Bad Girls by Alex McAulay

Genre:  Realistic fiction

Age Level:  16 and up

RAC book:  No

Anna is awakened one morning to find a man screaming in her face military style.  She worries for a second about a home invasion, but quickly realizes that her parents are sending her to a military style reform school for girls.  She is taken to the school on an island in the Bahamas.  Once there, Anna realizes that her life is going to change dramatically over the next three months.  There are rules and regulations for everything. 

 On her second day her group is sent out into the woods for an overnight campout.  Halfway to the meeting point, however, her leader is shot and the girls scatter into the woods amidst further shots.  Soon Anna finds herself lost in the woods with just a few other girls.  Do they have what it takes to survive?

This book was described as a cross between mean girls and lord of the flies and that is what is was.  The survival of the fittest is definitely a theme that runs throughout this book and none of the girls change as the circumstances worsen.  Anna is struggling with some personal demons she has been trying to forget for some time and in the end she must make a choice to stand and live or fall and die.  The writing is intense as the “bad girls” struggle through this crisis.  It is not a story with a perfectly happy ending, and some terrible things happen to them on their journey.  Despite the possible authenticity of some of the language used, it seemed overdone and unnecessary at times.  This story was an adventure story in which these girls must come to terms with who they are and what they are willing to do to survive.  Since these girls were sent to military camp and displayed less than desirable traits early on, many fail to become sympathetic characters and their mean traits tend to get more pronounced as the story goes on. 

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