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How to Build a Girl [Kindle Edition]

Caitlin Moran
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (230 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

The phenomenal Number One Sunday Times Bestseller in hardback and now Number One in paperback!

My name’s Johanna Morrigan. I’m fourteen, and I’ve just decided to kill myself.

I don’t really want to die, of course! I just need to kill Johanna, and build a new girl. Dolly Wilde will be everything I want to be, and more! But as with all the best coming-of-age stories, it doesn’t exactly go to plan…

A Number One Sunday Times bestseller in hardback and now Number One in paperback, from Caitlin Moran, the award-winning and Sunday Times bestselling author of How to Be a Woman.

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"spirited coming of age novel romps from strength to strength...I'm a Moran fan" -- Lionel Shriver The Times "rude, big-hearted, wise-cracking novel" -- Christina Patterson The Sunday Times "a Portnoy's Complaint for girls... when I see this book described as "laugh-out-loud funny" I feel affronted; it could make you laugh out loud with one hand tied behind its back, while wanking itself off to fantasies of Satan. Laughing out loud is just the start" -- Zoe Williams The Guardian "an entertaining read, with Moran in fine voice - hilarious, wild, imaginative and highly valuable...Moran is in danger of becoming to female masturbation what Keats was to Nightingales..." -- Barbara Ellen The Observer "Moran also writes brilliantly about music, and especially about what music can do. She carries Johanna through this novel with incredible verve, extravagant candour, and a lot of heart. Johanna is ... a wonderful heroine. A heroine who cares, who bravely sallies forth and makes things happen, who gives of herself, who is refreshingly unashamed. She's so confident, it's glorious" The Independent on Sunday

Book Description

The number 1 Sunday Times bestseller, the debut grown-up novel from Caitlin Moran, bestselling author of How To Be A Woman

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2048 KB
  • Print Length: 357 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Digital (3 July 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091949009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091949006
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (230 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #984 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
110 of 116 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You've read it already....... 8 July 2014
.....only with different names. This is basically How To Be a Woman all over again, only the heroine's surname is Morrigan not Moran. Actually had to stop a couple of times to check I hadn't accidentally picked up the other book by mistake. There is not much new here.

Moran is a very funny writer, but please. Also all the reviews calling it a "debut novel"? Come on, she's been writing books for decades. She is essentially the female Kingsley Amis: you get the same entertaining, but far too familiar book again, and again, and again. How many home schooled working class 90s teens from Wolverhampton do we need to hear about for her to acknowledge, we got the point?

This seems to be written for adults who want to read the YA fiction they wish they had in the 90s instead of real books. OK for all that but I expected more. Moran has a lot of talent. Here's hoping someone pushes her to write about something other than herself next time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By K. J. Noyes TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
4.5 stars

The author begins this book by saying emphatically that this story is NOT based on her own life or character. But if you know Moran's work through Raised by Wolves or her other non-fiction work How to Be a Woman, it feels instantly familiar and a smooth continuation of the same character’s story. Sorry Caitlin, but the subjects are so close to each other, the setting and happenings so similar, it's hard not to make the comparison. But that's not to the book's detriment. I loved it.

Johanna Morrigan is our Girl, she's a Wolverhampton council estate teen, who wants to be a music journalist. Taking the Bull(ring?) by the horns, she sends off her work and manages to land herself a job. Johanna leaves school in Wolverhampton for London life, but only after deciding she needs a life makeover and transforms herself into wildchild and party girl Dolly Wilde. Will this new identity serve her well?

Johanna experiments within her new identity, discovering alcohol, drugs, and sex among other things. And a note here: fairly explicit sexual scenes, though funny as hell! Her job allows her to review bands, but she writes mostly evil reviews of bands she doesn't like. Which of course will not bode well for our heroine.

The book is a series of one hilarious exploit after another. Through it all, we can see her losing herself and her direction, it flirts with darkness as we watch Johanna / Dolly being used (it is quite sad and frightening in what COULD happen to her) –she is, after all, only 17.

Back at home in Wolverhampton, Johanna's family are just as enjoyable and eccentric as we see in Moran's other writing - a possibly gay brother, a Dad who wants that ‘one’ big hit from his own music, a bolshy Mum overtired from new twins.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Caitlin Moran's a one-trick pony 26 July 2014
By Beth
Format:Kindle Edition
This is How To Be A Woman - re-named, re-packed and re-cycled as a shallow money-making exercise by Moran and her publishers.

It's almost as if she went through all the discarded notes/entries for HTBAW and used them here. Lazy, unconvincing and - at times - a bit sexist.

Couldn't she have at least have changed the story location from Wolverhampton? I'm amazed the editor didn't demand this.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Here we go again... 26 Aug. 2014
It’s ironic that a novel about a young woman who becomes a music journalist is like listening to a monkey endlessly pounding out the same two notes on a piano.

Moran is a good writer, stylistically you cannot fault her, but her subject matter has now officially not just worn thin, but completely and utterly worn through. Despite the disclaimer at the beginning, this is really just a warming-over of her own story, already well and truly milked in How to be a Woman and squeezed even further dry by her columns.

The only thing that I can see is different between her own life is the number of siblings. As is well documented, Moran is one of eight, in this novel there are “only” five children, with the youngest twins. Mercifully, this lets the reader off of her regular entrenched proselytising about the welfare state and her belief that having almost a football team of children when you have no hope at all of financially supporting them at all is some kind of noble enterprise.

Most worrying of all is the ending; it is left quite open, with the heroine’s move to London. I have a feeling that this is not the last we’ll hear of Dolly Wilde.

Water finds its level; Moran is unlikely to rise any furhter than this until she finds some new subject matter. Even enfants terribles all need to grow up some day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
When I read the forward and preface to this book I admit I was concerned that I was about to read the earnest, heartfelt, and completely uninteresting prose/blog of a bright, sincere teenager. Boy, am I a dope, or what?

This book is, in fact, earnest, heartfelt, sincere and bright. It is also searingly funny, completely engaging, bawdy, rowdy, and brutally honest. This is not a lost-to-drugs-and-back story, or a tale of redemption after hitting bottom, or a melodrama fancied up with some new age or self-help wisdom.

It is an honest, rueful, deadpan story about growing up, spiced with exaggeration for effect, naughty bits, some cutting self examination, a few romantic touches, and lots of cheerfully lacerating observations about life, families, society, and the music business.

This only works, or at least it will only hold book length attention, if the reader can connect with some fundamentally sound aspect of the narrator. I'm not doing 300 pages of train wreck. I might do 300 hundred pages of funny train wreck. I absolutely won't go near 300 pages of poor-victim-me train wreck. Well, this author, (or, actually the character she created), can come over to my house, drink too much wine, and tell stories all night, and that will be fine by me. (Actually, the actual author can come too, since she's probably alright as well.) (By the way, the heroine's name is "Johanna Morrigan". "Morrigan" is a figure from Irish mythology and is considered the goddess of 'battle, strife, and sovereignty'. Could there possibly be a better name for this character? No. For that touch alone you should read this book.)

But this is not just an extended stand-up comedy act or a string of clever zingers hung together to look like a novel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Book review
A bit of an eye opener. Not suitable for under 18 in my eyes.
Published 1 day ago by Hilary Franks
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly one of the worse books I have ever written
Truly one of the worse books I have ever read. It is base and borderline offensive. I was once a 14year old girl too and I recognise nothing I experienced in this book. Read more
Published 5 days ago by ms ca simpson
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's get building
Caitlin's writing style is witty, clever, enveloping and refreshing. Youth is to be misspent and learned from. Here's to reinvention...
Published 9 days ago by Samantha
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great value, many thanks
Published 11 days ago by watson
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book now!
Witty and different to most books about a teenage girl growing up; very refreshing. I could not stop reading and can't recommend it highly enough!
Published 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars super book at the end of it I took a ...
What can you say, super book at the end of it I took a great big look at your children and tell them they are wonderful and if you do not have children and your a girl tell... Read more
Published 19 days ago by aliceandroses
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute brilliant read
Purely brilliant I loved this book. Caitlin Moran must be a genius to have all this going on and be able to write it down. So much you can relate to from when you were a teenager. Read more
Published 19 days ago by justine nugent
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Still in process of reading
Published 19 days ago by mojo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
fab book
Published 20 days ago by Miss Kay
4.0 out of 5 stars How to Build a Girl
Some books you want to review as soon as you’ve finished them, you don’t want to wait for all the feelings and thoughts to fall out of your head. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Lucybird
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