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Plain Bad Heroines: A Novel by [Emily M. Danforth, Sara Lautman]

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Plain Bad Heroines: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 1,157 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Emily M. Danforth is the author of the highly-acclaimed young adult novel The Miseducation of Cameron Post. She has an MFA in fiction from the University of Montana and a PhD in English from the University of NebraskaLincoln. She lives with her wife and two terrible dogs in Rhode Island. This is her first adult novel.

--This text refers to the audioCD edition.


“An exquisitely plotted, winkingly crafted romp . . . a supersized Slurpee that will satiate you and leave behind a sugar high. . . . [Danforth’s] gifted at braiding characterization, suspenseful plotting and frequent injections of flat-out terror . . . exhilarating.” -- Hillary Kelly, Los Angeles Times 

“A multi-faceted novel, equal parts gothic, sharply funny, sapphic romance, historical, and, of course, spooky.” --
Entertainment Weekly

“Full of Victorian sapphic romance, metafictional horror, biting misandrist humor, Hollywood intrigue, and multiple timeliness—all replete with evocative illustrations that are icing on a deviously delicious cake.” --
OThe Oprah Magazine,

“A delicious Gothic tale . . . a tasty brew of creepy shuttered prep school, creepy reopened prep school, queer feminist legacy and modern adaptation of said legacy . . . will make you crave more of Danforth’s smart, funny prose.” -- Bethanne Patrick, 
Washington Post

“A layered, farcical take on the sins of woman . . . [danforth] uses vivid language to capture each time and place, in a narrative that is rare even among lesbian fiction . . . clever quips and striking imagery.” --
 New York Times Book Review

“Brimming from start to finish with sly humor and gothic mischief,
Plain Bad Heroines is a brilliant piece of exuberant storytelling by a terrifically talented author.” -- Sarah Waters, New York Times bestselling author of The Little Stranger and Fingersmith

"Emily Danforth's ingenious, jaw-dropping novel is a time-hopping epic about the history of a cursed New England girls' school, doomed lovers, and an equally cursed modern-day retelling via film, plus yellow jackets. Hell, those yellow jackets! The expertly rendered characters are as heartbreaking as they are written with an integrity of vision that saturates every page.
Plain Bad Heroines is a queer roar and it's terrifying and it's a goddamned triumph." -- Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World

Plain Bad Heroines wears its brilliance lightly and like the Black Oxford apples described in these pages, it's dark, sweet, and addictive. Emily Danforth displays all the gothic wit of Edward Gorey and all the soaring metafictional ambitions of David Mitchell, alongside a generosity and humanity that is uniquely her own. Simply one of the best books I've read in the last decade.” -- Joe Hill, New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman

“Stuffed with footnotes, and stories inside stories inside stories, Emily M. Danforth’s follow-up to 
The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a queer gothic coming-of-age story set at a cursed New England boarding school for girls. There are just a few sequences of words that fire up my pleasure centers the way that description does.” -- Vulture, 19 Books We’re Excited to Read This Fall

A short list of things you’ll find in this novel: curses, lesbians, gilded-age society scandals, yellow jackets, a heaping dose of snark, and the nagging sense that the line between what’s real and what isn’t has been blurred. . . . It’s the perfect autumn read for you and your best friend that you’re secretly in love with, trust me.” -- Buzzfeed, 38 Great Books to Read This Fall, Recommended by Our Favorite Indie Booksellers  --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B083SMWFSF
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ William Morrow; Illustrated edition (October 20, 2020)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 20, 2020
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 34168 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 641 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 1,157 ratings

About the author

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emily m. danforth's debut (YA) novel, THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST (2012), was translated into half-a-dozen languages and won The Montana Book Award and was a finalist for both the Morris Award and a Lambda Literary award. It was also adapted into a Sundance award winning feature film of the same name in 2018. emily’s second novel, PLAIN BAD HEROINES, is a meta-gothic sapphic romp about a cursed New England boarding school and the horror film being made about that school. PLAIN BAD HEROINES will be published by HarperCollins in October of 2020.

emily has an MFA in Fiction from the University of Montana and a Ph.D in English-Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She lives in Rhode Island with her wife Erica, her mother Sylvia, and two of the most spoiled dogs on the planet, Kevin and Sally O’Malley.

emily was born and raised in Miles City, Montana, a cattle town best known for its Bucking Horse Sale-which was once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for hosting the most intoxicated people, per capita, of any US event. She has worked as a lifeguard, a swim coach, a not-at-all reliable waitress and bartender, an aquatics director at a YWCA, and as a Professor of English and Creative Writing. You can often find her on ebay checking her auction bids for things like vintage store display stock of toothbrushes. (No, but really. Her wife would prefer her to maybe not have quite so many collections, but her family will confirm that she has been this way since childhood.) emily's favorite 1980’s slasher movie is April Fools’ Day (1986) and no, she doesn’t want to hear why you think she’s wrong about that choice.

You might want to visit her here:

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
1,157 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 24, 2021
2 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 7, 2022
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4.0 out of 5 stars Yellow Jackets Galore
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 7, 2022
I’m rating this 4 because of the early 1900’s part of this story.

I struggled over several months to get through the first half of this book. The gothic boarding school trope was there + mystery + Hauntings but the way it is written (switching between numerous narrators, dates and locations) made me seasick.

Redeeming quality for me is the historical story that came through in the telling and I wish there was more of it.

In short this is a sapphic tale of Hollywood, friendships, hauntings & how the repercussions of our choices affect those who follow us.

““Don’t find yourself regretting this. You’re much too young to haunt your own life.” Page 380, Kindle edition
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One person found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 23, 2020
63 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 9, 2022
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 31, 2021
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Top reviews from other countries

4.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious, spooky read with interesting structure and enjoyably flawed characters
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on January 28, 2022
2 people found this helpful
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Chloe M
3.0 out of 5 stars 3-4 star, may need a reread.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 14, 2021
2 people found this helpful
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4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric story with some creepy moments
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 21, 2022
One person found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Star Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 4, 2022
V. O'Regan
4.0 out of 5 stars American Gothic at its finest
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on March 5, 2022
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