How to Be a Woman Book Review


How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

Pages: 295

Publisher: Ebury Press

Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven’t been burned as witches since 1727, life isn’t exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant talk about babies? And do men secretly hate them? Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women’s lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother.


How to Be a Woman Book Review


My Thoughts

Caitlin Moran has been my favourite feminist ever since I was first introduced to her articles in The Times a few years ago. When I found out that she had published a handful of books too, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. After devouring How to Build a Girl in a few hours, it wasn’t long before I read another book by Caitlin Moran, namely How to Be a Woman.

How to Be a Woman is a document of Caitlin Moran’s life, starting from when she was a child living in Wolverhampton to the present day, when she’s a highly successful journalist. In the book, we find out what it was like for Caitlin (pronounced ‘Cat-lin’, much to everyone’s confusion) to live with seven siblings in a cramped council house and be the only female at The Melody Maker, which she claims is “the weekly music paper that everyone confuses with NME”.

However, I just thought I’d warn you that How to Be a Woman is not everyone’s cup of tea. If you don’t read Caitlin’s articles, you probably won’t be aware of how brutally honest and crass she is. There are also certain parts of the book that I did feel slightly uneasy reading, but I won’t give anything away. Moran does repeat herself a bit and some of her opinions do contradict each other. She can be quite whiny and juvenile too, what with the excessive use of caps lock and exclamation marks. Nevertheless, I decided to give How to Be a Woman a chance, since I enjoy Caitlin’s style of writing and I find her utterly hilarious. I didn’t regret it.

One thing that stands out about How to Be a Woman is the humour. Caitlin Moran is very witty and comes up with some really memorable lines. The book is narrated in a very chatty way and it feels like you are having a conversation with Caitlin. She is good at engaging the reader. I also loved the chapter titles, which relate to particular milestones in Caitlin’s life, for example ‘I Start Bleeding’, ‘I Get Married’ and ‘I Get Into Fashion!”

Female readers will easily relate to the situations described in the book, for example trying to find the right bra, dealing with sexism, and having to remove hair, which we all know isn’t the most pleasant of tasks. Moran also tackles abortion, and I applaud her for doing so; it is such a controversial subject and many women are afraid to talk about it, “unless they are very, very drunk”. In one of the chapters, Moran rants about everyone asking women when they will have kids: how come men are never questioned about their plans to start a family? The underlying message of How to Be a Woman is that women should have more power. Why should we always be secondary to men? Surely everyone should have access to the same opportunities, regardless of their gender? Caitlin Moran also wants us to realise that we are ALL feminists, and it isn’t something we should be ashamed of.

How to Be a Woman is the feminist book every woman needs to read. You’ll instantly feel like Caitlin Moran is your new BFF. It’s hard not to become addicted to her writing. You’ll be left eager for more, trust me.


Have you read How to Be a Woman? What are your thoughts?




22 Comment

  1. Kayleigh Zara says: Reply

    This sounds like a book that is right up my street! I’ve read a few of her articles x

    1. Serena says: Reply

      Let me know if you decide to read it!

  2. This book was recommended in my first year lit class and I decided to dip into it. I know what you mean about feeling uneasy sometimes – I only read the chapter on abortion and didn’t read on because such a big, controversial issue was dealt with in such a matter of fact way. What did you think about that bit? I do think its really important to speak about these things though and I’m sure I would enjoy the other chapters. Have you heard of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie? She does some excellent Ted Talks I think you would enjoy xx

    1. Serena says: Reply

      I think it was really brave of her to write about it, abortion is such a personal topic. Chimamanda sounds familiar, I’ll check her out!

  3. Elle says: Reply

    This sounds like such an amazing book! I’m not a big reader myself but this does sound like a book I need to read for sure. Thank you for this amazing review and sharing with us all! XO


    1. Serena says: Reply

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Ooo I’m intrigued to read this. Definitely going to pop it on my ever growing tbr list haha x

    1. Serena says: Reply

      Hope you get a chance to read it! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Ohh lovely sounds like a great book. Glad you enjoyed it love Leigh | xx

  6. sysy says: Reply

    I haven’t read it yet but I feel like I should!
    Nice review 🙂

  7. This sounds like a really interesting read! I might have to give this a go! Thanks for sharing xx

  8. I love a good review!

    Thanks for writing it!

    Love Sooz x

  9. I love book reviews so that I know whether to waste my time or not on the book. I haven’t heard of this until now, but sounds like an intriguing read!

  10. This book sounds so interesting! I love a good book and even more so when it covers topics that need to be talked about more!! It’s always good reading a book review so I can discover new books for the to read list!

    Jordanne ||

  11. I absolutely love books reviews! This looks amazing, will have to get it a try!

    Btw, I love your writing style! You have the perfect tone 🙂

    Antonia x

  12. Gracie says: Reply

    Always looking for different genres of books to read.
    This sounds pretty interesting, something I’ll definitely consider getting!

    Gracie x

  13. I havent read it however I am looking for a new read. I think I may check out her articles first though! X
    Lola Mia //

  14. great post! This sounds like my cup of tea and will for sure be giving this one a read!

    thanks for sharing

  15. Charlene McElhinney says: Reply

    I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like this before so I’ll be sure to keep my eyes peeled if I see it around when I’m book shopping! (Which is always).

    Charlene McElhinney

  16. I know they say never judge a book by its cover but I actually really like the cover! Also I would be able to relate by reading your line about finding the right bra, the struggles!

    Tasha x

  17. Great review 😊 Sounds like I’d love this book too.

    Steph xx

    Steph’s World | Lifestyle Blog |

  18. That book sounds fascinating, and Caitlin Moran write a hilarious column in the Times which both of my parents always enjoy, even though her audience is very much middle aged women! I know a lot of people I’d recommend this book to!

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