Anatomy of a Girl Gang

Ashley Little. Arsenal Pulp (Consortium, dist.), $16.95 (254p) ISBN 978-1-55152-529-7
In Vancouver's rough Downtown Eastside, a group of underprivileged teenage girls seek security and protection. Little (The New Normal) alternates among their voices—as well as that of the city itself—in potent, vignette-like chapters, some of which are as short as a single sentence. Having quit the Vipers after realizing the gang "didn't give a solid fuck about us," intense 17-year-old Mac starts the Black Roses, an all-female gang of "bad bitches." She recruits Mercy, an orphan and dropout; Kayos, a sexual abuse victim whose anger smolders just below the surface; Sly Girl, an ex-addict from "the rez" with scars from being shot in the face; and Z, a Chinese graffiti artist. They sign on to share a home, steal, deal drugs, and abide by a shared code of conduct in hopes of keeping their pasts at bay and building a future. A romance between Mac and Z, a shooting, a fatal accident, and a robbery fuel jealousy and complicate their plans. While the demise of their operation is perhaps inevitable, the girls' journey is deeply felt and often shocking in its brutality. Ages 14–up. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/26/2014
Release date: 05/01/2014
Open Ebook - 254 pages - 978-1-55152-530-3
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