What's a Girl Gotta Do (The Spinster Club #3)@Holly Bourne

Praise for Holly Bourne

“This is a book to press into the hands of every teenage girl you know.”

Fiona Noble, The Bookseller

“Holly Bourne is one of my most favourite authors out there – she writes brutally honest, funny and relatable novels that capture what being a teenager is like.”

Izzy Read, age 15, for LoveReading4Kids

“Blazing a feminist trail for UK YA.”

Red Magazine online

“Holly Bourne is one of the most talented UK YA writers at the moment. Her books are phenomenal.”

Lucy the Reader

“Equal parts hilarious and heart-wrenching.”

Fable & Table

“Holly Bourne has become a true feminist legend of YA!”

Never Judge a Book by its Cover

“If you ever doubted the intelligence, ability or passion of teenage girls read Holly’s books and you never will again.”

Muchbooks reader review on Guardian Children’s Books

“Holly Bourne, you’re a genius.”

Emma Lou Book Blog

“Bourne truly is one of the best YA writers.”

The Mile Long Bookshelf

“Finally, an author who GETS it.”

Emma Blackery, YouTuber

For every girl who does what is right, rather than what is easy.

Contents

About this book

About the author

Dedication

THE CRUNCH POINT

Chapter one

Chapter two

Chapter three

Chapter four

THE PLAN

Chapter five

Chapter six

Chapter seven

Chapter eight

Chapter nine

Chapter ten

Chapter eleven

Chapter twelve

Chapter thirteen

WEEK ONE

Chapter fourteen

Chapter fifteen

Chapter sixteen

Chapter seventeen

Chapter eighteen

Chapter nineteen

Chapter twenty

Chapter twenty-one

Chapter twenty-two

Chapter twenty-three

Chapter twenty-four

WEEK TWO

Chapter twenty-five

Chapter twenty-six

Chapter twenty-seven

Chapter twenty-eight

Chapter twenty-nine

Chapter thirty

Chapter thirty-one

Chapter thirty-two

Chapter thirty-three

Chapter thirty-four

WEEK THREE

Chapter thirty-five

Chapter thirty-six

Chapter thirty-seven

Chapter thirty-eight

Chapter thirty-nine

Chapter forty

Chapter forty-one

Chapter forty-two

Chapter forty-three

Chapter forty-four

Chapter forty-five

Chapter forty-six

WEEK FOUR

Chapter forty-seven

Chapter forty-eight

THE FUTURE

Chapter forty-nine

A LETTER FROM HOLLY

WHAT’S A GIRL GOTTA DO TO BE A FEMINIST?

HOLLY’S SPINSTER CLUB BOOK LIST

SPINSTER CLUB DISCUSSION POINTS

SPINSTER CLUB

SPINSTER CLUB TRILOGY

EXCITING NEWS

ALSO BY HOLLY BOURNE

THE CRUNCH POINT

one

I wasn’t even wearing a short skirt.

Stupid thought. Totally stupid thought.

But, afterwards, as I stewed and cried fat hot tears of rage, I kept thinking…

…I wasn’t even wearing a short skirt.

If you really want to know what I was wearing, so you can reassure yourself that I was the perfect victim in all this, it was just a normal pair of jeans. And my lacy jumper. BUT CALM DOWN – all that erotic lace was FULLY HIDDEN under my duffle coat. So, unless pervy van men have X-ray vision – and let’s all for a minute thank God that they don’t – I was wearing nothing, nothing, to trigger what happened that day.

Which was this…

I was running late for college, due to an epic argument with my parents about My Future. This was a regular thing. My Future is their obsession, but this particular spat over My Future had been pretty nasty. For reasons known to nobody, not even me, the argument ended with me shouting, “Meditate on THIS!” and grabbing my crotch. I’d then slammed the door in their stunned faces and dashed down the road. Almost crying.

It was cold and bright. A nice October day, but one where the golden sunshine has no impact on the temperature. I was half-running, partly because of my lateness, and partly to keep warm.

I saw the van as I turned the corner.

Two builder-types sitting in the front seat noticed me straight away. They stared at me through the windscreen. The way they assessed me sent an instant blodge to my stomach.

That female intuition blodge.

The there’s-going-to-be-trouble blodge.

No – screw that. It’s not female intuition. I’m not psychic – I’m just highly experienced in sexual harassment, like pretty much every other girl on this earth who dares to walk places.

The van was parked on my side of the quiet, residential street. The only side of the road with a pavement. I paused for a second, weighing up my options. I sensed trouble, but I had to walk past the van. Even though I already felt sick from the way they looked at me. Like I should be ashamed…

Maybe I’m wrong about them, I thought. One of them was as old as my dad. Maybe they were just innocently looking out their windscreen. Maybe there wouldn’t be any trouble. And because I was exhausted and alone and already upset and all-the-things-I’ve-just-told-you, I didn’t walk past them with my normal confidence.

I instinctively averted my gaze, pretended they weren’t staring, pulled my coat further over my totally concealed chest and walked faster towards them.

I was approaching the van. I could still feel their eyes on me. But I was almost there. And almost there meant almost past them…and…it would be fine…I would be fine…and it was broad daylight anyway and I could always scream but I wouldn’t need to scream because it would be okay and I’d imagined these builders being worse than they are, and…and…and…

…and then the van door opened.

I stopped dead. Their open door now blocked