Girl Mans Up
By; M.E Girard
Published by; HarperCollins
Published on September 6th 2016
Girl Mans Up is a stunning tale of one girl’s journey to discover who she was meant to be. Penelope (who refuses to go by anything other than Pen) dresses like a boy, acts like a boy and hangs out with a group of boys. Her Portuguese parents say she’s disrespectful but her friends say she’s loyal; both of these are just meaningless words to Pen. As she discovers who she truly wants to be, Pen realizes she’s going to have to man up.
Girl Mans Up is absolutely riveting. Stepping inside of Pen’s head as she figures out how she views herself and who she wants to become, I fell in love with her. Often times girls who dress “like boys” are viewed as something more. Exclamations are frequently made such as “Oh she must want to be a boy” or “maybe she feels like she was born in the wrong gender” and even as far as “she must want to have male body parts.” Sometimes this is true but more often than not, said girl is just more comfortable in boys clothing.
Without adding a label to this type of girl, I’ll say from experience, it is hard to make people understand why you want to dress a way that isn’t “the social norm.” How can you convey your feelings when you don’t even understand them yourself? For this reason, I applaud M.E Girard for stepping up to the plate and giving young people an insight into one girl’s inner dialogue. Our youth today are growing up in a different type of world; a world where it’s becoming more and more acceptable to be different. Being able to connect to a book that shows you it’s ok to be different is absolutely imperative to the LGBTQ youth who are growing up in a different world than we did a decade ago.
I implore you to read Girl Mans Up if for no other reason than to chance being able to understand someone who may be different than you. As Blake would say, “this wins everything,” and I’ll add that M.E Girard wins at life.
Thank you to Edelweiss for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.