By Flynn Meaney
Rated: 5 stars *****
Today I am on the blog tour in-conjunction with The Write Reads and Penguin Books and very excitedly too. This has to be one of the best YA books I’ve seen in a while. It’s got wit, friendship, issues and relevancy in abundance. It’s smartly written throughout! Check out my full review below, just after the blurb.
Thanks to The Write Reads for inviting me to review and to Penguin for supplying the book.
Hilarious, bold, sparky and surprising, this is the funniest feminist book you’ll read all year.
Alex is a rebel with a purple fauxhawk and biker boots.
St Mary’s Catholic School is a strict boarding school where she’s currently trapped.
Despite trying everything she can to get expelled, she’s still stuck with the nuns, the prudish attitude and the sexism.
Fed up with life inside the hallowed halls of St. Mary’s, Alex decides to take matters into her own hands. She’s going to stage the school’s first ever production of The Vagina Monologues. Which may be a challenge, as no one else at St Mary’s can even bear to say the word ‘vagina’ out loud…
A must-read for fans of Holly Smale, Derry Girls and Sex Education.
This is brilliant for Young Adults. I had high hopes from the way the first page began and also that claim that it would appeal to The Derry Girl’s fan base. This, however is set in the 21st century.
Now, I do happen to be a fan of The Derry Girls and it certainly would appeal to people who are. Bad Habits has humour and so much relatability. It has punchy writing and says how it is, right to not being able to unhook that bra too easily.
The voices and the tones of a teenager really comes through. This is quite possibly one of the most exciting Young Adult books in awhile. It’s not fantasy, but about the unfolding of life and it gets it very right.
It takes place in St. Mary’s Catholic School and its pupils are spunky. There are certain turns of phrases to describe Father Hughes, that perhaps leave a bit to be desired, but really go with the protagonist – Alex and her violation of So many rules and with that Mento’s and Cola science experiement, we now all know, thanks to another book, is just one of them. It adds to her energy and that teenage attitude. The observations are absolutely perfect as I read this wide-eyed and with much enthusiasm, with excitement for the Young Adults who get their hands on this, to find out if she gets expelled.
This is also a book about friendship and looking out for each other as Mary Kate, who is the more serious teen, realises what’s going on and tries to almost save her from herself and doesn’t want Alex to end up being asked to leave. There’s something heartwarming about it.
There is also the fun of trying to put together a school production of The Vagina Monologues and convincing the school that it will be okay, which includes quips that teens would especially appreciate. It also doesn’t shy away from the naturality of life, such as periods and boyfriends etc. In amongst that, there are friendships to be forged, school dinners, current pop references and sport and a general air of school life mixed with hormones and fire in both in the physical and attitude form. Things are definitely lively at this school.
There is a very feminist vibe about the book, but doesn’t detract from the story itself, nor its characters and the fact it is done within the sphere of teenage attitude and almost flying off the handle teen spirit, fits well with the characters.
Read further than the story and discover an informative interview with the author in the book.
I highly recommend this for any young adult collection, within homes, in libraries and bookshops.