cover image I’m the Girl

I’m the Girl

Courtney Summers. Wednesday, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-2508-0836-3

Summers (The Project) attentively outlines harsh realities of bodily autonomy, predatory behavior, and sexual violence in this emotionally raw and brutally captivating novel. Georgia Avis, 16, wants to be an Aspera girl, one of the beautiful young women who works at a members-only mountainside resort. While biking to Aspera, hoping to persuade them to hire her, she’s knocked unconscious in a hit-and-run and, when she comes to, finds her bike and bag missing. Injured, she stumbles upon the corpse of 13-year-old Ashley James, who was sexually assaulted before her death. When George makes it to Aspera, the owners take her under their wing, giving her an admin job; while she’s disappointed to not be an Aspera girl, it’s implied that if she does well, she can move up. At Aspera, she befriends Ashley’s older sister, Nora, and helps her dig into the mystery of Ashley’s assault and death even as George delves deeper into the sinister adult world of glitz and glamour she’s longed for. Summers expertly weaves together drama, mystery, and romance via George’s guileless narration for an intense look into one girl’s wish to be seen as mature, and the powers that manipulate her, in this powerful, ultimately hopeful performance. Characters read as white. Ages 13–up. Agent: Faye Bender, Book Group. (Sept.)

Correction: A previous version of this review misstated the author's prior title.