Suzanne Young’s Girls With Razor Hearts is an angry book. Not only is Ms. Young angry but her characters are angry, and she provides enough examples of rape culture and sexism to make you angry. Normally, I would consider this type of story cathartic, finding comfort in the knowledge that I am not alone in fuming at the injustice of it all. This time around though, I found it all a bit much.
Take this passage discussing men in general:
“‘They had a president who bragged about sexual assault,’ she continues. “Cabinet members who were arrested for domestic abuse, a secretary of education enacting policies to protect rapists!” Her voice ticks up, but she visibly calms herself. ‘And still…,’ she says in eerie calm. ‘No one stopped them. They’re sick creatures, Mena. They’re a horrid species.'”
Or this one:
“Why is everyone so willing to lie all the time? And it’s those lies that are so insidious. The way society pretends these terrible things aren’t happening — their racism, their sexism. The way they pretend it’s just us overreacting.”
The entire novel includes punchy, rage-inducing commentary about society like these two quotes. What makes Girls With Razor Hearts frustrating instead of refreshing though is the fact that there is a lot of raising awareness but very little in the way of action.
In many, many ways, Girls With Razor Hearts reads like a typical Suzanne Young novel. It contains very strong female characters more politically aware than their counterparts and ready to fight the status quo. Unfortunately, it is bordering on bitter as it lists every possible instance of gender inequality, rape culture, and overt sexism by both men and women. I am hoping that the third novel in the series will include more action against such injustice. Most women I know have been furious since 2016. It is time we get something that will provide us examples of how to fight against such behavior rather than another example of what we need to fight against.