Big Book,  YA

What’s A Girl Gotta Do?

Holly Bourne
1. Call out anything that is unfair on one gender
2. Don’t call out the same thing twice (so you can sleep and breathe)
3. Always try to keep it funny
4. Don’t let anything slide. Even when you start to break…
Lottie’s determined to change the world with her #Vagilante vlog. Shame the trolls have other ideas…

What’s a Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne is the third in a series that revolves around three English teenagers – Evie (who of course has the best name!), Amber and Lottie. Each character is relatable and likeable in their own way as is the book that follows each of them. In this much anticipated sequel we follow Lottie as she embarks on a month long project to call out every act of sexism she encounters, with the hopes of enlightening some of her more unaware peers of the ever present issue. We get to see Lottie as she prepares for her looming Cambridge interview, how she handles expectations inflicted by her parents and how she deals with the reverberations of her project throughout the public. Having read and devoured every one of Holly Bourne’s books I had high expectations going into this one and I am pleased to say it didn’t disappoint.
The story opens with Lottie experiencing sexual assault on her way to school; this, and an array of other events, trigger Lottie’s project – called the ‘Vagilante’ (!). Lottie, alongside the Feminist Society at her school, highlight everyday acts of sexism, from objectifying movie posters and unreasonable marketing, that ultimately lay the bricks for those much larger and life changing acts of sexism like domestic abuse and rape. Although the topics touched in this novel are very serious Holly Bourne manages to retain humour by creating a multitude of intertwining plot lines alongside witty and sassy dialogue.
Holly Bourne’s energetic and emotive writing style captivates the reader and makes it incredibly easy to submerge yourself in the world of Lottie. What makes this such an enjoyable read is the three dimensional characters Holly creates that you can’t help but love and root for. The author constructs an intricate world of kick-ass feminism, humor and romance that provides a satisfying and quick read that I believe many would find thoroughly enjoyable. The diverse range of topics touched in this novel, the varying emotions and constantly changing pace contributed to a refreshing read that is a must have for young feminists everywhere.
I have only one minor criticism of this book. Having read the other books that follow Evie and Amber I am accustomed to Holly’s use of swoon worthy romance but I have to say the romance in this particular novel didn’t quite do it for me. The main love interest is the handsome yet extremely arrogant cameraman, Will, who – compared to the previous male protagonist, Kyle, in Amber’s installment – was rather disappointing. I felt the relationship was rather rushed and therefore lacked the emotional attachment that I am so used to seeing in Holly’s books. Not only was it sort of ‘insta-lovey’ but at times I felt some of Lottie’s attitudes regarding Will were verging on the hypocritical, but I guess the story redeemed itself in that Lottie on several occasions acknowledged her cognitive dissonance and that the book had such a heavy emphasis on female friendships and the importance of them.
Overall I would defiantly recommend this book and the accompanying installments for anybody looking for a fun and vastly empowering read that is light hearted whilst tackling very many serious and topical issues.
Verdict: After reading all of Holly’s books, I have concluded that this is not my favourite but it is, nevertheless, a strong read full of sass and kick-assery that I would not hesitate to recommend to those above the age of 12 (purely due to mature content).
Reviewed by Evie

Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Publication Date: August 2016
Format: Paperback
Pages: 432
Genre: Contemporary, Feminism
Age: YA
Reviewer: Evie
Source: Own copy
Challenge: British book

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