Review: Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell & Katie Cotugno

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Marin is a smart, driven, popular girl – she’s headed for Brown when she graduates and has a brilliant career as a journalist ahead of her. Especially in the eyes of English teacher Mr Beckett. He spends a lot of time around Marin, and she thinks it’s harmless . . . until he kisses her.
No one believes Marin when she tells them what happened, so she does the only thing she can: she writes an article called ‘Rules for Being a Girl’ for the school paper to point out the misogyny and sexism that girls face every day. As things heat up at school and in her personal life, Marin must figure out how to take back the power and rewrite her own rules.

Thank you to Macmillan for providing me with an Advanced Reading Copy in exchange for an honest review! All views are my own.

This book truly shocked me. I was lucky enough to be sent a proof copy at work, and honestly looked and it and thought ‘eh, not for me’. But I started to hear good things about it, found the synopsis more intriguing than expected, and thought ‘it looks like a quick read, just give it a go’. So I picked it up on Saturday morning and had finished it just over 24 hours later.

I was quickly drawn into Marin’s story. The first time I sat down to read it, I read 62 pages, and found myself wanting to pick the book up again soon after. It was such a compelling read, which was how I found myself flying through it and desperate to finish. I soon began to expect a book similar to Moxie – which unfortunately wasn’t quite for me – but this was so much better in my opinion. If you liked Moxie, Rules of Being a Girl is it’s bigger, more established and grown up sister. I loved it.

What hit me most about this book is how relevant it seemed. I think there are certain comments or aspects that every girl can relate to, and that’s why it made me so freaking angry. I’ve got to tell you, I did not expect this book to make me so angry I was almost shaking. But it did. It made me angry for things I have experienced, things I’m sure my friends have, and that many girls have witnessed in their teens. It made me feel seriously uncomfortable, upset and downright pissed on Marin’s behalf.

The rollercoaster of emotions pulled me along for the ride, but there were so many other aspects of this novel that made me love it even more. Even though Marin’s friendship with Chloe made me angry too, I loved the way it was written, and the plot twist at the end (I literally gasped out loud), made me love it all the more. Marin’s family were amazing, and the friendships she had with them were excellent. Some of the conversations she has with her parents and sister really warmed my heart. The romance that eventually blooms but in no way dominants Marin’s story was brilliantly written too, and I couldn’t help but love it because the boy in question reminded me so much of my boyfriend and reminded me of how lucky I am.

Marin herself was a brilliant role model to teenage girls out there, and she demanded respect over and over again. She was not afraid to stand up for what she believed in, and that made me so proud of her. Other things worthy to note is this book was feminist without hating men, which was one of the things that let me down with Moxie but totally wasn’t included in Rules of Being a Girl. It was exactly what I look for in myself and in feminist literature. It was also diverse as hell in subtle ways and I loved that.

5 out of 5 stars


May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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4 thoughts on “Review: Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell & Katie Cotugno

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