cover image Trouble Girls

Trouble Girls

Julia Lynn Rubin. Wednesday, $18.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-250-75724-1

Rubin (Burro Hills) delivers a thought-provoking perspective on surviving rape culture in this queer #MeToo-era Thelma & Louise reboot. All that small-town West Virginia teen Trixie Denton, a diner waitress, wants is to leave her complicated home life behind for a weekend camping trip with best friend Lux Leesburg, the secret object of her affections. But their Appalachian getaway becomes a nightmare when Lux is violently assaulted by a wealthy frat boy at a college bar, and Trixie kills to defend her. Fearing that the police won’t believe a claim of self-defense from two poor girls, the white teens take to the open road, with little money and no real destination in mind. Faced with dwindling options and unseen dangers, the two must decide what they’ll sacrifice, both for each other and to remain free. Rubin tenderly illustrates the growing tension between friends on the brink of romance, and thoughtfully portrays the way unresolved trauma can cast deep shadows. The road trip is more introspective than eventful, and references to a protest movement that arises around the teens’ flight are powerful but cursory. Nevertheless, Rubin’s exploration of the culture of misogyny that allowed Lux’s assailant to go unpunished for his prior crimes is all too realistic. Ages 14–up. [em]Agent: Lauren Spieller, Triada US. (June) [/em]