Review by Jasmine Sov, 14

Rules for Being a Girl By Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno

There’s a whole set of unspoken rules in society just for girls, and Marin knows how to follow them perfectly. A stellar student and school newspaper editor with a dream to get into Brown University, her future seems ripe with possibilities. Even her favorite English teacher, Mr. Beckett, or “Bex”, has told her so. But then Bex does something to Marin that leaves her with questions like “Was it my fault?” and “Did I somehow lead him on?” And when she finally works up the courage to tell her school administration about it, no one believes her. Now, Marin must find a way to stand up for herself and what she believes in even as back after back is turned on her.
Rules for Being a Girl is a gripping, harsh story of a girl struggling to make her voice be heard—and it delivers truths not gently, but rather with a force that deeply reflects Marin’s internal struggle throughout the book. Not only does it tackle feminism and the way girls and women are viewed in society, but it also contains some passages that made me ask myself, “Why do we not stand up for ourselves and others? Why do we stand by and not say anything when we see a conflict that we are able to solve easily?” In society, we passerby on the streets are expected to keep quiet, to not say a word when people ask us why we look or act a certain way that we cannot change, to not “make a big deal out of it” when we are faced with microaggressions.
And yet they tell us in school to ask questions.
Catherine Bushnell and Katie Cotugno have truly created a masterpiece, filled to the brim with topics to make you truly think.
5 stars.

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293 pages