Every so often I read a book that stays with me long after I’ve read it. They stay with me for different reasons and I tend to re-read them, some more frequently than others. One such book is How to Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran. I read in on vacation a few years ago and loved it. It’s a fun, raunchy, interesting, warm-hearted and funny coming of age tale unlike any I’ve ever read before. My love of that book made me incredible excited when I learned Caitlin Moran had written a sequel titled How To Be Famous. I bought it a couple days after it came out and enjoyed every moment of it!
Both books centre around Johanna Morrigan and her alter ego, Dolly Wilde. Johanna, as Dolly, is a music critic in London in 1994 and the story begins where the last book left off, with Dolly writing for D&ME magazine. I loved Johanna/Dolly’s adventures in the first book as she is coming of age and I continued to love them as she finds herself a little older, maybe a little wiser, living on her own in London and still defining who she is. If How To Build A Girlwas about her creating Dolly Wilde to meet her teenage goals, How To Be Famoussees Dolly come into her own a little more. And come into her own unlike any other character I can think of – certainly with her own flair, inspired by a fantastic cast of characters and an event that I admit, I was glad happened to her in 1994 and not today.
At its heart, How To Be Famous is a story about finding yourself, friendship, women supporting each other, love and loving yourself. The ending was exactly what I would have wanted it to be and I found myself smiling broadly (on a plane so perhaps looking foolish) but throughout the book, I laughed out loud at times to hilarious scenes and almost cried at others, sometimes joyfully. I found myself thinking that it was the perfect follow-up to How To Build A Girl and with these two books, Caitlin Moran has delivered the gift of a heart-warming story that is funny and raunchy and features a kick-ass female lead who may have started as the underdog but certainly isn’t anymore!
I don’t want to say too much about the story line because I don’t want to give away any details from either book. I wouldn’t say these books are for everyone but they are such amazing reads that I encourage you to check them out and see if they’d be something you might like. They are perfect reads for vacation, sitting under a tree or on a dock or just enjoying in your favourite reading spot! And read them in order! You can find details and the plots here: https://www.caitlinmoran.co.uk/#books
I want you to read them and I hope you love them as much as I do!