Mondays are usually my day to wrap up my weekly reading and share what I plan to pick up, but this month I’m taking part in a pre-publication readalong of Caitlin Moran’s How to Build a Girl with several other bloggers. We’ll be reading the book throughout July and sharing our thoughts in small sections each Monday. I haven’t read anything by Moran, though she’s been on my TBR for ages, so I’m quite excited about this. How to Build a Girl is being billed as “The Bell Jar written by Rizzo from Grease”, which cranks that excitement up a notch. At the same time, I have a little added curiosity after reading Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist earlier this week, which questioned some of the strategies Moran used in How to Be a Woman. All combined, I’m looking forward to giving more YA a try, reading an author I’ve been meaning to get to and discussing it all with other bloggers.
You can check out the introduction to the readalong (with a Caitlin Moran e-mail!) and meet the rest of the participating bloggers over at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads). And if you’re curious about How to Build a Girl, here’s the full synopsis.
The New York Times bestselling author hailed as “the UK’s answer to Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler, and Lena Dunham all rolled into one” (Marie Claire) makes her fiction debut with a hilarious yet deeply moving coming of age novel.
What do you do in your teenage years when you realize 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, fourteen, 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 Bröntes—but without the dying young bit.
By sixteen, 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 kinds of men, and eviscerating bands in reviews of 600 words or less.
But what happens when Johanna realizes 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?
Imagine The Bell Jar written by Rizzo from Grease. How to Build a Girl is a funny, poignant, and heartbreakingly evocative story of self-discovery and invention, as only Caitlin Moran could tell it.