What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold


When Nina Faye was fourteen, her mother told her there was no such thing as unconditional love. Nina believed her. Now Nina is sixteen. And she'll do anything for the boy she loves, just to prove she's worthy of him. But when he breaks up with her, Nina is lost. What if she is not a girlfriend? What is she made of?

Broken-hearted, Nina tries to figure out what the conditions of love are. She's been volunteering at a high-kill animal shelter where she realizes that for dogs waiting to be adopted, love comes only to those with youth, symmetry, and quietness. She also ruminates on the strange, dark time her mother took her to Italy to see statues of saints who endured unspeakable torture because of their unquestioning devotion to the divine. Is this what love is?

Okay, so this book is descriptive. Really descriptive. But in a raw, honest, heartwrenching, best way possible. I've read things that I've never read in a book before--YA or adult--and it was incredible. It was impactful and unputdownable.

Nina is a scared girl, who is trying to stay afloat. Her life only has one shining light--her boyfriend, Seth--but even their relationship has a set of rules. So when the relationship ends, suddenly and with no real reason, she has to find understanding in her life somewhere else. I really loved her as a character. Sometimes I didn't understand her, and sometimes I saw myself in her--which was both wonderful and terrifying. But she made this book. She was crafted to perfection, and this novel wouldn't be as poignant without her as the epicenter.

This book wasn't perfect, and sometimes I wanted more explanation than I got, but I could not stop reading and I never wanted to. I can absolutely see why it was nominated for the National Book Award. We need to shed light and attention on these kind of unprecedented books.

You may also like

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.