‘Girls with Sharp Sticks’
By Suzanne Young
Girls with Sharp Sticks #1
The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their Guardians, the all-girl boarding school offers an array of studies and activities, from “Growing a Beautiful and Prosperous Garden” to “Art Appreciation” and “Interior Design.” The girls learn to be the best society has to offer. Absent is the difficult math coursework, or the unnecessary sciences or current events. They are obedient young ladies, free from arrogance or defiance. Until Mena starts to realize that their carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears.
As Mena and her friends begin to uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening there—and who they really are—the girls of Innovations will find out what they are truly capable of. Because some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns.
‘Girls with Sharp Sticks’ By Suzanne Young was 100% an impulse purchase for me. I was looking through the bookstore for a couple of books to take on my trip with me when I spotted ‘Girls with Sharp Sticks’ and was instantly drawn to the cover. This impulse really paid off!
At the beginning of the story we meet Mena whom we follow for the duration of the story. She attends The Innovation Academy with her friends where they are taught to be the post perfect girls. The girls do not question and the men that run the academy rely on this. But as Mena and her friends begin to question the order of things we begin to see a different side of the men who have curated this careful existance.
Mena as a main character is complex. Even at the beginning of the book she finds it impossible to resist the urge to do things differently. As hard as she tries she cannot seem to do the right thing, as a character in this kind of world I can appreciate that. I definitely began to connect her her as our story teller throughout the story and wanted nothing more than to see the girls become their own.
The development of that characters within the plot was done really well. I was getting so agitated with how Mena and her friends were speaking and how they were being spoken about. However I knew it was important within the context of the story and honestly it made me more engaged and more eager to see what was going to happen. The story developed at a pace that kept me interested in the story from start to finish making it a very fast read.
Innovations Academy is set in a futuristic America where politics plays a huge part in everything. The descriptions of the school conjured images of old English buildings with turrets, spires and amazing architecture. It definitely had a role in my eagerness to continue with the story, the descriptions really fed into the plot and creating an atmosphere the reader felt a part of.
I cannot wait for the next book in the Girls with Sharp Sticks series to be released and return to Mena’s story.
Ease of reading: 9/10
Character Development: 8.5/10
World Building: 9/10
Quality of Writing: 9/10