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Bad Girls Never Say Die

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From the acclaimed author of Moxie comes a gripping gender-flipped reimagining of The Outsiders that explores the deep bonds of female friendship and what it takes to be a "bad girl." 1964. Houston, Texas. Evie Barnes is a bad girl. So are all her friends. They’re the sort who wear bold makeup, laugh too loud, and run around with boys. Most of all, they protect their own ag From the acclaimed author of Moxie comes a gripping gender-flipped reimagining of The Outsiders that explores the deep bonds of female friendship and what it takes to be a "bad girl." 1964. Houston, Texas. Evie Barnes is a bad girl. So are all her friends. They’re the sort who wear bold makeup, laugh too loud, and run around with boys. Most of all, they protect their own against the world. So when Evie is saved from a sinister encounter by a good girl from the "right" side of the tracks, every rule she's always lived by is called into question. Now she must redefine what it means to be a bad girl and rethink everything she knew about loyalty. In this riveting story of murder, secrets, and tragedy, Jennifer Mathieu puts a female twist on S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders. Bad Girls Never Say Die has all the drama and heartache of that teen classic, but with a feminist take just right for our times.


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From the acclaimed author of Moxie comes a gripping gender-flipped reimagining of The Outsiders that explores the deep bonds of female friendship and what it takes to be a "bad girl." 1964. Houston, Texas. Evie Barnes is a bad girl. So are all her friends. They’re the sort who wear bold makeup, laugh too loud, and run around with boys. Most of all, they protect their own ag From the acclaimed author of Moxie comes a gripping gender-flipped reimagining of The Outsiders that explores the deep bonds of female friendship and what it takes to be a "bad girl." 1964. Houston, Texas. Evie Barnes is a bad girl. So are all her friends. They’re the sort who wear bold makeup, laugh too loud, and run around with boys. Most of all, they protect their own against the world. So when Evie is saved from a sinister encounter by a good girl from the "right" side of the tracks, every rule she's always lived by is called into question. Now she must redefine what it means to be a bad girl and rethink everything she knew about loyalty. In this riveting story of murder, secrets, and tragedy, Jennifer Mathieu puts a female twist on S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders. Bad Girls Never Say Die has all the drama and heartache of that teen classic, but with a feminist take just right for our times.

30 review for Bad Girls Never Say Die

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mallory

    Overall I give this book a 3.5 rounded up for star selections. I feel like if it hadn’t advertised being a gender swapped Outsiders I might have liked it more, but you set yourself up when you remake a classic. I liked the characters and the general story, but I felt there was something missing that left me disinterested in the story. I do like the look at what makes a “bad girl” versus a “good girl” in the 1960’s. There are some great seeds about feminism in here, but I thought it lacked the pu Overall I give this book a 3.5 rounded up for star selections. I feel like if it hadn’t advertised being a gender swapped Outsiders I might have liked it more, but you set yourself up when you remake a classic. I liked the characters and the general story, but I felt there was something missing that left me disinterested in the story. I do like the look at what makes a “bad girl” versus a “good girl” in the 1960’s. There are some great seeds about feminism in here, but I thought it lacked the punch of Moxie. Evie and her friends live on the poor side of town and they wear lots of make, cut school, and smoke. They are bad girls and Evie’s grandma worries about her soul. One night a new girl in the neighborhood, Diane, has a life changing run in with Evie at the drive in. But Diane isn’t from their side of town and Evie’s friends are less sure she belongs with them.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stay Fetters

    "Running wild is a way to forget what put our hearts through so much pain in the first place." The Outsiders meets Grease with a dash of The Goonies. Don’t forget your rocky road ice cream! The Outsiders is a book that always stuck with me. It was the only mandatory school reading that I was actually excited about and still love to read to this day. So the synopsis for this jumped right out at me. Did you say girl gang? Sign me up! To take a classic and make it your own without ruining its reputat "Running wild is a way to forget what put our hearts through so much pain in the first place." The Outsiders meets Grease with a dash of The Goonies. Don’t forget your rocky road ice cream! The Outsiders is a book that always stuck with me. It was the only mandatory school reading that I was actually excited about and still love to read to this day. So the synopsis for this jumped right out at me. Did you say girl gang? Sign me up! To take a classic and make it your own without ruining its reputation takes a lot of courage and hard work. So I applaud Jennifer for taking that approach but this wasn't what I was hoping for. I wanted something different and unique. What she does here is mashes two movies and a book that are very popular and changes the gender of the lead characters. So we get The Outsiders with the street-tough girl gang, we get Grease after a boy from the wrong side of the tracks falls for a girl from the high-class area, and let's not forget about the Goonies with Never Say Die. I thought this was supposed to be original? I felt as if I was reliving what I have already experienced but with no singing and dancing. *Pfft!* Lame! Now before you send the villagers for my head, hear me out. I love the earlier works by this Author and Moxie is one of my favorites. What her earlier works have are creativity and uniqueness. They made you feel a certain way and got your emotions involved. This wasn't like that at all. It's Groundhog Day without the dancing gopher. Bad Girls Never Say Die was not the book for me and it wasn't what I hoped it would be. It was too much like a lot of other popular items of pop culture and I just wasn't having it. I wanted to love this one so bad because who doesn't want to read about badass females taking over? I'm very proud of Jennifer for taking that leap with a classic but it was a no for me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    Evie and her friends are bad girls in 1960s Houston, Texas. They wear bold makeup, smoke cigarettes, skip school, and run with the greaser boys. Evie’s life is changed forever when she’s saved from a sexual assault at the drive-in by a good girl from the wealthy part of town. The traumatic night sets off a chain of events that will uncover secrets, test loyalties, and put lives in the balance. Just writing that makes it sound far more interesting than it really was. I am a huge fan of Mathieu’s n Evie and her friends are bad girls in 1960s Houston, Texas. They wear bold makeup, smoke cigarettes, skip school, and run with the greaser boys. Evie’s life is changed forever when she’s saved from a sexual assault at the drive-in by a good girl from the wealthy part of town. The traumatic night sets off a chain of events that will uncover secrets, test loyalties, and put lives in the balance. Just writing that makes it sound far more interesting than it really was. I am a huge fan of Mathieu’s novel Moxie so I was thrilled to have an ARC of her latest, Bad Girls Never Say Die. Advertised as a gender-flipped The Outsiders, it also reminded me in several ways of That Night (book by Alice McDermott, made into a movie starring C. Thomas Howell and Juliette Lewis) as the young MC Evie finds herself in the middle of a tragic romance between two characters. The entire story felt too contrived, following predictable plots common to this era and lacking heart as well as originality. So much of this felt cheesy as the characters themselves even acknowledge the fact that all of the events unfold over about 10 days. While that makes it sound like a story you can breeze through, it’s weighed down by repetitive conversations between characters and lacks development in several important ways. I never made a connection with the characters or the story. Thanks to Macmillan Children's Publishing Group/Roaring Brook Press and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Bad Girls Never Say Die was released on October 19, 2021. For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com

  4. 4 out of 5

    CYIReadBooks (Claire)

    It is the mid 1960’s when social economic status played an important role in the lives of teens growing up in an era of unrest. Among those teens are a group of girls from the rough side of town whose reputations preceded them; and not in a good way. They are known as the bad girls. Evie, Connie, Sunny, and Juanita don’t live in a posh neighborhood and don’t attend the best high school. Instead, they are relegated to a less than stellar high school who provided more of a babysitting service rathe It is the mid 1960’s when social economic status played an important role in the lives of teens growing up in an era of unrest. Among those teens are a group of girls from the rough side of town whose reputations preceded them; and not in a good way. They are known as the bad girls. Evie, Connie, Sunny, and Juanita don’t live in a posh neighborhood and don’t attend the best high school. Instead, they are relegated to a less than stellar high school who provided more of a babysitting service rather than an education. On a fateful night out on the town, Evie is assaulted by one of the better neighborhood and well-to-do boys, Preston. As Evie struggles to fend off her assailant, she ultimately succumbs to the assault and blacks out. Evie then wakes up only to discover that Preston is dead — stabbed to death by one of the rich girls, Diane. What follows is the unlikely friendship between Diane and Evie. And how Diane forms a camaraderie with the bad girls in a time where Diane would be shunned and/or ostracized by either side of the tracks. While I have to admit that although I was intrigued by an excerpt, and the premise of The Outsiders retelling, I wasn’t convinced that I would enjoy the novel. Was I ever wrong! I loved that the story is told from Evie’s perspective as Evie isn’t as jaded like the others in her circle. Evie still has a moral compass and isn’t swayed easily into the bad girl syndrome. Diane is an innocent, but wise. I truly appreciated Diane’s empathy, especially since she was considered an outcast in her own societal circle. The plot moves slowly at the beginning as it is done purposely to set up the scenarios that are about to unfold. Brilliantly done, it sets up the reader for a heartfelt conclusion. Would I read more from this author? Absolutely! I love Mathieu’s writing style and Bad Girls Never Say Die is one of those books that you should take the time to read without expectation and without any preconcieved notions. Five outstanding stars. I received a finished copy of the book from Roaming Book Press through the Bookish First Raffle. The review herein is completely my own and contains my honest thoughts and opinions.

  5. 4 out of 5

    kaitlyn

    thank you netgalley, jennifer mathieu, and macmillan children’s publishing group for providing me with an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review. i was initially interested in this book because of moxie, which has been on my tbr for years. i became even more excited finding out it was a retelling of “the outsiders” – but i feel like it fell flat in that aspect. this isn’t a bad book by any means and has some unique qualities to it. however, it did seem predictable while reading, and i thank you netgalley, jennifer mathieu, and macmillan children’s publishing group for providing me with an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review. i was initially interested in this book because of moxie, which has been on my tbr for years. i became even more excited finding out it was a retelling of “the outsiders” – but i feel like it fell flat in that aspect. this isn’t a bad book by any means and has some unique qualities to it. however, it did seem predictable while reading, and i never became fully engaged in the story. the writing was fine, but the characters seemed average and the pacing was slow. there was one point in the middle where i considered stopping it, but the ending held a couple of twists so i’m glad i continued. i feel like my main issue with this one was that i felt a bit… old for it. it had important themes such as sexual assault and how women were treated and seen in the sixties, but it also seemed like it was meant for the younger end of the young adult section. i appreciated evie’s friendships and learning more about diane (who was my favorite character) as well as the world mathieu built. 3 stars, not bad, but maybe just not for me.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Stacy40pages

    Bad Girls Never Say Die by Jennifer Mathieu. Thanks to @bookishfirst @roaringbrookpress and @netgalley for the gifted e-Arc and final copy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ In a gender-swapped retelling of The Outsiders in 1964 Texas, Evie and her friends get involved with a girl from the nice side of town. I love anything The Outsiders so I’ve been highly anticipating reading this one for a long time. Before I start, let me say that no one will ever replace Dallas Winston for me.. but Connie Treadway is pretty darn tu Bad Girls Never Say Die by Jennifer Mathieu. Thanks to @bookishfirst @roaringbrookpress and @netgalley for the gifted e-Arc and final copy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ In a gender-swapped retelling of The Outsiders in 1964 Texas, Evie and her friends get involved with a girl from the nice side of town. I love anything The Outsiders so I’ve been highly anticipating reading this one for a long time. Before I start, let me say that no one will ever replace Dallas Winston for me.. but Connie Treadway is pretty darn tuff and cool. I really loved reading this one. While it’s a retelling, don’t expect to know how it will unfold; there are differences. Bad Girls Never is about female friendships against societal expectations and it’s just really good; entertaining, sentimental, and meaningful. Give it a read.. The Outsiders fan or not. “Maybe we do get sent away. But you know what else is true about us? Bad girls never give in. And bad girls never say die.” Bad Girls Never Say Die comes out 10/19.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brittany (whatbritreads)

    *Thank you to Team BKMRK (Hachette! for providing me with a copy of this book to review!* This book is apparently a gender-swapped retelling of The Outsiders, but as I haven’t read that yet I’m just going to talk about it as it stands alone. It did definitely solidify my desire to read the original though! This was one of those books that I picked up and didn’t book back down again until I finished it. The writing was fine and easy to fly through, coupled with a snappy pacing that just made each c *Thank you to Team BKMRK (Hachette! for providing me with a copy of this book to review!* This book is apparently a gender-swapped retelling of The Outsiders, but as I haven’t read that yet I’m just going to talk about it as it stands alone. It did definitely solidify my desire to read the original though! This was one of those books that I picked up and didn’t book back down again until I finished it. The writing was fine and easy to fly through, coupled with a snappy pacing that just made each chapter feel like a breeze. It had an interesting plot to keep you wanting more and a fun little cast of characters you can’t help but root for. The female friendship group here made it for me. I feel like the interactions between these girls ended up being so positive and nice and it was just quite wholesome to see a group of girls having each other's backs so fiercely - despite all of their differences. It was also nice to see on page development from some of the characters who started off quite standoffish come to warm to the others and be more open. It was my favourite aspect of this book. I feel like they all also need a hug. There was a bunch of tiny plot twists in here that I didn’t see coming, and the overall atmosphere of the story was way tenser than I was expecting. I didn’t know where it was going and right until the very end it managed to surprise me. That ending was so bittersweet. It came completely out of left field for me. My main criticism of the book was that perhaps it was a little too fast - which admittedly wasn’t helped by the speed in which I read it. The events happen over eleven or so days and you can feel it. I didn’t overly get emotionally invested in the characters and not all of them had enough time to fully develop. It was nevertheless a really fun read that I’d definitely recommend.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    YES. PLEASE GIVE ME ALL THE BAD GIRL HEROINES.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Here is how you know that Jennifer Mathieu is an incredible writer: I started the first chapter of this book thinking "wow I hate every single person here", and by the end of it? I was in love. The titular "bad" girls have so much heart, and are just trying to come of age in a world that doesn't want them to live outside of some ridiculous patriarchal and arbitrary rules. It's 1964 Texas, You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Here is how you know that Jennifer Mathieu is an incredible writer: I started the first chapter of this book thinking "wow I hate every single person here", and by the end of it? I was in love. The titular "bad" girls have so much heart, and are just trying to come of age in a world that doesn't want them to live outside of some ridiculous patriarchal and arbitrary rules. It's 1964 Texas, which is comparable to... well, 2021 Texas as it turns out. Racism, sexism, and homophobia are rampant. Schools are still segregated, and pretty much everyone who isn't a straight white guy is treated as "less than". Evie sees this early in the book, when she is attacked by an acquaintance on the way to the bathroom. She realizes that it doesn't matter how forcefully she yells for him to stop, and he taunts her with that realization. Throughout the book, the girls face these aggressions from every direction: In school, in their families, among their peers. It's beyond disheartening, and it could easily wear the girls down. But in this story, Evie and her group decide to fight back and stick together in the face of oppression. Many people tell them they can't/won't succeed without tying themselves to some man, that they must behave a certain way. Evie even has arguments with her own mother, who insists that the only way for Evie to be successful is to be saddled to some guy. But again, Evie and her friends aren't taking these messages lying down. Without giving away too much (because the synopsis is fairly vague), there is a story about teen pregnancy. It's powerful, because so many of the societal responses to a young woman's pregnancy are exactly the same today as they were fifty-plus years ago. The girl "had gotten herself pregnant", say the masses. When in reality, that is positively absurd and not at all how biology works, I have heard that very phrase in this actual century. And now, here we are, dealing with women's rights being stripped in Texas. The timing for this release is perfect; for it illustrates how positively vile these laws are, how harmful to so, so many people. How losing control of your reproductive rights means losing control of your agency, of your entire body. Bottom Line:  Read this book, fall in love with it, then donate to the organization of your choice (see below). ► Planned Parenthood (Also see resources to volunteer) ► Where to find abortion access in Texas ► ActBlue Texas Abortion Fund ► National Abortion Federation Hotline Fund ► Bustle Article with many additional funds, as well as volunteering options

  10. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review Bad Girls Never Say Die is a gender-flipped reimagining of S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, following Evie after she is involved in a murder and is saved by a “good girl.” This one was one of my most anticipated books this year, and it did not disappoint! This was a really interesting look at the social status at its set time period: 1964, Houston. I loved the dynamic between Evie and Diane and seeing a slow tr Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review Bad Girls Never Say Die is a gender-flipped reimagining of S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, following Evie after she is involved in a murder and is saved by a “good girl.” This one was one of my most anticipated books this year, and it did not disappoint! This was a really interesting look at the social status at its set time period: 1964, Houston. I loved the dynamic between Evie and Diane and seeing a slow trust and eventual friendship grow between them after being involved in such an earth-shattering event. Seeing the social hierarchy between the “good” kids and the “bad” ones was really interesting as well. I do think that the pacing was a little slow, especially in the beginning, but the characters and plot made up for it. Overall, I definitely recommend this book. Fair warning, however, that this book contains a lot of content that may be triggering so be wary of that.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sacha

    Thanks to NetGalley and Roaring Brook Press for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. Here is that review: 3 stars I really enjoyed reading _Moxie_ right after it was released and was extremely excited to receive this arc as a result. While I cannot say I disliked the read, I just never really got into the characters or events. Evie is the m.c. of this young adult/historical fiction piece, and she is part of a kind of _The Outsiders_ gender swap adventure. At the start of Thanks to NetGalley and Roaring Brook Press for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. Here is that review: 3 stars I really enjoyed reading _Moxie_ right after it was released and was extremely excited to receive this arc as a result. While I cannot say I disliked the read, I just never really got into the characters or events. Evie is the m.c. of this young adult/historical fiction piece, and she is part of a kind of _The Outsiders_ gender swap adventure. At the start of the novel, Evie has a traumatic experience that becomes even more traumatic in a different way; I'm leaving this purposely vague so as to eliminate the possibility of spoilers. After that point, there is no action at all. There is so much talking, fretting, and wondering where various characters are / wondering why they are where they are. For me, this felt tedious quickly. This novel does present an interesting picture of its place and time, and that is all extremely depressing for women. There are also some difficult conversations around rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and the lack of choices for women. These are appropriate to the setting, but they are frustrating nonetheless. I'll definitely be back for more from Mathieu, but this one did not bring me the engaging plot and characters I was expecting. TW: rape and sexual assault

  12. 5 out of 5

    Leslie McKee

    I love The Outsiders, and I hoped to feel the same with this book, but I didn't. I did appreciate the author's attempt to do a female take on the story, but it was a miss for me. The overall writing was fine, but the pace was too slow and the storyline too predictable. There wasn't much depth to the characters, and that made it hard to truly connect with them or stay engaged. I thought there might be a bit of mystery to it, but there wasn't. I think there was a lot of potential to the twist on a I love The Outsiders, and I hoped to feel the same with this book, but I didn't. I did appreciate the author's attempt to do a female take on the story, but it was a miss for me. The overall writing was fine, but the pace was too slow and the storyline too predictable. There wasn't much depth to the characters, and that made it hard to truly connect with them or stay engaged. I thought there might be a bit of mystery to it, but there wasn't. I think there was a lot of potential to the twist on a wonderful classic, but I just felt that, overall, the book didn't live up to that potential. Maybe I was expecting too much. Perhaps readers who have never read The Outsiders or saw the movie would feel differently about this one, as they'd go into it without the expectations or urge to compare/contrast the two. I've never read anything else by this author, but I may check them out in the future. Trigger warning: sexual assault Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy, but I wasn't required to leave a positive review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cassie Thomas

    Solid feminist take on The Outsiders. Set in the 1960s in Houston, Evie was a “bad girl” who came across a River Oaks good girl who happened to save her life in a bad girl kind of way. As Evie takes you on the journey with Diane (the good girl), you also meet her crew and how they live their day to day. You are engrossed in the understanding of life on that side of the tracks, but you also learn the dark side to a River Oaks girl - you learn the lengths the rich parents will take to portray the Solid feminist take on The Outsiders. Set in the 1960s in Houston, Evie was a “bad girl” who came across a River Oaks good girl who happened to save her life in a bad girl kind of way. As Evie takes you on the journey with Diane (the good girl), you also meet her crew and how they live their day to day. You are engrossed in the understanding of life on that side of the tracks, but you also learn the dark side to a River Oaks girl - you learn the lengths the rich parents will take to portray the “perfect” life and how quickly they will write off their own. I can’t wait to recommend as soon as our kids finish The Outsiders during their 7th grade year and those who loved it and are now 8th graders - this will be their next read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Renata

    HMMM I like the concept of "gender-swapped Outsiders" and I liked Evie as a narrator a lot but the pacing felt a little off and it felt a bit like...knowing? I guess it's the difference between historical fiction about the 60s and a work of contemporary fiction set in the 60s and written in the 60s, but something about it just didn't quite click with me. Also similarly to the og Outsiders it kept feeling like one of the big secrets in play should be somebody's repressed queer desire but that nev HMMM I like the concept of "gender-swapped Outsiders" and I liked Evie as a narrator a lot but the pacing felt a little off and it felt a bit like...knowing? I guess it's the difference between historical fiction about the 60s and a work of contemporary fiction set in the 60s and written in the 60s, but something about it just didn't quite click with me. Also similarly to the og Outsiders it kept feeling like one of the big secrets in play should be somebody's repressed queer desire but that never really came up. Still, it was engaging and I think fans of the Outsiders and/or the 60s in general will enjoy it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    sarah

    Cover Story: Tuff Stuff BFF Charm: Make It Rain Swoonworthy Scale: 3 Talky Talk: S. E. Hinton, Savvy? Bonus Factors: 1960s Houston, Ms. Norbury Award for Rad Teachers Relationship Status: Stay Gold Content Warning: This book features a scene of attempted rape.  Cover Story: Tuff Stuff Normally I'm not a fan of Big Face on covers, but this girl can GET IT. From her cat eye sunglasses to her ice cold expression, she's the epitome of cool, and while you could assume this is Evie, the protagonist of the boo Cover Story: Tuff Stuff BFF Charm: Make It Rain Swoonworthy Scale: 3 Talky Talk: S. E. Hinton, Savvy? Bonus Factors: 1960s Houston, Ms. Norbury Award for Rad Teachers Relationship Status: Stay Gold Content Warning: This book features a scene of attempted rape.  Cover Story: Tuff Stuff Normally I'm not a fan of Big Face on covers, but this girl can GET IT. From her cat eye sunglasses to her ice cold expression, she's the epitome of cool, and while you could assume this is Evie, the protagonist of the book, I'm betting this gal represents an ideal, i.e. who Evie wishes she could be. The Deal: It's 1964 in Houston, TX, and Evie Barnes is slowly suffocating under the pressure of her future. Though she's only a sophomore, it's clear that she's expected to get married soon after graduation, just like her older sister, Cheryl. But Evie wants something more, something bigger, out of her life, and so she finds herself drawn to girls who really live: Connie, Sunny, and Juanita, a.k.a. "trouble" if you ask Evie's mom and grandmother. These gals drink and smoke and don't take shit from anyone, and even after Evie is accepted among them, she's still in awe.  But her status as the sheltered baby of the group is torn away one fateful night by an attempted rape, which is stopped by the unlikeliest of allies: a rich girl from the right side of the tracks named Diane. In the aftermath, Evie and Diane begin to see that in spite of their differences, they're trapped by the same societal restrictions, and the only way to break free is to be, not "good" or "bad," but simply themselves. BFF Charm: Make It Rain She may not be as tough as the other girls, but Evie is a badass in her own way, because she dares to dream. Even though she's afraid of disappointing her family, she's brave enough to believe that her life can be her own, and I really enjoyed cheering her on while also wishing I had a time machine so I could get her the hell out of the misogynistic '60s. In fact, I'd take the whole gang, because they are fierce and amazing and okay let's be honest this might be the only way they would accept me since I'm not nearly cool enough to roll with them. Connie, the leader, is a total boss babe who has survived a terrible home life, and Juanita is an incredibly supportive friend and a proud Mexican American in spite of the rampant racism in Houston. Then there's Diane, who took me a bit to warm up to because she's kind of... a lot? But I soon discovered, along with Evie, that Diane is actually the strongest one in the bunch.  So, yeah, could we get, like, matching jackets or something, y'all? Swoonworthy Scale: 3 Connie's brother Johnny is a total MLD, a greaser with soulful eyes and a rap sheet. And while he's the star of a tragic romance, Evie isn't his Juliet. I'll refrain from saying more because spoilers, but this aspect of the story felt a tad melodramatic to me. Then again, what is teenage love but ALL-CONSUMING DRAMA? Talky Talk: S. E. Hinton, Savvy? More on this below, but Bad Girls Never Say Die is a reimagining of The Outsiders, and Jennifer Mathieu utilizes the same time period, which comes with much of the same culture and slang. She also channels some of S.E. Hinton's style, a choice I was slightly disappointed by after loving the voice of Moxie. Of course, Evie needs to feel like she belongs in 1964, and Mathieu certainly accomplishes that, but I missed the wit and dynamic personality of her previous novel. Fortunately there is still an abundance of feminism, with stirring lines like this:  "No, it seems like if you want to really love and feel and breathe in this city, you're labeled as trash. Or bad. Especially if you're a girl." Mathieu also deftly explores Evie's feelings of shame as the victim of sexual assault and the fallacy, still lingering today but especially rampant back then, that she might have been "asking for it." And on that note alone, schools miiiiight want to consider swapping out The Outsiders for this book—I mean, no offense to S. E., but the times, they are a-changin'! Bonus Factor: 1960s Houston When it comes to the "historical" side of this historical fiction, it's clear that Jennifer Mathieu did her research, and the result is a colorful portrait of Houston in the midst of social change. I lived in Houston for eleven years, so I adored reading about old haunts like Winkler's Drive-In; iconic businesses like Foley's; and neighborhoods that have endured like ritzy River Oaks. But even if you don't share my love of H-town, I suspect you'll still feel submerged in the time period, made tumultuous by recent integration and raucous by rock 'n' roll.  Bonus Factor: Ms. Norbury Award for Rad Teachers Evie has an "honestly swell" English teacher named Miss Odeen, who introduces her class to revolutionary figures like Jerrie Mock, the first woman to fly around the world, and Fannie Lou Harmer, a Black civil rights activist. By exposing Evie to these role models, Miss Odeen is blowing her future wide open with possibility, and it's a wonderful reminder of how inspiring (and vital!) teachers can be.   Relationship Status: Stay Gold Book, I think you're pretty cool—I mean, tuff—and I totally dig your girl power, not to mention your historical vibes. Even though you weren't exactly what I was expecting, I'm glad we met, and if those Socs come around, don't worry, I got your back. 

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tori

    3.5 I love Jennifer Mathieu's books. from The Truth about Alice to Moxie...Mathieu's strong storylines, unapologetic characters, and ability to connect with the ya age group are an appealing triaid that hooks me everytime. Bad Girls Never Say Die is a feminst twist on S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. Told from a 15 year "bad girl's" point of view, readers are told the same story only from a female prospective. Getting beat up wasn't the worse that could happen to a female in the 60s or even now. Preg 3.5 I love Jennifer Mathieu's books. from The Truth about Alice to Moxie...Mathieu's strong storylines, unapologetic characters, and ability to connect with the ya age group are an appealing triaid that hooks me everytime. Bad Girls Never Say Die is a feminst twist on S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. Told from a 15 year "bad girl's" point of view, readers are told the same story only from a female prospective. Getting beat up wasn't the worse that could happen to a female in the 60s or even now. Pregnancy, forced marriage, rape, and rumors are what destroy women. Star crossed lovers, disappointing lives, unlikely friendships, and the usual social issues are the building blocks of this story. While I did enjoy the story, it was fun to match the original characters with their female counterparts and mathieu does an excellent job of feminizing the story without destroying the main theme, I did find myself inadvertanantly judging Mathieu for not meeting my own expectations. I wanted a little more drama and indiviualism in the storyline and character. I think that is a main issue when tackling a classic. If it's too familiar, you risk predictablilty but if you veer off too far, you risk alienating your readers . Either way, fans of The Outsiders are sure to enjoy Mathieu's version if only for the trip back into that world.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erica Chilson

    DNF @43% Automatic 3 stars Moxie is on my favorites list, so I was eager to read another novel by the same author. Perhaps it's my mood, but I could not connect with the story nor the plot. I'm never a fan of retellings, as this is a female version of The Outsiders. There was just something that felt forced about the story itself, causing me to struggle page after page. Attempting to read it for the better part of a week, picking it up every day and then putting it right down again. I didn't fee DNF @43% Automatic 3 stars Moxie is on my favorites list, so I was eager to read another novel by the same author. Perhaps it's my mood, but I could not connect with the story nor the plot. I'm never a fan of retellings, as this is a female version of The Outsiders. There was just something that felt forced about the story itself, causing me to struggle page after page. Attempting to read it for the better part of a week, picking it up every day and then putting it right down again. I didn't feel as if it was an original take, the characters acting more immature for their ages and the era. There were parts where I felt as if the author was making fun of the culture of the time, which made it hard for me to take the plot seriously. At the same time, the pacing flowed like molasses, the interesting parts glossed over while the less than interesting was expanded, taking up far too much page-time. This is definitely a case of it not being my cup of tea. Whether it's your flavor of tea, you'll have to pick up the book and find out for yourself. To be honest, writers have a voice that transcends the story, and that voice did not sound anything like the one who created Moxie.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    The book advertises itself as a genderswapped The Outsiders, and as someone who didn't super love the Outsiders, I felt this did a good job covering the same themes. Fans of Mathieu will enjoy the writing and how she continues to use her words, but Outsiders fans maybe a little disappointed. I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley; however, my opinions are my own. The book advertises itself as a genderswapped The Outsiders, and as someone who didn't super love the Outsiders, I felt this did a good job covering the same themes. Fans of Mathieu will enjoy the writing and how she continues to use her words, but Outsiders fans maybe a little disappointed. I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley; however, my opinions are my own.

  19. 5 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣

    I think this was supposed to be a story of women protecting their own, going for being bold and, well, being actually bold but no. While all the necessary ingredients were there, the whole just struck me as inauthentic. Of course, I wouldn't know just what lacks since I never lived that place, that era, still... There's probably something else that needs to be added to the recipe. I think it's not the book. It's me. I think this was supposed to be a story of women protecting their own, going for being bold and, well, being actually bold but no. While all the necessary ingredients were there, the whole just struck me as inauthentic. Of course, I wouldn't know just what lacks since I never lived that place, that era, still... There's probably something else that needs to be added to the recipe. I think it's not the book. It's me.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    ACTUAL: 3.8 stars Thank you to the publisher for an advanced finished copy!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Darque Dreamer

    Classic Movie Style Nostalgia It was no surprise that I was going to love this book, because Moxie was outstanding, and I really fell in love with the author's writing style. But, I could not have predicted just how much more I would love Bad Girls Never Say Die. It was marketed as a "gender-flipped reimagining of The Outsiders," and I would definitely have to agree, which is partly why I loved it so much. The first thing that I loved about this one was the time period it took place in, and the fa Classic Movie Style Nostalgia It was no surprise that I was going to love this book, because Moxie was outstanding, and I really fell in love with the author's writing style. But, I could not have predicted just how much more I would love Bad Girls Never Say Die. It was marketed as a "gender-flipped reimagining of The Outsiders," and I would definitely have to agree, which is partly why I loved it so much. The first thing that I loved about this one was the time period it took place in, and the fact that it also gave me Grease vibes. It was so refreshing to get a YA story that didn't revolve around social media and technology. It was a trip to the past with both historical accuracy and classic movie style nostalgia. The second thing I loved was the variety, diversity, and personalities of the characters. The characters made the story and they all played a part. They were fleshed out and relatable and each held a level of depth and emotion. The third, but definitely not the last, thing that I loved about the story (the most) was that it held messages of girl power, not judging a person by their appearance or situation, loyalty, friendship, sisterhood, and the importance of gender equality, family and motherly love. These messages were powerful and present throughout the entire story. I had a feeling that some of these lessons would be portrayed in the book from the synopsis, and, even though one might feel like they could be a little cliche and predictable, they all worked so well and really balanced everything out, resulting in a fantastic story with a surprising, and bittersweet ending. Bad Girls Never Say Die was a refreshing, entertaining, one sitting kind of read that I would love to see turned in to a movie. I couldn't put it down, and when I finished it, I was left both utterly satisfied and wanting more of the world and characters. Even though it offered nostalgia for stories already told, it was unique and beautiful and held its own among others in the genre. It was a a 5+ star read and has become a new favorite for me!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Karen Barber

    Bad Girls Never Say Die is a book being touted as a feminist reworking of The Outsiders. While it focuses on a group of female characters, the book remains set in the 1960s and - for me - this led to the whole thing having a rather dated premise. If you’re going to rework something seen as such a pivotal text, I wonder why the decision wasn’t taken to set it in modern times and explore modern attitudes. Nothing much has changed, and perhaps that is part of the point being made. Our story is told f Bad Girls Never Say Die is a book being touted as a feminist reworking of The Outsiders. While it focuses on a group of female characters, the book remains set in the 1960s and - for me - this led to the whole thing having a rather dated premise. If you’re going to rework something seen as such a pivotal text, I wonder why the decision wasn’t taken to set it in modern times and explore modern attitudes. Nothing much has changed, and perhaps that is part of the point being made. Our story is told from the viewpoint of Evie, a girl from the wrong side of town who many believe will not amount to much and whose choices are limited not just by money but also by her gender. Evie experiences a traumatic event. She is rescued by a ‘good’ girl. Scratch the surface though and we see that they are pretty similar. Money does not hide everything. Though only 15 and always feeling less than her ‘brave’ counterparts, Evie is a character with plenty of spunk. She learns the hard way how this can impact on you and others. Interesting idea, and I’m sure it will be loved by many younger female readers.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    It seems I'm in the minority, but I absolutely loved this book. I was excited by the premise - a gender-swapped reimagining of The Outsiders. Maybe it's because I didn't love The Outsiders and wanted more from that story? I feel like Bad Girls hit all the notes I needed to have a fantastic story. Star-crossed lovers, amazing female friendships, a great coming-of-age story, and feminist commentary about life for teenage girls in the 1960s. I loved Evie as our narrator - she's innocent and maybe a It seems I'm in the minority, but I absolutely loved this book. I was excited by the premise - a gender-swapped reimagining of The Outsiders. Maybe it's because I didn't love The Outsiders and wanted more from that story? I feel like Bad Girls hit all the notes I needed to have a fantastic story. Star-crossed lovers, amazing female friendships, a great coming-of-age story, and feminist commentary about life for teenage girls in the 1960s. I loved Evie as our narrator - she's innocent and maybe a little naive, but sees herself as being a bad girl. She's the youngest in her group of friends, and they treat her like their pet. I loved watching her come into her own over the course of the story. I also really enjoyed Evie's relationship with her mother. I loved the discussion about what makes a girl a "bad girl" in the 1960s. I loved the parallels and nods to The Outsiders as well. I read that first because I wanted to be able to compare and while I'm glad that I did - it isn't necessary to enjoy the story. I thought this book was fantastic and highly recommend picking it up!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Celia McMahon

    I'd like to give a shout-out to Macmillian for being so awesome with their readers. I received a review copy of the book in the mail in exchange for my honest review :D If I could have stayed in this book for another 100 to 200 pages, I would have. The Outsiders was one of the first full novels I ever read and, like many people, it's one of those books that stick with you for years. It was a defining book for its time and reinvented the YA genre into something less cheesy into something a little I'd like to give a shout-out to Macmillian for being so awesome with their readers. I received a review copy of the book in the mail in exchange for my honest review :D If I could have stayed in this book for another 100 to 200 pages, I would have. The Outsiders was one of the first full novels I ever read and, like many people, it's one of those books that stick with you for years. It was a defining book for its time and reinvented the YA genre into something less cheesy into something a little darker. Just like its inspiration, BAD GIRLS NEVER SAY DIE takes you into a tragic and bleak time in a group of girls' lives in a time when racial equality and social standing were hot-button issues. The line is clearly drawn. There are the "tea-sippers" of River Oaks and everyone else. Evie is everyone else, a girl in a small gang of outcasts without much money and broken homes. But one night changes everything and the gang finds themselves accepting in a "tea-sipper" named Diane who'd moved back to Eastside. Both Evie and Diane have to come to terms with what happened to both of them on that fateful night and come clean before the people they love get hurt. The protagonist, Evie, was quite the enigma for me. She found comfort in her small group of friends, but a part of me thought perhaps she wanted to be something more. She straddled the line of good girl and bad girl, wanting the safety of her gang, yet realizing how wrongly she'd judged others. Diane, on the other hand, was perky and kind, the complete opposite of Evie, but he was also an enigma. She was portrayed as a very straight-laced girl (but we do come to find out otherwise), kind and friendly, yet she appeared ver unemotional when the catalyst occurred. For someone with a tragic past, I would have thought she'd act a little...different. I won't get into too much, but I didn't quite understand the lack of guilt or any feelings at all save for the quick, "I didn't mean to." Like Mathieu's MOXIE, there is a large feminist theme in the book and a look into what women had to go through in the 1960s particularly. To think they merely ripped newborns from their underaged mother's arm is just heartwrenching. That complete lack of human decency that women are still dealing with all across the globe is so mind-boggling and infuriating. And to think now we are finally putting mental health in the forefront of society. What took us so long? The book does not imitate The Outsiders but steps out on its own. Powerful, and heartwrenching, Bad Girls Never Say Die will leave you angry, hopeful, and satisfied all at once. A must-read for classrooms and home with the fantastic groundwork for some important discussions.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    I received a free digital ARC from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group via NetGalley. Bad Girls Never Say Die was an amalgamation of Grease and The Outsiders. Main character Evie (Evelyn) has been labeled as bad girl from the tough side of town. The youngest of her girl group, she takes comfort in the strong females in her life. When she is saved by a good girl (tea sipper) who dresses all prim and proper Evie starts a journey on self realization and what friendship means. The cover of this boo I received a free digital ARC from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group via NetGalley. Bad Girls Never Say Die was an amalgamation of Grease and The Outsiders. Main character Evie (Evelyn) has been labeled as bad girl from the tough side of town. The youngest of her girl group, she takes comfort in the strong females in her life. When she is saved by a good girl (tea sipper) who dresses all prim and proper Evie starts a journey on self realization and what friendship means. The cover of this book is dynamic. After writing The Truth About Alice and Moxie it is obvious Mathieu knows how to write strong female characters that are introspective. Her stories stick with you and are heartfelt. While Mathieu’s other books are contemporary, I recommend this historical fiction title as well. Easily recommendable to teens.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Thanks to BookishFirst and Roaring Brook Press for a free copy for honest review. I don't have any particular attachment to The Outsiders- I didn't read the book in school, and read it for the first and only time within the last ten years, and I've never seen the movie. For me, the draw of this book was more due to the author than the retelling aspect- I adored Moxie and looked forward to seeing what kind of story Jennifer Mathieu would craft with this one. The characters in Bad Girls Never Say Di Thanks to BookishFirst and Roaring Brook Press for a free copy for honest review. I don't have any particular attachment to The Outsiders- I didn't read the book in school, and read it for the first and only time within the last ten years, and I've never seen the movie. For me, the draw of this book was more due to the author than the retelling aspect- I adored Moxie and looked forward to seeing what kind of story Jennifer Mathieu would craft with this one. The characters in Bad Girls Never Say Die are wrestling not only with issues of class and their lack of access to resources, but with the the challenges of being female and having few options. Each of the girls in the group has a tough exterior- a necessity given all that they are coping with- but slowly we get to see the depth of their connections to each other and who they are, and I found the ending of this story moving. I don't think you need to have an intense familiarity with The Outsiders to enjoy this, but knowing the source material helps with the context.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kori Potenzone

    I fell in love with Jennifer Mathieu's writing style after reading Moxie. Side note - If you have not read Moxie, you need to do so ASAP! Bad Girls Never Say Die, takes the cake. This is a novel you will become instantly addicted to unable to put down. Make sure you clear your schedule before diving deep into this one! There is nothing stronger than a bond between females, or is there? It is 1964 and Evie Barnes is a self-proclaimed "bad girl" . Its Houston, Texas and the girls are BOLD. These g I fell in love with Jennifer Mathieu's writing style after reading Moxie. Side note - If you have not read Moxie, you need to do so ASAP! Bad Girls Never Say Die, takes the cake. This is a novel you will become instantly addicted to unable to put down. Make sure you clear your schedule before diving deep into this one! There is nothing stronger than a bond between females, or is there? It is 1964 and Evie Barnes is a self-proclaimed "bad girl" . Its Houston, Texas and the girls are BOLD. These girls know how to conduct on audience. One night Evie, is saved by a good girl. Everything Evie once believed is now called into question. This is a story about loyalty, decisions, murder, tragedy, and of course secrets. Due out October 19, 2021 you do not want to miss this one!

  28. 4 out of 5

    rita ❧

    Thank you to Hachette Children's Group for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. TW: attempted rape. Bad Girls Never Say Die is set in the 60's and follows our main character Evie, a 15-year-old (bad) girl who experiences a traumatic event right at the beginning of the book and ends up being saved by older (good) girl Diane. Evie then goes on a journey of self-realization. Although it never is explicitly addressed, the story does revolve around the aftermath of attempted Thank you to Hachette Children's Group for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. TW: attempted rape. Bad Girls Never Say Die is set in the 60's and follows our main character Evie, a 15-year-old (bad) girl who experiences a traumatic event right at the beginning of the book and ends up being saved by older (good) girl Diane. Evie then goes on a journey of self-realization. Although it never is explicitly addressed, the story does revolve around the aftermath of attempted rape. I love how female friendship is central to the story and I very much enjoyed reading about society in the 60's, even if most of it turned out to be quite depressing (particularly when it came to women's roles and society's expectations of them). It was very athmospheric. The writing was good, too. On the other hand, the pacing was a bit off and apart from Evie and Connie, I wasn't invested in any of the characters. I loved Moxie, so I was expecting to love Bad Girls Never Say Die as well. This isn't to say it isn't a good book, it just didn't meet my expectations.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shawna Wilson

    I absolutely loved this book. I wish this had been written when we all read the Outsiders as an alternative point of view for what girls of this time period went through.. This is a tragic story of love and friendship. In a time when couldn't love people from the wrong side of the tracks or be friends with people outside of your class. These girls seemed to have put class aside and embraced a wounded girl in their circle. They show even tough girls can love deeply and show kindness. The historic I absolutely loved this book. I wish this had been written when we all read the Outsiders as an alternative point of view for what girls of this time period went through.. This is a tragic story of love and friendship. In a time when couldn't love people from the wrong side of the tracks or be friends with people outside of your class. These girls seemed to have put class aside and embraced a wounded girl in their circle. They show even tough girls can love deeply and show kindness. The historical accuracy was much enjoyable. The details of things that were truly in Houston at the time, made the book so authentic. Time periods books that give us just enough interest to actually do some research are my kind of books. I love when you can learn from a book. I will definitely recommend this book to my students. Merged review: I absolutely loved this book. I wish this had been written when we all read the Outsiders as an alternative point of view for what girls of this time period went through.. This is a tragic story of love and friendship. In a time when couldn't love people from the wrong side of the tracks or be friends with people outside of your class. These girls seemed to have put class aside and embraced a wounded girl in their circle. They show even tough girls can love deeply and show kindness. The historical accuracy was much enjoyable. The details of things that were truly in Houston at the time, made the book so authentic. Time periods books that give us just enough interest to actually do some research are my kind of books. I love when you can learn from a book. I will definitely recommend this book to my students

  30. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Lanigan

    #TheOutsiders is the gold standard of books, as far as I am concerned. This book is a gender flipped reimagining of that story. . I was a bit leery in the beginning, as I said, The Outsiders is one of my favorites, but I became invested and was sobbing by the end. It was definitely unique seeing the gender flip of this story, and she wrote something to be connected with. . Thank you #Roaringbookpress and #Netgalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.

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