Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Books I've Read: Not Here to Be Liked


Knowing I might not feel much like doing anything else after surgery, I stocked up on books at the library and this was one of the four I read over the last four or five days.

It's about a super over-achieving girl called Liza.  She's from a Chinese family, but unlike most books with Chinese parents, Liza's aren't over-the-top, super strict tiger parents.  They're involved, often to the point of being interfering, but there is room for Liza to be herself in her family as well.

For her entire high school career, all Liza has wanted is to be Editor in Chief of the school paper.  It looks like a shoo in as there are no other candidates for the role.  But at the last minute, newcomer to the paper's staff, ex-baseball player Len, decides to run and wins.

Outraged, Liza writes a poisonous article about the vote and how Len won the position based, not on his experience or skill, but on the fact he's male, good looking and popular.  She doesn't mean for it to be published, but it becomes front page news and ignites a feminist movement which threatens to tear the school apart.

To promote unity, Liza and Len are asked to work together for the remainder of the school year, forcing them into close proximity.  Liza expects to hate this, so is surprised that, once she gets to know Len, she actually likes him quite a bit.  In fact, she might even be falling for him.  But how can the leader of a feminist movement fall for the symbol of the patriarchy?

This was a quick, fun read that really played with the idea of what feminism is, isn't and can be.  Liza wasn't always the most likable character - I find these super-driven girls hard to deal with sometimes. They're so single-minded and unwavering about what they are and what they want.  Maybe I've just forgotten how black and white everything seems when you're young and idealistic, how every opportunity feels like the only chance you'll ever get to shine.  I always want to sit these girls down and tell them that even if that one thing doesn't happen, another opportunity will arise.  Maybe an even better one.

But I digress...

I enjoyed seeing how Liza's vendetta against Len played out and liked that even though he seemed laid back and casual about everything, he actually wanted things as much as she did. I enjoyed their sparring.

So if you're looking for something fun to read, with a little bit of bite to it, this is a good choice.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

Emergency Contact meets Moxie in this cheeky and searing novel that unpacks just how complicated new love can get…when you fall for your enemy.

Eliza Quan is the perfect candidate for editor in chief of her school paper. That is, until ex-jock Len DiMartile decides on a whim to run against her. Suddenly her vast qualifications mean squat because inexperienced Len—who is tall, handsome, and male—just seems more like a leader.

When Eliza’s frustration spills out in a viral essay, she finds herself inspiring a feminist movement she never meant to start, caught between those who believe she’s a gender equality champion and others who think she’s simply crying misogyny.

Amid this growing tension, the school asks Eliza and Len to work side by side to demonstrate civility. But as they get to know one another, Eliza feels increasingly trapped by a horrifying realization—she just might be falling for the face of the patriarchy himself.

1 comment:

  1. Four? Wow. Impressive speed.

    I'd be pissed too if I worked really hard for a position and some guy just breezes in and gets it.