Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.
Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so 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. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.
This was a book I kinda picked up on a whim. I have seen some ARC reviews about this book, and it seemed like a pretty awesome premise. I thought it was an amazing book that should be required reading for any young girl.
The book is set in high school in which the football players rule the school and pretty much get away with anything, and it was one incident in the classroom in which Mitchell, the quarterback made a sexist remark to the a girl, Lucy and when Lucy defended herself the class was punished. Vivian basically tells Lucy how that was the norm around the school. After looking through her mothers old stuff and realize that she was a Riotgrrrl she decides to to start a zine highlighting the problems girls have in the school and the misogyny they face.
I love that I got to see the “zine” within the book, it really made it feel as if I was in on the action. I also like how it started off as something small but than grew and started becoming inspiring to all the girls at the school. While the audience knows Vivian is the author, I like that she made it anonymous, so it reminded me a lot of Mr. Robot. I also like that it started a movement within the school in which most the girls were involved in.
Most the issues that was covered was the sexual harassment brought on by the football players with the “bump n grind”, the schools sexist dress code policies, and lack of funding in the girls sports teams. They are all real issues that many young girls face today. It also touched upon how sexual assault often gets mishandled by school administrators.
Vivian as a main character was very engaging. I like how she wasn’t afraid at first to do the zine because she wanted to reach as many girls as possible. I also like that has started off as very shy and only having just a few friends, mainly Claudia and Lucy.
I also love the emphasis on female friendship. You really don’t see a lot of female friendships in YA novels and the fact that the relationship between the girls seemed real. There is also a romance in the book, but it is not the main focus of teh book. There were some other characters like Kiera and Emma who I did like, but I kinda wish they were a bit more fleshed out.
Viv’s boyfriend Seth is a very well written male character, I like that he isn’t the “brooding YA protagonist”. he is actually very supportive of Viv writing Moxie, and he also knows when to be a good feminist ally. While there is times he almost ventures into “not all men” he understands that there is stuff that he will never understand. I also like how their relationship was actually well done, while they did fight it wasn’t to the point where they have the second act break up, it was an actual meaningful relationship.
A minor criticism I have is that I wish the book was little more diverse. While Lucy is a Hispanic character, I felt that some of the side POC characters weren’t really fleshed out. But I do like how Viv discusses how the 90s RiorGrrrls didn’t include many POC and was willing to make a change with Moxie.
In the end, Moxie was an amazing book that is has a lot of good feminist themes. I think it should be required reading for all young girls because of its themes. I think the book will hopefully inspire young girls to get involved in activism. It was has some engaging characters with a nice story along with it.