The Girls in Queens: A Novel (Paperback)
A MOST ANTICIPATED SUMMER READ FROM HARPER'S BAZAAR, BUSTLE, NYLON, THE MILLIONS, MS. MAGAZINE, and THE SKIMM
An unforgettable debut novel about the furious loyalty of two Latinx women coming of age in Queens, New York, an emotionally resonant novel infused with the insight, power, and poignancy of Angie Cruz’s Dominicana, Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn, and Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends.
Growing up in the ’90s along Clement Moore Avenue in Queens, Brisma and Kelly are two young Latinas with an inseparable bond, sharing everything and anything with each other. The girls are opposites: Brisma is sweet, sensitive, and observant, whereas Kelly is free-spirited, flirtatious, and bold. But together, they binge on Sour Patch Kids, listen to Boyz II Men cassette tapes, and dance to Selena and Mariah Carey where no one can see them.
In high school, their friendship starts to form cracks when Brisma finds herself in a relationship with Brian, a charismatic baseball star. Brisma is thrilled to finally have something—someone—to herself. But Kelly wasn’t built to be a third wheel.
Years later, the Mets begin a historic run for the playoffs, and Brisma and Kelly—now on the cusp of adulthood—reconnect with Brian after years of silence. But then Brian is charged with sexual assault. Brisma and Kelly find themselves on opposite sides of the accusation, viewing their past and past traumas from completely different vantage points, and the two lifelong friends will have to decide if their shared history is enough to sustain their future.
Told in alternating timelines, Christine Kandic Torres’s incredible debut explores the unbreakable bonds of friendship, complications of sexual-abuse allegations within communities of color, and the danger of forgetting that sometimes monsters hide in plain sight.
Christine Kandic Torres was born and raised in New York City. Her Pushcart Prize-nominated short stories have been published in various literary journals, such as Catapult, Kweli, Lunch Ticket, and Cosmonauts Avenue. She has received support for her work from Hedgebrook, VONA, and the Jerome Foundation with an Emerging Artist Fellowship for fiction. For her debut novel, The Girls in Queens, she received a 2020 New Work Grant from the Queens Council on the Arts. Christine currently lives in the suburbs with her family, but still supports writers in her home borough through her work with Newtown Literary, a journal and non-profit organization that serves Queens residents.
"This debut is a gorgeous coming-of-age story, set through the years of Kelly and Brisma's lives and encapsulating the changing nature of time." — Buzzfeed
“Torres debuts with an incisive and keenly observed story of girls and women navigating life in Woodside, N.Y… Even more impressive is the vibrant portrait of Queens, where gender, skin color, and ethnicity are prime factors in shaping the characters’ social positions. Torres hits every note perfectly.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Kandic Torres’ way with her characters is superb...The Girls in Queens is a moving debut from a writer to watch." — BookPage
“Beautiful and compelling and timely.” — Sahar Delijani, author of Children of the Jacaranda Tree
“THE GIRLS IN QUEENS is a tender, moving, and masterful novel. Set in Woodside, Queens during a rare winning streak for the Mets, THE GIRLS IN QUEENS has no easy answers, but as I followed Brisma’s journey and her strained relationship with a community that wants to turn a blind eye to the wrongdoings of one of their own, I found myself recognizing the faulty logic we’re forced to use to defend the people we know and love, in a system that usually fails to satisfy the needs of anyone — victim and perpetrator alike.” — ?Stephanie Jimenez, author of They Could Have Named Her Anything
"Christine Kandic Torres calls her debut novel, The Girls in Queens, 'the Nuyorican My Brilliant Friend,' and it delivers on that comparison." — Shondaland
"An intoxicating debut that explores race, coming-of-age, sexual assault, and more as readers follow two Latinx women growing up in Queens, New York." — Apartment Therapy
"This novel will resonate for those who’ve read books like Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn and is recommended for Torres’s attention to the complex intersectional issues surrounding allegations of sexual violence within communities of color and the promise of solidarity among women." — Library Journal