How to Build a Girl

I’ve been a fan of Caitlin Moran for a long time and recently read this book as her TV series, Raised by Wolves had finished. It’s similar to her memoir, How to Be a Woman and I think a large part of this ‘novel’ is autobiographical. Having said that, I still really enjoyed it, and didn’t mind that some of it felt very familiar.

It’s the story of 14 year old Johanna, who lives with her family in a house in Wolverhampton. They’re always skint, are pretty eccentric and all Johanna wants is to reinvent herself as someone else. So she does. She becomes Dolly Wilde, a hard-drinking and fast-living goth who’s going to become a writer. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, Johanna realises that she’s built Dolly all wrong. She’s missing something crucial, but what can she do to fix it?

This is a great coming-of-age story written from a fantastic feminist perspective. I really enjoyed the descriptions of the London Brit-pop music scene from the 1990s, it took me straight back to my own adolescence. It’s brutally honest, just the right amount of rude, really funny and well-written. What more could you ask for?!

Caroline
Mind member.

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