Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Book Review Category Contemporary Contemporary Romance Five Star Genre Star Rating Young Adult

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Inspired by the riot grrl movement in the 90’s and frustrated with the treatment of girls at her High School, Vivian follows her mother’s rebellious ways and starts a zine as a glimmer of hope and understanding. Without thinking much as the Moxie movement grows it becomes something more, something that goes beyond the riot grrl scene. Something personal. With Bikini Kill blasting on the stereo and the spark of feminism in her heart, Viv started a revolution.

I stumbled into the Riot Grrrl subculture in the early 2000’s on the heels of 10 Things I Hate About You which brought me down the “angry girl music” rabbit hole and ultimately made me a fan Bikini Kill. So, when I was sitting there, hearing the bass and drums of “Rebel Girl” in the beginning of the Moxie trailer. I knew I had to read the book.

Moxie, to my surprise is set in Texas, Rockport to be exact which struck me immediately since I’m a Texan girl, born and raised. Even though I live in a larger city, it did really feel like Texas. That said, it could easily be any small town or city in the United States, one where tradition trumps progress and people are stuck with the status quo.

There were many other aspects of this book that I related to even as a Millennial and someone completely out of the book’s targeted demographic. I got a lot of nostalgia even though I wasn’t out there making ‘zines, I followed and dyed my hair crazy colors, even buzzing it off in my more intense riot grrrl days.

Viv is relatable as a “good girl” inspired to action by inequality. Viv could be anyone, that’s what made her so realistic. It just takes waking up and realizing what is happening around you. I also think that the Riot Grrrl movement really fits perfectly with the MeToo movement, a Riot Grrrl move if I had ever seen one. Women supporting women and showing up for each other, making each other heard.

There’s a lot of honesty to the way the book depicts the cliques that seem to form in high school and how it slowly breaks them down because in the end we’re all women and we should all be supporting each other.

Needless to say this was a really inspiring read that reminded me of my high school days. It’s relevant today and I can’t wait to see the Netflix movie. I teared up a number of times reading it and I know the movie is likely to be just as powerful with Amy Poehler at the helm.

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