BrodartVibe

Prepublication Reviews and Expertly Selected Title Lists

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

9780062335975_p0_v3_s260x420In the spirit of Caitlin Moran’s brash, unabashed, painfully honest heroine Johanna Morrigan, I’m going to come right out and say that I loved this book. It’s funny, profane, and a stunningly accurate portrait of what it was like to be a teen in 1990. Anyone who ever grew up will instantly recognize the embarrassment, shame, humor, and hope that Johanna endures in a household of 7 people with no privacy, and her struggles to become her true self.

It all begins when Johanna decides that the thing to be is a writer. She tirelessly pursues her goal, embarrassing herself mortally when she appears on live television to recite one of her poems. She winds up doing a very prolonged Scooby Doo impression for lack of anything better to say and is the laughingstock of the town. Why not, she thinks, lose that old persona and assume the invincible mantle of Dolly Wilde, Sex Goddess? One small problem: she’s never even kissed a boy. She tries out as a reviewer for a music magazine in London as Dolly, wows the boys there, and begins an odyssey of saying “yes” to everything at the tender age of sixteen. She soon learns that moderation may be boring, but sometimes it’s the right thing.

Told in a very energetic, upbeat first-person style, the story is infectious and candid and hard to put down. Will Johanna/Dolly find her true place? Is she on the right path? One thing is for sure: she will figure out that making mistakes is often the best way to learn a lesson well.

Because of VERY frank sexual situations, extensive alcohol use and adult language, I would consider this a title for adults, although teens will certainly relate to the story.

– Stacey

Order in Bibz.

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