Author- Jennifer Mathieu
Publisher- Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date- September 19th, 2017
This book brushes over topics like sexual harassment, rape. Though not in detail, these issues are discussed.
We live in a society where feminism is looked down upon. We live in homes where when you mention feminism, your family tells you to be quiet so they can watch television in peace. We go to schools where when you say the word “feminism”, you can practically feel boys rolling their eyes and muttering “triggered, hysterical feminazis.” We walk in a city where women avoid being called a feminist because they think it’s a label that will make people judge them. We live in a world where when you scroll through the comments on a feminism post, you see people furiously typing- “FEMINISM IS CANCER” or “PATRIARCHY DOESN’T EXIST” or “YOU’RE PROBABLY FAT AND SINGLE IF YOU’RE A FEMINIST”.
Moxie acknowledges every single one of these problems, looks at all of these people in the eye, and shows them the finger and says a big “F*CK YOU”. Moxie brings together every girl who is uncertain and afraid of raising her voice, and shows her that she isn’t alone. Moxie shows every single person- you and your voice matter. Moxie is a wakeup call. It’s a shout for awareness, and is a book that every teen and young adult has to read.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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
This was such a goddamned powerful book. I am a feminist, and I get judged for that. And I for the life of me, cannot comprehend why. Feminism is not a word people need to shy away from- it’s not venomous, it’s not man hating, it’s not anything that people assume from their half knowledge. It’s about empowerment and equality, and I will always be excited to read a book empowering people and spreading awareness.
The setting is any old high school. Just imagine your own high school. Because I for one, can see how troublingly realistic this setting is. A high school where you hear sexist comments passed back and forth as jokes? Yeah sounds familiar. Mathieu makes the story something so accurate, and it’s so easy to relate it to your own surroundings, because a lot of what happens in the book happens very easily in real life too. It disturbed me how similar the book seemed to my surroundings. How so many characters seemed like people I know. How none of this book was actually “fiction”, because it’s literally what the world is like, and no one seems to notice how horrifying it is.
The plot was slow at the beginning, but really got powerful with time. I loved the zines, the posters, the flyers, and all the slow build up in the plot that got really impactful near the end. The chapter in which the girls all came out together wearing bathrobes had me mentally applauding, because they finally spoke up. They finally said “fuck it” and started the revolution. It made me so damn proud.
I adored so many of the characters. Vivian was such a realistically written character. I saw myself in her a lot- she was a bit hesitant to speak up, to be in the spotlight, to look different from her friends because she didn’t want to be judged. But her passion and her drive was so fierce. She got more sure of herself, she got stronger, she grew, and she became a fighter. She’s open minded and understanding, elegant in the way she puts across her points, unpatronzining, and a character I really look up to.
I really loved that this book showed all the types of feminists. It had unapologetic feminists like Lucy who were fiery and passionate and ready to take it all head on. We had feminists like Vivian who took some time to speak up, but speak up they did. We had feminists like Claudia, who were uncertain, unsure, but finally came out to support the movement. The female friendships in this book were amazing, and not once was there unnecessary girl hatred or bs slut shaming. The girls had the best and most loving and fun bonds, and though they disagreed and fought, what i loved was that they were all mature enough to actually talk and solve their problems in a mature fashion.
Also- MOTHER DAUGTHER RELATIONSHIP WAS SUPER CUTE- WE NEED MORE OF THESE. This was such a sweet and loving relationship and just wow I haven’t read one in a long time.
I really liked Seth too. We see such few men promoting feminism that it was so refreshing to see a boy being an unapologetic feminist, because YES FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYONE, IT’S ABOUT TIME WE CAME TOGETHER. Seth wasn’t perfect, he made mistakes, and was ignorant because of his privilege a few times. But what I adored was that he was willing to learn and understand and grow from his mistakes. Men don’t always understand what it’s like for a girl- how it feels to be cat called or shamed or called out about something like clothes. They don’t understand how scary it is to be grabbed- even as a joke, and they won’t understand unless they actually try to listen. I loved that Mathieu addressed this, because it’s true. You can’t understand someone when you’re not in their shoes. Seth really learnt, which was what made him an extremely good character.
The romance was not that major part of the book, and I think Seth was mainly there to just emphasise certain aspects of feminism, and he wasn’t entirely needed as a romantic presence in the book. The main focus of the book was feminism, and boy, did it focus on that. It talked about intersectionality, rape culture, the “not all men” attitude (which is v annoying btw, because we KNOW it’s not all men. Stop feeling so attacked just because we’re trying to highlight our issues, we are not accusing you personally), dress code, and just so much more stuff that needs to be talked about. I was getting so angry at so many points in the book, but over all, this book left me feeling so empowered and so happy that we’re all in this together.
The ending was so powerful. I was crying, and I had chills, because it was so impactful and just- seeing this band of girls unified and standing together ready to take on the world had me in tears, because this is the revolution we need.
People say we’ve achieved equality. That feminism is unneeded because women and men are now seen as equal. Well, the day boys around me stop telling girls to “go make a sandwich”, I’ll believe that. The day girls stop getting dress coded for the length of their skirt because it “distracts boys”, I’ll believe that. The day people stop excusing sexism by saying “boys will be boys”, I’ll believe that. The day people stop portraying men as animals with nothing but sex on their brain, I’ll believe that. The day people stop telling girls they were “asking for it” and that “catcalls are compliments”, I’ll believe that. But until then, I’m going to continue to be a feminist, and I’m going to continue to fight for equality, because it’s about time we fight back.
The book was a bittt slow in some parts. Some little bits also felt kinda unnecessary, especially parts of Seth and Vivian’s romance which felt a bit dragged. But other than that, this is what the world needs.
I highly highly recommend this book to every single teenager and young adult, because this is a book we all really really need. I know this review was LONG, but i just had a LOT to say. PLEASE GO READ THIS BOOK.
Have you read this book? Do you plan on reading it? What did you think of it? Tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!