Summary (from the publisher):
Make me a girl with a razor heart…
It’s been weeks since Mena and the other girls of Innovations Academy escaped their elite boarding school. Although traumatized by the violence and experimentations that occurred there, Mena quickly discovers that the outside world can be just as unwelcoming and cruel. With no one else to turn to, the girls only have each other—and the revenge-fueled desire to shut down the corporation that imprisoned them.
The girls enroll in Stoneridge Prep, a private school with suspect connections to Innovations, to identify the son of an investor and take down the corporation from the inside. But with pressure from Leandra, who revealed herself to be a double-agent, and Winston Weeks, an academy investor gone rogue, Mena wonders if she and her friends are simply trading one form of control for another. Not to mention the woman who is quite literally invading Mena’s thoughts—a woman with extreme ideas that both frighten and intrigue Mena.
And as the girls fight for freedom from their past—and freedom for the girls still at Innovations—they must also face new questions about their existence…and what it means to be girls with razor hearts.
My Rating: 3.75/5 Stars
After really enjoying Suzanne Young’s Girls with Sharp Sticks last year, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the sequel, Girls with Razor Hearts. Girls with Sharp Sticks is set an elite private school, Innovations Academy, where girls are trained to be basically be the perfect companions for men. When Mena begins to suspect that things aren’t what they seem to be, her and the girls begin to rebel against their instructors and investigate what their school’s true agenda.
Girls with Razor Hearts was a solid follow-up novel to Girls with Sharp Sticks. Based on its sequence of events and ending, I suspect that there is going to be at least one more book in this series. That being said, Girls with Razor Hearts did fall into middle book syndrome. In the sequel, Mena and her friends must adjust to life outside of Innovations Academy, which includes facing their past trauma and stress. The girls are also on a mission to find the son of one of Innovations Academy’s prime investors at theor new and almost equally-sexist-as-Innovations school.
While I won’t be revealing major spoilers for Girls with Razor Hearts in this review, I recommend reading Girls with Sharp Sticks before reading the rest of my thoughts.
Girls with Razor Hearts really felt like a ‘build-up’ novel, meaning that nothing much happened plot-wise until the last 100 pages. There’s much on the inner workings of Innovations and the key players Like the first novel, Girls with Sharp Sticks is really about female empowerment, as Mena and her friends must stand up for themselves and the girls around them. Things are a tad more complicated in this world, being that Mena and the girls aren’t exactly human. Both books feature this sci-fi and dystopian-like twist when it comes to the science of Mena and the Innovations girls, but also in its setting. Girls with Razor Hearts reaffirms that this world takes place in the US, but one in which women are constantly having to defend their rights and are often silenced. It was really sickening to read about the behaviors of Mena’s male classmates.
However, I found that Mena and the girls’ mission got a little repetitive. Yes, they are there to reveal the wrongdoings of Innovations Academy, as well as the sexist culture at their new school, but I was waiting for them to take action instead of talking about what they wanted to do. I understand that the lack of action may have resulted from Mena and the Innovations girls having to deal with and unravel the trauma they experienced at the Academy. While Girls with Razor Hearts does take place in a slightly dystopia setting, the book has many relevant themes and similarities unfortunately to the experience of many women today.
Overall, I enjoyed Girls with Razor Hearts for expanding the world of Girls with Sharp Sticks. The ending of Girls with Razor Hearts definitely has some shocking twists that guarantee me picking me up the next installment. I recommend Girls with Sharp Sticks & Girls with Razor Hearts for readers who enjoy sci-fi and dystopian and want books involving current conversations about feminism and sexism reflected within those genres.
Girls with Razor Hearts comes out on March 24, 2020.
This review is based on an advance reviewer copy. By no means did receiving this ARC affect my thoughts or opinions.
Have you read Girls with Sharp Sticks? Is Girls with Razor Hearts on your TBR? Have you read any books by Suzanne Young? Share in the comments!