GIRLS CAN’T HIT taught me that girls can indeed hit, and they do so very well. But did this book hit any marks for me? Nope, it really didn’t.
This is the story of a rather typical British teen, not particularly sporty, does well enough in school, no particular aspirations. Fleur follows her best friend Blossom on feminist crusades, supporting her as she battles to get women allowed to boxing classes. Taking part in a class herself, though unfit and exhausted, Fleur finds enough motivation from it to return. Again and again.
She changes her diet, starts exercising, and finds a real interest and passion for boxing. Despite her mum’s fears about the dangers, and her boyfriend’s dislike of her new physique, she finds a talent and joy in her new hobby.
Listen. I tried, I really did. But even when I was only 13 pages in, I just had a feeling I wasn’t going to enjoy this very much.
As a reader, you’re supposed to be rooting for Fleur, which I found myself doing at times. But she was just, SO irritatingly boring. Before she took on boxing, she legitimately had zero personality; she is one of the most flat and one-dimensional characters I’ve ever read about. I could seriously not pin-point anything cause she’s just a literal piece of wet cardboard.
Same with the rest of the characters– They were all so painfully stereotypical and cliché, it actually hurts. I don’t even want to get started on Blossom, but I have to let it out. She’s the utter definition of a White Feminist, and she said the word patriarchy more times than I ever breathed. I really hope this is not what the author thinks feminists stand for, because this curly-haired human was very close-minded and thought everyone was attacking her for being a girl. Also, why would you have a boyfriend if you literally roll your eyes every time he’s brought up? Just dump him, for god’s sake.
Pip had no traits to him either, simply being a gangly giraffe who was bad at everything and had a very strange fashion sense. Ricky was THE SCREAMING TRAINER CAUSE LITERALLY ALL HE DID WAS CRY OUT LIKE THIS AND IT WAS ANNOYING, EVERYBODY. Joe was the rebellious little old man, Fleur’s Mum was there to be terrified of everything, and what did her dad always say? That there were always two sides to the story? Well, the only side I can see to this is that everyone was flimsy, idiotic, and full-fledged tropes come to life.
I almost forgot about the romance, and honestly, I kind of want to. First of all, where in BLOODY hell did it come from? I mean, I don’t want to spoil it, save whatever that was for when you read it if you care. But, all the love interest did was breathe, have morals, and box. I could count the scenes he’s in on my fingers. Look, I love me some good romance, especially in contemporary novels, but there are just some books can do without it. Girls Can’t Hit is one of them and the relationship was just unnecessary and not developed in the slightest, in my opinion.
The only saving grace for me was actually reading about boxing. It turns out to be a very fascinating topic and I quite enjoyed learning more about it. I feel like the one thing this book did right was that and describe food. Cause I drooled, for sure. But that was a lot of wheat, let me tell you.
I get what this book was trying to do. It was supposed to be a battle cry for feminists and show that women can do anything. Which it kind of accomplished, but not in the right ways. Instead, it came off as if the author was trying too hard to convince everyone he’s a feminist. I fully believe he is, but when you have your female characters questioning “iS iT bEcAuSe i’M a gIRL???” every five pages, you sit down and think of Easton’s intentions. And those thoughts are not very pretty.
Girls Can’t Hit simply did not work for me. The story narration felt super weird at times, there were a lot of statements that did not sit well with me, there is a complete dismissal that queer people exist, to the point where Fleur didn’t tell Blossom that Nicola Adams was gay, because it would make her uncomfortable. And then it was never mentioned again. Plus, you know, adding in the flat characters, flat romance, and all the ignorant comments, I just did not like this. The whole-hearted intention was definitely there, it was just executed horribly.
This book screams WHITE FEMINISM and I’m not bloody here for it. This is not my kind of feminism.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Girls Can’t Hit by T. S. Easton hits shelves July 17th, 2018.
Fleur Waters never takes anything seriously–until she shows up at her local boxing club one day to prove a point. She’s the only girl there, and the warm-up alone is exhausting . . . but the workout gives her an escape from home and school, and when she lands her first uppercut on a punching bag she feels a rare glow of satisfaction.
So she goes back the next week, determined to improve. Fleur’s overprotective mom can’t abide the idea of her entering a boxing ring (why won’t she join her pilates class instead?). Her friends don’t get it either and even her boyfriend, ‘Prince’ George, seems concerned by her growing muscles and appetite–but it’s Fleur’s body, Fleur’s life. So she digs in her heels in hope that she can overcome the obstacles and strike a blow for equality.