I’ve come to associate Jennifer Dugan with all things queer contemporary and Some Girls Do is no exception! It’s a heartfelt story about not wanting to have to hide and featuring some nuanced and relatable main characters. Being Dual POV, Some Girls Do allows us to see all the flaws, mistakes, and misunderstandings between Ruby and Morgan. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Morgan, an elite track athlete, is forced to transfer high schools late in her senior year after it turns out being queer is against her private Catholic school’s code of conduct. There, she meets Ruby, who has two hobbies: tinkering with her baby blue 1970 Ford Torino and competing in local beauty pageants, the latter to live out the dreams of her overbearing mother. The two are drawn to each other and can’t deny their growing feelings. But while Morgan–out and proud, and determined to have a fresh start–doesn’t want to have to keep their budding relationship a secret, Ruby isn’t ready to come out yet. With each girl on a different path toward living her truth, can they go the distance together?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: queerphobia, lesbphobia, biphobia, abuse, outting
Where Dugan’s Some Girls Do shines are the characters. I immediately wanted to protect Ruby with my soul. The ways she struggles to bring her mother’s dreams to light, to pay the electricity bills, and the ways she keeps her guard up all the time. She instantly had a place in my heart. I felt the ways she struggles to say no to her mother, how she hasn’t even thought of a place for herself. At the same time, I instantly saw myself in Morgan. How she wants to change the world so badly, for what happened to her to make a difference.
Some Girls Do discuses when dreams aren’t our own. When the world of money, corruption, homophobia is up against us. How when we don’t know of any other possibilities – that our lives could be different – that we never dream. Ruby and Morgan, the cynic and the dreamer, seem at polar opposites of the spectrum. But what they have in common is a kindness, a compassion, an ability to see within each other. To realize that sticking under the radar, not ruffling feathers, isn’t the way to live, just to exist.
Some Girls Do is character driven in all the best ways. In signature Dugan style, it’s not all swoons and yearning, there’s depth and difficult questions. Topics such as outting, questioning rep, and homophobia. Being able to read both POVs gives readers glimpses into Morgan and Ruby. How neither of them is perfect or even singularly right. How we can see the ways they’re trying to stay afloat, to dream amidst a current, and to find the courage to open their hearts.
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