I love tales of teenage angst and this was one of the best. I can completely see why this book is a bestseller, it is wonderful and it deserves to be. It follows Johanna Morrigan as she comes of age in the early nineties and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde, indie rock journalist, and then reinvents herself again as a less cynical individual. I love this book because I love music, even though my own preferred genre of heavy metal receives a couple of criticisms from the protagonist;
“He has greasy black hair and is wearing a Sepultura t-shirt – which I can tell, merely from the logo, is an internationally recognised sign that he kills and eats women”
Johanna’s family are poor in money but rich in integrity. The book tackles issues of class and sexual double standards with humour and portrays the bleakness and narrowing of experience that is caused by poverty. It’s a warm book with a satisfying ending.
I think Cleo Howard and Dolly Wilde/Johanna Morrigan have a lot in common. They would like each other. They would josh each other good naturedly about taste in music but both would recognise the passion for it that they share.