DNF Review: September Girls by Bennett Madison

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on May 20, 2013 | 27 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
DNF Review: September Girls by Bennett MadisonSeptember Girls by Bennett Madison
Published by HarperTeen (5.21.2013)
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: ARC, 341 pages
Source: From Publisher
Buy on Amazon


When Sam's dad whisks him and his brother off to a remote beach town for the summer, he's all for it-- at first. Sam soon realizes, though, that this place is anything but ordinary. Time seems to slow down around here, and everywhere he looks, there are beautiful blond girls. Girls who seem inexplicably drawn to him. 

Then Sam meets DeeDee, one of the Girls, and she's different from the others. Just as he starts to fall for her, she pulls away, leaving him more confused than ever. He knows that if he's going to get her back, he'll have to uncover the secret of this beach and the girls who live here.

My thoughts

Thanks to HarperTeen for providing a copy for review!

Honestly, I didn’t even plan on reading this book. Just from the synopsis I wasn’t sure I’d even like it. But I got an ARC in one of my Harper packages, so I figured, why the hell not? Sigh. Now I know why.

I would never call anyone’s hard work crap, because I know writing a book is hard and time-consuming and probably devours a little piece of your soul; but it’s been a very long time since I’ve read anything this terrible (since I read Catcher in the Rye in high school, actually). It sounds mean, but that’s just how I feel. I probably should have run screaming when I started to see the horrible reviews trickling in, but I couldn’t help myself. I needed to see what everyone was ranting about. (Why oh why didn’t I run screaming?)

First of all, there is NO way on God’s green Earth that this book should ever be labeled as Young Adult. EVER. I’m extremely surprised that HarperTeen even published it. (I still love you, Harper.) It needs to be labeled as New Adult at the very least. I personally would never want my 14 year old reading this (if I had one, that is), and we all know there are YA book bloggers younger than that. *looks to Nikki and Eileen* I am disgusted and astounded that this book has passed for YA.

I had so many problems with this book just in the first 1/3 it’s not even funny:

1) The cursing. Now mind you, I curse like a sailor at times and I am by no means a lady. *snickers* But what. The. Hell. Even I have limits! I don’t mind it if the F word is used in YA, but only in very small doses; and it should really only be used in dire circumstances. Sometimes it can help rather than hinder because it conveys that desperation or anger. BUT. Small doses. Very small doses. I should have known I was in for it when the F word popped up in the first 2 pages. I actually had to start counting after I noticed it 5 or 6 times in twice as many pages – and I kid you not, the count got to sixty fucks before I gave up at page 100. SIXTY. That’s at least every other page and sometimes even multiple times on one page. This is not okay. And it wasn’t just the F word, words like ‘shithead’ and ‘ass’ and a myriad of other curse words were used in abundance. So many that there were at least 2-3 on every page. And just randomly inserted into the dialogue. Pointless!

2) The sexual innuendos and comments about sex. Masturbation is not an appropriate topic in YA. It’s unnecessary and serves no purpose to the story.

“Come on,” he said. “Let’s go look at the ocean. Might as well, right?”
“Man, I just want to go to bed,” I said. I was exhausted. I wanted to jerk off and fall asleep.

See, why is that even necessary? Just because you masturbate doesn’t mean we need to hear about it. 

It felt good to be alone, especially after the previous day’s cramped and endless journey. I consider myself a social person, but sometimes I feel best being sociable with myself. I guess that’s why I enjoy masturbation.

What the hell? Because that’s totally what I think about when I’m alone. Most people would say ‘I guess that’s why I enjoy reading’ or ‘I guess that’s why I enjoy listening to my iPod’ but nope, his hobby is apparently masturbating. Nice.

I can say without too much ego that I am attractive enough, but usually feel more awkward than handsome. I’m never sure of how I’m supposed to move. […] This morning at the beach was different. I felt the muscles in my shoulders pumping with blood. I felt ocean in my eyelashes and a heaviness in my dick.

NOT. NECESSARY. *awkward turtle*

Something seemed to be bothering him. I figured it had to be the lack of sex, which he’d previously made a point of indicating he was used to on a very regular basis.

Because naturally, if someone is bothered by something, it’s their lack of sex. Couldn’t be anything else, really.

She reached out and dragged her long, red nail from my shoulder down to my chest, swaying her hips as she did it. Her eyes were burning: green with gold rings around the pupils. I tried to look away but I found that I could not. I instantly had a raging boner.

“You sleep with some girl once, and before you know it you’re like trapped in her crazy pussy-web,” he said, nodding sagely to himself.

….I can’t even formulate a sarcastic reply for that. Pussy-web? Who talks like that? Then he goes off on a 2 page tangent about his ‘small success in [the sex] department last year’ that is completely irrelevant to the story and just makes the character look even more like an ass; talking about how he groped this girl’s chest while she was drunk, that it could have gone farther if her ‘horrible friend’ hadn’t interrupted (because in no way shape or form is that anywhere close to rape, taking advantage of a totally wasted chick), and:

Although Sasha remained obviously into me in the weeks following the party – texting me nonstop and leaving long and pointless handwritten notes in my locker – I’d quickly decided that she was annoying and not even all that hot.

This pisses me off on so many levels. First of all, you don’t like her because she’s ‘not hot?’ Really? If a girl takes the time to write you a letter and you ditch her because she’s not hot enough, you’re clearly not worthy of her anyway. To all you young ladies, I swear to you not all guys are like that. There are many that would appreciate such a gesture. Proving even more that this book is disgusting. (And again, that story wasn’t even relevant to the book and could have been left out, saving him from looking like a total asshole.)

3) All the Girls were blonde, ‘insanely hot,’ and had big boobs. ALL of them. Honestly, it just sounded like some dude’s wet dream to me. Oodles of ‘hot’ girls, everywhere, coming on to the main character, because they have to have sex with a male virgin to break their mermaid curse. Sounds more like fanfic than a good story line. And this:

We learn the small pleasures of this place: press-on nails and eye makeup and hair dye, Chinese slippers with sequins and little embroidered flowers. Wine coolers and soap operas. We don’t like meat, but we have a weakness for french fries. Not to mention french tips.

Because that’s all that girls care about. How ’bout learning to read? Or getting a fucking education? Oops, sorry, the book has apparently rubbed off on me. ‘Scuse my poor manners. But the sexism of that really irked me! It was glaringly obvious that this book was written by a male, not to be sexist myself here. But seriously.

4) The random, imbecilic comments such as: 

I mean, I’m not an idiot [gee, that’s hilarious]. I’m ninety-nine percent convinced that the world is not flat. But I believe you can’t be sure of anything until you’ve seen it with your own two eyes. And maybe it’s just the limitations of photography, but I’ve seen those pictures of the earth from outer space and it looks flat as a quarter to me.

Seriously? Are you 5? I think even a 3rd grader knows the difference between 2D and 3D. This was just plain ridiculous.

She had the same accent that Kristle had. It was soft and fluid and could have been French or Scottish or South African or anything really.

Yeah, because all three of those sound exactly alike. Dumbass.

“Where do you think she is?” […]
“I think she’s gone,” I told him.
“Well, clearly,” he said. “But where is she? I mean where?”
“She’s in the land of women,” I said. “A place we cannot even begin to comprehend. Don’t think too hard about it; it’s like staring directly into the sun.”

Right. The mystical Land of Women. That’s where we all reside when we can’t be found. And if you try to find it, you’ll wander in circles, lost, for the rest of your sad and miserable life.

I read 100 pages of this ridiculousness before I gave up, then skimmed through to the end to see if there was any point to the book (and really, to satisfy my curiosity about the Girls). There wasn’t. This book was crass and inappropriate and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, ever.



To drive home my point that this should not be labeled YA, I think you should read this review by my bloggy friend Melanie @ YA Midnight Reads. She’s 13. And this line in her review really struck me: 

I had no idea what masturbation was until a few days ago, thanks September Girls!

Talk about corrupting innocence! This. Is. Not. Okay. If that was my daughter, I would be seriously FURIOUS. No young girl should ever find out about sexual things from a ‘young adult’ fiction novel. Ugh! It makes me angry. *big bloggy sista mode*


Other hilarious and enlightening reviews you should read:
Steph Sinclair @ Cuddlebuggery
Debby @ Snuggly Oranges


Plot: 0/5 
Writing style: 1/5 
Characters: 0/5 
Pace: 1/5 
Cover: 3/5 

Overall rating: 0/5 starfish

Overall Assessment

Plot: 1/5
Writing style: 0.5/5
Originality: 2/5
Characters: 0.5/5
Pace: 1/5
Cover: 3/5

Jessi (Geo)

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27 responses to “DNF Review: September Girls by Bennett Madison

  1. Jodie Gore

    Thanks for the honesty I enjoy Adult books, but I would not touch a YA with those quotes in it, I will be giving it a miss.

  2. Ouch that was brutal but based on all the little excerpts I definitely think I’d come away feeling exactly the same way. I know to steer clear of this one now.

  3. I feel hardcore that I made it to the end of this one ;)

    One thing I have to completely agree upon is the total inappropriateness of the language. Some of it was in very mature, almost lyrical language and then dialogue and random thoughts would just be pretty much a whole bunch of swear words.

  4. Okay. First of all I need to say sorry to you because I didn’t even read the whole review. I just couldn’t. I couldn’t get pass those quotes. I just couldn’t. First of all, We.Do.Not.Talk.Like.That. And Oh My God, I just googled and the author is male.
    End of my comment.

    • Baha. That’s okay! You get the idea :)
      And yeah, it makes guys look bad! That’s why I said LADIES, not all men are like this! I promise!!! Geez. If it was a female I could understand, just because she’s trying to hard to make the character sound male. But no…

  5. This was such a horrid read! Not one redeeming quality about it. I am glad you emphasized on how this book is targeted for the wrong audience. My little sister is 13, and I would not let her read this.

    Too many stereotypes and misogynic jargon.

  6. Yep, I will touch this book with a 10 foot stick, and definitely will never even attempt to read it. Every review I have read has only has horrible things to say about it. SO, I promise myself that I will never let myself read a book that bad, even if it is only to satisfy my curiosity.( I really can’t believe this was published.)

  7. Oh my god girl I LOOOOVE your review! You completely nailed it. And the inappropriate comments in the book were SO RANDOM! So many times I had to reread lines to make sure I hadn’t misread them. It’s like “Lalala, sun, sky, beach, lovely day, HEAVY DICK”… What? Where did that come from?

  8. I was curious about this book until I started reading the bad reviews. But I liked your extremely honest review. It makes me sad that this book would even get published. No one thought this was a bad idea??

  9. Yup yup yup. Never ever ever will I read this book even care too. Just
    ick. I myself wonder how it got published. It just sounds like YA
    erotica. *gag* Honestly HOW. WHY. WHAT is appealing about this.
    Nothing. K. We all know that so ima gonna get out. Sorry you had to
    suffer! Hehe.

    <333 Inky

  10. Lol hai :D *waves* Nikki actually said it was her most anticipated read for this year for a second the before she changed her mind. ;D

    But seriously that’s just nasty. UGH YUCK DAFJDFJDSFJSDKJSODVJOSDVIO I’m never touching this thing even with a a pole as deep as the Mariana’s Trench which is like 6.8 miles I don’t know how I know that off the top of my head just go with it. Merp. The MC sounds so obnoxious and yuck seriously I can’t even right now I’m not blonde I’m ASIAN guess that makes me am ugly, annoying girl who isn’t worth any boy’s time. WELL THEN.

    Fantastic review Jessi! <333

  11. Woah, yeah I think I get your Point :) This does not Sound like YA at all and I think I wouldn’t have read the entire Thing, either! I like how you supported your arguments with quotes from the book…definitely made me see what you’re explaining :)

  12. Oh man, I don’t think I want to see this book ever again in my life. Totally ruined me, this one. Hey look, I’m famous! Hehe, totally proves your point. Even though I don’t think it’s NA, but YA is too misleading. :(

    Awesome review, Jessi! <33

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