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Publisher's Summary

Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this start to a thrilling, subversive near-future series from New York Times best-selling author Suzanne Young about a girls-only private high school that is far more than it appears to be.

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 Program a best-selling and award-winning series, Suzanne Young launches a new series that confronts some of today's most pressing ethical questions.

©2019 Suzanne Young (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

Featured Article: Eerie Dystopian Audiobook Series to Listen to Right Now


Imagine this: something has gone terribly wrong with the world. The old way of life has collapsed, leaving humankind to salvage what they can from the destruction. If any of that sounds familiar, you might be living in a dystopian audiobook series. Dystopian listens place a heavy emphasis on their bleak, startlingly different environments, so becoming immersed in the author's world is critical to fully appreciating the work. Audio is the perfect format.

What listeners say about Girls with Sharp Sticks

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  • LL
  • 03-23-19

Already Sharpening My Stick!

I had this book on pre-order the minute it was announced because I really love Suzanne Young's writing. Girls with Sharp Sticks starts a new series with a very scary premise: young girls are being trained to be "better girls"--obedient, charming, beautiful and vapid...that is until one girl sets off a chain of events that changes everything. At its core, GwSS is a good dystopian story and I got into it immediately. If you are really paying attention, you will discover many parallels to the world of today and the here and now. Hearing one of the characters tell the girls to "be best" gave me an uncomfortable little giggle. BTW, the book is the beginning of a new series and made me want to find out what happens next.

I won't compare this book to other works because of spoilers. Let me just say that I am "waving my hands in a jazzy hooray" (one of my favorite lines) and feeling like a powerful woman this night. My favorite Suzanne Young book to date.

9 people found this helpful

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Derivative but entertaining

Young generally delivers a readable and fairly entertaining book. This one starts a bit slow, but hang in there. You can pretty much guess most of the twists, but it was a good read nonetheless. In particular, the relationship between the girls at the boarding school. Nice to read something where the female characters aren’t enemies, but rather, the best of friends.

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what a ride

Disturbingly entertaining. I couldn't stop until I'd heard it all, the narrator was a wonderful choice. looking forward to the sequel!

2 people found this helpful

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Best new YA series so far this year

At times very very realistic. Time flies. Get excited to meet these brave special girls.

3 people found this helpful

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pretty good

I would suggest this to anyone that liked the handsmaid tale. it has a nice rythnm to it and the progression on the story is nice. I really liked the narrator as well.

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Great book

This is a very good book and started out strong and ended strong. If you are here for woman and the rights of woman this is for you. The ending shows how all woman need rights and should be treated like more then just another body, just a peace of meat, I can't wait to read the next book. Loved it so much.

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A Solid YA SciFi Novel

I honestly couldn't stop listening. If you're into science fiction and dystopia fiction, it's a solid pick. The writing is a little awkward here and there, but over all really engaging so I hardly noticed.

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Loved it

There are definitely parts of the book where you can start to anticipate what’s going to happen next so I can’t say that I was entirely surprised with the conclusion. That said, this was a book I had a hard time “putting down”. 

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loved it!

beautiful book that triggered, angered, inspired and had me holding my breath for s fee secs at a time. Its thr lesson every young girl needs to learn when entering adulthood

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Wonderful Girls!

This is an amazing books, showing the potential of all girls. Will have to look up this author for other books. Such a good read/listen!

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  • Olivia
  • 03-05-20

Good but the summary ruined the twists

Really enjoyed this book creepy and intriguing, just really wish that the summary given at the top didn’t ruin the twists in the story

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  • V_Nerdbooks
  • 11-23-19

It's the quiet ones you should watch out for!

Welcome to Innovations Academy, the boarding school that will help your daughter become her best self.

We will teach her to be a smart young girl, we will teach her lessons of life, and we we absolutely make sure that she will learn to keep her pretty little mouth shut!

Oh, you caught that last bit did you?

You see, here at Innovations Academy, we like to teach our girls, all 12 of them, that they are not important, worthy of anything and also that their opinion doesn't mean anything at all, They are just girls, and everyone knows that a woman's voice is so much better when it is not heard.

No we will teach them how to sew, we will give them proper vitamins every day, we will give them a balanced diet (we don't want them getting fat) and we will also schedule sports to tone up those flabby muscles!

The Guardians here can sometimes be a little "over-zealous" but don't you worry about that, I mean who needs to hear about any problems, not us Hahahaha.....no we have a special councillor here that the girls can speak to and make all of their problems disappear!!

Philomena, Mena for short is one of the 12 lucky girls that have been picked to go to this highly prestigious school, and she loves it here, for the most part, her friends are the best thing about the school, and she loves them fiercely.

They talk about things that normal teenagers do, boys, sex, kissing, but not in front of the teachers, talking about boys is strictly prohibited, they all know that their parents will allocate them a husband when they graduate.
They must learn to be beautiful, respectful, and to obey everything their husbands ask of them.


🎧🎧

Narrated by Caitlin Davies, a new to me narrator who did a fantastic job with this book, I will definitely be looking out for other books that she has narrated.

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  • Ldk88
  • 04-01-19

Scary but very fun!

So I always have a hard time finding fiction I enjoy because the way most writers write is a bit to plain for my taste. Its hard for a book to hook me, and when I find an author's whose voice I like, I usually read all they have to offer.

I didn't know Suzanne Young, but I really liked the title of the book and decided to give it a shot, even if dystopian stories aren't usually my thing.

This book will make you angry, I was angry for most of it, but the story is very captivating. The way the author used fiction to highlight the different injustices and pressures of womanhood and how patriarchy subjugates women through ridiculous expectations, its really extreme at times, but quite relatable.
I also like the bubbling revolution that goes on in the characters psyches, the character development doesn't feel rushed, which hard to find. I found the pace quite good.

Anyways, cool book! Im interested to see where this series goes!