Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Genre: Young adult contemporary
Published: By Roaring Brook Press on September 19th, 2017
Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with an administration at her high school that thinks 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 mom 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 a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.
I was inspired to pick this book up after a rave review by one of my favourite BookTubers, Emma. I first read the (frankly infuriating) Kirkus review and then proceeded to read the book trying to keep an open mind and not let my own views on feminism influence my opinion.
I fully expected to love this book and I really did. It is definitely a feminist book and a great one at that. The main character, Vivian, is a girl who is shy and does not like to cause trouble, which was relatable, but rebelled in her own way, which is how I aspire to be. The friendships she forged as a result of the Moxie movement was beautiful to read about and is a great example of how women can support and uplift other women. Seth, the love interest, deserves a special mention as he is the best book boyfriend ever! He does not fall into the typical “insensitive rogue” trope but instead is a kind, sweet and understanding boy who is all the more attractive for it. I wish more books had guys like Seth! The plot was well thought-out and executed. I still remember the “big” scenes with perfect clarity because of the impact they had on me. The writing was distinct, clear and strong, which I also liked.
This was my first foray into YA contemporaries with strong feminist themes and it was educational, inspirational and one of the best reading experiences I’ve had. I can’t wait to check out more by this author and more books of a similar vein!
This was one of those contemporaries that tackle real, relevant issues and have a strong message for its readers. I usually do not gravitate towards contemporaries, but this is certainly one that should be on everyone’s radar, regardless of what gender you identify as. For the music, I’d recommend something that would bring on the rebel in you, so your go-to rock music playlist can come handy here. For the food, I’d recommend spending some quality time in the kitchen and whipping something up with your own two hands and snacking on that as you read because this is a book that inspires you to go out and do whatever it is that you want to do.
Have you read this book? If so, what did you think? Which book with feminist themes would you recommend to me? Let me know in the comments section below.