Fight Like a Girl: a Moxie Review

Title // Moxie
Author // Jennifer Mathieu
Publication Date // October 2017
Publisher // Hodder Children’s Books (Hachette Australia)
Readership // Young Adult
Genre // Contemporary
Rating // ✭✭✭✭✭


It’s time to fight like a girl!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her high school teachers who think 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 mum 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 Moxie, a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond and spread the Moxie message. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realises that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.


A page-turning read with a feminist message, for anyone who has ever had to deal with #everydaysexism


Moxie is a breath of fresh air for anyone who loves a good, female-led contemporary book.

Vivian Carter has had enough of the everyday sexism that is happening in her school, day-in-day-out, led by the boys of the school’s football team, who seemingly can do no wrong. From gross comments in the classroom, hallway harassment and school-enforced dress codes only for the girls (who should be modest and ladylike), school is becoming something of a nightmare for Viv and her friends. Until she decides to follow the example of her mother – who, as a young adult, was tough and strong and stood up for what she believed in. Viv creates Moxie, a zine that she distributes anonymously through the girls’ bathrooms at school, blowing off steam, but inadvertently starting a girl revolution in the process.

This was just brilliant. Viv is the girl-next-door – she’s focused on school, following the rules and getting good grades to go to college and get out of her small town. Her frustration at the double-standards between boys and girls within her school community is palpable and real and that helps her find her inner-strength to start standing up for herself and her gender in a positive way that promotes positive female friendships.

The friendships are the real highlight in this book – not only does Viv had her life-long friends, but she makes new ones along the way as the girls find they have more things in common than they do differences. All the friendships are tested, all of them have moments when they’re strained or strong and everything about them was realistic. The same went for the romantic relationship that develops between Viv and Seth – it was awkward and cute, it came from a good place and they had to solve problems like any other couple, especially when it came to communication and a shared understanding of ideas.

It was also fantastic to see a positive parent relationship in a contemporary story, too. Viv and her mum have spent so much of their lives together as a pair that it’s easy to follow their storyline, too. Viv has an idealised version of her mother’s younger self in her head, and is learning how to contrast that with the woman her mother is today, and the decisions she makes – including having a new boyfriend. Likewise, her mother learns that Viv is growing up in ways she never expected and despite their ups and downs, they both stand by one another and have respect for one another, too.

This book has such a strong feminist message that isn’t just for young adults. It’s about standing up for what you believe in, fighting like a girl, and building friendships. I cannot recommend this book enough!

5 out of 5 stars.


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