The Girls Are All So Nice Here
Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
reviewed by Cara DiCostanzo
We’ve all heard the saying “Girls can be so mean,” but The Girls Are All So Nice Here takes “mean” to a new level.
Ambrosia “Amb” Wellington realizes from her first day at Wesleyan that her New Jersey accent and flashy clothing don’t fit in with the other girls. Her roommate, Flora, a blonde from Connecticut, is the very definition of a privileged student, the product of country clubs and private schools. What annoys Amb more is Flora’s positive attitude and her ability to make friends so easily, while Amb struggles to find girls to talk to. The only person interested in being her friend is Sloane “Sully” Sullivan, an outcast who plays people like a banjo in a scary movie.
Fast forward ten years and Amb Wellington has received an invitation to her tenth college reunion at Wesleyan. There is no question she will not attend. She has sworn to herself she will never go back. Now married to handsome Adrian, she lives a quiet life. The reader can sense she is disappointed in her marriage, but unwilling to do anything about it. When she receives the second invitation with an anonymous note attached; “We need to talk about what we did that night.” Amb’s life starts to unravel.
The Girls Are All So Nice Here weaves in and out through flashbacks of Amb’s freshman year at college and her ten-year reunion. Through an interesting cast of characters, we learn what a young college student will do to fit in. In Amb’s own twisty memory, we follow her cold calculating actions against Flora, manipulated by Sully’s promises and lies. Both Amb and Sully are hard to like. Even ten years later, there is no empathy for what their deceitful actions have caused. No remorse, only a willingness to not get caught. As the reader, you can’t help but feel you are watching a train wreck in slow motion.
The author is succinct in not letting readers get attached to any character. They are all mean in some way, ranging from snob to sociopath. She has taken every girls’ fears at going to college to a whole new level. I look forward to more from this Author.