It’s not often that I ever get a real ‘craving’ to write something. The urge to drop my toothbrush (back into its rightful place, of course), put down the bedtime moisturiser and rush to my laptop in a flurry of haste before my mind goes blank, and simply allow my fingers to run away on the keyboard for ten minutes. I’ve been reading ‘How To Build A Girl’ for a couple of weeks now (blaming late night reading and procrastination as to why I’m still not finished), but in short- it’s wickedly funny and I absolutely love it (disclaimer: I have now finished it, and yes, it was brilliant- but more on that in about a paragraph).
It feels like being eight again. Wanting to go to bed early, and curl up amongst your duvet, with iPhone torch as ultimate light source, whilst buzzing under the covers in silent fits of laughter, worried that anyone else will wake up, and the weird thing, is that I feel I can resonate with protagonist Johanna. I’m not from Wolverhampton, don’t get it on with my hairbrush and don’t wear a top hat out and about (although sayiiiing that…) but her story about working at D&ME magazine brought back so many memories of an nu-rave emo Liv turning up at those very same IPC media doors at 15, waiting for the rest of my writing career to begin (which y’know, know where that goes). It was a time when NME Radio was a ‘thing’, Luke Lewis, James McMahon and Conor McNicholas were all part of 2009’s magical NME era (to me and my Klaxon fuelled iPod anyway) and every day, walking into Pret (but not buying anything but a bottle of water) was so bloody exciting I didn’t even mind getting up at the crack of dawn to spend every penny on a travel card, and the pleasure of post sorting was still a novelty (‘LOOK THEY HAVE A NEW CD! CAN WE PLAY IT!’)
The funny thing is, my dad picked me up that placement at a Horrors gig at the Astoria (remember?? It’s where Tottenham Court Road tube now is for you youngsters out there) when I was about 14. After flinging myself about in the crowd for an hour with my best friend Gemma, we headed upstairs and found out my dad had been chatting to ‘some journo’ from the New Musical and blagged me a contact there (Karen- I will forever be in your debt). Anyway- How To Build A Girl. More about the book and less about you Liv. It’s brilliant. If I had to describe Caitlin Moran in three words they’d be; really effing cool. There’s not many women I’d spot at St Pancras 8am on a Saturday morning and go metaphorically weak at the knees at (it happened y’all)- but she is one of them. She makes me want to read, learn and push myself into the pages of everything and anything. She’s bloody funny too. The kind of funny that you have to hold in on the train whilst wobbling silently to yourself and biting your lip, and writes in a way that makes you want to put yellow sticky notes all over the pages with notes on saying ‘MUST. USE. THIS. WORD’. I’d read ‘How To Be A Woman’ prior to reading which I adored and this novel was the perfect follow up- with the book feeling almost slightly autobiographical- it was rude, shocking and utterly thought provoking (hence the post) and totally wonderful. Thank you C Moz, once again.