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Literature / Boring Girls

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Boring Girls is a 2015 horror novel by Sara Taylor, better known as Chibi as the vocalist for The Birthday Massacre.

Teenage Rachel hears gothic metal band DED out of a passer-by’s car on the way home from high school and it changes her life. Metal music gives her an outlet and leads her to meet Fern, with whom she forms an unshakeable bond— and a band. The world of metal isn't the escape she'd hoped, though, and when she discovers it can be as cruel and misogynistic as the world she left she and Fern take matters into their own hands.

Tropes contained in this book include:

  • Adults Are Useless: Rachel’s parents are well-meaning but bumbling, Fern’s only appear once, and the bands around them don’t seem to notice anything wrong.
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Averted. Socks is the oldest, least outlandish, and probably most reasonable member of the band.
  • Amazon Chaser: Craig is dismissive and hostile towards Rachel when she makes the impression of being an awkward poser. When he sees her beat the tar out of a guy at a concert and own it, he comes around on her and spends the rest of the novel smitten.
  • Asshole Victim: The rapist/child molester that Rachel and Fern murder. Their second victim is a muddier case, but their final ones had it coming.
  • Broken Pedestal: The entirety of DED turns out to be self-important rapists. Especially noticeable with Balthazar, who Rachel idolized before meeting him.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Rachel realises just before she kills him that Balthazar doesn’t even remember her specifically.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Rachel pins Josephine as this when the latter begins to complain about feeling left out now that the former has made new friends. Mileage may vary on whether it's a fair assessment, or an understandable reaction to someone you care about binning your friendship to pursue "better" ones.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: The murders we're told about on the first page don't happen until well after the two-thirds point of the book.
  • Does Not Like Men: Rachel ends up being disillusioned by a majority of men, due to the sexism she experiences in the metal community. It gets worse after her rape.
  • Driven to Suicide: Fern, after they get their revenge, throws herself into the crowd knowing they will kill her.
  • Emo Teen: Rachel has the look and the attitude, contrasting with Perky Goth Fern.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Craig is a jerk, but he's not fond of racists and eagerly anticipates the possibility of roughing up a group of skinheads who were harassing his black friend Edgar. His initial harsh to reaction to Rachel is also implied to have been more due to him perceiving her as insincere than the fact that she was a girl into metal.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Rachel tells the reader on page one that she ended up killing several people. The question is who, and what drove her to it.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Played for horrific drama, as Rachel meets Balthazar again when she's older and famous — and he greets her affably, having completely forgotten her.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Rachel and Fern were normal suburban teenagers, if a little offbeat, before ascending to metal stardom and becoming multiple murderers.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The band DED, which stands for Die Every Death.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Rachel admits after getting signed on to Tom Manic's prestigious record label that it doesn't really matter if she dislikes the guy, since, as Edgar points out, she feels this way about nearly everyone on the planet.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The band DED keep a rack of real weapons on stage to gesture dramatically with. Guess what Rachel and Fern use to kill them.
  • Informed Ability: A common complaint from Goodreads reviewers is that Rachel and Fern's lyrics are, at best, corny and unoriginal. Not the sort that would propel you to stardom.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: In-universe, Fern and Rachel’s band. It’s called ‘’Colostomy Hag’’.
  • Ironic Echo: Rachel reminds Balthazar of his quip about ‘boring girls’ before chopping his head off.
  • Jerkass: Many, including out protagonist, who has a lot of commentary on "assholes" but becomes increasingly unpleasant, judgemental, and petty as her horizons expand.
  • Karma Houdini: Two members of DED are still unaccounted for after Rachel and Fern's rampage and no mention is made of their fates afterward. Presumably the truth coming out may have left their names mud in the Death Metal community but that's just speculation.
  • Kick the Dog: Rachel's treatment of Josephine in general after making friends with whom she has more common interests.
  • Laughing Mad: Rachel when she witnesses, and then commits, her first murder.
  • Metal Scream: Rachel learns to do this and is very proud.
  • Nice Girl: Josephine and Fern can be catty where the other is concerned, but they're fundamentally nice girls.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: “I thought you were sick of boring girls.”
  • Rape as Drama: Fern and Rachel are assaulted by the band DED in their dressing room.
  • Sex for Services: A couple of girls barter oral sex with the bouncer for the opportunity to meet DED in their dressing room. Rachel and Fern just boss their way in. Although the bouncer implies he has a quota of young groupies to funnel in to the band anyway….
  • Title Drop: Balthazar calls Fern and Rachel “boring girls” because they don’t want to have sex with him.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The attempted rapist that an unhinged Fern beats the shit out of in an alley continues hurtling slurs and abuse at her long after the tables have turned.