Emily is hosting this lovely readalong of How to Build a Girl (THANKS EMILY!), and if you’d like to pre-order a copy of this you should head on over to Odyssey Bookshop to do that. And if you’re not readalong-ing with us, be aware – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.
Alright ya’ll, I don’t have too much time to write this, so let’s jump right in -
- “I don’t want him to see what I look like when I do something for the first time. I don’t want anyone watching me change. I will do all my changing in private. In public I am, always, the finished thing.” –> Seriously Johanna, you have to stop saying things that are so perfect. This is basically me… or basically old me, as new me is not quite as shy about doing new things. But going into a new situation, there’s always a lot of stress and not wanting people to see you not knowing how something works, and yeah.
- “I am getting incredibly high on a single, astounding fact: that it’s always sunny above the clouds. Always. That every day on earth – every day I have ever had – was secretly sunny, after all.” –> Again, lovely.
- Johanna meets John Kite and he shows her off on stage before his concert. My eyebrow raised in skepticism here. Not that it couldn’t happen… but it’s just a REALLY big stroke of luck and incredibleness. And of course, Johanna basically falls in love with him. I am cynical on this bit too… but I’ll wait and see if/how their “relationship” actually goes before I go down that path.
- Her dad doesn’t appreciate the Guinness she thoughtfully and carefully obtained for him. Because he’s kind of a dick.
- The family’s benefits get cut. By 11%. I have MANY issues with this section, but I don’t want to get into it.
A couple points though…
Seriously, why is it never mentioned why her mom doesn’t work? Why is this not even brought up?
TV is a luxury that should have been cut ages ago.
Johanna should be paying rent now that she has a job.
Krissi is upset because he doesn’t think he’ll get to go to university now. Did he really ever think his parents would be able to pay for that? How about working hard in school to apply for a scholarship, or planning to work to put yourself through college?
Krissi steps up and does a common sense thing – he starts growing plants to help supplement the lack of fresh vegetables in their diet. WHY HASN’T HIS MOTHER BEEN DOING THIS ANYWAYS. The whole family could pitch in on taking care of a garden.
Also, it’s been two years – I’m wondering if it was actually the neighbor that said something, or if this came about because of something else. Like maybe that someone in the household was working (Johanna) and so benefits had to be re-evaluated, which would make sense.
Back to the bullets.
- Johanna’s been wankin’ it to thoughts of the devil.
- Her dad mentions her helping to get his name out there in music circles, and she kind of agrees, but nothing really happens…
- After a bit of quiet time since she wrote a kind of ridiculous fangirl of a love letter about John Kite as an article, Johanna’s called back to work and starts getting more to do, which is a good thing.
- She feels the need to drink in front of her much older co-workers… which, I understand the sentiment… but bad decision.
- Johanna can get records as a work expense!
- I enjoyed Johanna’s observations on how useful smoking is. It’s gross and ridiculous, so I don’t understand why people still choose to do it. However, I have noticed the strong social bonds between smokers, especially in work situations.
- Johanna’s first kiss!
But a bit anti-climactic, no?
- Johanna starts writing mean reviews, and I LIKE IT. I feel like this might be the point where Johanna gains a bit more of a backbone.
Crap, I really need to go to bed. Overall, I didn’t like this section as much… I feel Johanna regressed a bit, and all the stuff about her family’s benefits being decreased irritated me. It could have been a really touching aspect of the story, but the way Moran did it here does not really rile my sympathies. But, I look hopefully to the next section.