Thursday, 1 February 2018

Book Club: How To Build A Girl

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran
Image Via Chapters Indigo
Book: How To Build A Girl
Author: Caitlin Moran

Indigo Summary:
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 Brontes-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 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?

What I Have To Say:

This was the January pick for my book club and I wasn't excited about it.

We are introduced to Johanna and her family living in estate housing in England. We get insight into the struggles that her and her family face, especially once their government benefits get cut. Johanna decides to drop out of school and become a writer, to help her family out financially. Johanna takes us on her journey as she starts to build her experience as a music writer and eventually becomes a known music critic. Johanna transforms into Dolly Wilde and introduces us to a very different lifestyle- sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. The antics of Dolly are over the top, sometimes entertaining, most times cringe worthy.

I have read other books by Caitlin Moran, and I am not a fan. Her other books are collections of essays and this is a work of fiction, a novel. The first part of the book was really tough to get through, once Johanna is working and living the life of Dolly Wilde, it does get easier to read. There were some funny moments, but I found a lot of the story to be boring. Johanna was not likeable to me, but the persona of Dolly was fun at times.

Final Verdict:
Unless you are already a fan of Caitlin Moran, give this book a pass. 


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