I’m Johanna Morrigan. It’s 1995. I’m nineteen and I live in the epicentre of Britpop. Parklife!
My unrequited love, John Kite, is busy with a Number One album, world-tour, drugs, and a nervous breakdown.
So, I’ve started hanging out with hot young comedian Jerry Sharp. Big mistake.
“He’s a vampire,” my friend Suzanne warns. “One of those men who destroys bright young girls. Also, he’s a total dick.”
Unfortunately, I’ve already had sex with him. Bad sex. And now, I’m one of the girls he is trying to destroy.
I know I have to stop him. But how does one girl fight a famous, powerful man?
A novel about friendship, feminism and finding your place in the world.
My thoughts on How to Be Famous…
Caitlin Moran makes me laugh. She always has. She also makes me think about what it means to be a woman today. I’m only a few years older than her, and the things she writes about hit a note with me, especially as I went to London just after turning 18; a lot of her experiences sound very similar to ones I had when I first moved there. In How to Be Famous, there’s Brit Pop too, a time it was fun to live through but is often now seen with rose-coloured glasses – not all of it was brilliant and there was plenty of sexism about that makes me cringe now.
I like that Moran shines a light on this. I like that she tells a story of what it was like to be a young woman navigating her way around a male-dominated industry with humour but also honesty. The book made me laugh out loud more than once, which I don’t often do. At the same time there was something missing for me here that hasn’t been missing in Moran’s other books. And I think it’s because there was a love story going on – and I just don’t do well with love stories.
Which means it was a bit ‘it wasn’t you, it was me’ with this book. I don’t think it was one I was destined to read and would probably have passed on if it wasn’t for the author herself. Would I recommend it? Yes, I still would. But with the caveat, it’s got a love story at it’s core so if that isn’t for you, this book won’t be.