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3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
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on 5 June 2005
Before i start to explain what this book is about, let me first explain what it is most definitely not. I was browsing through the fiction section and this book caught my eye, through both its cover and its title. (yes i know they say never judge a book by its cover, but i must admit that i sometimes do!) Upon reading the blurb on the back i thought it sounded like a nice girly read, light enough for a lazy day in the park. I read the book in a day, and i can tell you that this book is not at all your typical mainstream chick-lit.
So what its about. Three teenage girls and their friendship, their battle through high school life and the things that come with it - drink, drugs and sex. We have the straight ass student who gets too close to her teacher, the popular girl gone bad and her alcoholic parents, and the original badass with a drug-addicted single mother. The three girls call themselves "the Bitch Posse".
The actual book alternates between past (high school) life and present (30-odd year old) life, each chapter cycling between the 3 girls. The effect is that every odd numbered chapter is in the present and every even numbered chapter is in the past, and the chapters of each girl alternate between past and present. Sounds confusing huh? well yes, it is - at first. But after the first 8 or so chapters, which were over all too quickly, you do get used to it.
From the description on the back of the book, we are told 'one night...something horrific happens to shatter their friendship forever'. From the start we are able to see the effect that this terrible thing has had on each girls adult lives, and each chapter in the past takes us a step closer to finding out what exactly it was that changed things so much. Little clues are dropped throughout the book, not so many that it becomes a mystery you want to solve, but enough to make you curious about what it is. The secret is revealed at the end of the book.
However, do not assume that the want to find out this secret is you only motivation to finish the book. Far from it. For me, the book was all about their characters. In parts it can be very dark and/or graphic - for example, the incidents of self harm that pierce many of the chapters, and the violent sex scenes such as the one the book opens with. But this just serves to make the characters all the more real, and the story more hard hitting. From the impression we are given of a confident, know-what-they-want and they sure as heck will get it, trio of girls we see how their lives fall to the extreme opposite end of the scale. No longer as in control and invincible as they once thought they were, we see how their efforts in projecting that image in high school never quite worked out in real life. The characters personalities were so vibrant, and so believable, that i believe this is what truly draws you into the book.
I must warn the easily offended, or the squeamish, that the book does contain a number of sex scenes, many of which are rooted in violence. There is also alcoholism, cocaine, addiction to prescribed drugs, self harm (some parts of which i had to skim over as i am slightly squeamish), all of which appear in social gatherings between the three teenage girls as well as other areas. I can assure you that the book does not attempt to glamrorise or promote these activities, indeed throughout the book we are served with evidence to show that all three girls suffered negative consequences as a result of their actions.
Ill admit that the book is definitely not for everyone. But is it an amazingly good read, and if you are open minded and dont mind the content the book deals with then i completely reccommend it.
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on 25 January 2015
I was recommended this book having read Gillian Flynn's "Sharp objects", which is an intriguing and insightful mystery story.
This book is nothing like that. It's disjointed and predictable in terms of the story. The characters are ok but the plot line is pretty awful.
It focuses on self harm and that's not a topic of entertainment. Other themes include abortion, drug abuse, abusive childhoods, rape, suicide and mental illness- in fact I would suggest it contains "triggers" for some vulnerable groups. I persevered to the "end"- it just drifted away into a rather adolescent rant about "true love" and "true friendship." Neither of which seem accurately described within the book.
Pay attention to the dates at the heads of the chapters as it leaps about in time and between characters for no apparent benefit to the story.
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on 24 February 2015
This is a truly exceptional book, this is one of those books where you feel it. It is very emotional and dark, there's not too much I can say about it without ruining the story, except that it really is worth a read. The characters are complex and extremely well written. The plot is dark and full of unexpected twists to keep you on the edge of your seat. The writer is very talented and has managed to pour a story into words that captivates you and never quite scratches the itch till you have stayed up all night and devoured the whole book. It leaves you gagging to either read it again or beg the writer to write a sequel. It's one of my favourite books and I can't recommend it enough.
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on 14 August 2005
It's easy to describe Bitch Goddess Notebook in terms of what it's not: specifically, not chick lit. But that almost misses the point. It's something more complicated: a mystery (what happened all those years ago?) crossed with something more gothic (a dark, lonely gymnasium where events take a shocking turn). And it's romantic too, with the friendship theme pulling all the threads together across the years. The three girls are haunting characters. I am still thinking about some of the scenes months after reading them.
If too many pink-covered books make you feel queasy buy this book for your holiday.
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on 6 March 2013
Not sure who (or why) someone had likened this to Donna Tartt - all I know is, if I was Donna Tartt I would be deeply insulted.

The author tries so very hard to be deep, different and complicated. Sadly, the result is shoddy and pretentious. None of the characters are remotely interesting enough for you to actually care what happens to them in the long run. I persevered with it - in case it had a fantastic ending, one that made you forget how bad the first nine tenths were. Alas.

Bought this book on a whim as it popped up in my 'recommended' list. That was £4.49 and two or three days of mistake.
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on 11 January 2007
I read the first half of this book in one sitting and had high hopes that it would be a great read. However it soon went downhill and I grew tired of the characters and the plot. I felt that the author was trying too hard to be edgy and sensational. The plot was weak and the ending was a big letdown as not much particularly happens. I wouldn't recommend this to friends. If you like chick lit or are after mental health related fiction there are much better books to read.
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on 10 March 2006
I loved the book. At first, I was drawn into it by the title (of course, who wouldn't be drawn into something that spells b-i-t-c-h). And then I read page by page and couldn't put it down. The storylines are so real and the plot is very very intriguing. The lives of the three girls are interesting and every word written makes me feel as if I was them. I would have to agree with one of the reviewers when she says something like you will never want to put the book down until you find out what actually happens at Porter Place which shatters the friendship. Well, I didn't want to put the book down until then. But when the secret reveals itself, I was a bit disappointed. The author doesn't say how and why the group has to seperate and go their own way after the incident (I wouldn't say what or it would spoil the story - even though some of the reviewers might have already said it). Or even if they don't get to see one another right after the incident happens, why can't they get together after that? It doesn't make sense somehow as they are seperated before in school.. and against the rules and their parents and the school, they still manage to be together. Let's just say I started the book with excitement and was very engaged.. hoping to read the extravaganza finale that would blow my mind, I finished the book with a little bit of disappointment as I thought it could have been better. Anyway, overall the book was excellent and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read some dark, exciting, the craft-like kinda book.
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on 14 June 2016
For me this book dragged everything out way too much, it was hard to keep up with the 3 girls lives as the entries reverted back to past and present. For me it was just too much. I wanted to stop reading it half way but couldn't as I hate not completing things. This book just wasn't for me whatsoever.
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on 17 October 2006
the themes explored by this book are dark and raw and not for everyone. it is the story of three girls torn apart by a brutal crime. when i read this book, i did not want to think about how close i may have come to being one of these girls. if you have flirted with darkness, crime, self injury or brutality, you will appreciate this book. you can tell there are real emotions behind this book. the raw language is used in an oddly elegant way to portray the story and thoughts of the girls. i do know there are mixed opinions on the book and i can only imageine it has to do with one's own experiences which they bring to the book. it is definitely not a comfortable read and that may be what people are responding to also. but, try it and decide for yourself!
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on 4 August 2005
I read a review on this book in a magazine about two months ago and just had to get it, the 50-word review made it sound like a funny, light-hearted, chick-lit novel, which it isn't, what it is, is an unbelievably brilliant piece of writing. Not many novels have made me truly sorry to come to the end of a story, but this one did.
It is fabulously laid out, with each chapter jumping from one member of the Bitch Posse to the next, while they slid you back and forth from 1988 to 2003... and leave you anxious to read on and on and on....
I very much recommend this book to anyone wanting a girly story with a dark twist... you will not be disappointed.
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