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Rules for Being a Girl

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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.

304 pages, ebook

First published April 7, 2020

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About the author

Candace Bushnell

71 books3,048 followers
Candace Bushnell is the critically acclaimed, international best-selling author of Killing Monica, Sex and the City, Summer and the City, The Carrie Diaries, One Fifth Avenue, Lipstick Jungle, Trading Up, and Four Blondes. Sex and the City, published in 1996, was the basis for the HBO hit series and two subsequent blockbuster movies. Lipstick Jungle became a popular television series on NBC, as did The Carrie Diaries on the CW.

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5 stars
2,113 (31%)
4 stars
2,933 (43%)
3 stars
1,398 (20%)
2 stars
275 (4%)
1 star
66 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,126 reviews
Profile Image for Jananie (thisstoryaintover).
290 reviews13.5k followers
August 3, 2020
....that was SO GOOD. just finished this book and it's left me feeling a bit teary-eyed and hopeful and all around astounded. Went into this without thinking much of it and left it feeling utterly delighted. I loved our main character Marin, and grew to adore the friends she makes along the way. but ultimately i loved how self-aware Marin was of how little she knew of feminism at the beginning of the book and how much she's hoping to learn. Now I would just like a Gray of my own to come to my feminist book club and be the book club dad 🥺
Profile Image for booksneedcaffeinetoo.
339 reviews92 followers
Want to read
December 22, 2019
finally a book where the teacher is called out for being a fucking pedo.
this book sounds like it has moxie vibes and i'm here for it.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,844 reviews
April 13, 2020
Rules for Being a Girl is Young Adult contemporary fiction.

This is a YA book by two authors that I enjoy. In their author's note they call it "A YA book with a feminist message for the times".

There is some romance in this book. But I would hesitate to call it a YA contemporary romance. Because this book is so much more than that.

The narrator is 17 year old Marin (high school senior - 1st person POV). Her best friend is Chloe. They are co-editors of the student newspaper together. Something happens with the teacher who supervises the paper. And this becomes a big focus of the book.

I really enjoyed this book. It felt very relevant. And I am extremely happy that I read it.

This was a quick read. But it dealt with such an important subject. This book was so different than any other YA book that I have read. I like reading books that make me think. And this book definitely made me thing.

*There was a very interesting author's note at the beginning of the book. But I am glad that I read it at the end, as to me it contained spoilers that I did not want to know before reading the book. However after looking at the book blurb, I see the same spoilers listed. I know some people like to know what a book is about before reading it. But to me I was much happier not knowing exactly which direction this book was going to take.

Thanks to edelweiss and Balzer + Bray for allowing me to read this book.
Profile Image for Umairah (Sereadipity).
212 reviews107 followers
April 21, 2020
3.5 stars

Rules for Being a Girl was a short, sharp feminist novel about a girl navigating the expectations, constraints and rules society puts upon women whilst fighting to make her voice heard.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Writing: 3.5/5

Marin was a top student and co-editor of the school newspaper along with her best friend, Chloe. Everyone, including her, admired their interesting and charismatic English teacher, Mr Beckett (or 'Bex') but that all changed until he tried to kiss Marin. There were so many red flags and I could painfully see how he had gradually manipulated her. Marin was horrified- she trusted him and thought he valued her for her skill as a student. What angered her more was that it felt like there was nothing she could do, her school suggesting she was to blame or that she misread the situation, when what he did was wrong. This triggered her to write an article in her school newspaper titled, 'Rules for Being a Girl' expressing outrage at a world where girls are scrutinised and dismissed.

Over the course of the book, Marin's eyes gradually opened to the casual sexism all around her and she started to talk about it and fight back against it. With the help of another teacher she started a feminist book club (my favourite aspect of this book) giving her a place to meet like-minded people and start conversations about intersectional feminism. The book was also rife with feminist book recommendations for example, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay and We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

I wished we got to learn more about Marin and see smaller details and nuances to her character. But I did love the strong support network around her from her parents to her friends from the book club that gave her the strength to speak out for herself and for others. Her friend Chloe represented how sometimes people can be dismissed by those closest to them which was also important.

It was a short, simple read better suited to younger end of the YA audience. Whilst the straightforward style was perfect for getting the message across it felt a bit too simplistic for me at times but I would still say Rules for Being a Girl is a worthwhile, thought provoking read.

Thank you to My Kinda Book for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
June 20, 2022

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This book is a vicious tour de force that tackles #MeToo and also what it means to be a girl in a society that pretends to be post-sexism but still infrastructurally suppresses women and people of color. Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno demonstrate this through their teenage heroine, Marin. Marin is a good student with a good boyfriend and she thinks her English teacher, Mr. Beckett is great, because he gets her. He calls her an old soul and treats her like an equal and not as a kid. But what he's actually doing is grooming her, and when he finally makes a move, it distresses her and eventually leads her to report him to the school principal, who doesn't do anything. And the teacher then retaliates.

While trying to grasp onto her sanity and sense of self, and other kids bullying her for making much ado about nothing (INCLUDING her own alleged best friend), Marin starts a feminist book club at the urging of another young teacher, one Ms. Klein. And the group ends up attracting boys and girls in school who are looking for more out of society, including school bad boy and resident "slut," Gray, who ends up being so much more than what the rumors about him suggest. And as Marin fights against the administration and looks for her own justice, she starts to confront some of her own internalized misconceptions-- not just about sexism, but about a lot of isms. Including some of her own.

This is just such a great book. I think the last book that made me rage cry and then joyously fist slam the book at the end was Suzanne Young's ALL IN PIECES (another vastly underrated gem that also features a bad boy with a heart of gold and a girl who challenges the system). In some ways, this reminded me of some of my favorite books from my own teen years: edgy, gritty books that didn't talk down to the readers and dealt with subjects like sex, discrimination, injustice, and uneasiness. When I was a teenager, I was bullied pretty badly, so books like these where the heroines faced horrible things and ended up okay were both relatable and validating. I needed that, and I think I would have loved this book in particular, especially for the literature-loving heroine. Every time someone tries to apologize for a YA book's bad writing by saying the reader was just "too old" to get it, I want to shove books like these in their face, that show that the best YA books can really be enjoyed by anyone because they have layers and meaning and a timeless quality that will resonate for many years to come.

Also fuck Bex. Seriously, what a skeeze. Student/teacher romance is one of the few taboo romances that makes me nope out, so as other readers have said of this book, it's satisfying to read a book that is like, "Actually, uh, this is gross and wrong and don't do this." Juxtaposing him against Ms. Klein who's "down with the kids" in a healthy way that actually involves setting boundaries was a brilliant move.

4.5 to 5 stars
Profile Image for Alana.
663 reviews1,269 followers
July 13, 2020
“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

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.

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Profile Image for Jaye Berry.
1,350 reviews123 followers
May 7, 2020
Finally some good fucking food. I love YA feminist contemp novels so much and this little baddie right here is a prime example. This one doesn't go as hard as some others I've read, like The Nowhere Girls but it still slaps.

Rules for Being a Girl is about a girl named Marin who is in high school. She's a star student and editor of the school paper, with dreams of going to Brown University. Marin's charismatic English teacher, Mr Beckett, admires her writing and likes to talk books with her. When he takes it too far one day and makes a move on her, Marin is shocked and horrified, thinking it was somehow her fault. When she tells the school administration what happened, they don't believe her and she still has to go to his class but now he has an ax to grind. Marin isn't going to back down and decides to fight back using the school paper and starts a feminist book club.

This book did everything right for me honestly. It feels very similar to Moxie but that wasn't a problem for me because I still enjoyed the heck out of it. After Marin's creepy teacher tries to take advantage of her (after some classic grooming techniques that were creepy as hell to read), she opens her eyes into feminism and starts to fight back against the casual sexism from her boyfriend and people at school.

These kinds of books make me so mad but it's a good mad I guess?? I just know I want to fight creepy gross men and punch the patriarchy and sexism in the face so there's that. I mean I always do but this just gets me extra ready to fight.

I loved Marin's feminist book club and thought, dang thanks for the recs. The support system of all her friends (minus her best friend) and family was pure. I liked Marin and I loved how she stood up for herself and was tired of taking all this shit. The way we see how she was groomed and manipulated by her teacher was icky and I felt so sorry for her. She does do some things I didn't agree with but she's a teenage girl going through it so I understood. A creepy grown ass man tries to ruin her life because he's a sick fuck and if I had a car I wouldn't HESITATE but anyway.

Marin also meets a boy named Gray who has a terrible reputation but I'm weak as hell and this romance was so sweet and adorable I wanted to cry. It gets pretty rocky and I didn't exactly need a romance in this book but I really liked it.

If you liked Moxie or any others like it, treat yo self to another.
Profile Image for Vee_Bookish.
1,337 reviews298 followers
December 1, 2020
Wordpress Blog | Twitter | Pinterest

📗 I was so sure that when I finished this book, I would be fist punching the air like the end of Breakfast Club, feeling so unapologetically feminist I'd break down old white men's Twitter doors and scream quotes I found on Pinterest at 2am at them, but unfortunately when I left the book I didn't really feel much of anything.

📘 The story is really about Marin and Bex, or Mr Beckett, Marin's teacher. He grooms her, and persuades her to visit his house before trying to kiss her, and when Marin reports this, she starts to learn the difference between the way girls are treated and boys.

📕 However, this story did take a backseat I felt, in favour of a romance that was just so painfully generic. Gray, a lacrosse player is perfect. So, so perfect. Too perfect. He affirms all of Marin's beliefs, never questions her, is always there for her, always backs her corner. It just wasn't believable.

📙 The last 30% saved the story somewhat, but this didn't stop the whole book being "white girl discovers white feminism 101" and I couldn't ignore that this book is, painfully white and lacks any real diversity. There are some minor discussions about race that don't last very long, but the story never goes into any depth.
Profile Image for Pine tree leaf stick.
183 reviews302 followers
October 22, 2020
This book is a lot different from the books I usually read. I don't think I've read a book like this since I was 12 or 13. I got sick of fantasy, so I decided to try something different and my friend Adela recommended it to me, so I thought, why not? The worst thing that happens is that it's bad and I don't finish. It honestly would have been more enjoyable if it hadn't been an ebook. I hate ebooks, but it wasn't very long so it was okay. And apparently I have a thing for books that make me mad. This book made me mad.

You know when you read a book and you know that it's probably just a standard story that you could read several versions of, but there's one that you just read first so it's "the good one?"
Maybe not.
I realize that there are probably lots of books where the plot is "girl gets assaulted, doesn't tells anyone, gets backlash when she does tell someone." The thing is, this is the first one I've read, so it's new to me and I enjoyed it. If you've read other books with that sort of plotline, you might not like this because it'll seem like the same thing over and over again.

This book reminded me of Girls With Sharp Sticks. With the feminist themes and all that. That's not a bad thing. I'm rating it 4 stars because there were slow parts, and also contemporary books aren't really my thing. That's just a personal issue. The characters were likable and the book moved quickly for the most part.

4/5 A nice change from my usual fantasy spree
Profile Image for Trisha (semi-hiatus).
243 reviews126 followers
March 8, 2021
And here we are again, with yet another review not written. Honestly, I don't even know if I'll remember what to write when I'm going to, because this was a really good book. The only problem I have with books like these, is that they make you think. Like good, proper thinking. They make you think, "Wow, what a wonderful ending to a wonderful book, justice was served in the end" and then you think,..... That doesn't happen most of the time in real life. There's a lot more I want to write, and I'm going to write it ASAP!

Now, the review:
I loved it, I really did. These kind of books make you look at all sides of the situation; the victim, the perpetrator, the friends, the family, and in general, just everybody. You see how the victim starts doubting themselves, how they are lead to doubt themselves, how the perpetrators are severe manipulators, who, unluckily, get away with most of what they do, most of the time.

Another thing I liked was the portrayal of the "their future will be destroyed". It's not only the alleged perpetrator's future that's being destroyed, it's also the victim. Even if they didn't actually do anything, someone went through trauma, and thus justice needs to be served.

This book made me think a lot. Like what if in a hypothetical situation, a student was not actually harassed, and was actually trying to destroy someone's future? What can we do then? How will we know what actually happened? Is there really any way to find out? Should the victim be given the benefit of the doubt? Can inquiries not be carried out in a way that is impartial? Why do teachers have the inclination not to believe students? Are students also at fault? Is there no way to improve the steps taken in such a situation? Is increased surveillance the answer? Or is it just the mindset of our society that needs to be improved?

All in all, a wonderful read. The pace was a bit too fast for my liking, but the message this book gave was worth it. The plot and writing could have been a bit better maybe? (since it was very obvious and cliche in some places) but the concept mostly made up for it. The actual rules, written pretty early into the book, were my favourite part.

I recommend it to anyone who wants a book that tackles issues surrounding harassment and likes a slightly feminist read (I don't exactly know if it qualifies as feminist).
Profile Image for izzy baby ♡.
215 reviews39 followers
October 1, 2021
“Be flirty but not too flirty. Be confident but not aggressive. Be funny but in a low-key, quiet way. Eat cheeseburgers, but don’t get fat. Be chill, but don’t lose control.”

This was a fantastic read. I've been reading my fair share of YA feminist novels this past year, from Moxie to Nowhere Girls and The Female of the Species, and this one has definitely become a favourite. I even appreciated the romance aspect of it, which I thought I might not at first, and Marin is a great protagonist.

If anything, I do wish it was longer! I feel like the author would've done an awesome job exploring some aspects of the plot with more detail if she had a few more chapters to work with.
Profile Image for Melissa.
561 reviews803 followers
March 26, 2020
This book is an important one for all young girls. It speaks the truth, it speaks volumes, and I will cherish it. I want my daughter to read this book when she's old enough. I want her to know that whatever happens in her life, I will ALWAYS support her, I will always be there for her. That's what I wanted to tell Marin. When no one believed her, when her life seemed to crash around her, I thought that her parents were her rock. A certain boy too, but I, as a parent, saw how important it was to be there, always.

Many thanks to HarperCollins Canada for the complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Profile Image for Endlessbibliophile.
1,064 reviews488 followers
May 21, 2021
Hoodně dobrý! Jsem ráda, že jsem si zas po dlouhé době přečetla něco, co mě vážně bavilo. Myslím, že pro mladší čtenáře a čtenářky to může být hodně objevné. Já si teda čtená rozhodně užila :)
Profile Image for Δανάη Ιμπραχήμ.
Author 4 books355 followers
August 21, 2021
Παρασκευή επέστρεψα με το ΚΤΕΛ από τις διακοπές, ένα ράκος για το τέλος τους και το χαμαλίκι που μου φόρτωσε ο καθηγητής για την εργασία, με μόνη αναγνωστική επιλογή το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο. Έχοντας μια ιδέα για το θέμα, πίστεψα ότι θα με καταστρέψει και θα γυρίσω κλαίγοντας στο σπίτι. Ευτυχώς αποδείχτηκε λιγότερο βάρβαρο από ό,τι φανταζόμουν και τα έντονα συναισθήματα που μου προκάλεσε συνέβαλαν στο να ξεπεράσω το άγχος για το αναθεματισμένο μεταπτυχιακό.

Η Μαρίν είναι μια δεκαεπτάχρονη κοπέλα, αρχισυντάκτρια της σχολικής εφημερίδας, με τέλειους βαθμούς και εξαιρετική φήμη στο σχολείο. Ένα σχολείο με αυστηρούς ενδυματολογικούς κανόνες, που φυσικά αφορούν κυρίως τα κορίτσια. Όταν κεντρίζει το ενδιαφέρον του νεαρού καθηγητή της, αισθάνεται περιχαρής, καθώς ποια μαθήτρια δεν ένιωσε ποτέ δέος για το μέντορα της! Ωστόσο, θα έπρεπε να υπάρχουν κάποια όρια, τα οποία δυστυχώς ξεπεράστηκαν, με αποτέλεσμα να διαταραχθεί η φαινομενικά τέλεια ζωή της Μαρίν.

Το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο μπορεί να φαίνεται ένα ακόμα κείμενο στη μακρά λίστα των φεμινιστικών λογοτεχνημάτων. Ωστόσο, το γεγονός ότι μέχρι και σήμερα πρέπει να υπενθυμίζουμε σε κάποιους τα όρια τους αποδεικνύει πως δεν πρέπει να σταματήσουν να γράφονται τέτοια βιβλία. Μέσα από την απλή γραφή των συγγραφέων και την άψογη συνεργασία τους (δεν ένιωσα στιγμή ότι το κείμενο δεν είχε ροή ή ότι ήταν διαφορετικό το ύφος από κεφάλαιο σε κεφάλαιο) είδαμε τον αγώνα -ας είμαστε ειλικρινείς - εκατοντάδων κοριτσιών που πρέπει να απολογηθούν για την κακοποίηση τους. Έχοντας παρατηρήσει απρεπή συμπεριφορά καθηγητή στην αδερφή μου και των συμμαθητριών της, καθώς και την απάθεια της σχολικής κοινότητας, θέλω να πετάξω αυτό το βιβλίο στα κεφάλια όλων όσων κλείνουν τα μάτια σε φρικαλεότητες που λαμβάνουν χώρα γύρω μας. Η σιωπή είναι συνενοχή.

Το ένα αστεράκι κόβεται, καθώς θεώρησα πολύ λάθος τη στάση των γονιών που ήταν πιο ψύχραιμοι κι από το Δαλάη Λάμα.
Profile Image for Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd).
1,173 reviews251 followers
April 1, 2020
"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."
I finished this so quickly (probably because it was so good)! Rules for Being a Girl is an empowering story about the difficulties women and girls face on a daily basis. Marin Lospato must face these rules after a beloved english teacher takes things too far.

What a timely story! And it was so well done. It was so easy to see the red flags around Bex, but he was so unnervingly charming and charismatic. I kind of hated him for it because I knew where the story was going. I loved seeing Marin's thought spirals after the incident and how a million thoughts and rationals can go through your head before you can truly comprehend what happened. And those thoughts led to the wonderful article the story gets it's name from! Marin's piece was so personal and universal at the same time. And then we get a feminist bookclub! It was so great to see Marin learn, grow, and surround herself with support. Even though we didn't see much of them, I truly appreciated how supportive her family was of everything.

Of course, the story wasn't all support and friendships but that's what I want to focus on because screw everyone else. Rules for Being a Girl is the perfect combination of infuriating and powerful. I couldn't put it down.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for knizny.zavislak.
142 reviews56 followers
October 23, 2021
Marin a Gray sú proste moje #otp. Úprimne, v súčastnosti je málo #ya, ktoré majú obe hlavné postavy vyrovnané, resp že ukazujú zdravý normálny vzťah. A Marin+Gray sú takí. Realistickí. S chybami, ale stále ľudskí (rozumej: neexistujú len na papieri). A obaja sú osobnosti.

Marin je bad ass. Nebojí sa za seba postaviť a ísť si za svojím. Je akčná a ide vpred (postoj alà idem riešim:D). Jednoducho, každé dievča by to malo vedieť spraviť.

Gray je chlapec, akého by si mladé holky mali hľadať. Proste, nie je to bad boy s nevyriešenými daddy issues, s ktorým keď ostane Marin aj po strednej, tak chytí po pár rokoch z neho depresiu. Je milý, starostlivý a reálne sa o ňu zaujíma.

Proste, veľmi sa mi páčia spolu a keď som čítala túto knižku, tak to bolo ako pohladenie na duši. A nielen kvôli nim by som vám odporučila tento príbeh. Preberá sa tu téma feminizmu či sexizmu a pre ya publikum je veľmi dobre spracovaná. Miestami tak správne udrie klinec po hlavičke (plus má supr vtipné hlášky). Ak váhate či si ju zohnať, tak za mňa to je jednoznačné áno, berte ju!
Profile Image for Sarah  :).
414 reviews25 followers
January 13, 2020
Ew. This sort of read like they wrote this a few years ago and decided it was topical now without updating the pop culture references.
Example : Lemonade (the album), eating tide pods, and other stuff I don't recall but it annoyed me enough to mention. Additionally, for all the people saying this is like moxie, I agree. It's just like moxie. I am not a fan of message books, especially when I am familiar with the message.
It follows the plot structure of moxie almost down to a T, and I'll save you a bit of time and just describe it.
Basically, white girl who has never considered herself a feminist has an inciting incident. Then all her friends leave her for being too feminist, when she isn't actually that feminist at all. She finds a new friend group, with a token black girl & lesbian. They educate her appropriately on intersectionalism, though it is consigned to a sentence to a paragraph. Then she gets what she wants (usually administration sanctioned justice ((ie firing or suspension))) then her friends all come back to her and everything is good! But she's feminist now!!
Anyway. This didn't really explore feminist issues to any deep extent. (In fact, I might hesitate to call it feminist at all. It's really just, woman is wronged, woman reads about wrongs, wrong is righted. It doesn't explore a ton.)
I think this is good for perhaps eight to ten year olds, were it edited a bit. I just found it redundant. Despite all I've said, it wasn't awful. It was just...somewhat unnecessary to me.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Χριστίνα Ψύλλα.
Author 2 books367 followers
June 4, 2021

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Το «ταξίδι» της Μαριν, για να βρει την φωνή της, ήταν καθηλωτικό. Ξεκίνησε με το να αμφισβητεί τον εαυτό της, ενώ ο τύπος την μεταχειριζόταν και την εκμεταλλευόταν. Πέρασε από τον πόνο του να μην την πιστεύει κανείς, μέχρι που βρήκε το θάρρος, ύψωσε το ανάστημα της και αντέδρασε.

Η Μαριν λοιπόν είναι πρότυπο, και λατρεύω την δύναμη που μας χαρίζει μέσα απο την ιστορία της.

Ένα πολύ γρήγορο βιβλίο, υπέροχα μεταφρασμένο, που πρέπει να διαβάσουν όλοι και ειδικότερα τα νέα κορίτσια, που ακόμα ψάχνουν τον εαυτό και τον δρόμο τους.

Κάποιοι μπορεί να θεωρούν ότι κούρασαν αυτά τα βιβλία. Ότι έγιναν μόδα και δεν πρέπει να τους δίνουμε σημασία. Εγώ σε αυτούς θα πω ότι τέτοια βιβλία δεν είναι ποτέ αρκετά, και δεν θα είναι μέχρι ο κόσμος μας να αλλάξει. Έχουμε μακρύ δρόμο ακόμα για να το επιτύχουμε αυτό, αλλά δεν θα σταματήσουμε να προσπαθούμε, να ελπίζουμε και να αγωνιζόμαστε. Ποτέ!

Τελική Βαθμολογία:
Profile Image for Eva B..
1,224 reviews312 followers
May 13, 2020
This was a really fast read for me, I read it in one go last night and enjoyed it. I think it needed to be longer though, especially with all of the topics it covered. It attempted to cover double standards, in-school sexism, teachers who abuse their position of power over their students to make sexual advances, toxic masculinity, and how society can punish people for speaking out about assault, and some were handled a lot better than others. I also wish that Marin had had more prominent female friends besides Chloe, especially since those two are at odds for most of the book. Also I wish that Gray and Marin's relationship had more buildup, as well as seeing more of the feminist book club.
Profile Image for Nantia.
144 reviews11 followers
August 12, 2021
Ένα βιβλίο για την αφύπνιση του φεμινισμού σε ένα δεκαεπτάχρονο κορίτσι μετά την σεξουαλική παρενόχληση που δέχτηκε. Δύσκολο βιβλίο, θίγει πολλά "ενοχλητικά θέματα" που σαν γυναίκα αλλά κυρίως σαν άνθρωπος με θύμωσαν και με στεναχώρησαν. Μαθαίνοντας νέες πληροφορίες σχετικά με τον φεμινισμό και τις αμέτρητες προτάσεις φεμινιστικών βιβλίων ξύπνησα κάτι και στο δικό μου μέσα.
Δεν είχα θέματα στην πλοκή, η γλώσσα είναι σύγχρονη και ισορροπεί ανάμεσα στο εφηβικό μυθιστόρημα και σε ένα βιβλίο για ενήλικες.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps .
2,304 reviews220 followers
June 12, 2021
When Marin’s favorite teacher kisses her, she struggles whether to stay quiet or turn him in. Telling her principal doesn’t go as expected, resulting in Marin treated as the perp, and her teacher the victim.

RULES FOR BEING A GIRL is a compulsively readable story that never lets you forget its a Big Issue Book. I adored Marin, smart, strong and with good sense. Though victimized, she was never a victim. She doesn’t want others fighting her battles.

RULES FOR BEING A GIRL is more realistic than most books on sexual harassment and abuse because it shows the backlash survivors sometimes receive after coming forward, not just bullying, but consequences that impact the future. We all want to believe that reporting will lead to the perpetrator suffering appropriate consequences, but in the real world sometimes victims suffer more. Like Marin, that’s also my story.

I would have rated RULES FOR BEING A GIRL five stars if not for the heavy handed feminism lessons. Although I agree with and loved the message, I wish it had been given more subtly so that it flowed better than the story. Instead I felt like the book was saying “we interrupt this story to bring you an important message about feminism.”

RULES FOR BEING A GIRL is an important book about doing the right thing, even when it doesn’t turn out perfectly.
Profile Image for Melissa.
29 reviews1 follower
October 8, 2020
I loved so much about this book, I’ve recommended it for teachers to add to their YA library, and I think we need to start a feminist book club at school.
Profile Image for Sophie's Reading Corner .
809 reviews328 followers
June 22, 2021
Αυτό που εκτίμησα σε αυτό το βιβλίο είναι πόσο ρεαλιστικό ήταν και το γεγονός ότι ενώ η ηρωίδα μας φαινόταν σαν ένας έξυπνος και δυναμικός χαρακτήρας, ωστόσο η κατάσταση στην οποία βρέθηκε της προκάλεσε ένα χτύπημα τόσο δυνατό, το οποίο δεν μπορούσε πάντα να χειριστεί με τον τρόπο που ίσως κάποιοι αναγνώστες θα επιθυμούσαν. Όμως είναι πάντοτε εφικτός αυτός ο τρόπος; Ειδικά όταν έχουμε να κάνουμε με ένα ανήλικο κορίτσι, το οποίο κανείς δεν πιστεύει, όταν επιτέλους τολμάει να μιλήσει; Όταν η κοινωνία είναι τέτοια η οποία όχι μόνο την βοηθάει και την στηρίζει, αλλά την κατηγορεί και από πάνω;

Θεωρώ ότι τέτοια βιβλία θα έπρεπε να κυκλοφορούν και να τα διαβάζουν κορίτσια κάθε ηλικίας, καθώς είναι σημαντικό να αναγνωρίζουν τι είναι σωστό και τι λάθος, αλλά και τον τρόπο με τον οποίο θα πρέπει να συμπεριφερθούν σε μια ανάλογη περίπτωση. Και προσωπικά θεωρώ πως το βιβλίο αυτό το χειρίστηκε με έναν αρκετά ρεαλιστικό τρόπο.

Σε γενικές γραμμές οι χαρακτήρες δεν ήταν πολύ ευχάριστοι με μοναδική εξαίρεση τον Γκρει. Είναι ίσως ο μόνος που δεν μου έβγαλε συναισθήματα βίας. Και η οικογένεια της Μαρίν. Κατά τ' άλλα, είναι ένα βιβλίο που θα βγάλει στον αναγνώστη έντονα συναισθήματα για πολλούς χαρακτήρες, που προσωπικά ήθελα να βαρέσω ή έστω να ταρακουνήσω. Όμως αυτή είναι, εντέλει, η ομορφιά ενός καλού βιβλίου και αυτό είναι ένα βιβλίο, όχι μόνο επίκαιρο, αλλά παντός καιρού και το προτείνω ανεπιφύλακτα.
Profile Image for Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries).
1,225 reviews391 followers
August 3, 2020
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from the publisher via Edelweiss.
*love interest Gray has two moms
*classmate Elisa and college interviewer Kalina are Black women

I’m a sucker for books about high school kids discovering feminism. If I’d known about it in 9th grade and gotten a proper education on what Title IX meant for me, I wouldn’t have been sex-shaming and I would have lit a fire under my gym teacher’s rear for segregating boys and girls during class. You just don’t force the girls to play HORSE or four-square while you teach the boys proper basketball! Give them all a choice!

But no, I didn’t start understanding feminism until halfway through 10th grade, when I realized Twilight was actually awful.To this day, I’m constantly trying to practice and move toward better, more inclusive feminism. Rules for Being a Girl pays lip service to the same goals, but its clumsy, contradictory effort ultimately fails.

A teacher in my district threw an entire desk at a child and got re-hired, so the set-up is believable: a handsome, well-liked teacher who got away with grooming and abusing girls at his previous school gets hired at a new school and resumes his predatory behavior. Marin is just Mr. Beckett’s latest victim. When telling the administration leads to Beckett putting a target on Marin’s back and costs her her best friend, her boyfriend, and her status, Marin’s editorials for the paper take a turn. Now she writes about the eponymous rules for being a girl and Title IX. The girl she called slutty a few days before is now someone she pities as the principal embarrasses the girl in front of the entire school.

A common way to experience and better your feminism feels like you’re climbing a ladder rung by rung. Marin got catapulted into the air instead. Her character development is a rapid turn from “complicit” to “big feminist on campus” and all growth stops once she makes that turn early in the novel. And speaking of her feminist editorials in the school paper, it must be nice to be in a school with no administrative supervision or approval of the paper’s content. She can just publish what she wants without anyone looking over it! I did newspaper when I was in high school and the principal slapped a big fat NO on us if we even thought of writing about contraception.

The feminist book club Marin starts when Mr. Beckett’s reading list is nothing but het white men reads “A Room of One’s Own” as well as works by Roxane Gay and their year-end party includes watching Lemonade. The novel pays lip service to intersectional, inclusive feminism but fails to put it into practice, as seen when Marin is rejected from Brown University after being told she’s a shoo-in. In angry, entitled white girl fashion, she calls Kalina (the Black woman who interviewed her) and harasses her into revealing Mr. Beckett had a hand in it. Marin never stops to consider or later reflect on the professional peril she put Kalina in by demanding this information.

Rules is true-to-life about the repercussions someone may face when fighting for human rights and justice when everyone else wants to preserve the broken status quo, but by God is it clumsy about it. In fact, this is the single clumsiest novel I’ve ever read–and I’m not exaggerating. I checked the word “clumsy” against every book review I’ve written in the past ten years and found just two other books I’d described as such. Rules out-does them both with ease to take the unenviable title. As an example, Marin walks readers through white fragility and white feminism in her head after a Black classmate complains about how little feminism has done for Black girls and women. Other characters, in textbook-like fashion, ask and answer why sexism against men and racism against white people isn’t a thing.

Those ideas are right and good, but the text reads like an ideology-flipped right-wing evangelical tract. What the novel gives readers is so basic as to not be useful and so flawed as to be harmful to the movement. It fails to show the harder parts of being an activist, like coping with the rightous anger of people your activism leaves out and how you make amends for how you did someone wrong in the past. Seeing Marin connect with the girl she once sex-shamed would have been a great move toward the latter, but that doesn’t happen.

Asking teens to understand these things isn’t asking too much of them, in my view. It’s building a good base for their future advocacy so it can be inclusive and inflict the least harm possible. I understood them by the time I went into my senior year and I’ve made a lot of difficult apologies to people I’d hurt with behavior that was racist or otherwise discriminatory. I’m still making them today.

Rules for Being a Girl has good intentions, but it’s too abrasive for newcomers to social justice and so elementary that teens who already know the basics will roll their eyes. Its one saving grace is that it’s a quick read that took me just three hours to get through on one rainy evening. For novels that do right what this one does so wrong, I suggest all of Renee Watson’s YA novels (particularly Watch Us Rise, co-written with Ellen Hagan) and Lucky Girl by Amanda Maciel.
Profile Image for Julie.
268 reviews16 followers
April 7, 2020
**Thank you to Harper Collins Canada and HCC Frenzy for giving me an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

Reading the synopsis to this book, I knew that this was going to be an important book and one that I wanted to check out. In a time where it still feels like women are having to fight for all of their rights, to fight to be heard, this is a fantastic book for young girls.

Marin has a traumatic and uncomfortable experience with an authority figure, and it changes how she sees the world around her. So many thoughts and worries come to her mind as she navigates the experience, her new outlook, how people react to her following the revealing of the event, and just navigating life and high school in general.
I was incredibly surprised when the beginning of the novel made me uncomfortable. At first, I didn't know what to do with my feelings of discomfort at what I was reading. But as I sat with the thoughts and emotions, I realized what a testament it is to these authors amazing abilities to bring forth those kinds of emotions and thoughts from me. This was the first time I have felt genuinely uncomfortable reading a book, and I think that speaks volumes. While the character might not have had immediate discomfort, I knew that something was wrong. And I think that speaks to an individual woman's experiences and knowledge of these unwritten "rules" for being a girl.

I could not believe the range of emotions that I felt throughout this book - I was uncomfortable, laughing, cringing, smiling, angry, crying, and hopeful. It is rare for a book to evoke so many emotions from me, so strongly. There were moments in the book that I wanted to reach into the pages and give Marin the biggest hug, to join in the book club that she created to bring feminism to people's minds, and to stand with her when she was ostracized for her writing and honesty.
This story is set in a private school, where all of the students wear uniforms and there is a mandatory dress code. And I think that is why I had such a strong reaction at times. I went to a private school with uniforms. Like Marin, I actually liked wearing a uniform, but I could also see the double standards that happened throughout my life between what was expected of the boys and girls. Heaven forbid that my calves are showing or I wear my skirt too short, but it doesn't seem to matter if the boys break every dress code rule or that it is for "their benefit" that we need to wear our kilts longer. It took me back to a time of confusion and anger at the double standards that society invokes from a young age.

Anyways, the characters that these authors wrote were amazing. They were so real, and I could think of people I had met in my life that mirrored these characters so well. As most women know, this kind of experience or something similar is unfortunately a common one. I loved the addition of the character Gray and what he added to the story in so many ways. I don't want to go too far into it, because I think not knowing a lot about the story is better.
I will mention that one of my absolute favourite parts of the novel was the piece that Marin writes for the school paper, listing out all of the rules that girls must follow. That list. I honestly wanted to take photos and shout it out to the world because I know that every single girl and woman who reads that piece will 100 percent agree with it. We have all experienced those rules in some form, not even necessarily knowing that they are rules. And it is always a somewhat heartbreaking moment when you encounter some of them. If you read this book for no other reason, read it for that part.

I will mention some trigger warnings: sexual assault, swearing, drinking, bullying.

I would highly recommend this book if you enjoy YA contemporaries. I think this could be seen as a pretty important read this year, and I am hoping that more hype can bring this book to more girls attentions!
Profile Image for Rose.
1,872 reviews1,055 followers
May 24, 2020
So I might've found one of my favorite books of the year in Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno's "Rules for Being A Girl." Though I should preface this review by also saying that this read hurt because of how closely I identified with the themes and experiences it presents. It's not a perfectly executed book by any means, and it may take a bit to get into the thick of what this book has to say with some scenes of quirky name dropping brands and pop culture references (Candace Bushnell, I see you and I'm cool with that, to an extent), but when this book starts hitting hard - it goes hard. And I really appreciated it on many levels.

To put my reaction to this book in context: "Rules for Being A Girl" is about Marin, who seems like she has a lot of things going for her with preparations for college, serving as an editor for her newspaper, even getting the attention of her favorite English teacher Mr. Beckett (Bex for short). But things take a swift turn when Bex makes unwelcome advances towards Marin when he takes her to his apartment. Bex doesn't know how to weigh the situation, confesses to her best friend Chloe, but is even more infuriated and confused after Chloe's questions and reactions.

This string of events lights a fire under Marin, who begins to question many things - her relationships, the casual comments and contradictions that surround her every day included. She writes an article for her paper called "Rules for Being A Girl" which is a full list of many toxic statements and microagressions in messages that girls/women face in their lives. Such a list goes down as well as one would expect, mostly either being completely ignored or the people in Marin's life questioning her motivations for writing it in the first place. Not all of the people in her life react this way, though.

When she starts a feminist book club, she finds an unlikely ally in Gray Kendall. She has doubts about him to begin with (some of which being true), but they have a camraderie that's really nice to read on page. But escalations in Marin's personal life - as well as still having to attend Bex's classes despite reporting him and the school ruling in his favor - push Marin to her breaking point in a spiral that gets deeper and more detailed as the book goes forward.

I not only deeply felt Marin's outrage in all the experiences she endures for this book, but I also hurt for her as well. "Rules for Being A Girl" did a fine job of showing multiple reactions and angles of Marin taking the steps that she did, and also showing Marin's reactions in a multi-dimensional scale - her thought process before and after the trauma, what she does to confront it, the falling out of some of her relationships and opportunities, and how she copes with it all, even in her impulsive decisions that aren't so wise in the aftermath. There may be readers that question why Marin makes certain decisions in the thick of things, but I think that speaks to how there's no one reaction in facing traumas and events like this. That's something I can speak to liking about some of Katie Cutgno's other works in particular, in addition to this one. I may not like everything that a character does, but at the very least I can see why she took those steps, and how they're rationalized in the aftermath.

The novel isn't always heavy in tone, as there are sweet moments between Marin and her Gram, the steadily developing relationship between Marin and Gray (which felt very believable as a romance), and even the friendship between Marin and Chloe, which gets tested many times through the narrative.

In the end, I really appreciated the read and Julia Whelan's narration of the audiobook was very well done. Definitely recommend it.

Overall score: 4.5/5 stars.
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,434 reviews234 followers
March 5, 2020
Marin was at the top of her game. In the running for valedictorian? Check. Popular, athletic boyfriend? Check. Co-editor of the school newspaper? Check. A shoe-in for acceptance to her dream school, Brown? Check. Everything seemed to be going according to plan, until her English teacher, Bex, made sexual advances towards her.

As she struggled with confusion and guilt over the situation, Marian also had to deal with blowback from reporting such a beloved teacher. As things began to spiral out, Marin became more and more determined to take back some power, and decided to rewrite the rules for being a girl.

This was such a wake up call for Marin, and it prompted her to really examine her life. Her experience opened her eyes up to a world, that had always been there, but she never really noticed. From her boyfriend's passive-aggressive comments to the school's dress code hypocrisy, Marin was fed up with it all. She wanted to see some changes, and she was starting with herself.

As a woman, who went to engineering school in the early 90s, and worked in IT, I am well aware of the rules for being a girl. It's always amazed me how society has conditioned us to accept and conform to these unwritten rules, and I love when they are challenged. The authors did such a wonderful job calling out the double standard, and allowing the characters to thoughtfully explore the issues at hand, while also making this feel like a very honest and realistic journey for a teen girl.

Marin came for a family of fierce women, who I absolutely loved. I felt that fire, when her mother learned about Bex, and her grandmother, my heart, she was phenomenal. There were so many special and meaningful moments shared between Marin, her mother, her grandmother, and her sister, and I loved them all.

I also loved feminist book club. Yes, you heard me. At one point, Marin questioned, why all the books they read were written by not only men, but white men. Instead of getting another one way ticket to the principal's office, Marin channeled that frustration into forming a book club. There, she made new allies and rebuilt her support system. I loved the mix of people, who joined her club, and though they don't get too in depth, many different topics are touched upon during group discussions.

I found myself getting quite fired up as I read this book, and I hope others will too. It's 2020, and books like this still need to be written, which makes me sad, but I am still hopeful, as I have seen things improve, though rather slowly. I think Rules for Being a Girl is a great conversation starter, and I hope it will inspire many open and honest discussions about equality, sexual harassment, and those unwritten social norms we unwittingly subscribe to.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

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