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The Girls I’ve Been
A slick, twisty YA page-turner about the daughter of a con artist who is taken hostage in a bank heist.
Nora O’Malley’s been a lot of girls. As the daughter of a con-artist who targets criminal men, she grew up as her mother’s protégé. But when mom fell for the mark instead of conning him, Nora pulled the ultimate con: escape.
For five years Nora’s been playing at normal. But she needs to dust off the skills she ditched because she has three problems:
#1: Her ex walked in on her with her girlfriend. Even though they’re all friends, Wes didn’t know about her and Iris.
#2: The morning after Wes finds them kissing, they all have to meet to deposit the fundraiser money they raised at the bank. It’s a nightmare that goes from awkward to deadly, because:
#3: Right after they enter bank, two guys start robbing it.
The bank robbers may be trouble, but Nora’s something else entirely. They have no idea who they’re really holding hostage…
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads
Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.
“We’re all gonna die because I waited for the bacon donuts.”
(4.5 / 5) This had me hooked right from the start. When I couldn’t read, I was thinking about it. When I was reading, I was devouring.
Nora is an insanely unique character. She definitely made this book. She is caught in a bank robbery with her best friend and girlfriend. Because of Nora’s background, the story takes twist after twist from there.
She was raised as a con artist and it’s fabulously entertaining, even heartbreaking at parts, but you get to know her well and there is never a dull moment.
She takes what she has learned from each con and incorporates it into her situation. Her best friend is a big teddy bear that I love and her girlfriend is a chic tough chick. The combinations of their personalities to make this friendship is priceless.
I loved the relationship between the three friends. The romance between the two girls was very sweet and well done. I will be reading more from this author!
Content Summary: Honestly, if there wasn’t such high language, I probably would’ve given this 5 stars. It’s very well done. The violence is high and there are terrible situations in the teens pasts, much having to do with physical or sexual abuse.
Thank you to Penguin Teen for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review. This book releases January 26, 2021.
Detailed Content Review
Derogatory terms etc-
Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking
Teens find 3 bottles of vodka.
A young man is “stoned” most of the time. His friend eats his marajuana cookies and unknowingly gets high.
A man drinks beer while hunting.
A man drinks beers.
After visiting her mother, a woman always gets drunk on many glasses of wine.
Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty
*Moderate LGBTQ+ aspects included*
A young woman likes young women but just broke up with her boyfriend. She knows she’s gay but hasn’t told anybody yet. The boyfriend walked in on the two young women “making out.”
She is on a date with a young woman and the young woman grabs her hand and kisses her.
A young woman thinks another young woman’s underwear is “delightfully complicated.”
A young woman talks about her period and cramps and how her menstrual cup is going to overflow. Later she empties it, rinses it and goes in the bathroom stall to put it back in.
A young woman is bisexual.
A young woman buttons up her shirt after being with her girlfriend.
A man is cheating on his wife with at least 2 women. Gonorrhea is mentioned.
“Blanket is big enough for two.” A man says to a young girl.
A man grabs a young woman and says that hitting her is not the only way to make her behave. Rape is implied.
A young girl walks away from someone, her clothes askew and very upset. Rape is implied.
A young woman tells of a man molesting her when she was younger. How she didn’t feel in her body at the time.
A woman had a relationship with a woman.
A young woman pushes a young woman against the wall and kisses her passionately.
A young woman tells of sleeping with a guy who complained about wearing a condom. She gets pregnant and has an abortion.
A young woman kisses a young woman.
Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood
Two men use shotguns to hold up a bank.
A man shoots a man in the arm.
A mother is a con artist and teaches her daughter to help at a young age.
A man has bloody knuckles where he didn’t just minutes before.
Two teens each have scars from abuse. One from being kicked, the other was hit with a belt buckle.
A man drags a young woman by the shirt.
A man pushes a girl off a chair, hurting her. She later hits her head on a coffee table, bleeding. He would hit the young girl’s mom across the face.
A man puts a hit out on a young woman.
A young man leaves bruises on a young girl’s wrist. He later leaves her lip bleeding. No details.
A young woman punches a young man.
A man previously chopped off people’s fingers and fed them to alligators.
A young man has scars over his shoulders from his fathers abuse.
A young woman finds a young man on the floor of his bathroom with bloody towels next to him. He needs stitches but can’t go to the hospital.
A young woman sees that a couch that was bloody (no details) is gone. The young girl caused the blood from a man (no details). The mom is cleaning it up and also killed him. Then she requests the young girl to help “get rid of him.”
After a scream, a man comes in a room with blood on him. He backhands a young woman, knocking her down. She spits a piece of her molar out.
A young woman stabs scissors into a man. She twists them and feels warm blood spill out. He grabs her throat and later throws her.
A young girl defended herself against a sexual predator and stabbed his leg with a knitting needle.
A young woman has blood on her. She refers to a man on the beach and wonders did he die? He had hit her that night, not for the first time.
**SPOILER** A young woman makes a small bomb.
A man causes bruises on a young woman. No details. Later she mentions him kicking her and her hip has just healed from it.
A father slaps his teen daughter.
A man has a woman on the ground. There’s blood and she’s begging. He points a gun at her.
A young woman shoots a man.
A young woman previously shot a man then hit him with a metal box multiple times.
A young woman throws a small bomb at a man. It explodes on his gut. His hands are raw and bloody.
A man knocks out two young women.
A man drags a young woman.
A building is on fire.
A man threatens a young woman’s friend and holds a gun in her.
A woman punched a man.
A young woman hits a man with a broom. She cuts him with a knife and he makes her fall quite a few feet.
A young woman cuts off a man’s finger.
A young woman throws something at a man that is on fire. He screams as he is burned.
Potentially Intense Themes
A young woman has endometriosis and gets severe cramps. Sometimes it affects her social life.
A young woman gets pregnant and has an abortion.
Both parents of a young woman are in prison.
**Quotes from the book are taken from the advanced copy and therefore may not be fully accurate or compare to the final copy of the book.
**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.