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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: 8.5 x 6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #623,553 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

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She’s a very strong character and I love that.
What A Nerd Girl Says
So I'd recommend this book to sci-fi fans, fans of dystopian novels, girls 14 years old and above, female adults, and those who like romance.
Stephen Ashley
I sped through the book, finishing it quickly and remained interested throughout.
S. Power

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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 Cathe Fein Olson VINE VOICE on May 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
After a synthetic hormone in beef wipes out all women of childbearing years (except vegetarians!), the Paternalistic Movement emerges supposedly to protect girls as they grow into women, but ends up denying them freedom and education and forcing them into marriage to the highest bidder. When Avie's father sells her to a rich, older man in hopes of saving his company, she has to decide whether she will obey or fight.

This dystopian teen novel is a cross between the Hunger Games/Uglies/Divergent type (a teen girl inadvertently becoming the catalyst for a rebellion), The Handmaids Tale , and Stepford Wives with men trying to keep their women as housewives. Linka's writing is perfect for teens and the story compelling and fast-moving. Judging by the open ending, a sequel should be following.
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1 of 1 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. J. Postelli VINE VOICE on May 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is an excellent novel. Due to hormones in food, nearly all of the women in the US have died from ovarian cancer. Now Avie (Fearless) is one of the young girls put under "Contract" to marry an older rich man - who is also part of the conspiracy to restrict women - for their own good of course. The book follows her from her privileged life and details how she becomes a rebel fighting for the freedom of all women. Her growth from Avie to Fearless is an excellent journey and makes for a great read. I think this book should be read by every mother of daughters - and then read by and to their daughters! It is a cautionary tale of patriarchy, and contamination of our food supply, how one person can grow and make a difference. It is about what inspires us and what scares us - and dealing with both. And it is a great read!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Inspiring Insomnia TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
A Girl Called Fearless is one of the more disturbing dystopian novels that I’ve read. As with any dystopia, while reading it, I ask myself, “Could this actually happen?” I had a hard time accepting the reality of the society in this story, and while it disturbed me, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I might have otherwise.

Ten years ago, a synthetic hormone in the U.S. food supply wiped out the vast majority of women of child-bearing age. As a result, the Paternalist Movement was born, with the goal of rebuilding the population. In this society, young girls are a valuable commodity, and getting them to an age where they can begin popping out babies is the highest priority. I can actually understand this, but I had a harder time understanding the means by which the Paternalist Movement would achieve this. Girls cannot go to college. They’re expected to stay home to cook and clean and tend to their husbands, leaving the best jobs available to men. High school math and science classes are replaced with lessons in baking cupcakes. Fathers fiercely protect their daughters’ virginity in order to sell them to the highest bidder.

That’s where the story started to lose me. I suppose that stifling a girl’s desire for an education and a career MAY make her more likely to submit to this kind of treatment. But it’s probably equally as likely that a girl would rebel against these rules, and then what happens? Should she be imprisoned? Should her husband be allowed to rape her in order to impregnate her?

A Girl Called Fearless doesn’t really get into these details. Instead, we have to accept that the U.S. government and the general population is O.K. with treating girls and young women like baby-making factories.
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