moxie by jennifer mathieu

Book: Moxie
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Published: September 19, 2017
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Genre:  YA Contemporary
Source: ARC from Raincoast Books

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Synopsis

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so 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. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

Review

*This book was provided to me by Raincoast Books to review. This does not affect the content of my review.

My rating: 5 Stars

I know I’ve said this a few times this year, but OH MY GOODNESS, GO READ THIS BOOK NOW.

 

I’ve had a few favourite books this year. And this is one of them. First, because of the topic. Second, because of the story Jennifer Mathieu tells. And third, because of the way she tells the story.

The Topic: Teen girls “reclaiming their time” and taking back their agency and standing up for themselves. 

As a woman, I’ve experienced much of what Vivian and her classmates experience. As females, we are often placed second to the boys and men in our environment. Look at media and entertainment in nearly all of its forms, look at school dress codes, look at the make up of the political forces in your city, province/state, country.

As someone who went to a high school where athletes, especially male hockey players, were treated as significantly more important than many other students — to the point where they got special treatment and support that was pointedly denied to other groups — I really identified with issues in Vivian’s school.

Seeing teenage girls develop friendships and supports across groups, learn about the struggles the others faced, and talk about them was so, so, so great. The teen girls in this book are amazing. They encourage one another, they talk about so much more than boys (a serious problem in how girls and women are often represented in media…), and they demonstrate their value to their school and their community.

All in all, this book is a wonderful example of what feminism really means. And shows not only how women can support other women, but also how men can be allies to the women around them.

 

I started reading #moxie this week and am loving it. It’s definitely a book that is needed right now. . From Goodreads: Moxie girls fight back! Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules. Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so 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. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution. . . . #book #readmore #feminism #important #yalit #2017 #relevant #ibelieveyou #listentowomen

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The Story: A teen girl who steps out of her comfort zone to stand up for something she believes in — and does so by emulating Riot Grrrl zines from the 1990s

Vivian is a normal girl. But she recognizes the problems and makes the decision to take the risk and try and do something about it. Jennifer Mathieu has created a main character who is layered, both brave and afraid, both strong and weak. And the world in which she lives is a world that we can all recognize as real.

I loved how the book includes actual zines — just like the photocopies of the cut-and-paste zines that Viv makes. They help tell the reader really experience the story. And, I also very much appreciated that everything didn’t go smoothly, that there are twists in the story. The first zine doesn’t fix everything. The fourth zine doesn’t fix everything. But they all contribute to the process.

The characters in this book are authentic. They feel real. As a high school teacher who spends a lot of time with teens, Jennifer Mathieu knew the type of people she was writing about and it shows. This whole book feels so authentic.

A powerful, feel-good, inspiration to girls and women that everyone should read.

I cannot get over how this book made me feel. It made me feel strong. It told me I can do it, I can make change. It assured me that it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

I’ve seen some people write in their reviews of Moxie that it should be read in every high school English class. I can’t agree more. As women we experience life in a completely different way than men. Especially high school. And for teenage boys and adult-male teachers to learn what that could look like, and to read a book almost entirely about women standing up for themselves in a world ruled by outdated patriarchal standards and traditions –imagine what that would be like for these males to experience?

This is definitely a book I will read again. And again. And again.

Moxie girls fight back!

 

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