Moxie girls fight back!
Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.
Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.
Before I start off this review, I should mention the elephant in the room, the Kirkus review. Fuck that. Honestly, if I would’ve wrote this book that reviewer would’ve probably had an even more sourer review because I thought the douchey love interest/s were in part the worst part of this book.
Let’s talk about what worked first. Feminism.
For the most part I think Mathieu did a fairly good job with exploring feminism. I did wish that some areas would’ve been fleshed out more especially dealing with intersectionality issues that appear in feminism. While issues with race were sort of dealt with, there was not one QUILTBAG character in the book which made me frown a bit. In fact, the closest thing we get to having a QUILTBAG character is one of the male douches calling one of the characters as lesbian as an insult.
The small town element was spot on though. Mathieu is from South East Texas and being originally from that area, she has does it spot on. The sad thing about this book is it takes place in Rockport- the area that Harvey’s eye directly hit so I just sort of winced a little bit when I read that. However, that aside, many of the interactions with the students and the administration were stuff that I could relate to when I was growing up. For example, I remember being harassed by these jerks on the football team in front of their God damn coach (who was my Physics teacher) and it wasn’t until my father pretty much threatened to sue the school that anyone did anything about it. Thanks, Coach, for not doing your fucking job. You were a fucking bad teacher too just showing us Bill Nye the science reruns the entire semester too, come to think of it (also, Bill believes in science so you might not actually like him).
Moral of that story is that sometimes it’s good to have a slightly scary/psychotic parent who school administrators are scared of and who makes his living yelling at people so he’s actually pretty good at it (yelling at assholes that is). And yes, you can make a living do that.
Honestly though, it’s sad when you have to get a parent to threaten litigation to get someone to actually fucking do something and even then it only worked halfway. They would still act like jerks when they thought they could get away with it. However, it happens a lot and the situation established in Moxie was unfortunately believable.
I also liked that there was clear character growth. I did think that Viv treated Emma horrible throughout part of the book, but I did like the fact she acknowledged this and grew from it. I wish she would’ve dropped the douchey boyfriend with the bad haircut though because he was a total mansplainer and Bernie Bro in the making.
Anytime, a guy did something horrible he told her to stop overreacting and that not all guys are like that. And don’t believe the girl when she says someone tried to rape her because you haven’t heard the guy’s side of the story.
In other words, he could totally work for Professor Umbridge’s Department of Education (oh, wait that’s not Umbridge, that’s Betsey Devos but they are so much alike even share the same fashion sense….)
Seriously though, I am done with mansplaining and character like Seth want me to gouge his eyes out. It also doesn’t help that excuses were made for him so that he and the MC would get together.
Her mother literally tells her that Seth is a guy and he doesn’t know better ’cause that’s who guys are.
I’m pretty sure human decency exists regardless of what sort of junk you have down there, but that’s just me.
It also doesn’t help that the mother also gives a lecture about how you can date people with other political views even though they voted for reprehensible things because that’s not who they are as a person. And adults know that.
DISAGREE. FUCKING DISAGREE.
I’m sorry, you vote based on what you believe. Your beliefs influence your actions. The 2016 election showed that and the outright and blatant displays of hatred that has happened in the country since that turd of a president of ours has taken over is more proof to why I will NEVER EVER date a conservative and why I don’t like being told that I should give them a fucking chance. Because obviously they didn’t give a damn about human decency when they voted in November, instead they irrationally hated a woman who was probably the most qualified candidate for president in a long while.
But I’m digressing…and to be fair, when I read this I was still angered by an article I read earlier this week in The Federalist ( here’s a related article not going to directly link to that trash) so that probably was part of the reason I saw red.
Still though, I didn’t buy that jack shit argument and as a relatively mature adult I can say that if you voted for Trump or for that matter are still planning on voting Republican I would not date you in a million years.
And yes, I know I live in Texas and my standards are probably too high according to the mother character in this book. But I don’t mother fucking care. I don’t want to be stuck with douche which is what it looks like the mother character and the MC are doing in this book.
Okay, I really ranted on that longer than I had attended.
I also wish the best friend who said that feminism was a bad thing would’ve got schooled a little more. I also fucking hate it when people are like feminism ew. Seriously, guys, seriously. Learn what feminism fucking is.
Problems aside, I did think this one had some good messages. Was it the best feminist centric book I’ve read this year, probably not. Like I said, it could’ve dealt dealing with more intersectionality issues and not stuffed the creepy romances down our throat. But other than that it was enjoyable. Just not my favorite Mathieu book.
Overall Rating: A very solid B.