i received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. all opinions below are my own.
a big, big thank you to the fantastic flying book club for the opportunity ❤
Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro & Emily Henry
Best friends are forged by fire. For Winona Olsen and Lucille Pryce, that fire happened the night they met outside the police station—both deciding whether to turn their families in.
Winona has been starving for life in the seemingly perfect home that she shares with her seemingly perfect father, celebrity weatherman Stormy Olsen. No one knows that he locks the pantry door to control her eating and leaves bruises where no one can see them.
Lucille has been suffocating beneath the needs of her mother and her drug-dealing brother, wondering if there’s more out there for her than disappearing waitress tips and generations of barely getting by.
One harrowing night, Winona and Lucille realize they can’t wait until graduation to start their new lives. They need out. Now. All they need is three grand, fast. And really, a stolen convertible to take them from Michigan to Las Vegas can’t hurt.
despite the way the world had seen them, despite what it had demanded of them, the lies it had told and the love it had taken away, the insistence that they be both more and less than who they were, despite the rent they had to pay, the utility bills, the days in line waiting for them at the dmv, the interviews for jobs, the meals they would have to make and the floors they would have to clean and the windows they would have to close against the night sky –
lucille had the confused sense that they were still girls.
at least today.
at least right now.hello girls by brittany cavallaro and emily henry
*takes deep breath* oh my gosh, this book made me feel so many emotions. my mind is a complete mess – i need some time to organize my thoughts.
hello girls was not what i expected. i dived in expecting a fluffy road trip adventure – two best friends having the time of their lives, with the abuse and drug dealing as part of the backstory. domestic violence and drug trafficking turned out to be two main themes of the novel, and although it was not what i had in mind, i really liked how the problems were addressed in the book – i liked that instead of prettifying them, the authors let the characters seek solace in each other.
it took a while for me to actually get into the story. it was like i was thrown and stumbled into a random day in someone’s life with no prior knowledge of who they are. the multiple povs just made it even more complicated.
but after a while, when i got to the part where the two girls meet, things
finally! started to make sense. and the writing was so humorous – i was totally hooked. i bet my parents could hear me laughing at 2am when i was reading this particular sentence (sorry mom and dad for disturbing your slumber):
winona did not look like a young audrey. she looked like a thumb. like a not-hot tom hiddleston. this was all wrong.hello girls by brittany cavallaro and emily henry
emily henry described this as “a good book with very bad ideas”, and i wholeheartedly agree. the storyline itself is good, but the ideas the girls come up with… are not. i wouldn’t say they’re immature (“reckless” would be a better word, maybe…?), but they plan the worst schemes. robbing a gas station and sleeping (literally) with a con man are just two of the many dumb things they did. but i totally understand – it’s not like they have a lot of choice – after all, they are two broke girls on the run. and, to be honest – bad decisions make good stories. i cracked up so hard reading the parts where they make (not necessarily legal) plans. these bad ideas are a reminder that the characters have flaws, and that made everything more three-dimensional and realistic.
although hello girls has its flaws, it’s a very impressive book overall (so much happened – i never got bored + the dark stuff was balanced out by winona and lucille’s amazing friendship) and i would highly recommend it. (also, i really need to give brittany cavallaro’s individual works a try sometime. i heard the charlotte holmes books are pretty good.)
trigger warnings: drugs, domestic abuse, gambling, murder, violence
have you read hello girls (or other books by brittany cavallaro, or emily henry)? what are your thoughts? let me know in the comments!