Monday, 11 August 2014

How to Build a Girl, Ch 21-End: Hello, book hangover, my old friend.

"Oh look, I am crying." - p 280

How nice of Moran to provide such an apt quote in this, our final section. This is the last post in the How to Build a Girl readalong, hosted by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads!), which makes me sad on multiple levels.

Spoilers, ho.

I don't, I have no idea what to say. This book was great. Here are some quotes that I liked/made me rend my garments due to surfeit emotion:

"'I tried to make it better', I say. 'But I got it wrong'" - p 262/263

"Every book, opera house, moon shot, and manifesto is here because someone, somewhere, lit up silent when someone else came into the room, and then quietly burned when they didn't notice them." - p 264/265 -- That one took my sappy, romantic heart, gave it a Wesley and Buttercup kiss, and then made it watch Inigo Montoya's story.



"When really you were about as secret as the moon. And as luminous, under all those clothes." - p 269

"And as luminous, under all those clothes," I say again. 

"I believe in music and gin and joy and talking too much and human kindness." - p 285 (hashtag teenagewallquote)

I'm so relieved that the John Kite story line resolved the way it did. You're a stand-up guy, Johnny. Certainly relatively.

No, but really. He's a gem and I love him forever.

I don't even know. I'm going to lean on the benefits of readalongs and leave it to you guys to say insightful things. 

Things I'd like to talk about if it weren't for Sunday-evening brain (or: I hope you folks tackled these things/maybe let's talk about them in the comments):

  • Mental health 
  • The almost-threesome 
  • Sexual orientations represented in the book
  • Final thoughts on the Parents Morrigan

All I can say with certainty is that I loved this book and Moran writes some killer Acknowledgements. 

Thanks, Em, for hosting. Thanks, Moran, for writing. Thanks, HarperCollins, for publishing. 

If you want to pre-order the book, you can do so here


  1. The Parents Morrigan--I think are flawed, but trying to do the best they can under the circumstances. I think Mom is coming to grips with her depression, but I didn't for a second believe that Dad wouldn't have hounded Johanna about that demo.

  2. I forgot to mention the acknowledgements! They were fun. Her poor agent.

  3. I found the mental health aspect to be flawed with the cutting - it felt forced, but I am granting forgiveness because there is SO MUCH AWESOME in this book. I agree that The Parent's Morrigan are flawed as well - but I think there's a lot of love there.

  4. Nawww Princess Bride gifs.

    Everyone is flawed in this book, which is what makes it so realistic and great. No parent is perfect, even if they aren't able to see that maybe they don't know their kids as well as they think. The same for siblings. Some guys are decent until the subject of sex comes up, and some make excellent friends even if they are a little flaky. Johanna isn't great at looking past her own little bubble, but I think this book would be a great way to get people (teens and adults alike) to look past their own bubble and recognise the things going on in the lives of people around them.

  5. Your gif aligns with my current reading: As You Wish by Cary Elwes.

    i...loved this book more than I thought I would. I thought I would enjoy it, sure. But I didn't think it would move me as deeply as it did, and I certainly wasn't expecting the substantive social commentary along the way. I think the highest praise i can give this book is to say that I wish I'd been able to read it at the time I needed it most, but even reading it many years after that time in my life, it was so damned good.

  6. *sigh* John Kite. Y'know...I think it was extremely fitting that he commented on his own youth, because it's easy to forget that he's not exactly a grown-up man yet either. What is he, 23? He is a BABY still. He'll be just fine.

  7. Ooh, I didn't even read the acknowledgement section.... Will have to do that now.

    John Kite is just precious, and I hope he and Johanna have a lovely close friendship that slowly blossoms into a relationship when she is, say, 22.

  8. Ohhh Kayleigh, yes to allll those quotes. So much.

    I will go with final thoughts on the parents Morrigan, to which I say- weren't they kind of awesome, in the end, for not telling Johanna it was her fault that the benefits were cut, and for not making her feel guilty and for making her save her money so she could fly free? I say, yes.

    Luminous under all those clothes, indeed.


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