A review by btwnprintedpgs
Not Like Other Girls by Meredith Adamo

challenging dark emotional mysterious reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


Y'all aren't ready for this book, holy honk. I want to scream for so many reasons. The emotional roller coaster this had me on - one moment I'm laughing, the next I'm crying, the next I'm fueled by righteous rage. The fact that this is a debut novel had me absolutely floored, because it didn't feel like that for a second. Anyways, it's 1:30AM, so full RTC.


This book is about broken and toxic friendships, the "not like other girls" moniker and all it's connotations, a girl disappearing, sexual assault (including rape, revenge porn, and more), and how those we love can let us down. Though these are all hard subjects to read about, Meredith Adamo makes it easy.

Jo is a firecracker of an MC. She's an outcast, at odds with her old friends, but doing the best she can with what she has. She's one of those characters you like from the start - her witty inner dialogue, her strong and distinct voice, her growth as she starts to better understand and reframed her narrative, everything about her draws you in from the start. She had true main character energy, to the point where it felt like other characters were trying to strip her of it and make her secondary to their story, and yet they never succeed.

Though Maddie goes missing, the story is really centered around Jo. We get to see Jo grow as a character, both through her inner narrative and her healthier relationship with friends, family, and Hudson. Despite the darker side of her story, I found her new friendships wholesome; the banter sweet, funny, and realistic; and her own voice a great way of adding levity to the whole situation. It's all done in a way that's tasteful, but I also laughed way more than expected.

At the end of the day though, I feel like I got sucker punched by this book. Some parts just felt like such a dose of reality, or felt so poignant, that I would literally gasp. There's one line especially (taken from the ARC, but if it's removed from the final copy, I will cry) where Jo asks someone, "When did I stop being a person to you?" I felt all the air leave my lungs cause oof. It makes more sense in context, but even on its own it packs a punch.

This book will make you laugh, cry, get mad, and scream in righteous fury, but you'll be glued to the pages throughout. Once I met Jo, I couldn't leave her story or her world. An absolutely amazing debut, Meredith Adamo is one to watch!

TW: rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual content, bullying, kidnapping, drug use, alcohol consumption, injury detail, violence, adult/minor relationship; mentions infidelity, death of a parent, death via car accident

ARC gifted by Bloomsbury US via BookInfluencerDotCom in exchange for an honest review. 

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