I actually finished reading “How To Build A Girl” by Caitlin Moran a few weeks ago and completely forgot to write a review for it! I’ve read Moran’s columns and 2 of her previous books and enjoy her writing, and I thought I’d give this a try.
The blurb reads:
“My name’s Johanna Morrigan. I’m fourteen, and I’ve just decided to kill myself.
I don’t really want to die, of course! I just need to kill Johanna, and build a new girl. Dolly Wilde will be everything I want to be, and more! But as with all the best coming-of-age stories, it doesn’t exactly go to plan…”
It’s actually a good book, although at times it feels a bit too similar to her actual life as described in “How To be A Woman” with her growing up in poverty and working for a music magazine, which made me wonder if she can actually write about anything else.
However, Johanna is a typical teenager who doesn’t fit in and tries to reinvent herself to become someone different. She goes about it fairly extremely, changing her name, dying her hair black and wearing eccentric outfits in black. She educates herself about music in order to get a job, and uses her new self to create a new life for herself. She seems to go a bit crazy at points, which makes for interesting reading! Her actions are not only to further and improve herself, but also to help provide for her family and lift them out of poverty.
I love her crazy adventures and the way she does things. Her relationships with her family and others are typically mixed and fascinating to read about. It seemed obvious to me that pretending to be Dolly Wilde was going to cause problems for her at some point and it does!
I did enjoy reading this novel, and I give it 8/10 because it’s just so different and a breath of fresh air (ironic, given the amount of smoking she does) and was worth reading!