Review: How to Build a Girl

How to Build a Girl
How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loving this so far. I highly recommend to anyone who loves a spunky heroine with lots of optimism who is unhampered by reality (as long as the reader isn’t put off by -ahem- language and plenty of wanking).

“As soon as I actually find something to believe in, I’m going to believe in it more than anyone else has ever believed in anything, ever. I am going to be devout.” (p.30)

After describing her writing projects in which her main character prevents several historical disasters (Hitler and the Black Death), “I’m very into the idea of sorting things out through superior paperwork. This is my favorite transformatory power.” (p.31) I am going to have to steal that.

“In the end, I go where I always go when I need information on something baffling, poisonous, or terrifying: the library.” (p.44)

“All my life, I’ve thought that if I couldn’t say anything boys found interesting, I might as well shut up. But now I realize there was that whole other, invisible half of the world – girls – that I could speak to instead.” (p.105)

“This is the terrible thing about learning everything from books – soemtimes you don’t know how o say the words. You know the ideas, but you cannot discuss them with people with any confidence. And so you stay silent.” (p.289)

“I feel excitingly . . .free. Things were going to happen to me last night that I did not like – and I stopped them. I have never prevented my own doom before. I have never stood in the path of certain unhappiness and told myself – lovingly, like a mother to myself – “No! This unhappiness will not suit you! Turn around and go another way!” (p.299)

So, what is this book about? It’s about a girl who sets out to make herself, allows other people’s agendas to cloud her vision, and then begins to figure it out. Pretty cool. Very entertaining. Awesome overall message but not at all preachy. A bit raw for recommending to teenagers we love but I wouldn’t object if they found it on their own. I only wish a few more pages were devoted to Johanna post epiphany.

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