This is the first book that I have read by Caitlin Moran. I am not sure why I started with this book and not How to be a Woman. This book is completely different from any other book I have read this month. I normally really love coming of age books so knew from the offset that I was going to enjoy this book. I also love feisty yet tragic characters and this is exactly what Johanna Morrigan is. I feel like this book has set me down a Caitlin Moran path and I am sure I will read more of her books over the course of the year.
This book is blunt and to the point from the opening line. I would normally say not to read this book in a public place but you know what, we need to talk more about the female sexual experience so read this book on a plan, train, in fact just read this book out load! I should warn you though, this book is not child friendly. It is refreshing to read a coming of age novel where the character in question develops physically, mentally, emotionally and sexually. Very few coming of age stories explore a character sexual development. Well unless you include the American Pie series and that is hardly a relatable life experience. Although slightly over the top the protagonist Johanna Morrigan is completely believable. A social outcast coming from a large family living on a council estate in Wolverhampton, Johanna is like a breath of fresh air in the coming of age genre. She is independent and driven, a Lady Sex Adventure as she chooses to call herself. Johanna has an alter ego Dolly Wild. This persona give Johanna the confidence to go out and become a music journalist. Dolly Wild is also the mask that Johanna wares when she is the Lady Sex Adventure. I loved Johanna, innocent and naive to a point that it is often cringe worthy. I wanted to cuddle Johanna and tell her not to worry, by the time shes in her 20s people will think shes cool. Dolly Wild on the other hand is just irritating and obnoxious. I often found myself wondering why the people round about her were putting up with Dolly.
There are a variety of different character in this book, most of whom are completely believable. The only character I had any really issue with was John Kite. No one talks or behaves like that. It was as if he had just strolled out of a period novel. I cant really understand why Moran wrote John like this. There is no real reason I can see for his bizarre use of language. It breaks with the flow of the book and just doesn’t really do it for me. On the other hand Krissi is much more likable. I love the fact that Moran alludes to Krissi’s sexuality however never actually explicitly talks about it. This was refreshing. I feel like there is no need overtly discuss a homosexual character’s sexuality just for the sake of it. I feel like as a society we should be beyond that. Unless its vital to the plot of the story its not something that we really need to know.
I could write about this book for ages. There is so many themes that Moran explores and I found myself have evaluating my beliefs on almost a chapter by chapter basis. This book is also funny and cringe worthy. My teenage years were the noughties however I found myself relating to Johanna experience in the 90s reguarly. I would highly recommend this book. Its an easy read and will give you a few laughs.
I am little behind with writing these reviews. I think I am currently reading book 11! I will get them all up over the next while.