You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover
How to Be Famous
A fictional relative to High Fidelity
Reviewed by Abby Johnston, Fri., Dec. 21, 2018
If director Cameron Crowe's 2000 film Almost Famous glamorized the world of music journalism, Caitlin Moran's second novel trains her lens on that same world by unabashedly embracing what we know and love without shame or irony. Teen music journalist Johanna Morrigan, writing under the pen name Dolly Wilde, is exploring the boundaries of sex and taste, trying to cement her stature in Nineties London. As she's taking the music scene by storm with a dishy weekly column – some of the most entertaining parts of How to Be Famous are excerpts of Dolly's writing – a VHS tape of her most woeful sexual encounter almost ruins her life. All the while, she's trying to win the affection of the love of her life, who's broken onto the same music scene Johanna is tasked with covering. Needless to say, coke-fueled drama ensues. Moran's follow-up to How to Build a Girl, the second of a planned trilogy, stands on its own as a raunchy, laugh-out-loud romp through the thrills and infinite shame of being a teenage girl.
How to Be Famousby Caitlin Moran
Harper Collins, 352 pp., $26.99