Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu | Review

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TRIGGER WARNINGS: sexual assault, misogyny

REVIEW WARNING: it’s a hell lot of babble

Rating: ★★★★★

Release Date: September 19th, 2017

Pages: 336

Publisher: Roaring Book Press

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.


R A M B L E

If you ever get one book recommendation from my blog make it Moxie. Honestly, this is one of the most amazing books I have ever read. Honestly. I wish I could make everyone I know read this book. It is valuable and it is powerful.

These days, the word feminist is seen as a dirty word by some. It means man-hater, it means unwashed, it means venomous. Many shy away from using the word to describe them and it sucks. I admit I have shied away from the word many times, in fear of what people will say. But now, fuck itI’m a feminist and proud. 

There’s a quote in the book that perfectly describes this and I just have to include it for everyone to read.

“This is what it means to be a feminist. Not a humanist or an equalist or whatever. But a feminist. It’s not a bad word. After today it might be my favorite word. Because really all it is is girls supporting each other and wanting to be treated like human beings in a world that’s always finding ways to tell them they’re not.”

Just, wow. I am speechless about how much I love this book. I truly will be adding to my highly recommended books. It’s not even that this book is aimed specifically at women, men are included throughout the narrative, proving that anyone can be a feminist. Something that needs to be known in a world (especially the Internet world) where it is laughed at and mocked.

ALSO! THERE WERE SO MANY TALL GIRLS. Y’ALL DON’T KNOW HAPPY THIS MAKES ME. BEING 5’11 I BARELY SEE GIRLS CLOSE TO MY HEIGHT BUT VIVIAN IS 5’10 AND LUCY IS EVEN TALLER!!!!!


P L O T

The plot centres around Vivian and her urge to do something in her school which is run by misogynistic men where boys are able to get away with absolutely everything. It is the typical school where girls are made to feel as if they are distracting boys purely by wearing a singlet.

I hate to say it, but my high school was pretty similar to this. A friend of mine was cornered by a boy and he tried to force himself on her. She thankfully got away and went straight to the principal. She was told she had been asking for it and it was her fault she wore the school uniform like she did. The guy later tried to go after my little sister and my friend moved to the other side of the country. Basically, my school was filled with these stereotypical guys who think they can do anything they want because they’re a gift to all us mere female peasants (kill me).

Back to Moxie, Vivian becomes inspired after going through a box of her mum’s belongings from her youth. Her mum had been incredibly active in the feminist movement within her era, something which gives Vivian the inspiration to create a zine (not a newsletter) which will inspire the girls at her high school.

She never expects this particular zine to gain growth and popularity. Soon a lot of girls within her high school are becoming Moxie girls and fighting back against the oppression. It was honestly incredible and I can’t fault much about this book (apart from a few careless mentions of the word depression). The diverse cast pushes the plot forward and it is honestly just so inspiring.

Even when the romance is introduced to the novel the aspect of girl power doesn’t take a back seat. Vivian continues on her path and does not become love struck (okay, she does a little), something I loved. Also, the amazing girl friendships within. I always want more powerful friendships between girls in fiction and this book delivered tenfold. The relationship between Vivian and Lucy kind of reminded me of me and my best friend. I just love it so much. There was also an incredible family dynamic between Viv and her mum. It was very realistic for someone who’s mum is her best friend.


C H A R A C T E R S

#V I V I A N 

Vivian has to be one of the most impressive and amazing main characters I have ever read. I have read some pretty incredible main characters, including Starr from THUG, but Vivian is up there. Way up there.

Being a notorious good girl Viv doesn’t do a lot. She studies, visits her friends and doesn’t get in trouble. However, she wants to make a change in her school. She wants to make the careless “make a sandwich” and other ridiculous comments stop. Doing this she decides to create a zine, which leads to her getting her first boyfriend and discovering amazing new friends in her school. It was just incredible. I have no other words.

The relationships that develop and are shown are in no way forced. They are so damn real it almost felt I was reading about a friend group I had. I just have no words. Vivian is such a great main character and her growth is amazing. I’m just so speechless.

The other cast of characters are incredible. From Emma, Lucy, Claudia, Seth and everyone else (there are so many) it is amazing how they all come together in this story to spread one message.


O V E R A L L

Overall, one of the most amazing books I know I’ll read this year. I truly, truly, can’t recommend this enough. Buy this now.

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