A huge thanks to Dave and crew over at #TheWriteReads for organising this ultimate book tour and to Flynn Meaney, Penguin Random House and Netgally for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Hilarious, bold, sparky and surprising, this is the funniest feminist book you’ll read all year.
Alex is a rebel from the tip of her purple fauxhawk to the toes of her biker boots. She’s tried everything she can think of to get expelled from her strict Catholic boarding school. Nothing has worked so far – but now, Alex has a new plan.
Tired of the sexism she sees in every corner of St Mary’s, Alex decides to stage the school’s first ever production of The Vagina Monologues. Which is going to be a challenge, as no one else at St Mary’s can even bear to say the word ‘vagina’ out loud . . .
This is the book I wished I could have read as a young adult and the book I want my daughter to read as a young adult. To sum it up, it’s like a comedy, more realistic, feminist version of the 70s and 80s boarding school novels and it was an absolute riot to read.
I loved the character of Alex. Despite not really applying herself academically it is very obvious she’s intelligent, witty and a full non feminist. What I thought was very clever was the way in which Alex is written. No teenager would get this completely right. I look back on my teenage years and realise my views were often not rooted in logic and research, but more in n urge to take a stance against things. I shouted about things but with more of an aggressive stance, rather than one which would education and encourage others to look at my ideas. I would also look down on people who had a difference of opinion – and I’d like to believe as a teen, I was not alone. Alex is similar. She has very strong views and these views are healthy and good but not always put across in the best way. This is a skill we learn as adults and I’d be surprised if she’d been portrayed in this way.
The plot is light and hilarious. Poor Alex begins her mission of getting kicked out of school until she comes to the realisation that she is needed, and her message is more important to share. Alex is the narrator of the story so we see things through her eyes. On the surface she’s bolshy, a bit of a rebel and a bit prickly with other people but the more you get to know her, the more it comes to light she is loyal, has strong beliefs and actually cares a lot about others – especially women and females. Her experiences in a strict Catholic environment really identify the reality for young women and how they are often treat. Also, there’s a stark lessons regrading how young women grow up to see themselves and how often there is a lack of self-understanding around our own bodies due to everything being so taboo.
Mary-Kate is a star too and deserves her own book. She’s so funny and I think it’s important to point out that being a Mary Kate isn’t a bad thing either in many respects. I also really liked Pat 3. I thought he was a good match for Alex.
Considering I have adult friends who still cannot use names or anatomy out loud or who think anything relating to said anatomy is sexual, I think this is a bold but important book. It gives a sense of empowerment and ownership over the female body but in a non-intimidating and humorous manner. There are some real-life issues tackled in this novel and I loved the way in which it was done.
A funny and thought provoking novel which I am certain many young girls will completely identify with.
Author Bio – Flynn Meaney
Flynn Meaney is the author of The Boy Recession and Bloodthirsty. She studied marketing and French at the University of Notre Dame, where she barely survived the terrifying array of priests and nuns, campus ghosts, and bone-crushing athletes who inspired Bad Habits. Since completing a very practical MFA in Poetry, she works for a French company and travels often between New York (when she’s in the mood for bagels) and Paris (when she’s in the mood for croissants).