Thursday, 7 September 2017

How to build a girl - Caitlin Moran

What do you do in your teenage years when you realise what your parents taught you wasn’t enough ? You must go out and find books and poetry and pop songs and bad heroes - and build yourself.

It’s 1990. Johanna Morrigan, 14, has shamed herself so badly on local TV that she decides that there’s no point in being Johanna anymore and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde – fast-talking, hard-drinking Gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer! She will save her poverty stricken Bohemian family by becoming a writer – like Jo in Little Women, or the Brontes - but without the dying young bit.

By 16, she’s smoking cigarettes, getting drunk and working for a music paper. She’s writing pornographic letters to rock-stars, having all the kinds of sex with all the kinds of men, and eviscerating bands in reviews of 600 words or less. 

But what happens when Johanna realises she’s built Dolly with a fatal flaw? Is a box full of records, a wall full of posters and a head full of paperbacks, enough to build a girl after all?

My thoughts:
I enjoyed this one, it reminded me of another book I read long ago. The whole swearing, drinking, fooling around and masturbating.  It was vulgar, it was real. She was truly 14.

Johanna's family lives off benefits. She helps taking care of her siblings. She is fat, she hates it. People bully her at school. Then it gets worse and she invents a new personality. I liked Johanna cos she was real. Her new personality might not have been the best idea, but hey she was a teenager. She is bound to make reckless and stupid decisions, just like people at any age.

Her road takes her to writing music reviews. Drinking. Wanting to loose that stupid virginity, or hey at least getting kissed. She really went all in for her new personality. Though how everyone else fell for it I do not know. She was just 16 after all. She seemed too good too fast when it took off. Even with the mistakes.

Anyway, it was a really good book. It works just as well as YA as adult. There is humour, and it is well written

Cover
eh

Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 3rd 2014 by Ebury Press
Fiction
Own


36 comments:

  1. I like that it's timeless and appeals to both YA and adult.

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  2. This sounds like a fun and realistic YA book. I haven't heard of it before, but I'm interested!

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  3. glad you liked this one. Humor is always a plus.

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  4. I love the sound of this and that it can be enjoyed by all ages.

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  5. This reminds me of a book I read last year called the Nerdy and the Dirty. It sounds fun.

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  6. Glad you liked this one. Sounds good.

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  7. If I were 16 or even 18 I'd read it gladly. And enjoyed.

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  8. Probably not the right book for me but glad to hear you enjoyed it.

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  9. I'm kind of curious how it all turns out for her. That's a lot of living for only 16 years old lol

    For What It's Worth

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    1. It would not have worked no, but in the 80s, the fact they did not know her age...yeah

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  10. Wow, sounds like a book that doesn't shy away from the stark realities...

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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  11. Always great when the author nails it when writing about a teen and their life/choices realistically.

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    1. I wonder if she took from her own years? I am a lazy researcher

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  12. 14's messed up. Such an angsty time- for some anyway. The title of this one made me think of Weird Science?

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  13. I didn't know aout this one but I would be curious

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  14. I don't care for the cover but the story sounds rather interesting. Glad you enjoyed it!

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