Book Review – How To Build A Girl

by Caitlin Moran (Ebury Press) ISBN 9780091949020

It is 1990 and Johanna Morrigan is a fourteen-year-old girl who is fat, virginal and living in Wolverhampton with her four male siblings, and her frustrated wannabe musician and post-partum-depression-suffering mother. The family is living on Pat Morrigan’s disability grant although he does not look particularly disabled.

Johanna has made up her mind to kill off her current persona and reinvent herself into Dolly Wilde, music journalist and sex adventurer. What she discovers, though, is that you must always keep the elements of yourself that are the essence of you: don’t let others mould you into someone you are not comfortable being.

It is a true coming of age story that ends when Johanna is seventeen. By this time she has had many journeys, both geographical and emotional. This is a well-written book that uses wit and humour to lighten the mood, especially when there are serious soul-searching moments.

The story reminds me of ‘Almost Famous’ because of the music theme, but this story has more depth.

Amanda Blankfield-Koseff

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Posted on: 11th November 2014