Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young

Girls with Sharp Sticks (Girls with Sharp Sticks, #1)

by Suzanne Young

“Enough plot twists to give a reader whiplash.” —Cosmopolitan

From New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Young comes the start of a thrilling, subversive new series about a girls-only boarding school with a terrifying secret and the friends who will stop at nothing to protect each other.

Some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns.

The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their Guardian, they receive a well-rounded education that promises to make them better. Obedient girls, free from arrogance or defiance. Free from troublesome opinions or individual interests.

But the girls’ carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears. As Mena and her friends uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening there—and who they really are—the girls of Innovations Academy will learn to fight back.

Bringing the trademark plot twists and high-octane drama that made The Program a bestselling and award-winning series, Suzanne Young launches a new series that confronts some of today’s most pressing ethical questions.

Reviewed by shannonmiz on

5 of 5 stars

You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight .


I freaking adored this book, and I am having trouble fully articulating why. Like okay, I love dystopian stuff. I extra love books where girls come together to overthrow the patriarchy. And I extra extra love when those books have incredible twists that leave my jaw on the floor. This book has all those things. And I am purposely going to keep this review short, because of the aforementioned articulation struggles, but also because I think you should just experience it for yourself. Here are a few more things to get you excited to read it:

  • •Creepy ass boarding school! Oh yes, this place is messed up! I know it, you'll know, it, everyone knows it, except for the girls who attend it and have been conditioned to think it's the best thing since sliced bread. Mena, the main character, even meets an outsider who asks the same questions I ask!
    "If you don't mind me asking, what the fuck kind of school is this?"

  • •Female friendships galore! Obviously since they're stuck at Creep College, they bond and they bond hard. I loved Mena, the main character, sure, but I absolutely loved them all.

  • •Can I mention the twists again? Because it took the whole book in a direction I did not see coming. I mean, you know something's up but... not these particular shenanigans!

  • •It reminds me a little of Louise O'Neill's Only Ever Yours except I didn't want to just end the world when I was done (so, a wee bit less hopeless hah). And you guys know how much I adore that book, so.

  • •There's a SEQUEL! Need, need, infinitely need.

Bottom Line: I legit couldn't put the thing down and in the end, that's all you need to know.

Last modified on

Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 4 March, 2019: Finished reading
  • 4 March, 2019: Reviewed