September Girls

Book review by Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
September Girls Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 15+

Lyrical coming-of-age tale undercut by iffy gender messages.

Parents say

age 15+

Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+

Based on 2 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Community Reviews

age 15+

It upends a lot of romantic tropes

There is a small group of people who have vocally lambasted this book for being "sexist." There is another group of people who find it an amazingly thoughtful critique of the ways that men and women can feel trapped in particular roles and identities. I am in the latter camp. The set up of the book feels like the beginning of an erotic story meant for teenage boys. It very realistically depicts the way some boys talk about and think about girls. The book does NOT indicate that these people are correct to speak about women in this way. In fact, there are frequently indications from the narrator that he is bothered by thinking of women in sexist ways. The Girls of the book are depicted in very stereotypical ways for a very particular reason that becomes clear as the book progresses. The depiction of the girls ends up being a fantastic critique of the messages that mass media and consumer culture send to women, but it seems like some readers don't pick up on that aspect of it, and maybe it is true that younger readers who are not good at picking up on irony and the concept of an unreliable narrator might take too much of the book literally. I am a 40+ year old reader, and strangely enough, I felt like I was the best audience for this book. The book is ultimately a tale about the life changing moments we pass through in life and that is a theme that the average teenager doesn't quite get. I think this story might resonate most with someone who has just come home from a summer camp, or graduated from High School or College. The book very realistically depicts A LOT of talk about sex, drinking, and drug use. I do not consider it too much, it is just a realistic amount for the group of people that the book is depicting. Ultimately, I think it is a mistake to consider this a Young Adult book.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Book Details

Our Editors Recommend

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon magic wand on orange background
    Magic and Fantasy
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of a sister and brother holding hands
    Brothers and Sisters
    See all
  • Cartoon hands high fiving
    See all

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate