Diary of a Confused Feminist

S. & S. (Diary of a Confused Feminist: Bk. 1). Jan. 2024. 384p. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9781665937948; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781665937931.
Gr 9 Up–Fifteen-year-old Kat’s diary is an edgier take on the foibles of being a teen girl, similar to Louise Rennison’s Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging. She and best friends Sam and Millie decide to embrace feminism and become activists at their school, but their efforts don’t always go as planned. The cast of characters is familiar: best friends who get boyfriends, the gay best guy friend, a bullying Queen Bee, and a crush on the school hottie. Kat’s quirky behaviors, such as touching her light switch three times before bed, hint at underlying issues. The feeling of being replaced by her best friends’ new boyfriends spirals into an overwhelming sense of failure. Over the space of a few months, bombarded with change, bullying, and social media, the British teen has more than quirks, but true signs of anxiety and depression. In a moment of despair, she texts her parents something is wrong, and they find her a therapist. Her family, friends, and their boyfriends provide support as she works on her mental health issues. Kat moves forward with small steps and rekindles her writing and feminist activism. Her story is honest and at times painful, but has several amusing moments, along with frank discussions of the body (e.g., vagina vs. vulva), bullying, and sexting. Profanity is sprinkled throughout.
VERDICT A first buy for dealing with topics often seen as taboo, from periods to mental health, in an honest and engaging story that leaves room for sequels.

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