September Girls by Bennett Madison

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This book have been on the spotlight on Nathan Bransford’s blog which was used to show how pathological bullish is the reviewers of Goodreads can be on a book and the link was shared on the NaNoWriMo facebook and apparently I receive this reply when I said about there’s always two side of the story and that even there are authors stalking and calling reviewers with names.

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Since apparently I am “desperate and unable to express a real opinion on a book”, I am giving you a full review on this book which probably doesn’t deserve the attention its been having. I won’t be using an “scatological grade-schooler” phrases since I’m going to pick off the quotes out of the book which made it unnecessary for even me to say some scatological references. Before we could get even started, these is some of the screen-captures from the book that show how unreasonable it was to blame the reviewers for all the rude words in their reviews when the content of the book reflect it so eloquently.

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The author use “ho” more instead of fully worded “whore” in this book but from this you’ll get the gist. The book wasn’t even an erotica. Its a young adult romance about mermaids. If you’ve seen the demographic of YA communities, it translate to a largely female audience. For anyone thinking this is your own average supernatural teenage romance, you’ll be heavily disappointed with the content in this book.

September Girls is a male wet dream YA mermaid fantasy about Sam – a virginal 17 years old boy – who went for a vacation with his foul-mouthed brother, Jeff and mentally-testosterone-challenged father without his absentee mother who went for a mid-life crisis stunt in Womanland. Once they arrived at the small touristy beach town, he was bombarded by the attention of gorgeous blonde sexy Girls who held him in deep fascination.

The girls had taken notice. Everywhere I went, they smiled at me. They stared. They swiveled their hips a little more when I walked near, pushed their boobs up a little higher. Their hair was always tossing, tossing, tossing; their eyes sparked and pulsed like flakes of mica at the bottom of a creek. It made me nervous. It’s not that I minded the attention. I was as flattered and turned on as any person would be to have insanely hot girls staring at him wherever he went.

Among them was Kristle who rubbed herself all over him the moment she met him and go on having a relation with his brother Jeff while continually trying to have sex with Sam and DeeDee another mysterious girl who are not like the rest of the girls and sometimes she read books give award-winning commentary like:

“I’ve never read the Bible,” I said. “I didn’t know anyone actually read it.” “Well I did,” she said. “Three times. It seems like it’s going to be a real drag, and some parts really suck, but it actually has some good sections. I like the parts about hos, even if they always come to a bad end. Eat a fucking apple, you’re a ho. Open a box, you’re a ho. Some guy looks at you: turn to stone, ho. See you later, ho. It’s always the same. The best one is Lilith—also a ho, but a different kind of ho. She went and got her own little thing going, and for that she gets to be an eternal demon queen, lucky her. No one likes a ho. Except when they do, which, obviously, is most of the time. Doesn’t make a difference; she always gets hers eventually.”

Since this book is a first person POV around Sam, the book also consisted of various state of a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack excitement between his outings with the sisters who are not exactly sisters, his constant state of boredom around his virginal status and the need to compensate it with drinking too many beer (yes, he’s 17) and the story eventually leads to the mysteriousness around Girls and the sea and their inability to swim.

“Still, it’s kinda like incest, though, huh? Two brothers fucking two sisters? Look, I like you, bro, but let’s watch our step here.”

At this point I am not going to do subtle with this. Continue on reading if you want the whole story on why this book are so marginalized by the Goodreads community. Think again when you try to accuse the necessity to think we’re bullying the author when basically we’re just reading the book and we’re giving honest opinions on it. As for the necessity to use crass and vulgar words, the book is crass and vulgar and let me show the way.

Apparently, the Girls are cursed mermaids. The reasoning behind why they came out of the sea naked and start walking and preying on teenage boys were vague as to why their parents (Endlessness and Deepness) curse them to lead half lives between coming into the land and their eventual ‘death’ when they reach 21. Kristle was the oldest among the whole mermaid sisterhood which explain to her desperation to paw all over Sam and why DeeDee was quite apathetic about it when Sam told her all about it.

“Kristle can be so ridiculous. But who knows what I’d do without her. Total ho, by the way—not that I’m judging; I actually like hos myself. Maybe I am one—I barely know what counts anymore. Being blond certainly never helped anyone’s case. Hey, want to do the quiz?” She fished a pencil from a hidden place in her tangled hair.

Interestingly because they borrowed most things about who they are from shampoo and celebrity magazines, their naming system seem to revolve around brands and wacky porn names like Nalgene, Chantarelle, Tressemé, Activia, Jessamee, Blair, Serena, Visa and Taffany. In fact, there were absolutely no personality or mental capacity that made female readers identify themselves to the story. There were absolutely no realism in this book for girls to even like. The book cultivate the idea that mermaids are vacuous empty creatures that only resonates from whatever things they were expose to and these means reality television and various cosmetic products.

DeeDee read a cover line aloud: “‘Ten Steps to the Old You! Rediscover the Gal You Used to Be!’” Then another: “‘Snack Happy: Slim Your Waist by Improving Your Attitude!’ Give me a fucking break. Who reads this? Besides me I mean. Just once I’d like to find a rental stocked with The Complete Works of Shakespeare. Almost anything would be better than this shit. Not that much better, but every little thing counts when you’re working on your English

Exactly how on earth they get their girly items from? They’re in the middle of nowhere and they’re the mixture of “The Stepford Wives” melded with “Mean Girls”. If they osmosis themselves from the things they’re exposed to, why can’t they open up internet – the ungodly universe of information – and embrace more expect of being a girl than from trashy mags. Was this book a healthy representation of femininity? I hardly think it was.

“You guys make this big deal about we. It’s always we we we. You act like you’re all the same, like you all want the same things. It’s like you think with the same mind or something. But you don’t. Sometimes you’re really not alike at all, other than all having basically the same hairstyle. Which I hate to tell you, but blond is not technically a personality trait.”

I don’t think this book was constructed by slut-shaming but it does consist on mostly stick-figured female characterization. Its not even Mary Sue-like. In fact, every characters in this book is problematic and shallow. I don’t think its even satirical piece nor its metaphoric. The book is a cheesy and sleazy harem fantasy with no depth or anything worth redeeming.

 

Even the mystery around the mermaids remain unresolved. The curse remain a curse, the mermaids still living in the beach town and goes out at sea and develop some scales and the cycle repeats around summer until they die for no reason at all. Even DeeDee apparently escapes because after Kristle’s apparent ‘death’ (which is still uncertain and confusing) that Sam finally let go of his virginal state because its too late for Kristle which he loved at the same time.

As a whole but the book have its own moments uneven shock placements around the book which does nothing to the content of this book. September Girls is just a coming of age about a virgin guy’s sexy dreams and the environment he’s been living in which is saturated with sex and stereotypical misogynistic references. The book is simply a mismatch of ennui, masquerade as literary fiction with unnecessary exposition. As much as the ennui happening around the book, there were no exact resolution to any of the story in this book as the ending and the secondary narrative is still vague and confusing.

If you think everything I say here is harassing, demeaning, dehumanizing and abusive to the author, please do note that nothing here was targeting on him except that every quotations coming from this review came from the author which are inflammatory in nature. Why does nobody even bother about how the book is harassing, demeaning, dehumanizing and abusive to the female readers as a whole? The book maintain its facade that you as a reader; you’re not perfect nor ever mysterious as the blonde perfectly-figure naked beautiful Girls in this book that doesn’t do much anything except gossiping, wearing skanky bikinis and lusting on the last boy virgin on the planet.

“You do it with a virgin,” she said. “I mean, we do. I do. A virgin boy, obviously. Don’t hear much about them, do you?”

I’m ending this by leaving you with the author’s own words explaining it clearly about what his book really was.

The moral of the story here is that if you’re ever offered anything that seems like it might lead to sex, there is no turning back. You just have to take it as it comes or you will remain a virgin for life.

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