New Fiction: How to Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran

Moran’s book of feminist essays, How to Be a Woman, spent 16 weeks on the NYT bestseller list and an astounding 30 weeks on the Indie Bestseller List. Fans of that book know what to expect from Moran’s first novel—wit, insight, and laugh-as-you-wince-at-the-truth-of-it cultural observation. You haven’t seen a coming of age novel like this one before.

I got a ton of bookseller feedback on this so no surprise that it’s an October Indie Next pick. Expect it to be covered everywhere. Caitlin is hilarious and gives great media. So far we have outlets as disparate as NPR and Morning Joe, Cosmo and the Washington Post Book World lined up.

“[A] overweight, socially inept teen drops out of school to become a rock critic and sexual adventuress….Hilarious autobiographical fiction debut for Britain’s Lena Dunham…”
— Kirkus (Starred Review)

Moran’s sharp sense of humor comes through in Johanna’s observations. Gratifying, too, are the constant stream of ’90s alt-rock references (Soup Dragons, anyone?) and the portrait of a pre-Internet world, where kids actually had actually leave their houses to find new identities.”
— Publishers Weekly

“The book is more than a novel; it’s part rip-roaring memoir, part Oscar Wildean social critique, and part fevered love song to the beautiful misfires and obsessions of youth.”
   — Elle

“A rambunctious, raw-edged, silly-profound and deeply relatable guide to what your worst mistakes can teach you….Moran’s special trick…is combining her relentless bouncy irony with flashes of heart-on-sleeve straightforwardness, and a general predisposition toward hope.”
   — The Independent

Caitlin Moran is nowhere near the first author to explore teenage sexuality, but How to Build a Girl is a great addition to those which came before. Despite some reservations as an adult reader, I feel like How to Build a Girl could be a Catcher in the Rye for a lot of teenage girls. Being a teenage girl was sometimes confusing and often frustrating and occasionally even a little bit horrifying. This book showed all of that, the gritty truth of being a teenage girl, all the things that we think and feel but are never comfortable sharing.”
–Brittney Gabbard, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

How to Build a Girl (9780062335975) by Caitlin Moran. $26.99 hardcover. 9/23/14 on sale.

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