“Remember, girl: It’s the best time in the history of the world to be you. You can do anything! You can do everything! You can be whatever you want to be! Just as long as you follow the rules.”
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
It starts before you can even remember: You learn the rules for being a girl. . . .
Marin has always been good at navigating these unspoken guidelines. A star student and editor of the school paper, she dreams of getting into Brown University. Marin’s future seems bright―and her young, charismatic English teacher, Mr. Beckett, is always quick to admire her writing and talk books with her.
But when “Bex” takes things too far and comes on to Marin, she’s shocked and horrified. Had she somehow led him on? Was it her fault?
When Marin works up the courage to tell the administration what happened, no one believes her. She’s forced to face Bex in class every day. Except now, he has an ax to grind.
But Marin isn’t about to back down. She uses the school newspaper to fight back and she starts a feminist book club at school. She finds allies in the most unexpected people, like “slutty” Gray Kendall, who she’d always dismissed as just another lacrosse bro. As things heat up at school and in her personal life, Marin must figure out how to take back the power and write her own rules.
This was truly a fantastic read. I mean, I unintentionally started and finished this book on the same day because of how good it was. Rules for Being a Girl is equal parts infuriating and powerful but so incredibly important. It’s the type of book that women of all ages can see themselves in as it discusses all of the unspoken “rules” we should follow in order to navigate the society we live in.
What I Liked
🎤 Narrator/writing. The narrator did a fantastic job of bringing this story to life. Once I started listening I couldn’t stop so I would highly recommend checking out the audiobook if this sounds up your alley. I’m sure a large part of this was because of how well the story was written but I’m so glad that I was able to snag the audiobook from my library.
👩🏻 Marin. I can’t even really express how much I enjoyed Marin’s character. She was so well written and fleshed out that even when you wanted to give her a little shake to treat the people around her nicer, you still couldn’t help but love her. She’s the type of character that makes you proud and inspired by her will to stand up for what is right and not allowing herself to be taken advantage of no matter what repercussions come with it.
💑 Romance & friendship. If you enjoy two unlikely people finding comfort in one another than look no further, folks. After Marin’s teacher tries to make a move on her she starts a feminist book club. And who shows up to that book club? None other than the “lacrosse bro” of the school who is known for opening most of his time off the field hooking up with girls. But as Marin and Grady spend more time together they both realize there is so much more to each of their personalities than they imagined and in turn we get a nice romance that doesn’t overpower the story in any way but instead amplifies it.
👯♀️ Girls that stick together. Soooo, hear me out. Marin and her best friend don’t have the perfect friendship in this story. In fact, their friendship gets very rocky during this book which in part makes it infuriating since Marin feels like she’s lost her best friend on top of everything else going on. But when push comes to shove the two girls come back together in order for justice to be served against their teacher. For me, that made this story feel all the more real and honest and was truly the icing on the cake at the end of this.
🌎 Overall theme. As mentioned before this is the type of book that young girls and us older gals can easily see ourselves in. In fact, this stirred up A LOT of high school memories about some of the gross teachers/coaches I had to deal with in my high school days. Unfortunately, in our society the first questions that are asked in situations like Marin’s are automatically “well what were you doing or what were you wearing? Did you do anything that might have made them think you were interested?” Followed by women having to prove that they indeed did nothing wrong only to still not be believed. And while everybody might not deal with what happened to Marin the same way she did this story shows readers that it’s okay to get mad, get loud, and not take no for an answer when instances like this try to get swept under the rug.
All in all, I highly recommend checking out Rules for Being a Girl to everyone! Even though it’s a quick read it’s one that’s sure to stay with you for years to come.
Until next time,