"Moxie is sweet, funny, and fierce. Read this and then join the fight." Amy Poehler
An unlikely teenager starts a feminist revolution at a small-town Texas high school in this novel from Jennifer Mathieu, author of The Truth About Alice.
MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK!
Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with an administration at her high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment, and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.
Viv's mom 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 a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She's just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.
Moxie is a book about high school life that will make you wanna riot!
Also by Jennifer Mathieu:
The Truth About Alice: A powerful look at slut-shaming, told through the perspectives of four small-town teens, about how everyone has a motive to bringand keepa teen girl down.
Devoted: A girl with a controlling, conservative family realizes that her life is her ownif only she can find the courage to fight for it.
Afterward: A tragic kidnapping leads to an unlikely friendship in this novel about finding light in the midst of darkness.
Praise for Moxie:
“With a story that’s equal parts heart and instruction manual, Mathieu has captured the movement of a generationwarts and alland shone a light forward for the next one.” E. K. Johnston, #1 New York TimesBestselling author of Exit Pursued By a Bear
“Vivian Carter and Moxie are strong and smart and so, so inspiring. She is my new hero and this is my new favorite book. I’m proud to be a Moxie girl.” Jennifer Niven, New York Times–bestselling author of All the Bright Places and Holding Up the Universe
“From its soul-deep girl friendships to its swoony love story to its smart, gutsy heroine, Moxie is a ferocious joy. I could feel my heartand my couragegetting bigger every time I turned the page." Katie Cotugno, New York Times–bestselling author of 99 Days and How to Love
"Moxie is an anthem, a how-to guide, and that best friend who says, ‘You matter, too!’” Sherri L. Smith, author of Pasadena and Flygirl
“Like the addictive riff of a punk rock song, Moxie will pull you in, inspire you, and kick you back out into the world with a burning desire to change it. Read this. Now.” Jenny Torres Sanchez, author of Because of the Sun
"An invaluable revelation." Booklist, starred review
"This novel is full of wit, insight, and moxie. . . . Highly recommended for all teens, but especially those who would enjoy realistic coming-of-age fiction with female empowerment." School Library Journal, starred review
"Satisfying and moving." Publishers Weekly
|Product dimensions:||5.43(w) x 8.31(h) x 0.94(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Jennifer Mathieu is the author of Devoted, Afterward, and The Truth About Alice, the winner of the Children's Choice Book Awards' Teen Choice Debut Author Award. She teaches high school English in Texas, where she lives in the Houston area with her husband and son.
Read an Excerpt
My English teacher, Mr. Davies, rubs a hand over his military buzz cut. There's sweat beading at his hairline, and he puffs out his ruddy cheeks. He looks like a drunk porcupine.
The drunk part may be true. Even if it is before lunch on a Tuesday.
"Let's discuss the symbolism in line 12 of the poem," he announces, and I pick up my pen so I can copy down exactly what he says when he tells us what the gold light behind the blue curtains really means. Mr. Davies says he wants to discuss the symbolism, but that's not true. When we have our unit test, he'll expect us to write down what he told us in class word for word.
I blink and try to stay awake. Half the kids are messing with their phones, grinning faintly into their groins. I can sense my brain liquefying.
"Vivian, what are your thoughts?" Mr. Davies asks me. Of course.
"Well," I say, folding in on myself and staring at the Xeroxed copy of the poem on my desk. "Uh ..." My cheeks turn scarlet. Why does Mr. Davies have to call on me? Why not mess with one of the groin grinners? At least I'm pretending to pay attention.
Neither of us says anything for what feels like a third of my life span. I shift in my seat. Mr. Davies stares. I chew my bottom lip uncertainly. Mr. Davies stares. I search my brain for an answer, any answer, but with everyone's eyes on me I can't think straight. Finally, Mr. Davies gives up.
"Lucy?" he says, calling on the new girl, Lucy Hernandez, who's had her hand up since he asked the question. He stares at her blankly and waits.
"Well," Lucy starts, and you can tell she's excited to get going, even sitting up a little straighter in her chair, "if you think about the reference the speaker makes in line 8, what I'm wondering is if the light doesn't indicate, a, um, what would you call it ... like a shift in the speaker's understanding of ..."
There's a cough that interrupts her from the back of the room. At the tail end of the cough slip out the words, "Make me a sandwich."
And then there's a collection of snickers and laughs, like a smattering of applause.
I don't have to turn around to know it's Mitchell Wilson being an asshole, cheered on by his douche bag football friends.
Lucy takes in a sharp breath. "Wait, what did you just say?" she asks, turning in her seat, her dark eyes wide with surprise.
Mitchell just smirks at her from his desk, his blue eyes peering out from under his auburn hair. He would actually be kind of cute if he never spoke or walked around or breathed or anything.
"I said," Mitchell begins, enjoying himself, "make ... me ... a ... sandwich." His fellow football-player minions laugh like it's the freshest, most original bit of comedy ever, even though all of them have been using this line since last spring.
Lucy turns back in her seat, rolling her eyes. Little red hives are burning up her chest. "That's not funny," she manages softly. She slips her long black hair over her shoulders, like she's trying to hide. Standing at the front of the room, Mr. Davies shakes his head and frowns.
"If we can't have a reasonable discussion in this classroom, then I'm going to have to end this lesson right now," he tells us. "I want all of you to take out your grammar textbooks and start the exercises on pages 25 and 26. They're due tomorrow." I swear he picks those pages blind. Who knows if we've even gone over the material.
As my classmates offer up a collective groan and I fish around in my backpack for my book, Lucy regains some sort of courage and pipes up. "Mr. Davies, that's not fair. We were having a reasonable discussion. But they"— she nods her head over her shoulder, unable to look in Mitchell's direction again — "are the ones who ruined it. I don't understand why you're punishing all of us." I cringe. Lucy is new to East Rockport High. She doesn't know what's coming.
"Lucy, did I or did I not just announce to the class that it should begin the grammar exercises on pages 25 and 26 of the grammar textbook?" Mr. Davies spits, more enthusiastic about disciplining Lucy than he ever seemed to be about the gold light behind the blue curtains.
"Yes, but ...," Lucy begins.
"No, stop," Mr. Davies interrupts. "Stop talking. You can add page 27 to your assignment."
Mitchell and his friends collapse into laughter, and Lucy sits there, stunned, her eyes widening as she stares at Mr. Davies. Like no teacher has ever talked to her like that in her life.
A beat or two later Mitchell and his friends get bored and settle down and all of us are opening our textbooks, surrendering ourselves to the assignment. My head is turned toward the words subordinate clauses, but my gaze makes its way toward Lucy. I wince a little as I watch her staring at her still-closed textbook like somebody smacked her across the face with it and she's still getting her breath back. It's obvious she's trying not to cry.
When the bell finally rings, I grab my stuff and head out as fast as I can. Lucy is still in her seat, her head down as she slides her stuff into her backpack.
I spot Claudia making her way down the hall toward me.
"Hey," I say, pulling my backpack over my shoulders.
"Hey," she answers, shooting me the same grin she's had since we became best friends in kindergarten, bonding over our shared love of stickers and chocolate ice cream. "What's happening?"
I sneak a look to make sure Mitchell or one of his friends isn't near me to overhear. "We just got all this grammar homework. Mitchell was bugging that new girl, Lucy, and instead of dealing with him, Mr. Davies just assigned the entire class all these extra pages of homework."
"Let me guess," Claudia says as we head down the hall, "make me a sandwich?"
"Oh my God, however did you figure that one out?" I answer, my voice thick with mock surprise.
"Just a wild guess," says Claudia with a roll of her eyes. She's tinier than me, the top of her head only reaching my shoulder, and I have to lean in to hear her. At 5'10? and a junior in high school, I'm afraid I might still be growing, but Claudia's been the size of a coffee-table tchotchke since the sixth grade.
"It's such bullshit," I mutter as we stop at my locker. "And it's not even original humor. Make me a sandwich. I mean, dude, you could at least come up with something that hasn't been all over the Internet since we were in middle school."
"I know," Claudia agrees, waiting as I find my sack lunch in the cavernous recesses of my messy locker. "But cheer up. I'm sure he'll grow up sooner or later."
I give Claudia a look and she smirks back. Way back when, Mitchell was just another kid in our class at East Rockport Middle and his dad was just an annoying seventh-grade Texas history teacher who liked to waste time in class by showing us infamous football injuries on YouTube, complete with bone breaking through skin. Mitchell was like a mosquito bite back then. Irritating, but easy to forget if you just ignored him.
Fast forward five years and Mr. Wilson managed to climb the Byzantine ranks of the East Rockport public school hierarchy to become principal of East Rockport High School, and Mitchell gained thirty pounds and the town discovered he could throw a perfect spiral. And now it's totally acceptable that Mitchell Wilson and his friends interrupt girls in class to instruct them to make sandwiches.
Once we get to the cafeteria, Claudia and I navigate our way through the tables to sit with the girls we eat lunch with every day — Kaitlyn Price and Sara Gomez and Meg McCrone. Like us, they're sweet, mostly normal girls, and we've known each other since forever. They're girls who've never lived anywhere but East Rockport, population 6,000. Girls who try not to stand out. Girls who have secret crushes that they'll never act on. Girls who sit quietly in class and earn decent grades and hope they won't be called on to explain the symbolism in line 12 of a poem.
So, like, nice girls.
We sit there talking about classes and random gossip, and as I take a bite of my apple I see Lucy Hernandez at a table with a few other lone wolves who regularly join forces in an effort to appear less lonely. Her table is surrounded by the jock table and the popular table and the stoner table and every-other-variety-of-East-Rockport-kid table. Lucy's table is the most depressing. She's not talking to anyone, just jamming a plastic fork into some supremely sad-looking pasta dish sitting inside of a beat-up Tupperware container.
I think about going over to invite her to sit with us, but then I think about the fact that Mitchell and his dumb-ass friends are sitting smack in the center of the cafeteria, hooting it up, looking for any chance to pelt one of us with more of their lady-hating garbage. And Lucy Hernandez has to be a prime target given what just happened in class.
So I don't invite her to sit with us.
Maybe I'm not so nice after all.
Our ancient tabby cat, Joan Jett, is waiting for me when I open the front door after school. Joan Jett loves to greet us when we come home — she's more dog than cat that way — and she lives to meow and howl and get your attention, which my mother says makes her a good match for her namesake, the human Joan Jett, this woman who was part of an all-girl band in the 1970s called The Runaways before she started her own group. When Claudia and I were younger, we used to make videos of Joan Jett the cat dancing to songs of Joan Jett the singer.
I give Joan Jett a quick pet and then find a note on the counter from my mother. She could just text me, but she likes what she calls "the tangible quality of paper."
Working late tonight. Meemaw and Grandpa said come over fordinner if you want. Pls fold laundry on my bed and put away. Love you. Xoxoxo Mom
I'm old enough now to stay by myself if my mom has a late shift at the urgent care center where she works as a nurse, but when I was little and she had weird hours, Meemaw would pick me up from school, and I'd go to her house and eat a Stouffer's frozen dinner with her and Grandpa, and then we'd all try to guess the answers on Wheel of Fortune before they'd tuck me into bed in the room that had been my mother's when she was young. Meemaw had redecorated it by then in soft pinks and greens, not a trace of my mom's old punk rock posters and stickers left, but I used to peek out the window of my mom's old room and imagine her being young, being wild, being set on leaving East Rockport one day and never coming back. Even though she only managed half the plan, my mother's youth still fascinates me.
Back in those days I'd drift off and, depending on how tired my mother was when she got home, I'd either wake up to my grandpa watching the Today show, or I'd be shaken awake in the middle of the night to make the ten-second walk back to our house, clutching my mom's hand, catching a whiff of the minty, antiseptic smell that always follows her home from work. Nowadays I only head over to my grandparents' house for dinner even though they still try to get me to spend the night like the old days.
My phone buzzes. Meemaw.
"Hey, sweetie, I'm heating up chicken enchiladas," she tells me. "Want to come over?" Meemaw and Grandpa eat breakfast at 5, lunch at 11, and dinner at 4:45. I used to think it was because they're old, but my mom says that's how they've been all their lives and that when she moved out at eighteen she felt like a rebel for eating after dark.
"Okay," I tell her, "but I have to fold the laundry first."
"Well, come on over when you're done," she says.
I grab a piece of cheese from the fridge for a snack and answer a few texts from Claudia about how irritating her little brother is before I figure I should get the laundry over with. Joan Jett scampers off after me, wailing away as I head to the back bedroom where I find a mountain of laundry in the middle of my mother's unmade bed. I start folding pastel-colored underpants into nice, neat squares and hanging damp bras up to dry in the bathroom. It's strictly lady laundry. My dad passed away when I was just a baby after he crashed his motorcycle while driving the streets of Portland, Oregon — which was where he and my mom and I used to live. His name was Sam, and I know it's kind of strange to say about my dad even if I can't remember him, but from pictures I know he was kind of a total babe, with dirty-blond hair and green eyes and just the right amount of muscles to be attractive but not so many as to be creepy and gross.
My mom still misses him, and one night about a year or so ago when she'd had too much wine, she'd told me it was weird that she kept getting older but Sam would always be the same age. That's how she referred to him, too. Sam. Not "your dad" but Sam, which is really who he was to her more than anything, I guess. Her Sam. Then she went to her room, and I could hear her crying herself to sleep, which is not my no-nonsense mom's usual approach. Sometimes I feel guilty that I don't miss him, but I can't pull up even the tiniest sense memory. I was only eight months old when he died, and after it happened Mom and me moved back to East Rockport so my grandparents could help take care of me while my mom went back to school and finished her nursing degree. And now, sixteen years later, we're still here.
I'm hanging up some of my mom's simple sundresses when my eye catches on a fat, beat-up shoe box she keeps on her closet's top shelf. In black Sharpie it's labeled MY MISSPENT YOUTH. I slide the final dress into place, tease the shoe box out of its resting spot, and take it to my bedroom. I've looked in this box before. Back when Claudia and I went through our Joan Jett dancing cat video phase, I used to love to take down this box and study the contents, but I haven't pawed through it in years.
Now I open it up and carefully spill the cassette tapes and old photographs and neon-colored leaflets and dozens of little photocopied booklets with titles like Girl Germs and Jigsaw and Gunk out onto my bed. I pick up a Polaroid of my mom where it looks like she was just a few years older than I am now, maybe nineteen or twenty. In the photograph, she has a platinum-blond streak in her long dark hair, and she's wearing a tattered green baby doll dress and combat boots. She's sticking her tongue out at the camera, and her arms are around the neck of another girl who has dark eyes and a piercing through her eyebrow. In black marker written down one of my mom's arms are the words RIOTS NOT DIETS.
My mom doesn't talk too much about her younger years before she met my dad in Portland, but when she does, she always grins a little with pride, maybe remembering how she graduated from high school and drove an ancient Toyota she'd bought with her own money to Washington State just because that's where her favorite bands lived and played. Bands with names like Heavens to Betsy and Excuse 17. Bands made up almost entirely of girls who played punk rock and talked about equal rights and made little newsletters they referred to as zines.
They called themselves Riot Grrrls.
My mother was wild back then. Wild like with half her head shaved and black Doc Martens and purple lipstick the color of a serious bruise. Even though my mom is pretty relaxed compared to a lot of moms — like she's always been up front with me about sex stuff and she doesn't mind if I swear in front of her once in a while — it's still hard to reconcile the girl in the Polaroid with the mom I know now. The mom in butterfly-covered, lavender nursing scrubs who sits down at the kitchen table once a month to balance her checkbook.
I shift positions to get more comfortable on my bed and stare at a page in one of the Riot Grrrl zines. It has a cutout of a vintage cartoon Wonder Woman with her hands on her hips, looking fierce. The girl who made the zine drew words coming out of Wonder Woman's mouth, warning men not to mess with her when she's walking down the street unless they want a smack to the face. I grin at the image. As I flip through the pages, I find myself wishing that Wonder Woman went to East Rockport High and that she was in all of the classes I have with Mitchell Wilson. When Joan Jett meows for her dinner, I have to force myself to pack the box up and tuck it back into my mom's closet. I can't explain why, exactly, but something about what's inside the box makes me feel better. Understood somehow. Which is weird because Riot Grrrl was a million years ago, and none of those girls know me. But I can't help but wish I knew them.
Excerpted from "Moxie"
Copyright © 2017 Jennifer Mathieu.
Excerpted by permission of Roaring Brook Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
HELL YES!!! MOXIE is the definitive feminist YA contemporary novel. This book has been on the top of my fall reading list ever since I read the description. I had very high expectations going into it, but MOXIE absolutely crushed it! I have never felt so empowered as a woman as I did while reading this book. I want girls and women alike to read this book, because I want them to be able to feel that same incredible sense of empowerment that I did while I was reading. But I also want everyone to read this book regardless of gender. Feminism and gender equality are not battles to be fought only by women. It's something we all need work toward together, and this book is a great way to start some crucial conversations around those topics. This is one of those books that just needs to be required reading in high schools. This book sends a clear and vital message about the importance of speaking up for what's right and fighting against bullying, sexism, and discrimination of all kinds, which is a message that is important for everyone. Vivian's character was so well-done. She creates this incredible feminist zine and anonymously distributes it throughout her high school, but her struggle to gain the confidence to do that makes her so believable. The obstacles she faces as a woman in the high school she goes to are infuriating and sadly relatable. She is a character that you'll more than cheer for. She is a character you will follow straight into battle. The book includes images of the zine that Vivian creates, and they are awesome and just so much fun. There is a sweet and swoony romance in this book, and it really emphasizes the importance for both parties in a relationship to try to understand the experiences of the other, to learn from each other, and grow together. It in no way detracts from the overall theme of the book. It only enhances it. Read this book, you guys, and then let's talk about it! Let's continue the important conversations from this book. Moxie girls fight back! *I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
I really ended up enjoying this book! This was a review book that completely slipped through the cracks and was left to sit somewhat forgotten. By the time I pulled it out of the pile, I didn't completely remember why I had been drawn to it in the first place. I wasn't too far into the book when I realized just how good this story really was and I had a fantastic time with it. It has been a long time since I was a teenager or went to high school. A very long time. My youngest daughter is currently finishing up her final year of high school and my oldest is a young adult so I have lived with teenagers for quite a few years so I feel like I know what they are like and I thought that this book was filled with realistic teenagers which is one of the things that I really really enjoyed about it. I wish that the things that happen at Vivian's high school during the course of this book didn't happen. I know that they happened when I was in school and I don't think it is too much of a stretch to think that they still happen quite often in certain areas. I was mad. I was disappointed. And I was disappointed. How could the adults let these things happen and not speak up? How was it that none of the parents of daughters from the school were demanding change? The one thing that I would have loved to see happen in this book would be for Vivian, or one of her friends, to tell the adult in their life exactly what was going on. These girls didn't let others fight their battles though. Vivian sparks a movement that eventually works its way across her school. I was so happy to see these girls stand up and fight the things that were wrong together. It was a very uplifting message about how change can happen if you get enough people to stand up with you. I listened to the audiobook version of this book which turned out to be a fantastic choice because Suzy Jackson did a wonderful job with the story. She really was the voice of Vivian and I thought that she did was able to bring this story to life. All of the character voices were really well done and I had no problems listening to this book for hours at a time. I would recommend this book to others. I had a great time watching this wonderful group of characters fight for a cause that was easy to get behind. I look forward to reading more of Jennifer Mathieu's work in the future. I received a digital review copy of this book from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library.
Moxie was girl power and feminism at its best! It was full of fun, beauty, and strength! “Moxie girls fight back!” I absolutely loved this book! I loved the bravery behind it. I loved the positive messages found within. And I loved the characters and storyline! It was a riot! First and foremost, this book was about standing up for what’s right. It was about shooting down misogyny and that age-old phrase “boys will be boys.” It was about female positivity, inclusion, and all-around equality. It was also about not giving in to prejudice and misconceptions based on reputations and appearances. Besides the powerful messages found within the story, the characters are what really made it! I loved Viv as our main character. She was fierce! Sure, she had her problems to begin with, but she grew and changed, and most importantly, she learned powerful life lessons that helped her not only create Moxie but create amazing friendships. I also really loved that she looked up to her mother so much. I loved her best friend Claudia and enjoyed seeing her grow and change as Viv did. I also loved Lucy and her spunk and influence over Viv. And, we can’t forget Seth and his amazingly big heart and moral compass! This was such a feel-good read! It paid tribute to punk rockers, feminists fighting the good fight, and ambitious teenagers trying to do what’s right. It was a feminist book all young girls should read!
This book is my all time favorite. It is suh an inspiration for women
I'm a teen and I LOVE this book! it is so strong and empowering, and really tells you what it feels like to take a stand. READ THIS, BUY THIS
Yes yes yes. I KNEW I was going to love this book, and I did. There's so much passion and truth in these pages, sometimes it was hard to remember it's just fiction. I fell in love with Viv and her group of girls, and then I got MAD. Mad about everything to do with East Rockport and her terrible high school where the teachers seems to have given up and the principal is totally okay with boys groping girls in the hall. NO. I love Vivian's anger and how she anonymously inspires so many people and when each individual girl finds strength to speak her truth and stand up for her rights and just EVERYTHING HERE. Jennifer Mathieu talks about intersectional feminism, about educating and not blaming, about not letting people be "set in their ways". I don't know if there's a SINGLE other YA book out there that talks about feminism, let alone a bunch of the sub-issues that go along with it. As a contemporary... okay, it was a little light. Viv's life totally revolved around Moxie, so it was hard to separate her from the movement. But her friendships are wonderful and Seth is a genuinely good guy and I wish them all the best. Can I give this more stars?
“Making girls monitor their behavior and their appearance because boys are supposedly unable to control themselves? That is one of the oldest f*****g tricks in the book.” Genre: Young Adult Contemporary. Number of Pages: 330. Perspective: First. Location: Texas. Viv starts a Zine asking for her fellow girl classmates to stand together against the sexist guys from her school. Together, they start a feminist revolution. Based on reviews I’ve seen, I’m in the minority here. I really wanted to love this book. It’s about some butt-kicking girl-power teens… or at least that’s what I thought. No, no, no. Out of all the books that should have a romance subplot, this is DEFINITELY not it! WHY?!?! I do like that the boyfriend supports feminism, but the author could have shown male support without a love interest. The main character doubts herself a lot too. For once, I want a non-apologetic and confident female main character ESPECIALLY when it is about protesting. I liked the female friendship and empowerment that eventually happens. We see some growth throughout the book from most of the characters. But, overall, the concept and message overshadowed the individual characters. From what I know about teenagers, they usually like subtle messages rather than being hit over the head with it. I think this will be a divisive book. I don’t think all men will hate this book (at first glance, it could appear to be one of the “all men suck” kind of books, but it really isn’t that). However, because of the content about a first boyfriend and friendship, plus the obvious girl-power undertones, I think more women will read this than men. For my full review, you can go here: https://judgingmorethanjustthecover.blogspot.com/2019/01/moxie-jennifer-mathieu.html
But i already love it and want it to finish this amazing journey.
A really powerful and moving read... if you're a feminist this is a must-read and even if you're not it's pretty excellent. It changed my views and I'm glad i picked it up! Definitely going to recommend it to some friends!
I’m not normally one of those people who is easily riled. But this time? I’m riled. Screaming from the rooftop. Telling you to read this book. And to tell everyone you know to read this book. As an adult, especially as an adult without kids, I’m always outraged when I read that another teenage girl being told to cover up because some stupid boy can’t control himself. But then, I do nothing. Because what really am I supposed to do? Well, this is what I’m doing. Reviewing this book, and spreading the word. Vivian is the main character in Moxie. She’s the daughter of a former Riot Grrrl from the 90’s. I like to think of Viv’s mom as Kat from 10 Things I Hate About You, listening to Bikini Kill, getting into trouble. But Viv? She’s the good girl. The quite one, sitting in the back of the classroom, uncomfortable with speaking out in school, not wanting to make a scene. This is what really strikes me as important about Vivian. That even the quiet girls can make a difference. Especially quiet girls who are outraged. And I loved every minute I was with her, reading her story. Throughout the novel, she discovers her inner-strength and feminism. “it occurs to me that this is what it means to be a feminist. Not a humanist or an equalist or whatever. But a feminist. It’s not a bad word. After today it might be my favorite word. Because really all it is is girls supporting each other and wanting to be treated like human beings in a world that’s always finding ways to tell them they’re not.” And more importantly, she discovers that girls should be supporting each other. Not pushing each other down. The plot of Moxie both amazes and outrages me. I am amazed at how Ms. Mathieu plots the novel. Viv grows as a character, finding confidence in herself. Her relationships with her mother, friends, and boyfriend develop and flourish. I’m outraged that teenage girls have these experiences every day. That is insane. The girls of Moxie band together and take a stand against the boys who treat girls as objects and the administration who turn a blind eye. There is one scene in particular (that I won’t spoil) I had CHILLS while listening. CHILLS people. That’s real feelings. And takes an impressive author to make me feel so strongly. The narration of Moxie is amazing. Ms. Jackson has a knack for capturing each of the characters. Her voices range from teenage girls, parents, teachers and administrators, to teenage boys. Seth (Viv’s boyfriend) is especially well done, with the lower register and inflection that really feels like a teenager. Turn up some angry music and go out and get yourself a copy of this book, pronto. And share it with everyone you know. That’s what I’m going to do. And always remember "Moxie Girls Fight Back!"
At Vivian's school the football team rules. There's no money for anything else, it all goes to football. The players get plenty of privileges and this reflects in their attitudes. They are sexist and rude, they think they can bully everyone else and are convinced their opinions are the law. Vivian no longer wants to accept this awful behavior and comes up with a plan. Her mother was a rebel, a feminist with quite a reputation, and Vivian still has her old material. She loves listening to the music and going through old zines. It's the zines that inspire her to develop her own project. To protest Vivian makes her own zine, which she distributes anonymously at school. She encourages girls to stand up for themselves by small ways of joint protest. She's surprised when others start following her lead. However, not everyone is enthusiastic about Vivian's mission and this changes her life at school considerably. Old friendships are being revalued and new bonds inevitably come into existence. While the effect at first is small, a snowball starts to form that won't stop for anything and anyone. Has Vivian created a high school revolution with her zine? Moxie is a fabulous story about feminism, which is a subject I applaud. I really loved how Vivian slowly starts to stand up for what she believes in. She comes across as a little bit shy and not very outspoken, but Vivian finds her voice and it's a strong one. I loved that the zines she’s spreading around her school are part of the book. They look fantastic and I admired how they make girls and boys unite. Moxie shows that sexist behavior shouldn’t be tolerated at all, in a fantastic impressive way. I love how Jennifer Mathieu gives girls a voice and makes her story accessible for a large group of readers. This is a book that can really make a difference and I think it’s a perfect example for teenage girls. Jennifer Mathieu's writing has a nice flow. Her story is fast-paced and there's plenty of action. There's also some lovely sweet romance that made my heart melt. I love how she lets girls stand up for themselves and admire that she's chosen such an amazing topic to write about. Moxie is captivating and creative and the ending gave me goose bumps. I really liked the issue that's being brought to attention in this powerful story and think it's a must-read for young girls.
Good read. If you like this listen to Female by Keith Urban :)
LOVED this story and loved its message. Watching Viv feel her way into feminism, first through an anonymous zine and later through community and protest, was really inspiring and powerful. I super appreciated the emphasis on intersectional feminism, as well as the idea that girls can and should support each other and work together instead of competing against each other. The last forty pages or so made me smile and squeal and tear up because they were so badass and so full of hope. Although I didn't feel that Viv's relationship with Seth was especially important to the larger narrative, I have a lot of respect for the Jennifer Mathieu for including a male character who chooses to start unpacking his privilege. And my (minor) issues with Viv and Seth's romance didn't take away from all the other story aspects I enjoyed. I hope teenage girls from all walks of life find their way to MOXIE, and I hope it helps them to embrace their own power and their own feminism. God knows I might've been a lot more comfortable identifying as a feminist in high school if I'd had Viv and her friends to show me the way.
One of the most talked about books of 2018, it felt like everyone was talking about it at some point or another and with good reason, Moxie is the type of book that I needed to read at the end of the year to remind me that when women come together as friends and with a common goal we can do amazing things. Reading about the school environment that Viv was immerse in was stressful to say the least, I could feel myself getting angry at the way girls were treated and also thinking that it probably happens a lot in real school across the world, things like that or worse. My hope is that when young girls/women read this book they feel like I felt, like not all is lost, like there is hope for us to feel safe in the places we spend our time, school, work, etc.
A sexist, chauvinistic high school's administration and misbehaving boys don't know what hit 'em with Moxie. When Vivian takes her anger and channels it into action, the girls realize that girls supporting each other and fighting for their rights is the way to go. I felt the outrage and my blood boiled along with Vivian at the sexist nonsense happening at their school. Moxie is a great message and delivery. *I received an arc from the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review
I love Jennifer Mathieu. She has the ability to tackle difficult issues in stories with amazing characters. Her latest book, Moxie, is no different. This time she has created a terrific YA story about feminism where the mother is not a hated character. Vivian has always been curious about her mom’s youth and her time as a Riot Grrrl in the 1990s. Fed up with the way boys in her high school have been treating girls and the double standard when it comes to dress code, she decides to fight back by writing a ‘zine called Moxie. In it she calls for the other girls in the school to join her in standing up and fighting back against sexism. Of course, I loved this story! You know I love strong female characters. I loved Vivian and her friends. I loved the new boy in town who shows that guys can be feminists too. I loved that Vivian had a mostly positive relationship with her mom. I loved the ‘zines and the art in this book. I loved the whole concept. (Although I kind of hate that this type of book had to be written since sexism is still so rampant.) Anyone looking for a feel-good, girl-power story will love this book! http://opinionatedbooklover.com/review-moxie-by-jennifer-mathieu/
This book sums up what it's like to be female in a place that considers you leepss important. It's fun, funny, and heartbreaking all at once.
Absolute, emphatic YES! to "Moxie," a book that I'd love to recommend to all high schoolers. Vivian lives in a small Texas town, where football is king and girls are silenced. Raised by a progressive mother who was a Riot Grrrl, Vivian has gone through her mother's old zines and thought a lot about these issues. Constantly confronted by sexist teenage boys who rule the school because they are on the football team (e.g. telling girls to "Make me a Sandwich" when they answer questions in class), Vivian is fed up. The old Riot Grrrl zines speak to her and help her to find her own voice. She uses them as a model to create Moxie zines for their school. Vivian's high school embodies a lot of stories we hear on the news about unfair treatment of female students across the country. This includes behaviors as mentioned above which are less offensive but dangerously tolerated by teachers and faculty (they get no support from administration on any of these problematic behaviors) and escalate to things like the "bump'n'grab" game, where they bump into a girl and use it to grope/molest her. There are also some dangerous systemic issues like the "dress code violations" which single out girls and shame them in front of classmates, because they are a distraction to boys (who are not told to control themselves and wear offensive shirts on the regular). This is a common problem and offers a voice to frustrated teenage girls everywhere. There are also mentions of sexual assault (through retellings of events/not too detailed), which is unfortunately all too common, but good to warn about for people who would want to know before reading. Moxie becomes a voice for the otherwise ignored female students in this toxic environment. Through Moxie, although anonymous, Vivian starts making connections with other girls, from all different social classes and cliques- because ultimately, they are all victims of this sexism. I think this is the really beautiful message of the book- unity to make change. I absolutely loved this section of the book with the quote: "this is what it means to be a feminist. Not a humanist or a whatever. But a feminist. It's not a bad word. After today it might be my favorite word. Because really all it is is girls supporting each other and wanting to be treated like human beings in a world that's always finding ways to tell them they're not." Incredible. The book also approaches feminism for the male ally through a romantic interest for Vivian. What is really great is how they point out that boys have also been "indoctrinated" into the sexist culture, but they can also join the movement without infringing on girls rights to be heard and have safe spaces. I think this was navigated really well overall, and I thought the romance added to the story in this way, rather than detracting from the overall equality/girl power messages. I do wish alcohol had been left out of the book, as it wasn't really necessary to the plot, and teenage drinking does not need to be linked with girl power/feminism. But overall, I found it to be such a powerful book with an incredible message, that I loved it overall anyway. I highly recommend it! Another really great thing about the book was the inclusion of messages/examples about peaceful protests and how to be heard when you are constantly ignored. It's a really fantastic read! Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
I got this book so long ago and I can't believe I didn't devour it immediately. Love love loved Vivian. She's smart and scared and fed up and she meshes those things together and creates Moxie. Reading it grow and bring the girls together was fantastic. All of the males were horrid jerks who desperately needed junk punches...excluding one. Plot wise it is empowering and heartbreaking and empowering and sweet and empowering and funny and empowering and swoony and empowering. I felt like I could move mountains after reading this. It was a roller coaster of emotions and if high school girls these days are going through even 1/4 of what happens in this book, I'm disgusted. FYI: there is talk of rape and sexual assault. Overall, it was a quick read and an amazing story with great characters who were easy to root for. Definitely should be required reading. **Huge thanks to Roaring Brook Press for providing the arc free of charge**