Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Published by: Hodder Children’s Books
Publication date: 21st September 2017
Pages: 340, paperback
Genre: YA, contemporary, feminism
It’s time to fight like a girl!
Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her high school teachers who think the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.
Viv’s mum was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates Moxie, a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond and spread the Moxie message. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realises that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.
TIME TO FIGHT LIKE A GIRL
A page-turning read with a feminist message, for anyone who has ever had to deal with #everydaysexism
It’s official: Moxie is exactly what YA needs at the moment. To be honest, it’s what the world needs at the moment. This book had me so fired up, in a totally inspiring way. Lots of people have been talking about this book at the moment, and it is definitely worth the hype (though for anyone who has not read this yet, please note that this book does touch upon sexual harassment and sexual assault – not in too much detail, but this is something to be aware of)!
I loved the plot of this book, and I think it covered themes that are important for everyone. Everyone should read this – men and women, teenage or older. The girls in the story were standing up for what they believed in, and I thought this gave a really strong message about working together and listening to the teenage voice. Unsurprisingly, the rampant sexism and objectification of the female characters throughout the book upset me, but in a frustrated, ready-to-start-a-feminist-revolution way – and this just served to emphasise the theme of challenging authority, and changing old systems where reforms are needed.
The characterisation in this book was also really strong; Vivian, in my opinion, was an accurate portrayal of a teenage girl, and although she doubted herself a lot and was insecure at times, her character development was fantastic. I think her journey is representative of so many other’s, of people who take time to learn about the true importance of feminism, and she is a character who will resonate with a lot of people. I also found Seth very interesting – he was a good example of a guy who doesn’t quite ‘get’ feminism, despite what he might think, and his comment of ‘not all guys are like that‘ again, made me very frustrated. However, he learns from Vivian over time, and gradually her meaning begins to sink in; there are so any guys who share Seth’s stance of feminism, and so I am very glad he was given the necessary depth and development in this book.
I would have liked to see more exploration of the effects of sexism on girls who were ethnic minorities, or LGBTQ+, but this book does address the fact that Vivian’s experience of sexism differed greatly from others in her school. In general, this book did have a girl-power feel to it, and as someone who has never been subjected the kind of extreme sexism faced by the Moxie girls, I think it served as an important reminder as to why feminism is still so important today – even if it did make me want to scream and through the book down in despair at times!
Overall, this was a truly empowering read, and a realistic one. The Moxie girls faced so many challenges in their battle for equality, and although some of the obstacles took a while to overcome, they did overcome them. There is so much good that can be taken away from this book, and this is why I will be recommending Moxie to everyone from now on!
(I received this ARC for free at YALC 2017!)