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A Girl Called Fearless: A Novel Hardcover – May 6, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250039290
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250039293
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Los Angeles, just a bit in the future, is a distressing place for females. Most adult women have died from side effects of hormone-laden beef, and the Paternalists may soon win political majority, passing even harsher "protective" measures to encourage child bearing and domesticity. Avie Reveare and her friends at Masterson Academy have become experts at eye blinks, bribes, stitch code, and other creative means to avoid security detection as they practice independence under the direction of their teacher, Ms. A. Meanwhile, they see college recruitment posters replaced by recipe cards, and discuss who might be sold into a marriage contract, and at what price. The best girls are auctioned through Sotheby's and Christie's—verified virgins who will honor and obey. Avie, aided by her childhood friend (now romantic interest) Yates, decides to head for Canada when her financially desperate father contracts her to a man twice her age. All the popular dystopian elements are in place: overbearing government, tech-savvy friend, thwarted love, a "makeover" where plain girls are made attractive to men, physically challenging situations, and small amounts of gun play. The short chapters keep the action moving in this solid selection, best for readers who enjoy plot-driven stories.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX

From Booklist

After a synthetic hormone in beef has killed 50 million women in the U.S., girls are overly protected by a political group known as the Paternalists, who sell girls to the highest bidder in marriage contracts. Avie dreams of attending college, but when her father sells her to an aspiring politician, Avie is given a choice: be trapped in a controlling marriage or try to run for the Canadian border. Her lifelong crush, Yates, encourages her to run, but her every move is watched. As Avie uncovers deeper secrets about the Paternalist movement, her quest becomes not only about her own freedom but the freedom of all girls. The concept is fascinating and could lead to good discussions of women’s rights, but the plot itself has quite a few holes and the world building is lacking. Avie spends the first half of the book repetitively plotting her escape, but once she is on the run, the story truly engages. Teens should be willing to overlook the flaws and root for this strong female to win her independence. Grades 9-12. --Sarah Bean Thompson

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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She’s a very strong character and I love that.
What A Nerd Girl Says
Were the borders of the U.S. closed so that the disease did not spread across the world?
Amber R.
The writing in this book is quite good and the overall premise is interesting.
S. Al-Amri

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By What A Nerd Girl Says on May 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
FULL REVIEW ORIGINALLY POSTED ON WHAT A NERD GIRL SAYS:

I had the ARC for this book, sitting on my Nook, for AGES. I had heard really great things about it but honestly just hadn’t had the time to sit down and read it. I was in the middle of reading another book and I just wasn’t feeling it, so I decided to read this one. I had just seen Catherine at the Pasadena Teen Book Fest and she was SO incredibly sweet and I knew that I had to read her book before I saw her again at the Ontario Teen Book Fest (which is next week!).

I was immediately hooked from page one. I’m not even kidding. I don’t know how I could have put off this book for so long. I ripped through this book so fast and I started to have a panic attack when the battery on my Nook started to run down toward the end. I stayed up until about 2 am to finish it and just…wow. It was amazing.

What really catches me about this book is that it brings forward a sort of futuristic, dystopian feel but in the world we know. So much about Avie’s world is so incredibly familiar. She has iPods and cell phones and text messaging and normal things like that. It’s almost what makes the book, and what’s happening in the book, that much scarier. This sort of thing can go on in the world that we know, and its extremely frightening.

I think that part of the book really got to me. Avie’s every move is controlled, because she is female. Her schooling is controlled and instead of getting a real education, she is learning about how to be a wife and mother (backtracking, much?). She probably will not have the chance to attend college. Her future husband could be chosen for her, and is chosen for her, and he has the right to complete control over her (Hawkins makes me shudder.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Power TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka follows Avie, a girl living in a world where women are scarse after a hormone caused women of childbaring age to get cancer and die. The paternalist movement has slowly taken over and girls are kept under lock and key with their every move controlled by the men in their lives and they then are put on contracts and sold into marriages they have no choice about. When Avie's father signs her contract into marriage with a controling paternalist politician Avie has to decide if she's going to run.

I really enjoyed this book and I didn't expect to. The dystopian premise is believeable and well crafted (and for once we've got a heroine who remembers what it was like when things were normal). The reader could believe that under similar circumstances powerful men would do everything they could to control women and keep them in the home under the guise of protection. The romance worked well (with no insta love and no triangle) and I really felt the love between Avie and Yates. There were also several fantastic side characters (mostly women) who I cared about and all had believable intentions in the way they reacted to the world. I sped through the book, finishing it quickly and remained interested throughout.

Appropriateness: Sex and purity is a big theme in the book, there is no sex but the characters virginity is talked about a lot along with the character being checked to confirm that she's still a virgin. I would reccomend this book to readers 14+ and it would be a great one to talk about with girls (and boys) with why equality for all is so important.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amber R. on July 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
2.5 stars

My first thoughts when I picked up A Girl Called Fearless were that this sounded a lot like The Registry by Shannon Stoker. Also, I wondered why the men didn’t just go outside the U.S. to find women to marry? Were the borders of the U.S. closed so that the disease did not spread across the world?

I wish that this would have been set in the future instead of the present. It’s harder to suspend my belief if this is an alternate reality rather than a possible one, for some reason. While I think that there are some logical fallacies in the story, some of it is at least a little believable. If there was something that decimated the U.S.’s female population, I think some of the story would be believable. Women have only had the right to vote after all in this country for less than 100 years. And there are still politicians (male and female) in this country who believe that they have the right to determine what a woman does with her body (birth control and abortion are still two hot topics). Less than 50 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for the U.S. government to prohibit married couples from using birth control. So, while I believe that this scenario is entirely possible, I don’t think that the execution in the novel was believable.

I’m disappointed because the book had so much potential. There are some really awesome things in the book like Sparrow and Maggie, but these are overwhelmed by Avie’s lackluster personality and a plot full of holes. Avie annoyed me. She whines about how she doesn’t want to be entered into a Contract. Yet, when given a chance to run, she doesn’t immediately take it. I would have taken the first chance on freedom and ran as hard as I could, consequences be damned.
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