Summary: Vivian is tired of her small-town Texas high school. She’s tired of the football team always getting whatever they want. She’s tired of the sexist dress codes and harassment-filled hallways. Motivated by her mother’s role as a Riot Grrrl back in the 90s, Viv creates a feminist zine, Moxie, that she anonymously distributes in school. As Moxie becomes the talk of school more and more, Viv finds herself making friends with girls across all social groups and realizes she might be on to the start of a revolution.
My Rating: 4.25/5 Stars
Amid all of the fall’s amazing book releases, Moxie was high on my to-be-read-list not just for its focus on feminism, but also for the fact that Amy Poehler blurbed the book on the front cover (her production banner, Paper Kite, acquired the feature rights back in January)! Anything Leslie Knope-approved is game in my life!
Moxie is a stand-out novel in the young-adult community for its emphasis on girls coming together to fight for equality. Moxie reignited my anger over high school dress codes, which are far more orientated towards girls than boys in my opinion, and makes me want to create my own chapter of Moxie, which you can actually do through the help of http://moxiegirlsfightback.com/. I loved seeing Viv rise up to the sexist regulations of her high school and bring the zine to life, not to mention how much her and her friends empowered me as a feminist.
I really appreciated how Jennifer Mathieu bought in a lot of the myths behind feminism and how girls really feel into the book. We saw Viv’s best friend, Claudia, be reluctant about classifying herself as a feminist in the beginning, as she’s afraid that people will think that she hates men. Thankfully, we see Claudia have a change of heart by the end of the book. We also have Seth, who is all for feminism and Moxie’s fight, but questions the seriousness of one girl’s accusation toward the end of the novel.
If I had one “complaint” about Moxie, I felt that it had a lot of high school tropes. I liked Seth as a character and didn’t mind his relationship with Viv, but I hated how he distracted her from her thoughts and made her forget about the not-so feministic things (things that Seth really wouldn’t understand firsthand as a guy) he said. And as progressive as Moxie obviously is, there was one part when Viv is describing how her high school isn’t really prejudiced against LGBTQIA individuals, however, the only two gay guys at her school were in the theatre department and everyone was pretty sure that they were dating each other. It just felt so stereotypical. Additionally, as much as I rooted for these characters and their success, I felt that the ending was a bit too hunky-dory, aside from the novel dealing with the topic of sexual assault.
Overall, Moxie is great example of how feminism can be further featured in the YA community, and I’m excited to see a possible Moxie film adaptation!
Do you plan on picking up Moxie? Share in the comments!