Book Review: What’s A Girl Gotta Do? (Holly Bourne)
Release Date: August 1st 2016
Summary (from Goodreads):
HOW TO START A FEMINIST REVOLUTION:
1. Call out anything that is unfair on one gender
2. Don’t call out the same thing twice (so you can sleep and breathe)
3. Always try to keep it funny
4. Don’t let anything slide. Even when you start to break…
Lottie’s determined to change the world with her #Vagilante vlog. Shame the trolls have other ideas…
I super loved Am I Normal Yet? and enjoyed How Hard Can Love Be? but when I read the blurb for What’s A Girl Gotta Do? I knew this one was for me and I was crazy excited for it. It’s one of the few books I’ve bought for myself recently, rather than review copies or gifts.
Although Evie is still my favourite of the group, I have a soft spot for Lottie and her loud mouth and massive brain. Feminism is a hot topic at the moment and I’m really interested in it, so I was looking forward to seeing how her experiment went.
Lottie decides to do a month long project where she calls out every instance of sexism she sees, videoing it all with a male classmate who doesn’t seem to support her cause. She knows it’s going to be a tough job but she isn’t prepared for the emotional exhaustion that comes with it.
Although she tries to keep it funny, Lottie has a tendency to go on angry rants which resemble the stereotypical image of ‘angry feminist’. Although this isn’t always the best way to get her point across, she justifies it as her right to be angry: why would you not be angry when you see inequalities which people don’t seem to notice or care about?
It made me sad how little support Lottie got from classmates. I know it’s probably realistic for schools today but from the young people I know, I hoped there would be more support behind her (I guess I just know very awesome young adults). Lottie’s very liberal parents are also surprisingly unsupportive, telling her to ‘pick her battles’ and prioritise her Cambridge interview over her principles. I loved the internal debate on this one for Lottie: it was her future v. her principles and it wasn’t an easy choice. The way I saw it, hopefully a university like Cambridge would appreciate what she was doing, and if they didn’t then they weren’t worthy of her as a student.
When the trolls came out it was so accurate to real life, which I’m pretty used to seeing. But experiencing it from the victim’s point of view was really horrible and my heart went out to Lottie. I think all trolls should have this as required reading so they can see what their hurtful and stupid comments do to people.
I know Holly Bourne wrote a note afterwards that she was only really writing about feminism from one point of view, but I did think it was a shame that all three protagonists were white and straight. That’s leaving out a wide range of teens who might not see themselves in these characters. But I know you can’t cover everything and I still love these books.
I intended to write a few of my own sexism experiences/observations in this review but it ended up being longer than the review! So I’ll be posting those separately in a few days time.
This whole trilogy is a triumph and I would recommend it for everyone, regardless of age or gender (I’ve already lent the first to my dad and he enjoyed it). They’re fun and funny but also talk about so many important issues. They’re definitely in my top favourite trilogies now.