Hello Girls

Winona's father, Stormy, is a beloved weatherman and philanthropist. Even though his wife died many years ago, he and Winona appear perfectly put-together--which is exactly his plan. Winona, terrified of her father, would do just about anything to make him disappear. "If her dad died," though, "she would have starved to death. She didn't have the key to the locks he kept on the pantry." Lucille, Winona's best friend, is part of a family everyone knows is "trash, the same way they [know] that you'd go to hell for killing someone." Her older brother, Marcus, lives with Lucille and her mom, deals drugs out of the house and steals from them both.

The girls meet one night after Winona is physically assaulted by Stormy, Lucille by Marcus. A friendship and a plan are born: after graduation, they will escape to Chicago. Plans change, however, when Winona discovers that her mother isn't actually dead--she ran away and has been in hiding all these years. Lucille and Winona steal a car and take off to find Winona's mother.

Cavallaro (Charlotte Holmes series) and Henry (The Love That Split the World) get straight to the point in Hello Girls: girls are aged-up to be objects of sexual attraction; young women are infantilized so as to not taken seriously. This YA Thelma & Louise tribute hits on all the important notes, effectively pointing out how little has changed about society's treatment of women and girls in the near-30 years since its release. The girls' slow slip into worse and worse trouble reads true as they try desperately to get away from the corroding influence of destructive men. Fans of Moxie and Sadie should absolutely pick up Hello Girls. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA Editor, Shelf Awareness

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