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GIRL, UNFRAMED by Deb Caletti Kirkus Star


by Deb Caletti

Pub Date: June 23rd, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-5344-2697-9
Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

A 16-year-old girl grapples with being objectified by men.

Sydney Reilly had a standout school year with her friends in Seattle; the thought of leaving for a summer in San Francisco with her famous mother, Lila, instills dread. She has a deep sense that “it” is about to happen—she isn’t sure exactly what, but something large that will change everything. At her mother’s ocean-view home, she’s alone with Lila and her new boyfriend, Jake Antonetti, a real estate agent–turned–art dealer. By turns needy and unavailable, Lila can seem more like the child than the parent. Syd hides out from Jake and Lila’s fights, wandering nearby beaches, where she meets and is immediately drawn to Nicco Ricci. Her desire for him feels all-consuming, and their relationship immediately triggers Jake, who views her virginity as something he must protect. Between Jake, the leering construction worker next door, and creeps in the city, Syd faces a barrage of unwanted male attention. Lists of courtroom exhibits prefacing each chapter provide clues to the climax. Syd thoughtfully processes her burgeoning sexuality and the ugliness that it breeds in men, tracing its effects back to her mother’s own experiences. Though the affluent backdrop provides little diversity, Syd’s story outlines important, uncomfortable experiences many girls face without either flinching or offering a picture-perfect ending. All major characters are White.

A frank, engrossing examination of the ways society complicates young women’s burgeoning sexuality.

(Fiction. 14-18)