cover image Rules for Being a Girl

Rules for Being a Girl

Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno. Harper/Balzer + Bray, $19.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06280-3375

Authors Bushnell (Sex in the City for adults) and Cotugno (99 Days) team up in this novel about a young woman facing assault and sexist power dynamics in a post-#MeToo era. Best friends Chloe and Marin share a crush on their high school English teacher, Mr. Beckett, who’s also their advisor on the school paper, where the girls are coeditors. When Bex, as he’s known, moves from being friendly with Marin to kissing her, she isn’t sure where to turn; Chloe questions Marin’s account entirely, advising her not to ruin Bex’s life by telling. When Marin writes an editorial about double standards, Bex warns her of “blowback,” which she promptly receives, called “some crazy feminist” by her boyfriend. As Marin becomes more aware of problematic issues at her largely white school, including a sexist dress code and an all-white, all-male reading list, Bex threateningly gives her the first D grade of her life, and she decides that it’s time to report him, prompting gossip and ridicule—and disbelief from the school board. The authors write a convincing teen exploring the complex, frequently sexist social norms that girls and women navigate daily. Ages 13–up. [em](Apr.) [/em]