Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Genre: YA contemporary
Format: hard copy
Content warnings: sexism, mentions of sexual assault and rape
Rep: WOC (multiple)
Rating: planchet-5

Viv has always been a “good girl.” She’s never late for class, does all her homework, supports the high school football team on Friday nights, and never gets into trouble. Her family is relieved, since her mom was a bit of a hell raiser in high school, even sporting blue hair to protest the dress code at one point. 

But Viv is starting to get fed up with being “good,” especially when the boys at school are always getting away with “bad:” From making sexist comments in class, to wearing disgusting shirts that sexualize women, to just generally behaving like assholes with no repercussions. 

Taking inspiration from her mother’s Riot Girrrl days in the late 90s, Viv starts a zine, strategically leaving it around school. Her little two page “newsletter” helps stir up the ire of the other girls, who are also sick of being singled out for inconsistent dress code violations and putting up with disgusting comments and being groped in the hallways. Soon Moxie has spawned a movement: from tiny acts of resistance like drawing stars and hearts on their hands to show solidarity, to wearing bathrobes to school in protest of the dress code, to fund raisers. But as the movement grows beyond Viv’s control, there could be some serious repercussions for both her future, and that of her friends and cohorts. 

I loved everything about this book, and I wish I’d had it when I was in high school because it would have been a life changer for me. It’s absolute perfection from start to finish. I might go reread it, even though I just finished it.

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