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Publisher's Summary

A hilarious, heartfelt sequel to How to Build a Girl, the breakout novel from feminist sensation Caitlin Moran who the New York Times called, "rowdy and fearless... sloppy, big-hearted and alive in all the right ways."

You can’t have your best friend be famous if you’re not famous. It doesn’t work. You’re emotional pen-friends. You can send each other letters - but you’re not doing anything together. You live in different countries.

Johanna Morrigan (aka Dolly Wilde) has it all: at 18, she lives in her own flat in London and writes for the coolest music magazine in Britain. But Johanna is miserable. Her best friend and man of her dreams John Kite has just made it big in 1994’s hot new BritPop scene. Suddenly John exists on another plane of reality: that of the Famouses.

Never one to sit on the sidelines, Johanna hatches a plan: she will Saint Paul his Corinthians, she will Jimmy his Pinocchio - she will write a monthly column, by way of a manual to the famous, analyzing fame, its power, its dangers, and its amusing aspects. In stories, girls never win the girl - they are won. Well, Johanna will re-write the stories, and win John, through her writing.

But as Johanna’s own star rises, an unpleasant one-night stand she had with a stand-up comedian, Jerry Sharp, comes back to haunt in her in a series of unfortunate consequences. How can a girl deal with public sexual shaming? Especially when her new friend, the up-and-coming feminist rock icon Suzanne Banks, is Jimmy Cricketing her?

For anyone who has been a girl or known one, who has admired fame or judged it, and above all anyone who loves to laugh till their sides ache, How to Be Famous is a big-hearted, hilarious tale of fame and fortune - and all they entail.

©2018 Casa Bevron, Ltd. (P)2018 Penguin Books, Ltd.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

She’s done it again.

I am never ready for the brilliance that is Caitlin Moran.
This is one of my favorites in a LONG time.
Now I have to go back and re-read everything else.
Highly recommended. Especially if you were a coming of age girl in the 90s. So bittersweet.
Thank you, Caitlin.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazingly awesome

Oh. Holy Gosh! I must admit I returned the first book in this series and I am beyond thrilled I was guided to this. It should be required reading. If you feel the #metoo needed a manifesto and teaching manual which will make you laugh and cry( more than ones at the same time!) Get ready. This is the perfect way to dive into 90’s, or visit this era of my childhood/youth.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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AMAZING , but not for the faint of heart

I just finished galloping through this audiobook--it kept me laughing and engaged all the way through summer traffic on 495 and 95, and it kept me up till 11 (11! ME!) last night. I'm already a Moran fan, and Louise Brealey, the reader, is fantastic.

But the book is more than just a well-read story with a few glitches and one or two spots where perhaps/maybe just maybe/possibly an editor might have convinced Caitlin to trim a bit, which most of the reviews I read (Guardian and something else) mentioned. It's more than just a continuation of the story Moran's building based on her own life (which readers of her other memoirs, collections, and/or novels will recognize). What blew me away was Moran's clear-eyed effort to address the experience of being female in the world--in the novel, 1990's Britpop Europe, but her honest observations ring true in 2018 America as well. And they ring importantly true: Moran (in the voice of Dolly/Johanna) meditates on sex, rape, coming of age as a woman, sexism, relationships, shame (amazing descriptions of shame), sex-shaming, learning to set limits, finding one's voice--the list goes on and on. Yes, at times her unwavering descriptions made me uncomfortable: if I'd been reading a "real book" during the final chapter or so, I would probably have skipped some pages, but there was throughout a strong, victorious sense of claiming. Through Johanna's experience and no-holds-barred, no-physical-experience-undescribed, no-sexual-act-out-of-bounds storytelling, Moran is honoring and presenting the reality of women's whole beings, as whole beings, as sexual, strong, funny, physical, talented, hungry, thoughtful, contradictory, fearful beings. While the subject matter that's most boundary-pushing is sexual, Moran also discusses creativity, the importance of reading and writing, making an entrance, the wonders of American restaurant breakfasts, and the joys of physical exercise as well as good, bad, terrible, and beginning sex. There are great characters--Jo's dad, Susanne and Julie of The Branks, and, of course, John Kite. There is a painfully-resolved conflict that some may critique as unrealistic, but that I loved.

As I listened, as I laughed and winced and cringed a bit and wished I had a hard copy to mark up some of her strongest metaphors and best one-liners, I realized that How to Be Famous is a revolutionary creation that tells the complete story of a person in a way I have never heard it told before. I want many of my female friends to read it, but I also want my sons to read it as well. If you're up for what a family member once referred to as "risky bits," go buy a copy of this book or listen to the audio, and pay attention

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Poor

Waist of my time, really is something that has no value for a woman that loves and respects herself

0 of 3 people found this review helpful