‘Moxie’ by Jennifer Mathieu

Rating: 5 out of 5.

TW: attempted rape, sexual harassment


‘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. 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 when other girls respond & begin to spread the message that MOXIE girls fight back!’

Moxie. Girl Power. Feminism. Rock and Roll. And a tiny sprinkle of romance. Moxie is book that every young girl should be encourage to read. Scrap that, everyone should read it. One that inspires whilst also telling the brutal, harsh realities of misogyny and sexual harassment that young girls are victim to in a place where they should feel safe… school. Moxie tells the story of female protagonist, Vivian Carter, who begins to notice how the females in school are treated poorly whilst the male football team are held on pedestals and allowed to do whatever they want. There is an issue of morality where the teachers, the supposed ‘authoritative figures’, overlook sexual harassment and instead focus on punishing the girls for wearing a tank top because it can ‘distract the boys from their education.’

@booksbyerinandtay on Instagram

Vivian wants things to change. So inspired by her Mums Riot Grrrl past, she creates ‘Moxie’, a zine that she puts in the girls bathroom, encouraging girls to speak and know that they aren’t alone. Entwined in this important book is also empowerment, friendships and also a tiny bit of romance. Although, I didn’t expect a romantic storyline, I am glad that Vivian met Seth, because ultimately Seth reminded her that not all boys are the same, and I think this is important to be heard. Mathieu’s writing style was binge-able and easy to read, a YA style with an important message.

Moxie is a great book, but it’s ALSO a great film. I have to be honest, I got half way through the book and Taylor & I couldn’t resist watching it on Netflix party. And yes, the film is bloody brilliant, we both loved it. And I would rate it 5 stars and watch it over and over again. Although there are a few differences in the book and film, I feel like the film did the book immense justice whilst including more diversity and one thing I felt was worth pointing out was that in the book the Principal is male… in the film, they made her female, which highlights that women can be sexist too.

I felt nervous posting this review because it’s highlighting such a sensitive and serious issue. So ultimately, I want to finish on an important quote that I read, please let me know the initial source of this so I can quote them…

“Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes. No means no.”

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