Take three girls by Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood

cover image

Pan Macmillan, 2017. ISBN 9781742612744
(Age: 16+) Highly recommended. Sexual references and strong language. Themes: Cyber bullying, Feminism, Friendship, Sexual relationships, Identity, Sibling rivalry. With three outstanding award winning writers co-authoring Take three girls, the reader can expect a wonderful story and this book does not disappoint. The three main protagonists will linger in the memory: Ady appears to be confident and cool, but is concealing troubles at home; Kate is very intelligent and loves music, but must risk her scholarship to pursue her dreams; Clem finds it difficult to return to swimming after an accident because she is fixated on an older boy and is trying to keep her twin Iris at arms-length. When the private school they attend starts a Wellness program to combat the cyber bullying that is taking place, the three girls find themselves in the same group and begin to question the nature of friendship especially as the toxic PSST website has targeted them and other girls with nasty rumours and innuendos. As the cover states: "Rumour is the new truth".
This book pulls no punches and looks squarely at the issues that many girls face today. It deals frankly and openly with sexual harassment, a first sexual encounter, cyber bullying, a parent with a drug problem, sibling rivalry and friendship through a series of chapters, journal entries and letters by each of the girls, and the reader becomes totally involved with the three such different characters and cares deeply about their problems. The nature of friendship is a theme that runs through the book, and the three girls thrown together by a random act in class, find that real friends accept them, help them out with their issues and support them through difficult times. The comments posted up on PSST, the website, are shocking and very nasty but the three authors have managed to demonstrate that girls don't have to put up with such bullying and have given Kate a wonderful way of turning the bullying around.
Once I started Take three girls I couldn't put it down. It is very topical and beautifully written with characters that I cared about.
Pat Pledger