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How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran
  

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Dumpy teenager scores ... or does she? Do her rebellious and outrageous actions actually benefit her? Is this indeed how you build a girl? I hope not. Dropping out of school at 16 on the back of a couple of music crits being accepted, Jessica reinvents herself as Dolly and hits the rock'n'roll, sex and drugs scene, ostensibly to try and lift her family out of the poverty/benefit rut and into the big time, to get her father a record deal and her four brothers a life outside Wolverhampton. How she goes about it is written as tongue-in-cheek, first-person narrative, rude, at times filthy, honest and playful.

If you like Caitlin Moran you might also like to read books by Judy Blume, Sophie Cunningham and Nikki Gemmell.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

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Synopsis

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

What do you do in your teenage years when you realise what your parents taught you wasn't enough? You must go out and find books and poetry and pop songs and bad heroes - and build yourself. It's 1990. Johanna Morrigan, 14, has shamed herself so badly on local TV that she decides that there's no point in being Johanna anymore and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde - fast-talking, hard-drinking Gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer! She will save her poverty stricken Bohemian family by becoming a writer - like Jo in Little Women, or the Brontes - but without the dying young bit. By 16, she's smoking cigarettes, getting drunk and working for a music paper. She's writing pornographic letters to rock-stars, having all the kinds of sex with all the kinds of men, and eviscerating bands in reviews of 600 words or less. But what happens when Johanna realises she's built Dolly with a fatal flaw? Is a box full of records, a wall full of posters and a head full of paperbacks, enough to build a girl after all? Imagine The Bell Jar written by Rizzo from Grease, with a soundtrack by Hole, Happy Mondays and My Bloody Valentine. As beautiful as it is funny, How To Build a Girl is a coming-of-age novel that makes you realise how odd it is that all the previous ones have been about boys.


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Reviews

Brilliantly observed, thrillingly rude and laugh-out-loud funny -- Helen Fielding

terrific - funny, honest and deliciously rude -- Alice O'Keefe The Bookseller

I have so much love for Caitlin Moran -- Lena Dunham

About the Author

Caitlin Moran

Caitlin Moran had literally no friends in 1990, and so had plenty of time to write her first novel, The Chronicles of Narmo, at the age of fifteen. At sixteen she joined music weekly, Melody Maker, and at eighteen briefly presented the pop show 'Naked City' on Channel 4. Following this precocious start she then put in eighteen solid years as a columnist on The Times - both as a TV critic and also in the most-read part of the paper, the satirical celebrity column 'Celebrity Watch' - winning the British Press Awards' Columnist of The Year award in 2010 and Critic and Interviewer of the Year in 2011. The eldest of eight children, home-educated in a council house in Wolverhampton, Caitlin read lots of books about feminism - mainly in an attempt to be able to prove to her brother, Eddie, that she was scientifically better than him. Caitlin isn't really her name. She was christened 'Catherine'. But she saw 'Caitlin' in a Jilly Cooper novel when she was 13 and thought it looked exciting. That's why she pronounces it incorrectly: 'Catlin'. It causes trouble for everyone.

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd July 2014

Author

Caitlin Moran

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Publisher

Ebury Press an imprint of Ebury Publishing

Format

Hardback
352 pages

Categories

Relationship Stories
Literary Fiction
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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780091949006

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