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What's a Girl Gotta Do?

Written by Holly Bourne

Part of the The Spinster Club Series

Books of the Month Featured Books for 13+ readers Featured Books for Young Adults Recommended Children's eBooks Romance / Relationship Stories School Stories

LoveReading View on What's a Girl Gotta Do?

August 2016 Book of the Month  | In a Nutshell:  Feminism | Friendship | Fighting back |

Inspirational and insanely funny, this third and final book in the Normal trilogy is a motivating must-read manifesto for young women, not to mention a powerful wake-up call for detractors of feminism.

When two men subject Lottie to threatening sexual harassment, she feels embarrassed, afraid and, most of all, outrage at the male entitlement that led them to believe “my body was theirs to comment on”. With the backing of her college FemSoc and Spinster Club friends, she decides to (literally) call-out every single instance of sexism for an entire month by honking on a clown’s horn, and so the Vagilante Project is born. To help the Project gain ground, and to document her experiences, Lottie reluctantly recruits aspiring filmmaker Will. While he might be a “cocky jerk”, Will’s talent (and hipster good looks) can’t be denied and the campaign soon attracts major media attention. But the Project’s stresses take their toll on both her mental health and grades as her Cambridge University entrance interview looms. If that wasn’t enough, national coverage of the Vagilante Project brings out the trolls, and Lottie has to dig deep to stay sane and keep all her goals in her grasp.

For me, one of this novel’s highpoints is its incisive exploration of cognitive dissonance. For example, Lottie knows the social norm of having hair-free legs is a patriarchal imposition, but it takes great guts to ditch the razor and go au naturel. That such issues are handled with both insight and humour makes this novel all the more authentic, and Lottie’s story is full of madly funny moments, such as when she mimics a man-spreader on the tube, or when she staggers from Will “like some pissed-up feminist gingerbread man” because she doesn’t need a male companion to walk her home.

Packed with wit, warmth, honesty and passion, this novel will surely forge a path of empowerment for legions of young women (we could do with a real-life Lottie realising her ambition to become Prime Minister), while eliciting more than a few belly laughs along the way. ~ Joanne Owen


What's a Girl Gotta Do? Synopsis

Lottie is starting a supersonic feminist experiment. For one month she's going to call out every instance of sexism she sees. But when her project hits the headlines, the trolls come out to play - and they are VICIOUS. Lottie's not a quitter, but best friends Evie and Amber are worried. What if Lottie's heading for burnout...or worse?

The last novel in the critically acclaimed Am I Normal Trilogy that looks to empower and inspire young adult readers to see the change they want to see. What’s a Girl Gotta Do? gives an incredibly honest and hilarious insight into ALL the complexities and contradictions of being a teen feminist. Of wanting to shave your legs and have a boyfriend, all whilst fighting The Patriarchy.

What's a Girl Gotta Do? Reader Reviews

Teens and YA's love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Jasmine Tyler, age 15 - 'I LOVE this book. It's honest, it's funny while touching on real serious matters. Loveable characters. Read it right now!!'
  • Amelia Corrick-Gough, age 14 - 'Holly Bourne has created a book that doesn't just suck in the reader, but one that also changes their perceptions of everyday life in such a fun way. Everything about this book is amazing.'
  • Izzy Read - 'Holly Bourne knows exactly how to write a funny and uplifting, yet hard hitting, YA book on feminism.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'The story was inspired by the authors own experience with sexual harassment, there was moments of deep sadness, but it was very inspiring what she did with that horrible experience.'
  • Megan Abbott, age 17 - 'An inspirational read!..This is such a refreshing read, as the characters and situations are so relatable...I would definitely recommend this book'
  • Imogen Breaks, age 13 - 'This book is an extremely educating read and makes you understand just how unfair the world can be for women; every female in my house is now reading it! '
  • Zara Kazi, age 18 - 'Inspirational, funny and truly empowering....Holly’s books are what all teenagers should be reading right now!'
  • Amy Laws, age 15 - 'Humorous, thought-provoking and inspiring- this book made me laugh, made me want to cry, but most importantly, made me think...Overall, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book.'
  • Sarah Murray, age 18 - 'Another fantastic book from someone who is quickly climbing my list of favourite authors...This is a series is a fantastic way to introduce young people (not just young girls) to feminism.'
  • Humaira - 'There is not much to say other than Holly Bourne has done it again. Each time I pick up a book of hers, I am completely absorbed into her words.'
  • Megan West, age 15 - 'An inspirational and inspiring book that every adolescent should read! I loved the strength of character and moral in this book.'
  • Aimee Sweet, age 15 - 'A definite five star from me, and I recommend What’s A Girl Gotta Do? to teenagers who want to voice their opinion, but are not sure how. A perfect all-season read.'
  • Destiny, age 14 - 'I loved this novel, I think it is so amazing and that all teenagers should read it...It was a really powerful, influential yet funny novel.'
  • Susie Holm - 'A funny, sophisticated novel which focuses on feminism, love and friendship...The book is wonderful. It's fast and easy to understand whilst also being extremely intelligent and sophisticated.'
  • Delilah Acworth - 'to have an author as exciting and influential as Holly Bourne take a real stand for female rights is brilliant. I couldn't recommend it enough, this is going to fly off the shelves!'

What's a Girl Gotta Do? Press Reviews

“Blazing a feminist trail for UKYA” – Red magazine online

“This is a book to press into the hands of every teenage girl you know” – Fiona Noble for The Bookseller

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781474915021
Publication date: 01/08/2016
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781474915021
Publication date: 1st August 2016
Author: Holly Bourne
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 432 pages
Suitable for: 13+ readers, YA readers
Genres: Romance / Relationship Stories, School Stories
Recommendations: Books of the Month, eBooks, Reviewed by Children

About Holly Bourne

Holly Bourne worked as an editor and relationship advisor for a youth charity for six years before becoming a full-time author. Her bestselling YA fiction includes It Only Happens In the Movies, which was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize 2018, and the critically acclaimed Spinster Club series. Holly is an advocate for reducing the stigma around mental health problems and has a keen interest in women’s rights. She lives in Lewes. Photo credit L Bourne

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