I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Wow! I wasn’t really in the mood for reading anything because I’ve been so busy with school work, but I chose this book because it was one of the shorter ones on my reading list. I’m so glad that I did, because this book really cheered up the last few dreary days, and even when I was exhausted at the end of a day of studying, I still wanted to stay up hours into the night to finish it!
Girls Can’t Hit is about a young girl called Fleur Waters who joins a local boxing club on a whim, initially just seeking to get fit, but then gets swept away by love for it. Soon, she is exercising everyday, eager to bulk up, watching every boxing film under the sun and videos of female boxers online for inspiration. There are some battles along the way, though. Boxing clashes with Date Night with her boyfriend, Saturday trips with her best friends, her over-protective mother is seriously against it, and the boxing club is struggling and might have to close down. Fleur has to not only fight in the ring, but also outside of it.
I absolutely loved Fleur. From the beginning, she just leaps right off the page and I think T.S. Easton has done a really good job at capturing a funny and smart character without making it feel cheesy or overdone. I also loved her determination and strength – not of the physical kind, although that was exciting to see too. I was really impressed and inspired by her sticking with the club even though she was the only girl to begin with and much more unfit than the other guys, something which I don’t think I would have been able to do, and her resilience in her training. I also loved how she stuck by her guns outside of the club as well, repeating to everyone who challenged her and told her that maybe boxing wasn’t a good idea that she loved it and would keep training.
I liked how all of the other plot lines weaved into the overall story of Fleur’s growth. Her friends and boyfriend compete for her time, and she has to learn how to balance boxing with her relationships, and that maybe sometimes the two are just incompatible. I loved her friends, especially Blossom, whose feminist rants I wanted to applaud, and Pip, whose clumsiness was so funny I laughed out loud a couple of times. I also loved how we saw boxing eventually help her to strengthen her relationships, as her friends and family started to appreciate who she was and the things that she enjoyed doing, and even helped her to make great new friendships in her club with people she might not have ever met otherwise.
I’m sometimes apprehensive about teen novels being describes as “Feminist” stories, because I usually find them to be trying too hard, but this novel definitely deserves the title. Apart from seeing Fleur train in the boxing ring, and stand by her new hobby outside of it, I loved the storyline about her helping to attract more women to the boxing club, which was struggling to make enough money. It was good to see not only a storyline about girls in sport but also a message that your activism can be anything, maybe it can be protesting with placards like Blossom, or helping out with local cause that you care about.
Overall, Girls Can’t Hit was super fun to read and I definitely recommend it to other lovers of YA. I loved all of the characters and especially Fleur’s personal journey as well as the growth in her relationships, and Easton’s writing made it so easy to step into her head and enjoy the story. This is a great girl power story, and also a great book about sports – hell, even I was googling local boxing clubs!
For fans of: Wing Jones – Katherine Webber