This addictive, pacey YA novel blazes with personality, feminist takedowns of patriarchy and an adorable unlikely romance
Refreshing, funny and packed with essential feminist themes, not to mention an authentic, engaging protagonist in Eliza Quan (a no-nonsense teenager who doesn’t give two hoots about what people think of her), Michelle Quach’s Not Here To Be Liked is at once deliciously entertaining and empowering. With pithy observations like “Girls get judged for their past; guys get judged for their potential”, it’s also a thought-provoking reminder (if one were needed) that there’s some way to go before patriarchal structures are disassembled - thanks goodness, then, that Eliza is on hand to speed up the process. Oh, and the novel features a whole lot of cute kissing to boot.
Eliza is set to be the new editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper. Firstly, she’s the most qualified candidate. Secondly, she’s the only candidate…until former baseball player Len joins the paper for want of something better to do and winds up winning the vote. Justifiably angry that he - male, handsome, popular and utterly inexperienced - was picked over her - Eliza’s venting inspires a feminist movement that exposes the gulf between those who want - and recognise the need for - gender equality, and those who think she’s just annoyed about being overlooked. Alongside exploring such pertinent themes in slick style, the novel also sees Eliza face the ultimate conflict when she finds herself falling for Len. Fast and furious, Not Here To Be Liked flies in the face of anyone dumb enough to think that books about feminism (and feminists themselves) can’t be smart and funny.
Falling in love wasn't part of the plan.
Eliza Quan fully expects to be voted the next editor-in-chief of her school paper. She works hard, she respects the facts, and she has the most experience. Len DiMartile is an injured star baseball player who seems to have joined the paper just to have something to do.
Naturally, the staff picks Len to be their next leader. Because while they may respect Eliza, they don't particularly like her - but right now, Eliza is not here to be liked. She's here to win. But someone does like Eliza. A lot. Shame it's the boy standing in the way of her becoming editor-in-chief....
|Publication date:||16th September 2021|
|Publisher:||Usborne Publishing Ltd|
|Primary Genre||Children's & YA Fiction|
Michelle Quach is a Chinese-Vietnamese-American who spent a lot of time working for student newspapers, including The Crimson at Harvard College, where she earned a BA in history and literature. Currently a graphic designer at a brand strategy firm in Los Angeles. Not Here To Be Liked is her first novel. Photo copyright Lauritta StellersMore About Michelle Quach