What’s a Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne

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4stars

I’m just highly experienced in sexual harassment, like pretty much every other girl on this earth who dares to walk places.

Title: What’s a Girl Gotta Do?
Author: Holly Bourne
Good things about this book: Girl power and important themes.
Bad things about this book: The frustation about adults and narrow minded people.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

For every girl who does what is right, rather than what is easy.

UNACCEPTABLE! This book deals with unacceptable situations almost all women have to endure during their lives. I would love to know how many women haven’t been in some way victims of sexual harassment because I don’t think there are that many. I know I have been a victim of it in the past. I have been afraid of going anywhere by myself because every time I knew there was going to be at least one man thinking it was nice and cool to compliment me and follow me around.

Do you ever think how it must feel to have horrible things you’ve seen or experienced judged and questioned by someone? Like it’s our responsibility to convince you we’re not lying, rather than yours just to believe us?

It is not okay and it’s awful that this is consider normal and if I say that this thing happened to me I’ll be laughed at and maybe they will say I’m overreacting and that I was being ridiculous.
How is it that we live in a world in which being a woman is by default considered as always in danger? How is it that when I go out I have to feel that every man I encounter is a possible aggressor? I hate that it has to be like that.

I hear so many sexist things at work since I’m mostly surrounded by male co-workers but I also hear cringe worthy things from my few female colleagues who grew up having this wrong ideas put into their minds and still don’t think they are, indeed, not right. No, co-worker n.1, your son won’t become gay because of ballet lessons. No, co-worker n.2, I don’t feel cold because I’m a woman and all women, in your opinion, feel cold but I’m cold because the heater doesn’t work well. No, co-worker n.3, I don’t have a partner and no, I didn’t lose weight because, as you said, “there’s someone in my life and you wanted to look cute”. Hell, I’m the cutest creature in that office, excuse you. Yes, co-worker n.4, I’m perfectly able of doing “manly” things because I have taught myself how to do them; did you think a hammer was too heavy for my female arms? If I don’t do something is solely because I’m too lazy to do it, certainly not because I’m not able to do it.

I realized it takes a great deal more courage to fight for yourself than to fight for others.

It may be only in my very small world, but I do everything in my power to point out every sexist thing I can. I choose my battles, though, because sometimes the listener is so beyond salvation that I prefer saving my voice for something worthier of my time. I want the world to change but I don’t want to lose my mind in the process.

I don’t just want to complain about the world, I want to change it.

Lottie, the main character of this book, has come to a point in which she can’t take it anymore. She has been a victim of harassment, feeling powerless, afraid and guilty. Guilty because she thinks something she is wearing might have been the reason of this terrible event. She feels so angry because she feels she is strong enough to fight what she thinks is wrong but in that moment she froze and couldn’t react to the situation. In what world red lipstick is secret code for girls who want to be molested by horny men? Lipstick doesn’t equal asking for it. What the hell? Lipstick! Paint on my lips. Paint! Sigh.

The project Lottie starts along with her best friends (and our old spinster friends) Amber and Evie, and a very cute (of course) but too logical cameraman called Will, is called VAGILANTE and I think that’s the greatest name they could have thought of. Why put a boy/love interest in the equation? Didn’t like that. It wasn’t necessary and it could be avoided. Let’s Lottie have time for herself, her friends and her project. She can have love interests in the future. Again, unnecessary.

If a woman had written this, it would be called chick lit and win nothing.

The trolls the project unleashes are the worst. The worst of them all are the other girls because they don’t really understand the gravity of the situation and how important it is to have equality. This book made me so mad because I know and understand how hard it is to fight every single thing Lottie is trying to fight and how frustrating it must be having so many people deeming the project as pointless and useless. Lottie’s parents!!! The adults are always the worst. They grew up with different values so they think it’s useless to try and change how things are. Do you hear how dumb that sound?? Ok, right, let’s leave everything as it is. The future will be really interesting. Read: dystopian apocalypse.

There’s this part of the book that bothered me a little bit, but then again, I’m easily bother just as much as how I’m easily entertained. Lottie is starting the project and the first thing Will says to her is why she is wearing make up since she is supposed to be a feminist. What the hell of a question is that? I can do whatever I want to feel pretty and you don’t have the right to question that. I, for example, don’t wear make up because I think it makes me look weird and I personally don’t like feeling weird all day long. I choose how to face the world for myself, not to impress an audience.

I wrote about everything and nothing in this review but this theme is close to my heart. Fight the wrongness of the world. Please, do it. This is worth fighting for and if you want to start talking about period with your male friends to make them feel uncomfortable about normal things, then do that. I do it at work all the time and the ones that don’t give me a disgusting look gain points in my “how to be a worthy human being” book. If I look in pain and you ask me what’s wrong I’m not going to lie. My period is tearing me apart from inside out and everyone should know it. This fight can be fun, too, right?

Maybe all you needed in life was the belief you could change things. Somehow. Some way.

LET’S CHANGE THE WORLD!

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How Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne

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“Winnie the Pooh is the answer of all happiness.”

Title: How Hard Can Love Be?
Author: Holly Bourne
Why you should read this book: Because this is a really cute book about love and finding the person who understands you and accepts you for who you are.

Summary from Goodreads:

Amber, Evie and Lottie: three girls facing down tough issues with the combined powers of friendship, feminism and cheesy snacks. Both hilarious and heart-rending, this is Amber’s story of how painful – and exhilarating – love can be, following on from Evie’s story in Am I Normal Yet?
All Amber wants is a little bit of love. Her mum has never been the caring type, even before she moved to California, got remarried and had a personality transplant. But Amber’s hoping that spending the summer with her can change all that.
And then there’s prom king Kyle, the guy all the girls want. Can he really be interested in anti-cheerleader Amber? Even with best friends Evie and Lottie’s advice, there’s no escaping the fact: love is hard.

“Why would anyone get drunk? Why does anyone need anything like that to escape the world, when the world is its own antidote?”

Lovely book about family, friendship and love. Love for your family, for your friends who support you and for that particular person who makes you feel special.

Amber is really a strong character, very lively and straightforward. She is strong, that is true, she is also really funny, but she has a fragility and pain hidden inside her. That’s not good, hiding pain is bad, then one day something will trigger a memory and you’ll just explode and it’s not going to be nice.

“You know how protective I get about my snacks.”

So Amber goes all the way from England to the US to visit her mother, an alcoholic in rehab, who runs a camp for, apparently, rich kids in California. She runs it with her new husband who has a magnificent bum on his chin. That’s very important knowledge. Thanks, Amber!

“Why do Americans hate their children so much that they ship them off into the mountains all summer?”

When you say camp, what comes to mind? Loud children? Of course, but no. Beautiful boys who work there for the summer? Exactly! I’ve been to camp, a religious one though, only once and I had fun. There was a guy I fancied, nothing happened, I am really bad at flirting, even more than Amber. I didn’t score, we talked, and that’s it. Real life is so much worse than fiction. I wonder if in real life people can say what happened to Amber happened to them, too. If it happened, good for you, you earned my jealousy!

Her mum was seriously annoying, so was Kevin, but her mum is her mum for a reason. They haven’t seen each other for 2 years and she isn’t spending real bonding time with her own daughter. She got on my nerves a lot because she played the victim, always trying to blame others and finding excuses for being the way she was. Those are the worst kind of people; I don’t like them at all.

“I’m a terminal pessimist with an edge of angry realism.”

Luckily Amber, being funny and everything, easily made friends with the staff at camp. We have Winnie, a Winnie the Pooh expert, Russ, the lost twin of Jacob from Twilight, and Kyle, the typical American boy right out from a fashion magazine. Perfect guy, perfect tan, perfect hair, and perfect smile. I have to admit that even if he looked extremely American I liked him even before knowing him better. I have a little weakness for tall tanned guys with cute smiles. You can say I have a weakness for hotties, I won’t deny it. I’m all about the handsomeness. Shallow as it may sound, it is the truth. The eye wants what the eye wants.

“Basically, the more you know, the unhappier you are. That’s why Winnie the Pooh is always happy – he doesn’t get into politics.”

The whole story was fun and easy to read. I love how Holly Bourne writes; the story becomes part of you and you read read read and the book just ends when you are not paying attention. The chapters are well built, they show you important parts of Amber and what makes her the way she is. How she starts off being angry and drinking to forget, to when she starts realizing there’s more to life than just being mad and disappointed at people when you yourself don’t do anything to change the present. How can you pretend to understand why a person is acting a certain way if you don’t ask but just assume what you want? It will never be the truth, you need to act and free yourself from doubts, only then you can move on and start living your life fully.

“Failure is never getting hurt. Because that means you’ve done anything you cared about.”

Amber doesn’t know that, she will learn it the hard way. Nothing is lost forever, things change, and they take different shapes but stay with you forever. You just have to give them the proper weight. If something isn’t worth suffering, then it’s not worth a space in your heart. Archive it, it’ll still be there but will be a memory, and not a recurring thought that will weight you down.

I enjoyed this book, this Normal series is a nice surprise. Can’t wait to read Lottie’s story, I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.

Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s funny and sweet, a really enjoyable book.
Rate: 4/5

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