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Read & Review: Rules for being a girl by Candance Bushnell

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It’s Marin’s senior year, and she’s got it in the bag to Brown University. She’s a great student and is co-editor with her best friend of the school paper. Her grandmother, who is very important to her, is why Marin wants to get into Brown University – to make her proud. However, her English teacher Mr. Beckett or “Bex,” as students call him, makes a move on her which causes her to think about a lot – was what happened her fault? Is she overthinking it? She also realizes that there are tons of rules for girls that stem from society and are incorporated in the school’s dress code and ends up writing about it in the school newspaper and starts a feminist book club. Although she went through a lot, in the end, things begin to look up for her.

This book was good. It shows what girls go through regarding sexual harassment and when many don’t believe them about it. It brought light to how the school administration doesn’t always care about sexual harassment and how it doesn’t always help the students. It talked a bit about how feminism isn’t always intersectional, and there’s a group discussion about it during a book club meeting. Marin was okay. I felt like she was naive in the beginning. I also wondered why she didn’t think Bex was weird due to his behavior towards her, but she trusted Bex, and he betrayed that trust/abused his power when he made a move on her. Chloe, Marin’s best friend, was okay. I didn’t like her after what she did, but there was a reason behind it. I liked Gray due to his awareness of many things, plus he was there for Marin through it all. I loved the book club with its meetings and discussions and wished there were more. I hated Bex, the English teacher, so much. It was obvious what he did to Marin he did to other students. I thought he was weird, and there were tons of red flags about him in the beginning. The book overall was good, and I didn’t want to put it down.

One memorable moment was when she talked to her parents about what Bex did. They never blamed her for what happened because it was Bex’s fault and attempted to chase any doubt Marin had about it being her fault.

Reviewed by Roopa, Tuckahoe library

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