Ｒａｔｉｎｇ：★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
＊Ｎｏｔｅ：I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK!
Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with a school administration at her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment, and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.
Viv’s mom was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, and 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. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.
Moxie is a book about high school life that will make you wanna riot!
✩ I enjoyed Vivian’s emotional outbursts that led to new editions of the Moxie zines. I loved seeing her break out of her shell and become more confident, bold, and passionate about what she believed in.
✩ To be perfectly honest, Claudia was pretty annoying for about half the book. She was really judgemental, negative, and kind of a downer when it came to anything Moxie-related. I would have been fine with her not wanting to participate, but she kind of took it a step further by looking down on others that did choose to participate.
✩ Lucy was pretty much the opposite of Claudia (and everyone else at school). She was more outspoken about her ideas and was a self-labeled feminist. She wasn’t afraid to put it out there. I loved how she dared to show her support when others didn’t or hesitated to.
❝ Maybe my mother is right. Maybe I’ll leave East Rockport one day.
But first I need to set it on fire.❞
Moxie is such a powerful book and one of my favorites of this year. I think it had a really great, positive message for young women about what it means to respect yourself and others, and what it means to stand up for what you believe in.
The story is pretty straightforward and begins with a really shy, quiet, and nearly-invisible Vivian being fed up with the situation at school. She’s tired of football players getting away with everything and doing whatever they want just because of who they are (and it doesn’t help that one of the boys’ fathers is the principal of the school). Girls have to put up with stupid jokes, unfair dress codes, and constant sexual harassment.
Eventually, it gets to a tipping point and Vivian decides to create Moxie, a series of zines/newsletters to reach out to other girls who feel the same. She’s discouraged at first by the little attention it gets, but pretty soon Moxie is taking a life of its own. All kinds of girls take up the name Moxie to let the administration know that enough is enough.
❝ We keep marching, our feet trampled over Principal Wilson’s threats and our teachers’ warnings. We are marching because those words deserve to be run over. Steam rolled. Flattened to dust. We are marching in our Converse and our candy-colored heels, too. Our legs are moving, our arms are swinging, our mouths are set in lines so straight and sharp you could cut yourself on them.
Maybe we hope you do.❞
One of the qualities of this book that I really enjoyed–and that I think made the story stronger–was that Moxie may have been started by Vivian, but it wasn’t just hers. It became a part of every girl who wanted to take it up. I think it made it so much stronger to be leaderless and to let every girl add their own take and personality to the movement.
I also think it was great of the book to use Seth as an example of a decent guy who wanted to be part of the movement but just wasn’t sure how to show his support. I liked that we were reminded that Seth grew up differently and didn’t have the same experience as the girls did. It was the girls who had to be patient and teach him how to be more supportive, but it was also the girls who had to learn to understand where he was coming from as well.
Claudia was one of the only female characters that really bothered me. Of course, not all the girls jumped on the Moxie train right away. Some were hesitant, but with Claudia, it went beyond not being sure if she wanted to participate, or even declining to be a part of Moxie activities. She actually spoke out against it whenever Vivian and Lucy brought it up. She tried to discourage others and was always very judgemental. Because of this, I was pretty annoyed with Claudia for the longest time, although eventually, she was easier to deal with.
With that said, I would really encourage you guys to check out this book. It left me feeling really energized and positive. This lovely book comes out on September 19th so keep an eye out for it! ❤