Gush Review: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Title: Moxie

Author: Jennifer Mathieu

Pub. Date: September 19th, 2017

Genre: YA Contemporary/Feminism

Publisher:  Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Pages: 330

Formats: eGalley

Trigger warning: Sexual harassment & attempted rape


Moxie girls fight back!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I picked up Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu but what I got was all around awesomeness cover to cover! If you are a feminist such as myself, picking up this book is almost a no brainer but even if you’re not, this may be the book to change that. Much like our MC Vivianne, I was witness to many of the sexist games played by the opposite sex that are seen as harmless. Viv lives in a small town & attends the local High School where the schools Football team is the center of town life. Everyone down to the teachers & principal give the football team  much favoritism. This led to the blind acceptance of their treatment towards the females in the school & Viv has had enough.

Grabbing inspiration from her mother’s box of Zines where she’s stored memories of her Feminist activist days, Viv sets out to bring change to her school. She decides that anonymity is probably best in a school where the captain of the football teams father is also the Principal. What starts off as a Zine left inside the girls bathroom stalls, snowballs into a feminist movement no one in their small town Texas school would’ve imagined. We follow Viv as she slowly builds up her confidence & finds her voice through a movement she names Moxie. We see girls from all cliques start to answer the call to take a stand against age old “traditions” that are degrading to the females in the school.

Although most of the action takes place in Viv’s High School, we do also get to see her home life. Having lost her father at a very young age, it’s just her & her mom. I loved seeing Viv admire her mom without her knowing & how organic their relationship translated on to the page. There are also some really strong female friendships giving Viv the validation she needs to know she is doing the right thing. Moxie is all about fighting back the tired ideologies of women needing to behave “lady-like” or proper. It strengthens & uplifts women coming together & how powerful that can be.

Illustration from Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Our MC Vivianne is not at all the person you see portrayed on the cover of this book, not at first anyway. She loves listening to her moms stories of growing up and fighting back the patriarchy. Quietly wishing she had the courage to do something about the jocks and administration in her school who think it’s ok to objectify girls/women. Viv’s character development felt authentic for a teenager living in a small town in Texas. She didn’t voice her opinions right away, she found her voice within the other girls in her school. Viv is hands down a fave character for me because every time she felt like throwing in the towel she didn’t & instead came back harder! Viv’s mom is legit one of the coolest & hardest working moms I’ve come across in YA. She’s a nurse working long hours but who also has an amazing relationship with her daughter. She may not know it but she is also the source of inspiration for Viv creating Moxie. Viv’s grand-parents live next door & we often seem them around dinner time. LOVED the inclusion of grand-parents since that is very rare in YA books. Better yet, the fact that Viv loves them so much and can equally accept her own frustration at their old school mentality made her all the more relatable. A place of comfort for Viv, the scenes with her grand-parents gave the book a homely feel.

Lucy is the not quite so new girl but still pretty new to the school. She is taken aback by the things allowed from the male students having come from a more progressive school/city. At times she also gave Viv the motivation she needed to keep Moxie going all the while not knowing Viv was its creator. Seth plays the new guy in school & fits the mold of quiet-loner-mysterious-guy but there’s more than meets the eye with him. I was pleasantly surprised with Seth but I’ll be vague because I consider that spoilery. The Moxie Girls are not just from different cliques, they are also diverse in skin color and ethnicity. The inclusivity promoted by Viv spreads like wildfire throughout the school encouraging many to join. LOVED seeing the diversity bringing girls together to bring change!

Can you tell I LOVED Moxie to pieces?!?! I couldn’t flip through the pages fast enough, easily a 2017 top fave for the empowering message it sends across. United, girls/women are a force to be reckoned with! We don’t have very many books like these encouraging girls to stand together & fight for their rights. As I am writing this review, Twitter is ablaze with the mess that is Harvey Weinstein & the brave soul that is Rose Mcgowan standing up to an industry known for covering up sexual harassment. My first thought was, how appropriate that I am writing this review now. We need more Vivianne’s & Rose McGowans rallying the troops of women, together we are stronger & won’t be silenced. I cannot recommend Moxie enough to Feminists & those who have yet to find their voice…we all have Moxie in us 💪🏽

*HUGE Thanks to Macmillan, Netgalley, and Jennifer Mathieu for the galley of Moxie in exchange for an honest review. The physical arc pictured below I won from a Twitter giveaway.

For more Bookish photos, follow Lair Of Books on Bookstagram

Some Sites Jennifer Mathieu included in her Author Note:

Can you see yourself as a member of Moxie? I sure can! are there any lovely bookworms who’ve read Moxie or plan to? sound off in the comments below <3’s! 


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"I didn't choose the Book Life, the Book Life chose me"

33 thoughts on “Gush Review: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu”

  1. Absolutely loved this one as well! Also one of the best books I read in 2017! I mentioned in my review how it just left me feeling so pumped up and positive. It just put me in such a great reading mood c:

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I just loved seeing all the characters start off at different points but all move towards becoming more confident and aware of what was going on/their part in changing it. Especially with the MC’S boyfriend, I liked that they helped him understand and didn’t just write him off as a typical guy. And yes! Haha, I will also recommend this to everyone!


      2. I absolutely agree! I really enjoyed Seths character & that he did sort of represent the group of guys who aren’t scummy. More importantly that he remained teachable. Excellent character development across the board, even grandma came around in the end 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. i NEED this book right now! this sounds amazing twin. loved your gush review and i cannot wait to read about this amazing MC Viv. we definitely need the empowerment of women, positivity, and unity! i am happy that this book has all of that and more. whoop whoop!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you TWIN! I could NOT recommend this book more to you especially after the crap week you’ve had! I just know you’re going to love this one sooooo much! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts whenever you do get around to picking it up 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review! I was so looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Moxie, I’m so glad to head you loved it so much. YAY for some girl power here, it’s so important and cruelly lack sometimes in books. On the TBR it goes 😀 Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marie! I agree, it is lacking. Although we get a ton of female heroines kicking butt in YA fantasy nowadays, we don’t see feminism being discussed at all. I’m so glad to finally have a book that empowers young women to stand up for their rights. This is one I’ll be saving for a re-read with my little girl when she is age appropriate. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did when you get around to it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve seen this book around a LOT. But for some reason never really felt drawn to it. Whether it’s because I’m not crazy about the cover, or the fact that it’s contemporary (I don’t read much contemp haha)…I don’t know. But now after reading your review, I may just have to add it to my TBR! Great review, Lilly! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great review for this book Lilly. 🙂 I keep seeing this book in Waterstones whenever I’m in there as well and I’m always drawn in by the bright cover, I may actually have to pick it up next time I’m there because your review makes it seem like a must read.
    I’m really glad you enjoyed this one. Moxie sounds like a really important book and one I will definitely be adding to my to-read list as well. 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Beth! It is def going on my top 10 list for 2017. Such a relevant read with everything that has been coming to light lately regarding sexual harassment of women. I do really hope you enjoy the read & you’ll have to let me know your thoughts when you do get around to it ☺️💕

      Liked by 1 person

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