From British humorist Moran (How To Be A Woman, 2012, etc.), an overweight, socially inept teen drops out of school to become a rock critic and sexual adventuress.
Fourteen-year-old Johanna Morrigan shares a bedroom with both her older and younger brothers, though the frequency of her trysts with her hairbrush might recommend otherwise. The birth of unexpected twin siblings, so far known only as David and Mavid, have made the family's Thatcher-era financial situation more desperate than ever. Her dad's attempts to revive his music career by networking at the local pub have led Johanna to conclude "the future only comes to our house when it is drunk." After a humiliating appearance on a local talk show, the unsinkable Johanna goes for re-invention from the ground up. She renames herself Dolly Wilde after Oscar's niece ("this amazing alcoholic lesbian who was dead scandalous"), assembles a wall collage of inspiring women and sexy men (including "Lenin when he was very young—I don't know exactly what he went on to do but I do know that he looks hot here"), and breaks away from her parents' playlist, substituting Bikini Kill and Courtney Love for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. By 1992, 17-year-old "Dolly" has wangled herself a job writing reviews at Disc and Music Echo magazine, which leads to her encountering and falling in love with a perfectly imagined rock star named John Kite, "the first person I'd ever met who made me feel normal." Their ecstatic, chaste night together is the high point of the book. After that, she weathers the perils of being both the meanest and easiest music critic in town.
Hilarious autobiographical fiction debut for Britain's Lena Dunham—if you can forgive a dot too much nasty sex and poignant lessons learned.