My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“Activate yourself” That was the take-home quote from a talk I attended the other day. The speaker was Sandi Toksvig who was eloquent, smart and spoke painfully on the erasure of women from politics. Activate yourself. She started a political party.
And I read a book.
I read this, really, devoured it, in a couple of hours, because Holly Bourne is on fire here and this is the sort of book that should be mandatory for every teen everywhere. I can’t praise it enough. There’s a niche in today’s society that I wish didn’t exist but it does. Sexism. Gendered Politics. Double Standards. What’s A Girl Gotta Do? investigates that niche and challenges it – everything about it. For one month Lottie challenges herself to call out every instance of sexism she witnesses. And it is exhausting, and terrifying and heartbreaking, but my God, so brave and so powerful to let her do it. To let this story bang its drum and to be told. This is vital, pulsing story and it’s brilliant. Bourne writes with rage and with love and with heart.
This is what young adult literature does. It investigates. It challenges. It lays bare the best and worst of people and it asks the reader to decide who they’re going to be. What’s A Girl Gotta Do? is challenging, delicious, delightful and brilliant. Shelve this with books like Trouble and Asking For It and let them ask the question that needs to be asked: how are you going to activate yourself?
Fire, fire in every word, heart and soul (and a lot of cheese based snacks), What’s A Girl Gotta Do? is outstanding. I was going to save this review for next week. I couldn’t wait. Books like this make me evangelical.