September Girls

September Girls

by Bennett Madison


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September Girls is a stunning coming-of-age novel about first loves, oblivious parents, sibling rivalries—and mermaids. This imaginative and painfully honest book garnered five starred reviews, including one from ALA Booklist that proclaimed it "a rare and lovely novel, deserving of attention from discriminating readers."

Whisked away by his father to an unusual beach town in the Outer Banks, Sam finds himself having the summer vacation most guys dream of. He's surrounded by beautiful blonde girls, and, better yet, they all seem inexplicably attracted to him. But there's definitely something strange about the Girls. They only wear flats because heels make their feet bleed. They never go swimming in the water. And they all want something from him.

Sam falls for one of the Girls, DeeDee, and begins an unexpected summer romance. But as they get closer, she pulls away without explanation. Sam knows that if he is going to win her back, he'll have to learn the Girls' secret.

Bennett Madison, critically acclaimed author of The Blonde of the Joke, brings a mix of lyrical writing, psychologically complex characters, and sardonic humor to this young adult novel. September Girls is perfect for fans of the irreverent wit of Ned Vizzini and the seductive magic of fairy tales retold.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061255656
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/22/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 549,462
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.79(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Bennett Madison is the author of several books for young people, including The Blonde of the Joke. He attended Sarah Lawrence College but remains two classes shy of graduation. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

What People are Saying About This

Maureen Johnson

“The Blonde of the Joke turns a dull suburban landscape into a mythical place, full of treasure, inner demons, and transformations. Bennett Madison is one of the best YA writers around and this is his sharpest book to date.”

Nova Ren Suma

“I came away enthralled by this transfixing story and overcome by Bennett Madison’s breathtaking talent as a writer. Gorgeously rendered and teeming with shocks and deep truths, September Girls is a daring book that reveals the boundless possibilities of YA fiction.”

Sarah Mlynowski

“This wickedly funny novel has it all—style, depth, bite, and a punch line you won’t be able to forget.”

Jenny Han

“Reading this book is like holding your breath underwater—you won’t want to come up for air.”

Sara Zarr

“Beneath the dreamy warmth and languor of beach days and summer romance, September Girls delivers an intricate story of identity and freedom, the ties and histories that thwart those things, and love. A truly original coming-of-age tale.”

James St. James

“A delightfully wicked book—a supersexy celebration of good girls gone bad, and a haunting ode to teenage rebellion.”

E. Lockhart

PRAISE FOR SEPTEMBER GIRLS:“Eerie and desperately romantic, September Girls is a myth measured out in summer days, game shows, French fries and women’s magazines. Bennett Madison makes a seedy beach town into the stuff of legends, and he has worked an intoxicating magic. Amazing.”

Sara Shepard

“You will fall in love with The Blonde of the Joke the moment you enter its mall-wandering, skater-boy loving, dark secret-hiding world. Poetic and punchy, sarcastic and true, I gobbled this up and was left wanting so much more.”

Customer Reviews

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September Girls 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
AlwaysYAatHeart1 More than 1 year ago
Not What I Expected September Girls is told from Sam's point of view.  He is a 17-year-old boy, and the book covers everything you would expect to go with that - cussing, a lot of it, sex/masturbating, fantasies, talk about women, especially their boobs, real stuff 17 year old boys think about and do for the most part.  He is also dealing with his family falling apart.  When I saw the cover I was expecting romance, love, mermaids, etc.  That isn't what it is about.  I never really got the clear picture on the whole mermaid aspect of the book, which bothered me, and there were aspects about that that were just really strange.  While Sam does have a thing for Dee Dee, it didn't feel or give off a real romance vibe.  The language seems to be one of the factors that most people disliked, but it didn't bother me because I think guys probably really talk like that more than we know, despite what us parents would like to think, and I could have dealt with the sex part if I just could have connected to the story, which I didn't.  I had read the reviews on this book before I started it and tried to go into it with an open mind, knowing that a lot of people didn't like it, keeping in mind the fact that I did read a few positive reviews.  I don't know, while it was not for me, maybe there are some teenage guys out there that would like it.  I've never been one, so it's hard to say.  On a positive note, it does have a really pretty cover.  It is definitely an older YA read.   
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so heart warming
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
   What I Liked: I liked the sense of family on Sam's side. The interactions and conversations with his brother and Dad really felt realistic.      The setting was also well done. I felt the descriptions were well done and made me feel part of the scenery and story.     The pain and set up of Sam's mom and her abandonment. I think that a lot can relate with the theme and feelings or knows someone who could. Sam is a deep character in a lot of regards and emotional in others. Caught up in his hurt and anger and I think that is what connected him.    What I didn't like: The stream of though and the "we" mentality from the girls at the beginning. I understand but it still didn't sit well with me.       I also didn't like the way that Sam thought about girls at first. It seemed really demeaning to me, and I don't know if I am just sensitive or read at a time when self esteem is low, but I really hope that is not how guys think about girls. There was (to me) too much talk of sexual aspects and cursing--I can handle some, but not when it seems over the top. Bottom Line: It was just okay for me. A lot of deep woven in with elements I didn't like
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
More! :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OH NO! And BTW, great story! <p> I can't remember what happened in September...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brokens eyes widened as the knife gleamed in the very little sunlight that filtered through the attic roof. She tensed up as the knife lowered. She winced as the blade peirced her skin, drawing crimson blood. The Master cut up her back until he reached her neck. Blood dripped down her sides. "Your parents were right. You never will find love, you little brat!" He snarled as he walked out of the room. Tears streamed down her face like the blood dripped off her sides. In an attemt to stop the bleeding, she used her sheet as a bandage. She was used to being whipped, but cut? That had only happened once before. She had been working for this horrible stallion after her parents died last year. The parents who had tried to cut off the wings on her back. Her parents had always been disgusted by the leathery bat wings she somehow managed to get. They had hated her blood red eyes, the same eyes that wittnessed their death. Sniffling, the filly laid down on the cold wooden floor and closed her eyes. <p> Broken standing next to her mothers body , ashes and soot covering them both. Her mother glared at her. "You did this, you stupid filly! You will never-" the mare coughed. "Never find love. Nopony will ever love you..." her mothers voice faded as her eyes glazed over. Suddenly it was the day she was adopted. A stallion with a scruffy grey beard and a cigar in his mouth had taken her to his mansion. Broken was excited to live in a huge house. She saw the stallion reach for something... <p> Broken woke up gasping. Just before she was whipped along the back by her adopted father. The Master. Broken scrambled to her hooves, tears stinging the corners of her eyes. She followed him downstairs to where the other foals were. She joined the crowd and listened as the Master walked to the front. "Ok, today you worthless-" "If we're so worthless, then why do you keep us around, huh?" A colt, around 11 years of age shouted. The young earth pony had been fed up with being punished for doing nothing wrong. His outburst was met with tense silence, and a furious glare from the Master. Without a word, the colt was dragged down the stairs. Broken listened fearfully for any sign of what was going on downstairs. Suddenly there was a terrified scream.