World War Z. La guerra mondiale degli zombi gThis is not a drillI repeat NOT A DRILLYes Caitlin Moran has written a seuel to the sublime How to Build a Girl I never expected this never asked for this and I definitely don t deserve it but young women do This seuel is arguably better brighter brilliant than the first book I devoured it in a day and I already want too back and re read it underline it find uotations make my friends read it to hear their opinions This is a book I want to share and evangelize and enjoy again and again but it is uncompromising and unflinching in its feminism yet it also contains so much joySpoilers for the first book Content warnings for this book lots and lots of drug use explicit sex if you are sex repulsed you are not oing to like this sexual harassmentmisconduct discussions of eating disorderspurgingfatphobiaHow to Be Famous picks up where the first book leaves off 19 year old Johanna Morrigan writing under the pen name Dolly Wilde reviews music shows and lives in London She is in her own words a raunchy Lady Sex Adventurer but really of course she is still young and learning her way through the sometimes terrifying and disappointingly misogynistic world of the London music scene Johanna refuses to sleep with a comedian then ives him a second chance but when she snubs him yet again he takes revenge Soon Johanna finds herself in a situation too many prominent women face being publicly shamed for her sexual behaviour which is really no one else s businessOnce again I m struck by how much I like Johanna as a character She is a raw and honest narrator telling the story with some distance from her younger self but still exposing us to her younger self s earnestness Once she lives this split life on one hand she is Dolly Wilde fearless music journalist and Lady Sex Adventurer on the other hand she is still Johanna Morrigan nineteen year old Who Is Muhammad Ali? girl trying to figure out what the hell this life is all about This is particularly noticeable when she talks at length about her feelings for John Kite As much as Johanna evinces this confident sexually liberated exterior deep down she is still inexperienced still trying to figure out who she wants to be and there s nothing wrong with thatIndeed one of the most poignant moments in the book for me comes when Johanna finds herself in the position to take a friend s virginity to teach him and show him the ropes and she discovers how enticing a prospect this is for her Suddenly the sex act is not about showing howood she is at pleasing a man it s this collaborative experience Johanna is basically a microcosm for portraying the epochal shift that feminism underwent over the decades from perceiving liberation as we can or should have as much sex as we want when we want to we can have as much sex when we want with whom we want entirely on our terms Moran recapitulates this much resoundingly later in the book In between then of course we have the juxtaposition of Johanna s unsatisfactory experiences with Jerry SharpAlthough set in the mid nineties this book will obviously resonate with the current MeToo and TimesUp movements Johanna discovers firsthand the ineuity of being a woman who has casual sex In addition to the professional fallout from refusing Tony in the first book there s the way Jerry Sharp essentially oes out of his way to Target Her Something That Sounds All Too Credible To Me her something that sounds all too credible to me just from what I read and will no doubt feel even familiar to some women readers Moran masterfully manages the emotional upheaval that Johanna endures the ups and downs culminating in a fantastic nadir a flight and then of course the redemptive realization that she would rather fight but howThis is where How to Be Famous departs from some of
gritty takes on rape that I ve read over the years it has a happy ending and Johanna ets some measure of closure or retaliation Despite dealing with a very serious subject it nevertheless remains hopeful and buoyant and defiant in that way And I want to be clear I m not saying that s better than books that adhere to a less optimistic storyline The Whole Point Is whole point is we deserve all sorts of narratives about this topic We need narratives that portray the brutal uncaring realities about rape culture We also deserve narratives about how it is possible to fight and to win against men who abuse their privilege Just as How to Build a Girl made me excited for teenage irls to read it because it talks so honestly about some of the feelings they might wrestle with I m excited that How to Be Famous exists for young women It shows them that you can be strong and still be scared and upset and at a loss at times You can fight back and still be terrified and unsure of yourself Media often simplify narratives raising up some people as paragons and casting down others as unworthy and it is never that simple It is always complicated Moran captures that in Johanna s behaviour hereThis book feels a lot focused in terms of plot than the first one which is another reason I find it even better That being said don t mistake this book for solely a novel about sexual misconduct There s so much happening in here so many fascinating feminist subplots Let s just briefly list them Johanna and her dad the way she s acting as this proxy mother figure and at odds with her own mother the hilarious conversations between Johanna and her brother Krissi which always warmed my heart the ruminations once again on the effects of poverty on one s psychology and actions see the scene with Johanna and her brother Lupin Suzanne and the record deal and the way Su. Life is always better backstage isn't itThe Sunday Times Number One bestseller about a young woman making it in a world where men hold all the powerI’m Johanna Morrigan and I live in London in 1995 at the epicentre of Britpop I might only be nineteen but I’m wise enough to know that everyone around me is handling fame very very badlyMy unreuited love John Kite has scored an unexpected Number One alb. Lture and I was fine with that I like novels that make points But nothing about this particular novel felt unified or organic it was a bunch of interrelated points held together by a shaky scaffolding of plot I think maybe How to Be Famous has a case of middle book syndrome It s neither the exciting opener of a trilogy nor its hopefully rand conclusion just the book that ets you from one of those to the other I still enjoyed it just not as much as I expected to 45 Stars for How to be Famous audiobook by Caitlin Moran read by Louise Brealey This is such a reat series I hope there is books to come The author does a A Secret Kept great job of empower I enjoyed this so much than the first book and here s whyHow to be Famous has all theood bits of How to Build a Girl you ve ot a fabulously witty and outrageous protagonist a aggle of uirky and interesting characters and a writing style that is both humorous and engaging What How to be Famous improves on is the plot and the overall story I finished this book and I felt sopositive Euphoric DollyJo is a much relatable and real character in this book and although there was still a lot of wicked humour and nonsense there was also a real profound story to be told I love what Moran did she took this world that she built and she s created a novel that is funny but also hard hitting as it addresses issues that are still so prominent today eg the MeToo movement How to be Famous really impressed me and I m even excited because I have tickets to her book tour so I ll be seeing her next week Aaaah Let me et this clear I love Caitlin Moran I think she is bar a few cringe worthy mis steps intelligent and hilariousI don t think I love her as a fiction writer thoughOn the face of it I am all about this book it s feminist book exploring abuse of power within the male dominated music industry Music Feminism Yay And the eneral story was fairly enjoyable the main character was fairly fun to read mostly because she was essentially Caitlin Moran who I loveBUTBut throughout it all it seems like Caitlin never really settled into the first person narration of her main character At times it became too obvious that Caitlin the outspoken feminist was writing what she thought 19 year old The Ancient Greeks: Ten Ways They Shaped the Modern World girl who isn t aware of sexism would think about things The sentences that ended this is just whatirls do felt a little too much like Caitlin was silently adding in parentheses BUT THAT S BECAUSE THE WORLD IS SEXIST that it didn t feel like a believable inner monologueBut aside from that there were other occasions that just felt like Caitlin than the protagonist And yes I et that despite what the opening page claims the protagonist basically IS Caitlin But times felt like obviously Caitlin thought of something witty and decided to shoehorn it into the book even though it didn t really feel like a natural observation of a first person narrator So maybe a third person narration style would suit Caitlin s voice better It s almost like she s someone who is very used to being a journalist and a columnist and 90% of her writing has been her writing her own thoughts and being allowed to add Caitlin Moran s side comments wherever she wants toMy final issue with the writing is that the tense didn t always make sense While mostlyThe Gritty Takes On Rape
written in present tense there were a few occasions where suddenly something would be described in the past tensein present tense there were a few occasions where suddenly something would be described in the past tense again sounded like Caitlin make a narrator s observation from 2018 about what life was like in the 90s Which is a totally and valid fine "Thing To Do If "to do if rest of a totally and valid fine thing to do if the rest of book isn t written in present tense and set in 1994 You can t talk about these being the days when people could smoke in igs if your narrator is not even aware of a future where you CAN T smoke in igs And your 19 year old protagonist can t have a short paragraph talking about how nice her hangovers are not like the hangovers you et when you re over 30 because she s not over 30 She has no experience of thatMy one other Let Freedom Reign': The Words of Nelson Mandela. Henry Russell gripe is the HUGE amount oframmatical errors I will slightly let this off and hope they are corrected in future re prints but Paper Crafts Magazine: Joy of Card Making (Leisure Arts good lord there are a lot There are words missing there arerammatical errors like a enemy and there are random mis spelled words like sayid instead of said And presumably proofreading is somebody s job Whoever it was may I suggest they hire me insteadAnyway despite all of these complaints I feel I should clarify again that I did enjoy the story and I mostly enjoyed reading the protagonist I just really wish that some tighter fine tuning could have been done on the narration style either by removing some elements that were clearly written by Caitlin rather than Dolly or else just making the book narrated in the third person and allow Caitlin full reign to Path to Sanity: Lessons from Ancient Holy Counselors on How to Have A Sound Mind give the commentary that is so clearlyoing on in her head as she s writingAlso sidenote I haven t read How To Build A Girl to which this is the seuel since it came out in 2015 I rated that one 4 stars and I m not sure whether I was just less critical for that one or whether the issues I had with this book weren t very noticeable in that oneIncidentally I just went back and read my review of How To Build A Girl Funnily enough I had the exact same criticisms there that the voice was basically indistinguishable from Caitlin Moran s own voice and the fact it was very distracting when switching from present tense to some indeterminate future self looking back on those days So nice to know that the writing style is in fact consistent between both books and that my irritation by it is also consistent. EBut when my two night stand with edgy comedian Jerry Sharp Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus goes wrong people start to know my name for all the wrong reasons ‘He’s a vampire He destroys bright youngirls Also he’s a total dick’ Suzanne warned me But by that point I’d already had sex with him Bad sex Now I’m one of the irls he’s trying to destroy He needs to be stoppedBut how can one woman stop a bad famous powerful man.