How to Build a Girl

How to Build a Girl

Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Paperback Published on: 09/04/2015
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Bookseller Reviews

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How to Build a Girl
Hilarious and eye-opening
I began reading this based on a recommendation from another Bookseller, despite being more of a science fiction and fantasy fan. And thank goodness I did! ... READ MORE
Emma at Harrogate
How to Build a Girl
Very very funny and down to earth. I can see why this is such a popular series, Johanna/Dolly is a great protagonist - there's a raw honesty to everything ... READ MORE
Chrys - Plymouth
How to Build a Girl
A young woman creating her own path in life
A wickedly funny coming of age novel set in my hometown of Wolverhampton. It's rare a book referred to as laugh out down lives up to it's reputation but th... READ MORE
Sarah in Wolverhampton
How to Build a Girl
Riotously Funny!
I never knew it was possible for a book to be so riotously funny and painfully tender at the same time. "How to Build a Girl" is at times piercingly accura... READ MORE


'...rowdy and fearless ... sloppy, big-hearted and alive in all the right ways' - The New York Times

What do you do in your teenage years when you realise what your parents taught you wasn't enough? You must go out and find books and poetry and pop songs and bad heroes - and build yourself.

It's 1990. Johanna Morrigan, 14, has shamed herself so badly on local TV that she decides that there's no point in being Johanna anymore and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde - fast-talking, hard-drinking Gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer!

She will save her poverty stricken Bohemian family by becoming a writer - like Jo in Little Women, or the Brontes - but without the dying young bit. By 16, she's smoking cigarettes, getting drunk and working for a music paper. She's writing pornographic letters to rock-stars, having all the kinds of sex with all the kinds of men, and eviscerating bands in reviews of 600 words or less.

But what happens when Johanna realises she's built Dolly with a fatal flaw?

Is a box full of records, a wall full of posters and a head full of paperbacks, enough to build a girl after all? Imagine The Bell Jar written by Rizzo from Grease, with a soundtrack by My Bloody Valentine and Happy Mondays. As beautiful as it is funny, How To Build a Girl is a brilliant coming-of-age novel in DMs and ripped tights, that captures perfectly the terror and joy of trying to discover exactly who it is you are going to be.

Caitlin Moran's sequel to How to Build a Girl, How to be Famous is available to order now.

  • Publisher: Ebury Publishing
  • ISBN: 9780091949013
  • Number of pages: 352
  • Weight: 239g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 126 x 21 mm

Customer Reviews

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How to Build a Girl
You cannot but love Johanna aka Dolly Wilde
After having read How to Build a Girl I found out that I missed out an Caitlin Moran. I apparently missed How to be a Woman and therefore started reading H... READ MORE
Books and Liliane
How to Build a Girl
How to Build a Girl. Where do I start? This is a story we're all familiar with: coming of age, the question of who we are and where we belong in the world,... READ MORE
Jade Wilson
How to Build a Girl
Although this isn't quite as good as How to Be a Woman it is still immensely amsuing and packed with Moran legendary wit and cutting sarcasm. Here we foll... READ MORE