Booktalk: September Girls by Bennett Madison

September Girls cover

I first picked up September Girls because I was searching for new books with classic themes.  What I didn’t expect to find (and what the cover didn’t prepare me for) was that it was primarily told from a boy’s point of view.  I also didn’t expect that behind the magical/romantic elements was a deeper story about family dynamics and family tensions.  I wish that boys would read this book, although for many of them the title and the cover would probably be a dealbreaker.  For any teens who DO read this book, though, I think they’ll find an unusual story that is memorable on many levels.  This is also a excellent candidate for a booklist I’ve been compiling in my head called “Romance Books For Readers Who Think They Hate Romances.”

Check out Bennett Madison’s website to learn more about September Girls!


When Sam’s father decided to take Sam and his brother Jeff to live in a beach house for the summer, it seemed like a good idea.  It was a chance for the three of them to get out of the house and just relax.  It was a chance for them to forget for a while about how Mom left them a few weeks after Christmas, and how she didn’t say when or IF she was ever coming back.

Once they got to the beach, it was pretty easy to forget about how lousy things were at home because there were so many beautiful girls there.  And as Sam started noticing, there were girls and then there were Girls.  With a capital G.  All of these Girls were beautiful in an almost identical way.  All of them were blonde.  And as Sam learned when he started talking to them, they all had the same accent.  It was a strange accent that was very difficult to place, but the Girls said they were from Russia.

As the days turned into weeks, Sam and Jeff started spending more time with the Girls.  Jeff was hanging out Kristle and Sam was hanging out with DeeDee.  The more Sam talked to DeeDee the more he learned about her, but he was also frustrated because of all the things she wouldn’t tell him.  She wouldn’t tell him what happened to her parents, why she was so afraid of the ocean, why the Girls acted so strangely around him, or where they were really from.

They don’t know it yet, but by the end of the summer, Sam and Jeff are going to discover the secret of this beach and the mysterious Girls who live there.  And that secret will be stranger than they ever imagined.

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