Hilariously funny, coming-of-age novel from a well loved, and strong voiced feminist. Johanna Morrigan is finding out who she is in the midst of a large working class family in 90’s Britain. After an embarrassing episode on her local tv station, she decides to reinvent herself as Dolly Wilde, a fast talking, hard drinking, woman about town. As she tries to find a balance, and her true self, we are treated to much hilarity, and poignancy, a wild ride indeed. — Becky Doherty
Finding your new favorite book is like meeting a cool new friend or a cute love interest. You get excited, you want to tell everyone about them, and you feel like you've just found a new companion for life. That's how I felt about How to Build A Girl within the first five pages.
I'm often asked to recommend "a good book that's not depressing" - this is it. In this scathingly funny and unflinchingly vulnerable story of a girl navigating through poverty and the world around her through writing music reviews, this character is someone you'll want to be your best friend, and a character you'll recognize in yourself.
Embarrassing stunt on local TV? Check.
Life, as we know it as a teenager, coming to an end? Check.
Re-inventing one's self and becoming a badass music critic in the 1990s? Check.
Book read and THOROUGHLY enjoyed? Check! — Jess Hanlon
“In Wolverhampton, England in 1990, 14-year-old Johanna humiliates herself on live television. Shortly thereafter, she decides to reinvent herself as Dolly Wilde, a fast-talking, hard-drinking sex-adventurer who writes for the local music rag. Never mind the fact that she doesn't drink, that she's a virgin, and that her music collection is comprised solely of The Beatles and the Bee Gees. Armed with eyeliner, a fair amount of Thunderbird 20/20, and pure determination, Dolly breaks onto the scene and makes a new life for herself, only to realize that the hardest -- and most heartbreaking -- changes are the ones we make within. Laugh-out-loud hilarious, inspiring, and profound, Moran has written the coming-of-age story of our time.”
— Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL
Now a major motion picture starring Beanie Feldstein!
The New York Times bestselling author hailed as “the UK’s answer to Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler, and Lena Dunham all rolled into one” (Marie Claire) makes her fiction debut with a hilarious yet deeply moving coming of age novel.
What do you do in your teenage years when you realize what your parents taught you wasn’t enough? You must go out and find books and poetry and pop songs and bad heroes—and build yourself.
It’s 1990. Johanna Morrigan, fourteen, has shamed herself so badly on local TV that she decides that there’s no point in being Johanna anymore and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde—fast-talking, hard-drinking Gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer. She will save her poverty-stricken Bohemian family by becoming a writer—like Jo in Little Women, or the Bröntes—but without the dying young bit.
By sixteen, she’s smoking cigarettes, getting drunk and working for a music paper. She’s writing pornographic letters to rock-stars, having all the kinds of sex with all kinds of men, and eviscerating bands in reviews of 600 words or less.
But what happens when Johanna realizes she’s built Dolly with a fatal flaw? Is a box full of records, a wall full of posters, and a head full of paperbacks, enough to build a girl after all?
Imagine The Bell Jar written by Rizzo from Grease. How to Build a Girl is a funny, poignant, and heartbreakingly evocative story of self-discovery and invention, as only Caitlin Moran could tell it.
Caitlin Moran’s debut book, How to Be a Woman, was an instant New York Times bestseller. Her first novel, How to Build a Girl, received widespread acclaim. She lives in London. You can follow Caitlin on Twitter: @caitlinmoran