I’m The Girl by Courtney Summers: Be Careful When Reading

Courtney Summers is one of my must-read authors. Ever since I read Sadie, I have tried to read all her new stuff. That has meant I have been punched in the heart, cry-screamed into pillows, and been scared shitless when going to bed at 2 AM.

With I’m The Girl…well, this might have been the toughest book I’ve ever read. Reading about sexual assault and rape makes me physically ill but having read Summers before, I know how she writes about that violence. She doesn’t make it unnecessarily graphic. That being said, this was tough. It was always going to be tough. There is definitely a case that I shouldn’t have read the book at all but when has that stopped me.

Let’s talk I’m The Girl.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

When sixteen-year-old Georgia Avis discovers the dead body of thirteen-year-old Ashley James, she teams up with Ashley’s older sister, Nora, to find and bring the killer to justice before he strikes again. But their investigation throws Georgia into a world of unimaginable privilege and wealth, without conscience or consequence, and as Ashley’s killer closes in, Georgia will discover when money, power and beauty rule, it might not be a matter of who is guilty—but who is guiltiest.

A spiritual successor to the 2018 breakout hit, Sadie, I’m the Girl is a masterfully written, bold, and unflinching account of how one young woman feels in her body as she struggles to navigate a deadly and predatory power structure while asking readers one question: if this is the way the world is, do you accept it? 

For this review, I’m not really going to talk about what happens because the synopsis kind of tells you everything you need to know, and the fact that Courtney Summers said that this book was written in response to Epstein. I think that explains it pretty well.

Ok, let’s talk about Georgia. Did I scream at her to not believe the people she believed and to open her eyes to what was going on? Of course, I did. I didn’t want to see her hurt. But I also don’t blame her for believing what she did or for what happened to her. These people prey on and hurt girls like her as a job. They are very good at it. And who are we to say we would never get ourselves into a situation like that? We can never know.

If there is anything I’ve learned from reading about cults, it’s that they can take in anyone. No one is immune. You may think you’d never act like Georgia (I thought it too), but can we ever know? Especially in a world that hates women so much? I don’t think so.

Beyond that, I loved her character. Her vulnerability. Her strength. Her love. Her confidence in her abilities. She is the epitome of a Courtney Summers character. Bound to be misunderstood by some but loved and cherished by readers who get what Summers is revealing with Georgia’s story.

Can we also talk about Nora??? She is the fucking best! I am much more a Nora than I am a Georgia. She doesn’t trust easily but the ones she does trust, she’ll protect with her life. I love how much she cared for Georgia when she needed her. And I love how she lets Georgia in after she loses her sister and even after what happens with her father.

As for trigger warnings, I cannot say enough that if you’re triggered by sexual assault, rape, child abuse, or manipulation, please be careful reading this book. Or skip it altogether. Your health is more important than reading a book.

With I’m The Girl, Courtney Summers once again ruins our lives, shows us the dark parts of society, writes like her very soul is being put onto the page, and tells us a story of someone who is often overlooked. Her books are nothing short of remarkable.

I’m giving I’m the Girl 4 out of 5 stars.

Thank you to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for the free eARC in exchange for my honest review.

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