13 July 2016

Review #486: What's a Girl Gotta Do? (Normal #3) by Holly Bourne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch.”

----Bette Davis

Holly Bourne, an English bestselling author, pens an incredibly funny, enlightening yet powerful young adult novel, What's a Girl Gotta Do? which is the third book in the Normal series. This series welcomes Lottie, the teenage feminist heroine, who has started a spinster club with her best friends, is now eyeing for Cambridge admission while making a name for her video blog where she shames and trolls those who doesn't know how to respect women, but things get bit murky in a long run.



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...

Lottie is back with her bffs, Evie and Amber and this time, their Spinster Club, which focuses on women's everyday battle against the men-dominated society, is on roll. More and more girls are signing up for the club and for Lottie, this is a perfect way to get extra credit for her Cambridge admissions. While Lottie waits up for an interview call from the most prestigious institution of her country, she decides to fight back for the injustice faced by the women on a regular basis, like Lottie who was simply sneered at by some old men at a rather dirty way which made her feel guilty and ashamed, and the sad part is that Lottie could not say or do anything to teach those men a lesson. This incident eventually plants the seed of the idea of starting up a video blog, along with the help of her Spinster Club friends, that will capture the shaming of such acts on live, but things get out of hand, when Lottie makes this idea way too serious, that gradually pushes away her close friends, her crushes and her parents away from her, and with so less time for the interview date, the dream to pursue her college degree at the prestigious college too seems very bleak. Can Lottie really change the world?

After reading this book, my expression was like, "why haven't I read the previous books in the series before?" No not because of the fact that I had difficulty in understanding the story line or about Lottie's actions, but mainly because of the author, who is a skilled and smart story teller. The way she have spun this tale with so a little funny anecdotes here and there and with a little flavor of teenage drama, along with a strong concept and message, this book turns out to be a complete package of fun, laughter, emotions and a lot of motivation. And not to mention about that crazy, very, very feminish and an eye-catchy book cover, that aptly portrays and justifies the story.

The author's writing style is fabulous and really crisp and strong that screams out properly inducing emotions and ongoing real-life social drama, that will keep the readers hooked into the story till the very end. The narrative is absolutely free-flowing and is laced with hilarious yet sarcastic moments that will at times make the readers go ROFL or sometime feel pain. The pacing is really fast, as the story moves swiftly with Lottie's determination to change the mindset of the common people, by making them aware about the ideas of feminism.

The word "FEMINISM" screams out from each and every page of this book and Lottie successfully carries the baton of feminism till the very last line of this story. Well, its really inspiring the way the author manages to convey her readers that it necessary to stand up for the injustice, especially if a woman is a victim of verbal sexual harassment, and to fight back against it, no matter what their priorities are. The teenagers of this century can dress however they want to, can hang out with whomever they want to and can have opinions of their own, without being subjected to harsh judgement or abuse or harassment from the society. After reading this book, I'm pretty sure, teenage girls are going to find their own voice and the common people will be forced to ponder about their reaction and attitude towards this era's teenage girls.

The characters in this book are extremely realistic and are featured with their honest demeanor. The main character, Lottie, is very well developed, with her flaws, her shortcomings, her opinions, her impulsiveness, her understanding, everything makes her look real and easy to connect with for the readers. Lottie is brave, has a rocking attitude towards her cause and fight, also she has mots of emotions that run wild in some situations. Lottie is an epitome for all modern day teenagers. Her determination will motivate many girls of today's era. The supporting cast is also perfectly crafted and will leave an impression on the minds of the readers.

The author has successfully captured the voice and the mindset of a teenager girl and has also highlighted the emotional turmoil that she goes through while she is in a peer dilemma or in teacher's dilemma or in parents' dilemma. There is also a bit of romance that the author has innocently yet compassionately depicted into the story line, thereby making sure that the readers can feel that rush of a love affair between two young hearts.

In a nutshell, this is a must read story for each and everyone and I must say, parents must encourage their daughters to read this book, that is highly compelling, energetic and influential enough to bring changes even for a while.

Verdict: A hilarious yet an inspiring read!

Courtesy: Thanks to the publisher from Usborne Publishing for giving me an opportunity to read and review an early copy of this book.

Author Info:
Holly Bourne writes YA novels and blogs about feminist issues. Her favourite things to complain loudly about are: the stigma of mental health, women's rights, and the under-appreciation of Keanu Reeves' acting ability.
Holly's first two books, Soulmates and The Manifesto on How to be Interesting, have been critically acclaimed and translated into six languages. The first book in the 'Normal' series, Am I Normal Yet?, has been chosen as a World Book Night book for 2016 and has inspired the formation of Spinster Clubs around the country.
Before becoming a full-time author, Holly was editor and relationship advisor for a charity website.
Visit her here

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