Published by HarperTeen on September 6th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, YA
All Pen wants is to be the kind of girl she’s always been. So why does everyone have a problem with it? They think the way she looks and acts means she’s trying to be a boy—that she should quit trying to be something she’s not. If she dresses like a girl, and does what her folks want, it will show respect. If she takes orders and does what her friend Colby wants, it will show her loyalty. But respect and loyalty, Pen discovers, are empty words. Old-world parents, disintegrating friendships, and strong feelings for other girls drive Pen to see the truth--that in order to be who she truly wants to be, she’ll have to man up.
This book was provided for review from the publisher, this does not influence my thoughts on the book or this review.
Girl Mans Up is truly unique novel, one that I highly recommend to all. Pen is a character teens will be able to relate to, and one that YA was sorely missing.
Pen is tired of everyone commenting on her, she just wants to live her life. So what if she likes baggy clothes and has short hair? Her mother thinks she’s not respecting the family, her best friend is saying she’s unloyal and her crush on Blake definitely isn’t helping. When Pen learns something about her best friend, she searches for the truth and may she have to man up along the way.
Pen was definitely a remarkable character. I definitely enjoyed reading about her journey. I will say that there are some side characters I wanted to reach into the book just to punch but ultimately, I am happy with how Girl Mans Up turned out.
I also really enjoyed the romance, Blake and Pen made an adorable couple. I am also a fan of how the novel didn’t focus on the romance (however awesome it was), but rather on Pen’s personal journey. Pen had to question her friendship and her commitment to her family all because of who she is. It was also awesome to see a Portuguese Canadian in YA.
Basically, if you love reading about characters you can root for, a romance that’s awesome but isn’t the entire narrative and a teen coming into her own, I highly recommend Girl Mans Up.