...a powerful work that shows how many different people and organizations failed these women ... While the book is difficult to read at times owing to the details of sexual violence, it may be the most important sports title of the year. Pesta's in-depth reporting reveals the entire scope of Nassar's history, and the many who enabled his behavior. Highly recommended.
The reader will be horrified at not only the actions of Nassar, but also the verbally and physically abusive conduct of coach John Geddert, who, in effect, drove the girls into Nassar’s web, but also by a conspiracy of silence by so-called 'responsible adults' ... While many of the gymnasts gave statements at Nassar’s criminal sentencing, for some, The Girls offers them a first opportunity to speak. By doing so, they break out of the role of victim and transform themselves into the role of heroic survivors ... The Girls is their story of courage and Larry Nassar is now nothing more than a footnote.
Parts of the book were incredibly difficult to read. The truth is, I had to skip a few paragraphs here and there. Abigail Pesta has quite rightly told each of the gymnasts stories wholely and truthfully, resulting in some haunting stories ... From a journalistic point of view, I cannot imagine what it must have been like for Abigail to hear these horror stories from these brave women and then to deal with the pressure of retelling their stories in this way. I congratulate Abigail whole heartedly for her work in this ... I cannot use the word brave enough in this review ... The work that Abigail Pesta has done with this book is incredible, to tell the stories of these women and girls exactly the way it needs to be told. Not to shy away from detail, not to shy away from the impact of what they went through ... I honestly think that this book is one that every single person who works in sport should read. Why? Because every administrator, development officer, admin staff, CEO and coach needs to know what can happen if heads are turned the other way. They need to know exactly the devastation, the pain and the destruction that can be caused by the simple act of ignoring. Some need to be reminded that if it wasn’t for the athletes, the human beings that perform their sport, they would not have their jobs ... Congratulations to Abigail Pesta on this incredible book, but more importantly, to the hundreds of women who stood up to evil and brought it down ... If you work in sport, please read this book.