I can't decide between 3 stars or 4. So we'll say 3.5. I am unfamiliar with Caitlin Moran, I know the she wrote the book How to be a Woman and is somewhat a feminist activist. I wasn’t sure what to expect from How to Build a Girl, I thought it was biography/social science and it took me by surprise to actually be fiction. Johanna is from a poor family and trying to find herself, she also wants to get laid. She decides to try out a persona she calls Dolly Wilde, who is a cynic music critic and has outrageous conversations about sex.
I liked a lot about the book, the music mentioned, the attitude towards sex, and the overall coming of age story, but it felt unrealistic coming from a teenager perspective and that is because it isn’t. There are times in the story where Dolly/Johanna explain something and then mention how she sees it in hindsight, yet that isn’t part of the story. We are led to believe the perspective is being told by Johanna at the time it happens. So this just irritated me a bit. My second issue the absurd ideas Johanna has about her self and her role in sex. I get it can take people awhile to figure this out, but Caitlin went to the extreme. Everything else I loved, I laughed out loud at many parts. The plot has a good flow to it and it;s even though this is an extreme version of finding yourself it is relatable.