How to Build a Girl follows a teenager, Johanna Morrigan, as she builds herself. Unhappy with her life living with her broke and depressed parents and four siblings, Johanna creates Dolly Wilde as a way to change the fate that she is destined to receive.
By the end of the book, Johanna comes to the realization that she has built herself in the wrong way. “So what do you do when you build yourself – only to realize you built yourself with the wrong things? You rip it up and start again.”
How to Build a Girl deals with the anxiety of growing up and facing what the world hands you amidst the excitement and variety of life. Johanna learns not to be complacent with the things she is unhappy with, but to change them instead.
This novel includes quite a bit of sexuality and heavy topics such as self-harm and addiction, but they are all used to teach Johanna how to build a better self. “And, like all the best quests, in the end, I did it all for a girl: me.”
Availability: SMCM, COSMOS, and USMAI
Review Submitted by: Jessie Vislay