In How to Build a Girl Caitlin Moran manages to write a story of teenaged angst that so closely resembles my own experiences that I though she had perhaps stolen my diary and just added a lot (like, a lot, a lot) more sex. Except I didn’t keep a diary in those days. (Now you would call it a journal, and be really precious about it).
How to Build a Girl is the story of Johanna Morrigan, a working-class girl in 90s England who hates her life. To compensate for her perceived failures, Johanna decides to become Dolly Wilde—a ”fast-talking, hard-drinking Gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer.” Dolly does all the things shy, quiet Johanna can’t do and Dolly lives life to the hilt. Dolly gets a job writing album reviews for a music ‘zine, and progresses to writing reviews of live shows and interviewing up-and-coming musicians. The story is semi-autobiographical, as Moran did start writing for a music magazine in her teens.