An unlikely teenager starts a feminist revolution at a small-town Texan high school in the new novel from Jennifer Mathieu, author of The Truth About Alice.
MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK!
Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with an administration at her 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!
This is the book young women have been waiting for; I can already see it creating a cult following and being that one young women demand their friends read, gets brought up in high school/college classes, beg their libraries offer and turning Moxie into a revolution.
For those who get triggered easily be forewarned there is some issues with sexual harassment and implications of rape.
In an age when so many people feel like they aren’t heard Moxie reminds readers they have a voice that deserves to be heard and should be heard. I’m not sure there is a book more focused on feminism than this one as it’s all about girls supporting each other, creating common goals, learning what the movement means and why women should come together instead of tearing each other apart.
Mathieu created realistic characters that help deliver this story and turned it into something realistic and powerful. Seth was a surprising love interest that I wasn’t expecting considering the nature of the story yet because he has a great heart it helps balance some of the darker elements. His relationship with Viv sets the bar for what young romance should strive to mimic. Viv is this passionate fighter who isn’t as confident as she seems but can argue better than a politician; I can see her being a character many look to as a role model.
Male privilege is examined through the character of Seth and I can see it making some male readers uncomfortable but only because Mathieu does a great job of pointing out what most don’t want to admit. It also brings up the idea of ‘safe spaces’ in a roundabout way when Seth points out that Moxie should be a girls only space.
Another issue brought up between characters is how even though women in general have experienced sexism, the way it occurs to one race versus another varies so how a white woman experiences it will be different from a POC.
The setting is a small town in Texas so I felt the author did a good job staying true to the nature of where she placed her people. There isn’t a lot of diversity in some ways when it comes to POC or LGBTQ but I wouldn’t expect as much in this setting versus if it was some place like New York or even Austin/Houston which are far more liberal than the smaller more conservative parts of the state. If she was going to add more then she would’ve needed to move the setting to keep that realistic feel.
Overall this is such an emotionally powerful book that if you aren’t feeling your heart move in 20 different directions or have tears springing to your eyes you may need to have some deep inner conversations with your outlook on life.
Thank you to Netgalley and Roaring Book Press for allowing me to review this!
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*synopsis and image from Netgalley