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It's a club like no other. Only the most important women receive an invitation. But one daring young reporter is about to infiltrate this female-run secret society, whose beguiling members are caught up in a dark and treacherous business. For years, rumors have swirled about an exclusive, women-only social club where the elite tastemakers of NYC meet. People in the know whi It's a club like no other. Only the most important women receive an invitation. But one daring young reporter is about to infiltrate this female-run secret society, whose beguiling members are caught up in a dark and treacherous business. For years, rumors have swirled about an exclusive, women-only social club where the elite tastemakers of NYC meet. People in the know whisper all sorts of claims: Membership dues cost $1,000 a month. Last time Rihanna was in town, she stopped by and got her aura read. The women even handpicked the city's first female mayor. But no one knows for sure. That is, until journalist Jillian Beckley decides she's going to break into the club. With her career in freefall, Jillian needs a juicy scoop, and she has a personal interest in bringing these women down. But the deeper she gets into this new world--where billionaire "girlbosses" mingle with the astrology-obsessed--the more Jillian learns that bad things happen to those who dare to question the club's motives or giggle at its outlandish rituals. The select group of women who populate the club may be far more powerful than she ever imagined. And far more dangerous too.


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It's a club like no other. Only the most important women receive an invitation. But one daring young reporter is about to infiltrate this female-run secret society, whose beguiling members are caught up in a dark and treacherous business. For years, rumors have swirled about an exclusive, women-only social club where the elite tastemakers of NYC meet. People in the know whi It's a club like no other. Only the most important women receive an invitation. But one daring young reporter is about to infiltrate this female-run secret society, whose beguiling members are caught up in a dark and treacherous business. For years, rumors have swirled about an exclusive, women-only social club where the elite tastemakers of NYC meet. People in the know whisper all sorts of claims: Membership dues cost $1,000 a month. Last time Rihanna was in town, she stopped by and got her aura read. The women even handpicked the city's first female mayor. But no one knows for sure. That is, until journalist Jillian Beckley decides she's going to break into the club. With her career in freefall, Jillian needs a juicy scoop, and she has a personal interest in bringing these women down. But the deeper she gets into this new world--where billionaire "girlbosses" mingle with the astrology-obsessed--the more Jillian learns that bad things happen to those who dare to question the club's motives or giggle at its outlandish rituals. The select group of women who populate the club may be far more powerful than she ever imagined. And far more dangerous too.

30 review for A Special Place for Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    I thought this entire book was satire until I realized by the end that it… wasn’t. This is definitely a chick lit book in the simplistic way it depicts working women, friendships, and romance, which is not a bad thing per se. The disconnect here is that it seemingly promises critique of white feminism and girlboss culture, as shown by the cartoonish portrayal of the all-women’s group and the protagonist’s outspoken scrutiny of their elitism. Yet there is little follow-up to these criticisms, and I thought this entire book was satire until I realized by the end that it… wasn’t. This is definitely a chick lit book in the simplistic way it depicts working women, friendships, and romance, which is not a bad thing per se. The disconnect here is that it seemingly promises critique of white feminism and girlboss culture, as shown by the cartoonish portrayal of the all-women’s group and the protagonist’s outspoken scrutiny of their elitism. Yet there is little follow-up to these criticisms, and worse, the latter half and conclusion become the very thing that the book had been mocking previously. It’s almost like these comments were only made for the sake of appearing self-aware, then going on ahead with being obtuse anyway. The “twist” is just weird and silly, so much so that I thought the book was going all in on satire, until I realized this was supposed to be serious. Any potential thoughtful commentary on lean-in feminism or the wealthy elite becomes diluted with a corny message instead about being accepted — without tapping into what that really means.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Laura Hankin

    Hi, I wrote this! It’s wild and genre-bending and twisty, with plenty of comedy and romance (yes there IS some fake dating involved!). Think Never Been Kissed meets the insular society of The Secret History, with some Practical Magic vibes to boot. I really hope you enjoy it, and I’m more than happy to answer any questions about it, come to your virtual book clubs, tell you about the time I went to a psychic for research, etc… so please feel free to reach out. Also, the beautiful cover is out TO Hi, I wrote this! It’s wild and genre-bending and twisty, with plenty of comedy and romance (yes there IS some fake dating involved!). Think Never Been Kissed meets the insular society of The Secret History, with some Practical Magic vibes to boot. I really hope you enjoy it, and I’m more than happy to answer any questions about it, come to your virtual book clubs, tell you about the time I went to a psychic for research, etc… so please feel free to reach out. Also, the beautiful cover is out TODAY! Thank you for reading!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

    Genre Blending done right!!! To save her career and impress a man, down on her luck, journalist Jillian decides to follow the rumours and infiltrate a secret club for some tastemaker women of New York. Laura Hankin takes real-life ideas and adds the right amount of satire to create an interesting, outrageous, fun story that addresses powerful women, feminism/white feminism, women supporting, uplifting and empowering women. She adds a bit of fun romance to have us rooting for whose team we are on Genre Blending done right!!! To save her career and impress a man, down on her luck, journalist Jillian decides to follow the rumours and infiltrate a secret club for some tastemaker women of New York. Laura Hankin takes real-life ideas and adds the right amount of satire to create an interesting, outrageous, fun story that addresses powerful women, feminism/white feminism, women supporting, uplifting and empowering women. She adds a bit of fun romance to have us rooting for whose team we are on with Jillian and two characters. There is a surprising twist and a turn to the story (be careful what reviews you read as not to spoil that twist and turn). Unfortunately, I read one and knew what turn the story was going to take. Bummer for me!!! I love the story's premise, and Laura Hankin plays on some tropes, giving them a refreshing and fun take, but mostly stays away from them being oblivious. The story starts off intriguing with the opening scene. It did slow down a bit for me, but when that twist and turn comes, the pace picks up, and I couldn't put the book down. It does feel a bit "far-fetched," but thats in the fun and the irony/satire is what drives the story forward. The ending could be a bit much to buy into, but it plays into the tone of the story. I liked how it all wrapped up, and it felt nice to get lost in the ending. I highly recommend it!! It has a cinematic feel to it, and it is being developed into a TV series. I received a copy from the publisher through NG.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Laura Hankin just officially became one of my favorite authors. This book is tense, spooky, unsettling, sexy, fun, and heartwarming all at once. Hankin is a fantastic writer, not to mention truly FUNNY.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Becca Freeman

    I LOVED this book. Even after, as other reviewers mentioned, things got weird! The book is a fictionalized portrayal of The Wing, an elite women's-only club in NYC. The portrayal of the club and the women in it is so painfully spot on, this book "gets" NYC. I won't spoil anything, but there's a major twist at around 60%. At first I was unsure how I felt, but I ended up really liking the direction the book went in. HIGHLY recommend. I LOVED this book. Even after, as other reviewers mentioned, things got weird! The book is a fictionalized portrayal of The Wing, an elite women's-only club in NYC. The portrayal of the club and the women in it is so painfully spot on, this book "gets" NYC. I won't spoil anything, but there's a major twist at around 60%. At first I was unsure how I felt, but I ended up really liking the direction the book went in. HIGHLY recommend.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Misha (Heartsfullofreads)

    Is this a thriller? No. Is this book filled with an intense feeling of needing to know what in the world is going on? YES! I flew this book in almost a day. Jillian wasn't necessarily the most likeable character in the world. That didn't matter though because I definitely wanted her to succeed. I thoroughly enjoyed this read. Thank you so much to BerkleyPub and Netgalley who provided this EARC in exchange for an honest review. Is this a thriller? No. Is this book filled with an intense feeling of needing to know what in the world is going on? YES! I flew this book in almost a day. Jillian wasn't necessarily the most likeable character in the world. That didn't matter though because I definitely wanted her to succeed. I thoroughly enjoyed this read. Thank you so much to BerkleyPub and Netgalley who provided this EARC in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    2.5 stars. At first I wondered if this would be too similar to 2020's THE HERD, and while they were different enough in the end, they still both suffer from the same problem, if anything this one is an even worse offender. They want to be like "ugh white feminism, amirite?" but only in the most shallow way. Ultimately this book is not all that interested in taking down the idea of a secret, highly influential, all-women's group made up mostly of the ultra-wealthy and white. In the end it is not 2.5 stars. At first I wondered if this would be too similar to 2020's THE HERD, and while they were different enough in the end, they still both suffer from the same problem, if anything this one is an even worse offender. They want to be like "ugh white feminism, amirite?" but only in the most shallow way. Ultimately this book is not all that interested in taking down the idea of a secret, highly influential, all-women's group made up mostly of the ultra-wealthy and white. In the end it is not about the self-serving nature of this type of lean-in style feminism or how it allows well-off women an excuse to avoid doing actual good in favor of their own self-care. It's just about how nice it feels when you do get included. I would actually be just fine with that if the book didn't take great pains to make it clear that it knows how problematic the idea of this club is, if it embraced it it would probably work a lot better to find that human story. Instead, it doesn't seem to have all that much to say in the end. Of course you know even before our protagonist, just-fired journalist Jillian, infiltrates the group that they have definitely Done Bad Things. Otherwise there wouldn't be a story. And it doesn't feel like yet another twisty female thriller that has the exact same kind of tone and characters and setting as every single other twisty female thriller (a lot of it is that, but enough of it isn't to be notable). And I will allow that the twisty elements of it are not the same old things, which is a nice change of pace. And it's not even like I need a thriller to have a point, most of them don't and that's fine. But if you are going to give me so much of Jillian looking around and seeing how bullshit this group is, you have to at some point explain to me what and why and how and it never actually does that because it is really just the table setting for the deeper plot. If the beginning moved faster, if the deeper plot went deeper, I can see how this could have worked. But it never really did either. I will remain here, anxiously awaiting a thriller that actually will be like "destroy white feminism from the inside," I am hopeful that someday we will get it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kristina (heartsfullofreads)

    Actual rating: 3.5 stars This is not typically a genre I read so keep that in mind with the rating I gave it. My best friend read this and loved it so I decided to give it a try. The mystery aspect of this book was the best part. I definitely was intrigued and wanted to know what was going on. I also appreciated that this turned out to be a positive story about women. I didn't love the main character at first but she grew on me. She did have some growth by the end which was good. Some aspects of Actual rating: 3.5 stars This is not typically a genre I read so keep that in mind with the rating I gave it. My best friend read this and loved it so I decided to give it a try. The mystery aspect of this book was the best part. I definitely was intrigued and wanted to know what was going on. I also appreciated that this turned out to be a positive story about women. I didn't love the main character at first but she grew on me. She did have some growth by the end which was good. Some aspects of the romance in this book did not work for me. I would say that was probably my least favorite part. Overall, this was an easy and entertaining read. If you regularly read this genre, you will probably enjoy it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Megan Collins

    Here’s the sign of a great, unputdownable book: I got up early on a Saturday—a SATURDAY—to keep reading. I also went to bed past midnight (super late for Grandma Megan over here) to keep reading. Basically, I couldn’t stop. A SPECIAL PLACE FOR WOMEN revolves around a secret society for elite millennial women, and the journalist with nothing left to lose who’s determined to infiltrate their group and expose their rumored shady practices. I loved Laura Hankin’s last book, HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT, so Here’s the sign of a great, unputdownable book: I got up early on a Saturday—a SATURDAY—to keep reading. I also went to bed past midnight (super late for Grandma Megan over here) to keep reading. Basically, I couldn’t stop. A SPECIAL PLACE FOR WOMEN revolves around a secret society for elite millennial women, and the journalist with nothing left to lose who’s determined to infiltrate their group and expose their rumored shady practices. I loved Laura Hankin’s last book, HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT, so much that before I even knew her new book’s premise, it became one of my most anticipated of 2021. And it does not disappoint! The writing is continuously witty, funny, and engaging, the characters are intriguing and, at times, intriguingly suspicious, and the story itself offers so many surprises. Seriously, at one point, you will have to put the book down to be like, “I’m sorry, WHAT?” and then you’ll immediately pick it back up and keep racing through it. I love how the book seemed like it would be about skewering performative feminism (and, in part, it is), but then took a turn into something even more fascinating. I had the most fun reading this book, and I’m certain you will too.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    The first 60% of this book was AMAZING and I couldn’t put it down, but then it took a strange turn and I felt like I was reading a completely different novel. 3.5 stars.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie (read_with_steph)

    What the heck did I just read? This book is described as journalist Jillian infiltrating a secret society for rich, influential, feminist women in New York City. Rumors have been swirling that this cabal got the first female mayor of NYC elected, and then got her booted from office when she attempted to tax their wealth, and Jillian wants to get to the bottom of this. For the first half of this book, I was torn between attempting to appreciate it as a novel, and feeling compelled to analyze it as What the heck did I just read? This book is described as journalist Jillian infiltrating a secret society for rich, influential, feminist women in New York City. Rumors have been swirling that this cabal got the first female mayor of NYC elected, and then got her booted from office when she attempted to tax their wealth, and Jillian wants to get to the bottom of this. For the first half of this book, I was torn between attempting to appreciate it as a novel, and feeling compelled to analyze it as a sociopolitical commentary. And then at 60% in... I don't even know what happens. It just goes off the rails. There's a twist that's so absurd, so random, I don't even know how to wrap my head around it. And there's no way for me to further discuss it here without completely spoiling the book, which I don't want to do. Especially since so many other readers seem to be a fan? Instead, I'll say, if you're a realist or pragmatist, or even just a mystery/romance fan, looking for the story described in the blurb... this might not be the book for you. If you're a fan of the unexpected, the surreal, and fantastical--sure, give this a try. The writing wasn't bad, the characters were interesting, it's just... the plot... left something to be desired. Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for my eARC! All thoughts and opinions are my own. 3 stars - 6/10

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This book isn’t about influencer women, or a journalist trying to uncover wrong-doing, or even about whether women can support one another. It’s shallow YA witchcraft nonsense that’s been miscategorized. #disappointed

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kaya

    DNF almost immediately. This is the cheesiest book I have ever picked up.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Blake

    I loved this so, so much.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kelly • Kell of a Read

    3.5 ⭐️ Well, this was delightfully strange and unexpected! I honestly had no idea what this book was about but as soon as I saw it mentioned I immediately placed an order because: 1) I really enjoyed Laura Hankin’s Happy and You Know It and 2) THAT COVER DESIGN! I love going into books totally blind but I’m pretty sure no amount of pre-reading research could have prepared me for this one. While I definitely wouldn’t classify this as a thriller, it was unique, twisted, funny, and downright weird 3.5 ⭐️ Well, this was delightfully strange and unexpected! I honestly had no idea what this book was about but as soon as I saw it mentioned I immediately placed an order because: 1) I really enjoyed Laura Hankin’s Happy and You Know It and 2) THAT COVER DESIGN! I love going into books totally blind but I’m pretty sure no amount of pre-reading research could have prepared me for this one. While I definitely wouldn’t classify this as a thriller, it was unique, twisted, funny, and downright weird at times. I was initially a little apprehensive about all the “millennial girl boss” vibes but I think it was pretty well done- just enough funny details without shoving too many millennial cliches down our throats. I was a little underwhelmed by the secret society at the beginning and a little weirded out towards the end. The ending felt a bit abrupt, but overall this was fresh and perfectly weird. Even with some flaws, I couldn’t not enjoy it. The book is incredibly well written and I’m very excited to see this plot play out on TV.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    I received a gifted galley of A SPECIAL PLACE FOR WOMEN by Laura Hankin for an honest review. Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review! A SPECIAL PLACE FOR WOMEN envisions a secret underground club just for women named Nevertheless. They’re rumored to have all the power and influence to ensure their candidate get elected to office and to sway public opinion to bring down their enemies. No one has been able to pin them down, but reporter Jillian ju I received a gifted galley of A SPECIAL PLACE FOR WOMEN by Laura Hankin for an honest review. Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review! A SPECIAL PLACE FOR WOMEN envisions a secret underground club just for women named Nevertheless. They’re rumored to have all the power and influence to ensure their candidate get elected to office and to sway public opinion to bring down their enemies. No one has been able to pin them down, but reporter Jillian just might give it a try. While attending her childhood friend’s restaurant opening, she happens to meet a woman most assume is key to the club and she decides that this might just be the answer to her career woes after her employer goes under. Soon Jillian is being escorted blindfolded into the clubhouse, initiated into the secrets of Nevertheless. While she balances the draw of the club with the intrigue of a potential groundbreaking story, Jillian seeks to gain even more access to the inner circle. I enjoyed the author’s HAPPY & YOU KNOW IT last year, so I was eager to pick this one up and I think I enjoyed this one even more. While I didn’t always agree with Jillian’s choices, I could really feel for her predicament. Jillian has recently lost her mother and her job and she’s struggling to make ends meet in the wake of her mother’s medical bills. The draw of Nevertheless and the promise of women helping women also has a very strong draw. This book takes some wild turns a bit past the halfway point and I’m not entirely sure still how I feel about them. It certainly threw a curveball at me that I did not see coming! It made for a very entertaining and gripping read and I really could not click through the pages fast enough! A SPECIAL PLACE FOR WOMEN is out today and I highly encourage adding this one to your TBR list!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alexa Martin

    I know they say don’t judge a book by the cover, but as soon as I saw this cover with its glorious title and captivating description, I knew this book was for me! Laura wrote a hilarious, witty book that takes readers on a freaking JOURNEY! And I loved every single part of it! The characters in this book shine along with a plot I could’ve never predicted. I was up until 3:30 am finishing this book and I have zero regrets!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Matt Chisling (MattyandtheBooks)

    A Special Place for Women is the story of Nevertheless, an exclusive club for millennial women at the top of their game in New York City. Jillian, An ambitious journalist with a knack for bad luck one day finds herself inside the walls of this exclusive club, on the hunt for a story about what makes this group so special: You can't speak about the club in public, and no one knows who's really a member until you step inside. When Jillian becomes a member, she gets swept up in the magic of the clu A Special Place for Women is the story of Nevertheless, an exclusive club for millennial women at the top of their game in New York City. Jillian, An ambitious journalist with a knack for bad luck one day finds herself inside the walls of this exclusive club, on the hunt for a story about what makes this group so special: You can't speak about the club in public, and no one knows who's really a member until you step inside. When Jillian becomes a member, she gets swept up in the magic of the club. Until she finds out what's behind a locked door... This was a really fun read from an author who brings a lot of humor to her writing. It's definitely a light story - a sort of mix between GIRLBOSS and FIGHT CLUB, with plenty of moments to laugh along. But Hankin loves a good twist, and for those of you who fell in love with BIG SUMMER last year, here's a summery option that absolutely takes a turn worth sticking around for. It'll definitely make you wonder just what is it that powers those megawatt smiles on the faces of influencers, executives, and celebrities that we've come to know and love. I liked this book - but I didn't love it. I do think many others will absolutely adore this twisty tale!

  19. 4 out of 5

    aNeedleinMyBookstack | Christine

    Do you ever read a book or watch a show and desperately want to call/text all your girlfriends and OMG WE NEED TO TALK? That was me after reading to the halfway point of this new book by Laura Hankin. I had no idea where this book was going to go next and happily, for me, every twist and turn did not disappoint, and I thoroughly enjoyed this wild ride. Jillian Beckley is a down on her luck journalist who shows up for a grand opening of a trendy new restaurant to support the owner and best guy fri Do you ever read a book or watch a show and desperately want to call/text all your girlfriends and OMG WE NEED TO TALK? That was me after reading to the halfway point of this new book by Laura Hankin. I had no idea where this book was going to go next and happily, for me, every twist and turn did not disappoint, and I thoroughly enjoyed this wild ride. Jillian Beckley is a down on her luck journalist who shows up for a grand opening of a trendy new restaurant to support the owner and best guy friend, Raf. After a chance meeting with a prominent New Yorker who is purported to lead an elite secret woman’s club, Jillian comes up with a plan to infiltrate and write an exposé on the club. The club is allegedly so powerful they can orchestrate rise and fall of a mayoral candidate and Jillian is determined to find out if any of it’s true. Reviewer mea culpa, I judged this book by its cover. Squinting at a tiny book cover photo on my mobile was a silly error in judgement on my part because after finishing the book, I get it. It is perfect. This book is not a female version of the secretive all-male Bohemian Club but a thought-provoking, discussion-worthy examination of women’s empowerment, both good and bad—and at what cost? If you are looking for something unique and fun and with a little romance threaded through, I highly recommend this book! Thank you @laurahankin @letstalkbookspromo @berkelypublishing and @NetGalley for the eARC of this book. Opinions are my own.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Donna Rigg

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Jillian, a twenty-something year old journalist, has an idea for a tantalizing exposé. She wants to try to crack into an exclusive, secretive, powerful, all female club, and then write an article about its members, their influence, and their connection to New York City's first female mayor. This fictional book is about Jillian's efforts to join the club and the secrets she learns along the way. I thought the story was promising. I like the idea of having a group of wealthy and well-connected wom Jillian, a twenty-something year old journalist, has an idea for a tantalizing exposé. She wants to try to crack into an exclusive, secretive, powerful, all female club, and then write an article about its members, their influence, and their connection to New York City's first female mayor. This fictional book is about Jillian's efforts to join the club and the secrets she learns along the way. I thought the story was promising. I like the idea of having a group of wealthy and well-connected women trying to support female candidates and influence politics. This interesting idea, however, was ruined by an improbable, illogical, and far-fetched plot. Firstly, the book makes a great deal about the fact that the club is very secretive, with no one knowing its location, its members, and whether indeed it actually exists. Despite all the secrecy, Jillian somehow manages to become a member and is drawn within its inner circle in a matter of weeks. That is hard to imagine. Often exclusive, private clubs require sponsors, a few meet and greets, a thorough background check, member feedback, and years to be accepted, but Jillian bypasses all that and becomes a trusted confidant within days. (Jillian does have a special reason to be on a fast-track, but still, considering the nature of the club's activities -- criminal and supernatural -- it is highly unlikely that they would trust a new member and let her join so quickly.) Rather than just relying on the women's wealth and influence, for some reason the author decides that the inner circle of the club is a coven of witches; go figure. I found that strange considering that many men use their wealth and connections to effect change. Do women need to have magic, spells or special powers in order to achieve these goals?? It's as if the author is implying that women who want to exert influence must be strange/abnormal, even possibly insane. My understanding was this book was intended to be funny. It wasn't. I honestly didn't laugh once. Finally, it seems as if every other contemporary chic-lit book I read is about some 25-35 year old single female living in a city, grieving the loss of her mother, needs a new job, can't pay the rent, and is debating between two love interests. Can we please move beyond this character. TL;DR: I do not recommend this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elle G.

    My Rating: 5 stars Genre Women’s Fiction Review Snapshot : Laura Hankin pens a compulsively readable women’s fiction novel that centers around a secret society of women in NYC! Things get weird in the middle, but I LIVED for the weirdness that went on! So. Good! ︙︙︙︙︙︙︙︙︙ Ever since I read Happy and You Know It by Laura Hankin, I knew she would be an author I go back to over and over again. Her characters, while not the most likeable, are exactly as one would picture them; uptight and snotty el My Rating: 5 stars Genre Women’s Fiction Review Snapshot : Laura Hankin pens a compulsively readable women’s fiction novel that centers around a secret society of women in NYC! Things get weird in the middle, but I LIVED for the weirdness that went on! So. Good! ︙︙︙︙︙︙︙︙︙ Ever since I read Happy and You Know It by Laura Hankin, I knew she would be an author I go back to over and over again. Her characters, while not the most likeable, are exactly as one would picture them; uptight and snotty elite women, women who think they are above everyone else because they are rich etc. Even though you don’t WANT to connect with people like them you can really help it because Laura shows that even though they are distasteful, they too have their own flaws that make them the way they are. It’s really quite amazing how she does this and it’s shown through both books. I think many of the women who I came to dislike in these novels actually redeemed themselves in some way- very cool! Now, I don’t want to spoil this book because it truly IS an intriguing, unique, and EXCELLENT read, but I will say that the reviews are true. Thing DO get weird towards the middle of the book but it’s not something we don’t EXPECT. There are hints thrown throughout the first half of the book so we do know where it might be going, just not what is actually going to happen. I loved this A LOT. That being said, I enjoyed this book immensely and never wanted to put it down. I picked it up whenever I could and sat for hours devouring the pages. If you want a book that’s a bit quirky and totally binge worthy then I highly recommend this one! I can’t wait for her next novel!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    This one was just ok for me. I just wanted MORE. I felt the end was pretty anticlimactic after the "big reveal." This one was just ok for me. I just wanted MORE. I felt the end was pretty anticlimactic after the "big reveal."

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Um...what did I just read? I'm not even saying this in a good way. As always, I got pulled in by the premise of A Special Place for Women, because isn't that one of the main things that draw readers to read a particular book? (It also helps that the cover is actually beautiful! I love the whole "minimalist one-line art" of the faces on the cover!) Our main character, Jillian, a newly laid-off news reporter wants to do a deep dive into Nevertheless, a society of successful, wealthy, high-ranking w Um...what did I just read? I'm not even saying this in a good way. As always, I got pulled in by the premise of A Special Place for Women, because isn't that one of the main things that draw readers to read a particular book? (It also helps that the cover is actually beautiful! I love the whole "minimalist one-line art" of the faces on the cover!) Our main character, Jillian, a newly laid-off news reporter wants to do a deep dive into Nevertheless, a society of successful, wealthy, high-ranking women to see if they had any pull in the recent mayoral election in NYC. However, getting into Nevertheless is the hard part: no one knows how to get in, where they meet, and how much the monthly membership fee is. By a stroke of luck, Jillian gets the opportunity to go to a Nevertheless meeting by going to a party at one of the members' houses thanks to a connection she has through her friend and talking to some of the (supposed) Nevertheless members there. Oddly convenient that she manages to talk to three of the members there in one night (not that she knew ahead of time, she just had some gut feelings), but moving on... She gets to her first meeting, which is already creepy enough considering she was confronted by 3 members on a street corner and blindfolded to get to the location of the meetinghouse. She spends an evening at a motivational speaker talk where a lot of "#girlboss" and empowerment stuff happens and by the end of the night, she's considered a "trial" member. Fast forward a month and she's already a full-fledged member of Nevertheless, complete with NDAs about never speaking about the club and giving away its locations and all of that. There's a reason why her application process was so quick compared to other members, but I'm not going to reveal why in case you want to read the book. Jillian quickly realizes that there's a lot more sinister stuff happening at the club beyond some casual tarot reading and motivational speaker series. This is where the problems begin for the book. Around the 60% mark, things start to not make sense anymore. There's a giant plot twist around that part and that's when they lost me. The plot gets wilder and more unrealistic that by the end of the book, Jillian's character development and what she came there to originally do just went down the drain. She wanted to join Nevertheless to find out their secrets and expose them for what she believes is a significant role in the mayoral election. By the end of the book, she's all about wanting to be part of a sisterhood and wanting to protect her fellow members. Like, where did your character development go? With all that being said, some other weird things that happen in no particular order: naked dancing around a fire, chanting, and driving around in a conspicuous white van. Not to mention, the love triangle with Jillian, her childhood best friend, and her former boss (who I should mention is married and almost 20 years older than her. Red flag right there) just felt so forced and I couldn't feel an ounce of chemistry between Jillian and her best friend or Jillian and her former boss (the fact that she even has a crush on him when she's aware he's married is just...ew). I also didn't need to know Jillian was horny like, every other chapter (at least it felt that way). Her personality also was just unlikeable. She cracked really lame jokes all the time in serious situations and I couldn't stand her after she fully joined Nevertheless because her character development went down the drain for the sake of feeling included in what was a very restrictive, elitist group of wealthy women. I think the book did a good job of calling out performative feminism and sisterhood because that's exactly what Nevertheless is and one of the things Jillian originally wanted to call out in her deep dive article. To outsiders, Nevertheless is a group of women coming together to uplift each other, support each other to become empowered women, and wanting to do big things with their wealth and success. For example, one of the girls in the group makes seltzer water and donates the proceeds to an organization to help provide clean water to people in Africa, and one of the founders of the group runs an organization to help put women in power in government and other leadership positions. Sounds great, right? In reality, they're not including all women in Nevertheless. You can only be a part of the group if they like you and you can afford to pay $500 a month for membership, which restricts who can (the wealthy upper class) and can't join (everyone else). Nevertheless reminds me of Greek life at colleges/universities, where all those frats and sororities promote brotherhood and sisterhood and wanting to give back to the community but the process of getting into said frat or sorority often involves putting you at risk. I know enough people from college who joined a frat or sorority to know that joining often involves getting wasted every night during rush week so the members can "get to know you" and sometimes even getting hazed (I get that most frats and sororities don't haze, but some of them still do where I go to college which is honestly really upsetting). Then they'll interview you and if they like you, you can join...as long as you can pay whatever they're charging for membership. Overall, I think the idea of the book was good with calling out performative feminism and also involving a "chick-lit" element to it with the easy-to-read chapters and a love triangle, but it was, in my opinion, poorly executed. The plot twist was unrealistic, I felt no chemistry in the love triangle, and I didn't like how Jillian essentially gave in to the performative feminism after fully joining Nevertheless. Rating: 2.5 stars (rounded up to 3 because the book was easy to read and kept me occupied for a few days)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Schiestle

    What a wild ride! A secret society? An in over her head journalist? A pretend boyfriend? This book has it all! It’s funny & spooky & witty & had a little bit of everything. Plus it takes place in NYC! I don’t even have the WORDS for what this book meant to me while I was reading it! Wow. Any woman in their twenties or thirties will likely identify with this book. I cannot recommend this book enough to all young adult women. Finding yourself & not letting men or careers define you… it’s hard. But What a wild ride! A secret society? An in over her head journalist? A pretend boyfriend? This book has it all! It’s funny & spooky & witty & had a little bit of everything. Plus it takes place in NYC! I don’t even have the WORDS for what this book meant to me while I was reading it! Wow. Any woman in their twenties or thirties will likely identify with this book. I cannot recommend this book enough to all young adult women. Finding yourself & not letting men or careers define you… it’s hard. But hang on to your girlfriends. & believe in magic.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mari Chiodo

    This book was not what I expected and yet was so much more. Definitely genre bending. I couldn’t put it down.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Woodruff

    I was so excited to get this ARC. I found this book very enjoyable and it hooked me from the first page. At approximately 62% I was thrown off when the plot took a bit of a twist and turn but overall this book was really good. I loved how relatable Jillian was and found her relationship with her best friend to be very enduring. Check out this book when it hits shelves in 2021!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Belle

    I'll be honest, I started reading this book strictly because of all the hype it was getting. I mean don't get me wrong the synopsis drew me in a bit more, but overall I was hype chasing. Through that hype chasing I ran right into the arms of a book I loved, adored, will re-read, and will endlessly recommend. If you're reading my review then you have already read the synopsis, so I'm not writing you another. I will say this. This book is magic. It had my stomach in knots and my mind trying to sol I'll be honest, I started reading this book strictly because of all the hype it was getting. I mean don't get me wrong the synopsis drew me in a bit more, but overall I was hype chasing. Through that hype chasing I ran right into the arms of a book I loved, adored, will re-read, and will endlessly recommend. If you're reading my review then you have already read the synopsis, so I'm not writing you another. I will say this. This book is magic. It had my stomach in knots and my mind trying to solve the puzzles it was laying out. Jillian truly had me stressing out time and time again, but I loved that our personalities were opposites. The way her character navigated things is nothing like I would have thought or chosen but it made for a book I couldn't put down. Through every twist and turn A Special Place for Women was drawing me into a maze, that at it's center had me feeling strangely empowered. Normally hype chasing only leaves me empty and annoyed but I should have known by the title and the cover this book would become one I loved. 12 stars or 5 or whatever, a lot.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kent Stratton

    I was not expecting this to end up where it did. Good premise and writing, but it didn’t go deep enough into the society’s history of wrongdoing for any possible conclusion to really feel impactful.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nikki DeVaux

    Uhhh, what the hell. This book was NOT for me, I almost DNF about 82 times because my eyes were hurting from rolling so much. There were so many praises that it was genre blending done right, but I’m having a hard time even figuring out what ones - fantasy? YA? Mystery??? And Jillian, my GOD. She was f’ing insufferable- whiney, talking about how much she needs to have sex every time she even looks at a male (seriously, I do *not* care), her ridiculous inner dialogue & bratty attitude. Also if I Uhhh, what the hell. This book was NOT for me, I almost DNF about 82 times because my eyes were hurting from rolling so much. There were so many praises that it was genre blending done right, but I’m having a hard time even figuring out what ones - fantasy? YA? Mystery??? And Jillian, my GOD. She was f’ing insufferable- whiney, talking about how much she needs to have sex every time she even looks at a male (seriously, I do *not* care), her ridiculous inner dialogue & bratty attitude. Also if I had to hear/read the phrase “her eyes turned red” in reference to someone crying I was about to stick a fork in my eye. I felt the premise was weird as hell - like the author forgot what the club was about so she would randomly mention “feminism” (in quotes because there was really no follow through) to remind the readers that despite all the witchy shit going on (also wtf) these women were trying to do good. And politics was also involved..? Like, I can see the potential but the execution was definitely not there. Honestly I don’t even want to waste anymore energy on this review lol if witches, bad dialogue, an audiobook narrator who is smiling the whole time she’s reading (why was this so frustrating for me???), a terrible attempt at a love triangle and “feminism” is up your alley maybe you’ll enjoy this one. 1.5 stars only because of Libby and her sweet persona.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cherlynn (cherreading)

    4.5 stars Where do I begin with this awesome book?! It's not the kind of book that you can box into a genre because there was a bit of everything, from romance and mystery to feminism and humour. And I loved every moment of it. The mystery kept me turning the pages. The romance was perfect and swoonworthy. There was even a love triangle hehe. Also, the whole book was HILARIOUS and had me laughing quite a bit, whether it's the puns, the pop culture references or the self-deprecating tone. The writin 4.5 stars Where do I begin with this awesome book?! It's not the kind of book that you can box into a genre because there was a bit of everything, from romance and mystery to feminism and humour. And I loved every moment of it. The mystery kept me turning the pages. The romance was perfect and swoonworthy. There was even a love triangle hehe. Also, the whole book was HILARIOUS and had me laughing quite a bit, whether it's the puns, the pop culture references or the self-deprecating tone. The writing is brilliant, as with all the characters. Strong, capable and influential women they might be, but the author does a fantastic job in capturing/showing their vulnerabilities and insecurities. What a fun, amazing and enjoyable read! ✨ "In so many ways, magic and wealth were just the same thing."

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