BOOK CLUB: Rules for Being a Girl

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Author: Katie Cotugno and Candace Bushnell
ISBN: 9781529036084
Pub Date: 14/04/2020
Imprint: Macmillan Children’s Books

As a young adult fiction novel I found this book to be very engaging and completely different from any other YA novels I have read.  Katie Cotugno and Candace Bushnell have captured such an important subject in such a thought-provoking way.

Marin is a 17 year old high school student working hard at her grades, aspiring to be a journalist.   With her best friend Chloe they spend most of their spare time working on the school paper being co-editors, they are supervised by their favourite and very likeable teacher Mr. Beckett who all the students call Bex. He is a young, friendly, very sociable and is very open about his private life.  The girls are very captivated by the stories. Bex offers Marin a ride home from school after working on the paper and before she gets out of the car he leans over and kisses her without her consent. Marin is shocked over Bex’s unwanted and unwelcome behaviour and wonders what she did to deserve it.  

Marin knew she could not ignore the sexual harassment; she had to be assertive and establish strong personal boundaries and speak her truth even though she may suffer a backlash.  When Marin reported the incident her best friend Chloe, students, and school personnel turned a deaf ear. Her only support was from her mother and grandmother who encouraged her to fight for her injustice.    

Marin refuses to back down until Mr Beckett faces the consequences and writes an article for the school paper titled, ‘Rules for Being a Girl’ and starts a feminist book club as she is tired of girls being victimised, degraded, and dismissed.  She knew there were multiple possibilities for conflict of interest in speaking up about the sexual harassment and not something young people need to learn to tolerate, rather it must be confronted and stopped so that the school could be safe and positive place for students.

Regardless of your age this is a great read and I highly recommend if you have a young teenage daughter please let her read this book, it gets the message across about sexual harassment not being the victim’s fault, nor is it a reflection on them, that it is unacceptable and students continue to seek help and fight for justice in the best interests of all.

Thanks to B&L and Pan Macmillan AU for read and review.

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7 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Rules for Being a Girl

  1. As this book is by the very talented Candace Bushnell who brought us sex and the city I loved it very much and thanks to beauty and lace for the opportunity to read this book

  2. Rules for Being a Girl is Young Adult contemporary fiction narrated by Marin – star student and editor of the school paper. Marin’s future seems bright with her sights set on Brown University. She gets along well with her young, charismatic English teacher, Mr. Beckett. But when things go too far with the relationship, Marin is shocked and horrified. The book focuses on this issue and her newly formed ‘feminist bookclub’ for the remainder of the story.
    It is a story of teenage friendship, feminism, sexual harassment and a little bit of romance. I found this book hard to review – as an adult I found it predictable and unexciting, however for a teenager there’s probably some great messaging and lessons. With a husband for a teacher I also find books on this topic difficult to read.
    It was a quick and easy read and I would like to thank Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan AU for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  3. Marian is a great character doing well at school actually her life is great until an incident at school with a teacher ( no spoilers ) her life changes friends distance themselves from her Marian starts a feminist book club which is interesting hard to review this book without giving anything away I found this book to be an enjoyable read

  4. This book is based around a girl in her last year of school. It raises many great issues girl/women face. There was one powerful part that really I really felt. I really easy read that I could not put down. I think it could empower a lot of young girls!

  5. A dynamic and in sync writing duo comprised of Candice Bushnell, the bestselling author of Sex and the City, along with her counterpart Katie Cotugno, a New York Times bestselling author, have collaborated to produce Rules for Being a Girl. A 2020 publication from Pan Macmillan Australia, Rules for Being a Girl challenges notions of acceptance, status quo, power, authority, entitlement and gender. This moving and powerful story of a teenage girl who is subjected to an assault at the hands of her high school teacher is revealing, realistic and all empowering. Main character Marin travels a rocky road, that is at times tough and frustrating, but also inspiring. Marin’s non defeatist attitude and her inability to accept what was done to her with strong fighting spirit will be sure to strike a chord with many readers. It was refreshing to see serious topics tackled with a sense of understanding, but also an accessible tone. Bushnell and Cotugno’s dual creation will be sure to strike a chord with teen readers and their parents.

    *I wish to thank Beauty & Lace Book Club and Pan Macmillan Australia for a copy of this book for review purposes.

  6. I actually didnt realise this was a young adult book until I started it. Roughly the plot is based on a teenage girl in her last year of high school and an inappropriate teacher. After he makes an advance on her …she eventually decides to tell the Principal about It and things start to spiral. She holds firm though and the incident makes her realise how difficult females have it…and the rules for being a girl were born…I generally like a book with a bit more depth but it was spot on for a young adult audience

  7. Rules For Being A Girl by Candace Bushnell is a very easy to read coming of age kind of book.
    The story revolves around Marin, a very intelligent and studious 17 year old girl. It explores the life of a girl in a very male dominated high school, from the boys to the teacher, to the principal.
    This is a book that can be read in a couple of days and is very much for a target audience of Young Adult.
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for the opportunity to review this book.

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