By Flynn Meaney
Print Length: 320
Release Year: 2021
Genre: YA Contemporary
Avg. Goodreads Rating: 3.68
Available on Amazon
Special thanks to Penguin UK and TheWriteReads Tours for allowing me to participate in this tour and for providing me with an eARC.
Alex is a rebel from the tip of her purple fauxhawk to the toes of her biker boots. She’s tried everything she can think of to get expelled from her strict Catholic boarding school. Nothing has worked so far – but now, Alex has a new plan.
Tired of the sexism she sees in every corner of St Mary’s, Alex decides to stage the school’s first ever production of The Vagina Monologues. Which is going to be a challenge, as no one else at St Mary’s can even bear to say the word ‘vagina’ out loud . . . (Goodreads)
Meaney delivers precisely what is promised on the back of the book. Bad Habits is an undeniably hilarious and unapologetically feminist book that will undoubtedly inspire young women to advocate for themselves and their beliefs. There is no hesitation as Bad Habits takes centre stage and brazenly shows outdated patriarchal ideals who’s boss.
It’s not often that I pick up a book that manages to have me laughing out loud from page one, making this book absolutely enjoyable from the get-go. Bad Habits starts in the middle of the action, maintaining a fast but comfortable pace. From the beginning, it slaps you with the unfair realities of women (especially in the overly-patriarchal setting of Catholic school) and fearlessly challenges those ideologies. There is no subtlety in this book’s approach to exploring feminist ideals as it takes an approach equally as vicious as that of the main character Alex as she works to produce St. Mary’s first-ever production of The Vagina Monologues.
Bad Habits tackles many important and relevant issues regarding the female sex. Addressing topics ranging from the dangers of insufficient sex-ed and demonising the female anatomy. Why is the word ‘vagina’ such a big deal? That is the question repeated throughout the novel as we follow Alex challenge the limits of her Catholic private school and work as a purple-haired fairy godmother to girls ignorant of their own sexuality. These themes are handled with a tasteful directness that women deserve and need.
This book is a delightful read for every young girl. The protagonist and her best friend are both excellent influences in different ways. The book does a good job of reminding the reader how important it is to understand your own body and your unbridled societal potential. This is a book I only could have wished for when I was younger, and I am so happy for future feminists when they can get their hands on this fun book!