September Girls by Bennett Madison

September GirlsSeptember Girls by Bennett Madison
Published by: HarperTeen on May 21, 2013
Genre: Mermaids, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 256
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★½

When Sam's dad whisks him and his brother off to a remote beach town for the summer, he's all for it—at first. Sam soon realizes, though, that this place is anything but ordinary. Time seems to slow down around here, and everywhere he looks, there are beautiful blond girls. Girls who seem inexplicably drawn to him.

Then Sam meets DeeDee, one of the Girls, and she's different from the others. Just as he starts to fall for her, she pulls away, leaving him more confused than ever. He knows that if he's going to get her back, he'll have to uncover the secret of this beach and the girls who live here.

In a summary, September Girls is:

  • Awkwardly inappropriate to the point where it’s almost funny.

  • Completely spark-less.

  • Loaded with internal “contemplating the universe” kinds of thoughts.

  • Boring.

  • Unresolved.

  • Attempting to be “mysterious” but the “mystery” drags on for the whole book in such a way that nothing actually happens because we’re waiting for the mystery to unfold.

  • Supposedly a “romance” story, but there was no chemistry, no spark, no love—nada. It was an awkward insta-love at best.

Despite hearing some scary things about this book, I tried to go into it hopeful. I actually didn’t hate it right away. Then the awkward sexual sentences started rolling in randomly… but I still didn’t hate it. They were so random, so out of place, and so ridiculous that I just laughed at them. I actually got pleasure out of it. But is it really a good thing to enjoy laughing at the ridiculousness of a book? I wouldn’t exactly call that an accomplishment. I wasn’t laughing because they were genuinely funny; I was laughing because it was all so absurd.

Things started off mildly funny. Example:

“Dude,” he said. “This summer we’re gonna get you laid, bro. It’ll do you some good.”
“I don’t see what we has to do with it,” I said. “Isn’t getting laid like something you generally do on your own?”
“There’s your first mistake,” Jeff said. “You don’t even have the basic mechanics right.”
September Girls by Bennet Madison

That’s one line that actually made me laugh (genuinely). I was enjoying the funny little banter. But then sexual comments started being inserted so randomly into Sam’s train of thought:

I had decided to take a walk, and now I was alone at the edge of the water as it came and went. The sun was hot and high in the sky and it felt good.
It felt good to be alone, especially after the previous day’s cramped and endless journey. I consider myself a sociable person, but sometimes I feel best being sociable with myself. I guess that’s why I enjoy masturbation.
September Girls by Bennet Madison

WHY? Just why? Sam is thinking about the beach, the weather, the sun, the sky, the car journey, enjoying being alone, the MASTURBATION. Obviously that’s a natural transition. Beach + Sky – Suburbs + Car Journey + Alone = Masturbation. Those totally random sexual thoughts were embedded in totally unrelated sentences. Sam would think about one thing then suddenly find a way to throw masturbation or fucking or his dick into it. It was so random that it actually shocked me.

This morning at the beach was different. I felt the muscles in my shoulders pumping with blood. I felt ocean in my eyelashes and a heaviness in my dick.
September Girls by Bennet Madison

Oh, Sam, what a heavy dick you have!

And we soon learn that Sam cannot control his erections.

Her eyes were burning: green with gold rings around the pupils. I tried to look away but I found that I could not. I instantly had a raging boner.
September Girls by Bennet Madison

To give you some context there, Sam is just chatting to a girl outside, talking about her birthday, then he looks into her eyes and gets a raging boner. For me, it came out of nowhere and I actually reread it to make sure my dirty mind wasn’t putting boners where they didn’t exist.

But my favourite scene was this one:

Kristle was in my room and she was naked. I thought I was dreaming at first, but I rubbed my eyes and sat up in bed, she was standing motionless, arms at her sides, her body hard and glowing like a statue made of moon rock.
And she crawled into bed on top of me, her nipples scraping my bare chest..
September Girls by Bennet Madison

To start with, this sentence had me CRACKING UP. I immediately had to share it with my boyfriend and it became our running joke for the night. First, I did the logical thing and Googled Moon Rock so I could get a sense of what I was working with here:

Moon Rock
Washington University in St. Louis

Basically, what Sam is saying is that this naked woman is hard, darkish grey, and full of little holes. Attractive. But let’s not forget her super sharp nipples, scraping against his chest. I spent the entire rest of the night receiving sweet comments from my boyfriend about my moon rock-like appearance and sharp nipples. What a sweetheart he is.

Okay, enough talk about the quotes. I’m actually disappointed that they fizzled out after the 50% mark. They were fun to laugh at.

But my main problem with this book is that nothing happens. We get caught up in this big “mystery” of who the girls really are, but we never actually learn who—or what—they are. The book is basically:

  • Go to the beach.
  • Meet girls.
  • Girls are mysterious.
  • Walk along the beach.
  • Go to a party.
  • Get seduced.
  • Drink.
  • Girls smoke.
  • Go for a swim.
  • Eat cereal.
  • Girls smoke.
  • Sit in a pirate’s ship.
  • Walk along the beach.

…you get the point. We learn nothing. And even when we get to the end of the book, I still have zero sense of who these girls are. I thought this was supposed to be a mermaid book, but I can’t even say with certainty whether the girls actually are mermaids or not. I legitimately have no idea.

And then there’s the romance… The romance had zero substance, zero spark, and zero chemistry. It was definitely a case of insta-love.. but it wasn’t even really insta-love because there was no passion in the relationship. Sam became a little obsessed with DeeDee, but I never even got the impression that DeeDee gave a shit about Sam. So is that even insta-love? Maybe one-sided insta-love.

Ultimately this book just left me confused, disappointed, and unsatisfied. I hate how there are all these references to legends, myths, mythology, and the Bible, but I still have zero sense of the overall story. Who are those girls? I don’t know. They talk about their mom, their dad, and their brothers, but who the hell are they? After reading the book (and not even really skimming it—properly reading it) I still don’t know.

The Verdict


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  1. Hahah first of all very entertaining! I read the little blurb for this book and thought it looked really interesting… Now I’m just going to say thank you for saving me from buying a book that I just would not enjoy! I hate insta-love and mysteries that seem to go unsolved! I like my endings neat and tidy thank you very much!

  2. I’m about to start this book, your review has officially cracked me up. I’m still going to read it as I scheduled it before and figured that I’d have to move all my posts around and quite frankly- could not get stuffed doing that AT ALL. So YEAH…

    Stunning review Ashley! Too funny ;D

    Melanie recently posted: Midnight Madness Newsletter (9)
    1. I know! Honestly I think I could have enjoyed the book a lot more if at least something happened.. but nothing happened. It’s like there was no plot. I just…. feel like I read nothing but stream of consciousness from a teenage boy. If we had some real mermaid mythology in there, it might have been at least okay.

  3. Staying far away from this one! I’ll just keep admiring the pretty cover. Those quotes had me cracking up too. This book sounds so awkward and I can’t help feeling curious about it…
    Good examples of books told in a male-only POV’s are Nyrae Dawn’s What a Boy Wants and What a Boy Needs. These were my first Indie books, after this I was hooked!
    Funny review!

    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted: Stacking the Shelves (51) + Weekly Recap!

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