Book Review: Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Simone Howell, Fiona Wood

Take Three Girls is the book you want your teenagers – regardless of their gender – to read.

In today’s world of easy vitriol sprayed online, teenagers need the strength to overcome hatred and not become one of the horrible trolls. This book discusses that and more.

It deals with the unlikeliest of friendships, organically formed despite the differences between each girl and her respective ‘status’ at St Hilda’s, the expensive and elite private girls’ school.

Kate is a rural boarder, attending St Hilda’s to fulfill her parents’ hope she will become a doctor. But Kate wants to pursue music and is thus thrown into the dilemma of whether or not to disappoint her parents to follow her heart.

Clem is the school’s star swimmer, but following a long hiatus after breaking her arm she realises that being a competitive swimmer doesn’t make her happy anymore. All she wants to do is hang out with an older boy, Stu. Now she has to lie to her parents and her twin sister about how she has really been spending her free time.

Ady is the Queen Bee: rich and popular, surrounded by rich and popular friends. But the simmering change in her home life forces her to reconsider the friends she has and what’s truly important in her life.

The three girls are forced to interact with each other via the school administrations’s Wellness Program following the constant hideous trolling by a site called PSST (Private Schools Secret Tracker). Through their mandatory group hang out, the three girls get to know each other better, eventually becoming friends.

The book’s chapters switch between each girl’s unique perspective. Crowley, Howell and Wood successfully create an authentic world, with current teen slang and the timely topic of social media bullying. It takes readers into the minds of three different girls, where they can relate to either one or all three of them.

Take Three Girls is funny and heartwarming, with a good dose of reality for teens and parents alike (parents should read this book, too). It covers bullying, navigating the complex world of teen friendships, social media survival, feminism, misogyny and teen sex; and looks at what friendships should be without preaching.

It ends with a future full of possibilities. Because that’s what we want for young people – for them to know that the world is their oyster.

Kristyn M. Levis is a freelance writer, author and photographer based in Sydney. She is currently the managing editor of Her Collective. Her first novel, The Girl Between Two Worlds, was published in 2016. Book two is set for release next year.


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