Review: What's a Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne

What's a Girl Gotta Do?
by Holly Bourne


1. Call out anything that is unfair on one gender

2. Don't call out the same thing twice (so you can sleep and breathe)

3. Always try to keep it funny

4. Don't let anything slide. Even when you start to break...

Lottie's determined to change the world with her #Vagilante vlog. Shame the trolls have other ideas...

(cover image and synopsis lifted from Goodreads)

Series: The Spinster Club #3
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Publication date:  August 1st 2016
Source/Format: Bought/Paperback
Purchase link: Amazon  | Book Depository
My Rating: ★★★☆☆

My Thoughts:
“What’s a Girl Gotta Do?” is the third book in The Spinster Club trilogy. If you have been following my reviews, you might have noticed that I have become a big Holly Bourne fan because of this series. Her books introduced feminism to me in ways both entertaining and enlightening. Her characters all become like feminist friends to me: making me laugh and inspiring me to fight the good fight of promoting gender equality. I love how Holly Bourne seamlessly intersperses feminism with young adult themes and tropes. The first book is about fitting in, the second book is a road trip daring us to be bolder and this one is a no holds barred, full throttle activism. Compared to the first two books though, “What’s a Girl Gotta Do?” fell a bit too short from my expectations.

Story-wise the book lacks emotional appeal. It’s about Lottie and her month-long anti-sexism project. It all started with the day she experienced sexism first hand in the streets on her way to school. Some random men catcalled, harassed and insulted her and she was not able to do anything about it at first. When she got her thoughts collected about it, she decided to launch her #Vagilante vlog. Armed with a clown horn and flanked by her friends, her vlog documents Lottie calling out any sexist things that come to her attention. Although I empathized with her for being a victim of sexual harassment, cheered for her cause and laughed at how funny she does her thing, Lottie was not able to tug at my heartstrings as much as Evie and Amber did in their books.

Also, Lottie’s romantic subplot is just meh. I am not sure if the book will be better off without it. But I’m sure that the romance felt clunky and out of place, unlike in the first two books where the romance did not feel like a shoehorned thing. It did not make me feel anything at all, unlike the roller-coaster of emotions in Evie’s book or the slow burn in Amber’s book.

Nevertheless, this book is not to be missed for its stance and fight to promote for gender equality. It showed that activism knows no age. Teens have the voice and have something to contribute to the conversation. Everyone should take an active role in society because anything we do can make a huge difference. And it will also definitely inspire others to do what is right. This book and whole The Spinster Club series will always be memorable to me. I think it is a good primer for feminism and a must read for young women and men alike.

Diversity Watch:
Lottie is racially indeterminate. Evie is blonde and Amber is ginger, so they are both white. All three girls have hetero relationships.

The author mentioned in a letter at the end of the book that her exploration of feminism in the series is just "the tip of the iceberg that is inequality". She acknowledged that there are a lot of layers of oppression that she was not able to address in the book such as feminism and how it relates to race, disability, sexuality, gender identity or class, but she hopes that this will inspire her readers to fight for the change that we want to see.
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