserved and her consciences way of punishing her. It made me so angry how she hid behind them and used the attacks like a crutch to avoid situations she did not wish to face.
Honestly even after completing the novel I could not wrap my head around how Lang Leav wanted us to view and feel about Audrey. I often found myself wondering if we were supposed to hate her like this or if this was entirely misconstrued from her original hope for Audrey as a character. Either way I saw no true purpose to Audrey. She did not evolve, she did not change and learn from her mistakes, nor did she ever truly come clean and lay Ana’s name to rest. She had no real value just more lying and manipulating her way around the truth while destroying others lives in the process. It was almost too easy to hate her.
In the dying embers and blackened twigs of a ravaged forest, who could distinguish where the first spark was lit? Only the arsionist knows the exact location where that match was struck.
This character pattern did not stop at Audrey though, it seemed to continue pretty consistently throughout the novel, right from Audrey on to Candela. Who just like Audrey I saw no purpose or evolution in her character either.
It was made known Candela had shared a special bond with Ana, it was never spoken about or determined what kind of bond they had, but it absolutely destroyed her. Candela who once was this fun and exciting person goes on this path of self destruction turning to drug use and older men, shutting out the people who care most about her. I couldn’t believe it, one character after the next possessing such god awful traits and nothing being done about it.
I started to think that maybe Lang Leav’s message behind this novel was that you cannot wait for others to save you from yourself and what you cause that you have to step up, own your mistakes and be willing to fight to save yourself.
The only alternate message I could pull from this novel would be that it’s okay to tell lies, do drugs, turn on your friends and destroy your future. A message I refuse to believe Lang Leav wanted to send to her readers.
Now I knew why I had been hollowed out, why my insides were chipped away with a chisel and mallet. It was to make room for this new feeling, this love that was so vast, so expansive it could not have fit into the vessel I once was.
The last major problem I had with this novel was Rad and Audrey’s romance. It was all wrong and entirely inappropriate in my opinion.
They first meet at his dead girlfriends funeral I mean really need I say more than that?! There was just nothing honest or right about them being together. Their romance was based off of secrets, lies, deceit, cheating and so many more awful traits. Not only does it give the wrong impression on how love and romance should be but it doesn’t say much for where this novel is headed. She should be focused on herself and how she will recover and become a better person. Besides she still had a boyfriend to begin with she didn’t need to be thinking about another guy.
But what particularly bothered me about the two of them being together was where they met. How could you explain to friends, family and even your kids one day, that you met the person your with at his girlfriends funeral? Not to mention the girlfriend that you *technically* killed with your lies. I’m just saying this romance is one sticky situation and one that I do not condone or approve of. I was like a kid throwing a tantrum when they got together.
I learned that writing is the consolation prize you are given when you don’t get the thing you want the most.
Steering away from the negative aspects of this novel I did find two characters that I absolutely adored and wished were bigger parts of this story.
First was Lucy, Audrey and Candelas other best friend and the first genuinely good hearted person I came to see within this novel. An absolute gem! She was a timid but kind person, dedicated to making something of herself and always there for her friends. She always found a way to understand and make sense of their errors and never once judged them or turned her back. I don’t think I saw one negative trait in Lucy’s character. It pained me to see such a wonderful person have such horrible friends that took her friendship and kindness for granted countless of times.
I would have preferred to hear more of Lucy’s story and her have a bigger impact in this novel rather than meet half of the characters we did. I truly think Lucy could have been the one to bring Candela and Audrey out of their selfish ways.
Side Note: Her relationship with Freddy was actual relationship goals, they were adorable and had so much fun about them, there was always some goofy story she was sharing about something they had done. But their relationship showed what a real relationship should be like. I was pleased to see something positive within this novel and they were the perfect pair.
The other character I adored was Gabe, though his part in the novel was very brief, he was a huge part in my opinion. Like Lucy, he was genuine and helpful and understanding. He had been through his fair share in life and offered Audrey some great coping techniques and advice. I feel he was very good for Audrey and their quick romance was probably the most pure I’ve seen Audrey in this entire novel. He definitely brought out a better side of her. I was hopeful to see more of him and Audrey later in the novel but my ship did not get to sail on that romance sadly.
Our emotions pull us in different directions. The stronger the emotion, the greater the pull. Feelings are not always practical, nor do they make any logical sense. That’s just the way it goes.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. It was filled with mystery surrounding the lie and tons of twists I did not even expect to happen. Though I was disappointed in the characters and pieces of the plot that I just couldn’t grasp, the story itself kept my interest until the end. The writing style was easy to comprehend which made it an fast paced read. I give sad girls a 3.5/5 star rating and can’t wait to see what Lang Leav will bring us next. I just hope it doesn’t involve another Audrey-like lead!