Nice Girls by Catherine Dang
Reading Challenges: Debut Author 2021, GoodReads
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
About Nice Girls
Nice Girls by Catherine Dang is a dark, suspenseful look at the role race, class, and even appearance play in how women are treated.
Growing up in a small town in Minnesota, Mary was chubby, unattractive, and poor. But she was also driven and smart which is how she earned a full-ride scholarship to an Ivy League college. Until her luck ran out and she was expelled. Now she’s back home, working a dead-end job at a grocery store, avoiding questions about what happened.
And then she gets tangled up in Olivia’s disappearance. Olivia was besties with Mary even as she was all of the things Mary wasn’t – pretty, popular, monied. Olivia, a social media influencer with the seemingly perfect Instagram-worthy life, has disappeared without a trace. And Mary feels driven to untangle what happened.
My thoughts about Nice Girls
This debut is so much more than just a suspense novel about a missing college girl. It looks at how class, race, and prettiness affect how women are treated – by the press, the police, and even their neighbors. While the town turns out en masse to hunt for Olivia, a year earlier when a Black single mother disappeared, her mother had to beg the police to do any investigating at all.
And yet Catherine Dang doesn’t allow easy answers – all of these characters are flawed, some even deeply emotionally damaged.
This is a fast-paced, roller-coaster ride full of atmospheric descriptions, a relatable narrator, and ever-increasing tensions. So good!
Thank you NetGalley and William Morrow for the ARC.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Debut Author 2021
- NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2021