I may have gotten off to a slow start with this one, but Caitlin Moran has me good and hooked now. Our narrator, Johanna, had just experienced an ego-shattering TV experience when we ended the last section. Now she's determined to overcome that and remake herself into a persona she calls Dolly Wilde. Dolly Wilde, Johanna decides, is going to become a music journalist. Never mind that she doesn't know anything about what's happening in the world of music, or that she lives far away from places like, say, London. She diligently finds a radio station (this is pre-internet) that has the latest music and begins requesting it at her local library.
I have to say, the scene of Johanna carefully dialing in the radio station brought me waaaaaay back in the day, growing up in northern Minnesota where the local radio stations played country and very, very lite rock, but where, if the weather was good (and preferably cold, so winter helped), I could get WLS from Chicago on my radio. Chicago! And they played things like Manfred Mann's Earth Band! So unusual! So different from what I could hear on my local radio!
Johanna--er, Dolly--then writes several reviews for a London music publication, which finally invites her in for an interview, then give her a job. As an honest-to-God music journalist. Once she really believes she's earning money, she announces she's quitting school, because why does she need math and science? She's already got a job writing. She's going to be fine.
The great thing about the writing so far is that Johanna is neither overly precocious nor precious in the least. She has moods, she's tempestuous at times, she can be selfish the way teens are, and yet she's never not aware of the difficulties in her family. In this section, we learned more about why her father seems to be a loser, and there's a big reason for it. That doesn't make his behavior any less appalling, but at least it's more understandable, as is Johanna's (and the rest of the family's) tolerance of it.
The only difficulty I'm having at the moment is not cheating and reading ahead. I really, really want to find out what happens when Johanna quits school. Read-alongs are hard, y'all.