The Girls of No Return by Erin Saldin

The Alice Marshall School, set within a glorious 2-million acre wilderness area, is a place where teenage girls are sent to escape their histories and themselves. Lida Wallace has tried to negate herself in every way possible. At Alice Marshall, she meets Elsa Boone, Jules, and Gia Longchamps, whose glamour entrances the entire camp. As the girls prepare for a wilderness trek, Lida is both thrilled and terrified to be chosen as Gia’s friend. Everyone has their secrets – the “Things” they try to protect; and when those come out, the knives do as well.




  1. This book was well written, and the characters were realistic and very well developed. They had flaws and reacted based on their experiences, so that was a nice change. The reason I don’t think this book will win the Printz award is because there were passages in the book that fell flat and felt too two dimensional for my liking.

  2. Like Zoe, I think this book was very well written. I myself am a character person, and I found the girls in this book fascinating. They all had flaws, but no one seemed to be entirely ruled by those flaws. They had depth, but I wish some of the girls had a bit more time to show it. But since this book is being told from the perspective of the main character, it does make sense that we only really get to see the deeper aspects of the girls she grew closest to.

    Another part of this book that I found interesting was the interactions between the girls and their parents, and most specifically, the interactions between Lida and her step mother. They both seemed to realize that the other was trying, but neither seemed to want to back down from their position. That particular dynamic was just so real and so realistic, and I honestly think it might be what made this book for me.

    Now, this book does have its flaws. As Zoe mentioned, there were moments where the writing just fell flat, and overall, I couldn’t say that the book had exceptional writing. But it did, for the most part, feel and sound like something a girl in Lida’s situation would say, and for that, along with the other reasons above I give this book a “Yes.”

  3. I found that this book wasn’t as fast paced, but it still managed to maintain an interesting plot. The characters were well developed and the author portrayed them well through their actions and dialogue. You can also see small changes in the main character that don’t compromise who she is, only her opinions and judgments. I thought that the realism provided a deeper emotional connection and interest. We can all put ourselves in that position and it sparks ideas in the reader as well.

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