Bad Habits Blog Tour
Welcome to my stop on the Bad Habits blog tour! I was thrilled to be able to take part in another tour thanks to Dave @WriteReadsTours as they are always super fun. Bad Habits sounded brilliant in the blurb – feminism, nuns and a rebel with a purple fauxhawk. Hilarity was bound to ensue.
Bad Habits Info & Review
Title: Bad Habits
Author: Flynn Meaney
Published: 11th February 2021
Age Range: Young Adult
Issues Raised: Feminism, Religion
Goodreads: Add me here!
“Alex is a rebel from the tip of her purple fauxhawk to the toes of her biker boots. She’s tried everything she can think of to get expelled from her strict Catholic boarding school. Nothing has worked so far – but now, Alex has a new plan.
Tired of the sexism she sees in every corner of St Mary’s, Alex decides to stage the school’s first ever production of The Vagina Monologues. Which is going to be a challenge, as no one else at St Mary’s can even bear to say the word ‘vagina’ out loud . . .”
Everyone loves a rebel, right? Alex is just that. In a posh Catholic boarding school in Minnesota, the last thing that Alex wants to do is fit in. In fact, there is nothing that she wants more than to be able to leave St Marys, along with its nosey nuns and pedantic priests forever. When your Dad is an alumni though it is hard to get kicked out but Alex has a plan…
Alex likes to think of herself as one cool cat. She has a purple fauxhawk, biker boots and is often found in her second home, also known as the principal’s office. Alex is a bit of a contradiction. Although she calls herself a feminist, she is often found judging the decisions of the girls around her. Her nemesis is Katie Casey of the Save Your Hearts club, who is far too sweet and doesn’t understand the feminist agenda in the way she does. I found Alex’s character to be a real mix. She can be very funny but also very vulgar to the point of attention seeking. To be honest, I liked her at the start of the story then quickly began to dislike her. By the end of the book however I had warmed to her again and understood that this was all a part of her character journey.
Mary Kate is Alex’s room mate and could not be more different. She is a good student, bookish and longs to walk around the campus lake hand in hand with a boy. She often acts as a counter-balance to Alex. Although Alex does push her out of her comfort zone, Mary Kate is not willing to give up on their long-standing friendship. Plus being out of your comfort zone is sometimes a good thing.
There are many other characters that we get to know in the book. I really like Pat, one of the jocks, as well as a lot of the smaller background characters…. Like the sweet little nun who you just can’t say vagina to.
St Marys is a really great setting and the author has clearly worked hard to establish the history of the school. There is more to St Marys than meets the eye! I particularly like the story of the school ghost when juxtaposed against all of the priests and nuns. It is quite eclectic. The campus sounds wonderful. I enjoyed seeing it through the different seasons and discovering the St Marys traditions. Obviously, the most interesting part is looking at this pretty great place through the eyes of a character who doesn’t want to be there.
This is where Bad Habits really shines. Flynn Meaney does a great job of exploring important issues with feminism being an overarching theme. The female body is too often stigmatised to the point at which using the word vagina becomes a cause for embarrassment. There is also a lot of embarrassment regarding periods, purchasing period products as well as discussing sex and gender. All of these are woven into the story with Alex trying to open up honest conversation and providing support for girls who don’t feel that they have anyone else they can turn to.
Bad Habits explores the feminist agenda and forces the reader to question their own judgements and views. If other women don’t have the same beliefs or make the same choices that we do, do become judgemental? Are we bad feminists? Or can we accept that they are making their own judgement calls and support them in the process?
Bad Habits is a quick and enjoyable read, which touches on important issues whilst still being funny. I really liked the setting of St Mary’s and believe there is definitely scope to have more stories set there in the future. I really hope the author considers it! If you are embarrassed to say the word vagina, then this book is for you. Let Alex give you a hand and go and pick up a copy today.
Content Warning: This book contains a lot of Harry Potter references so if you are uncomfortable with the fandom then please consider yourself forewarned.
Meet the Author
Flynn Meaney is the author of The Boy Recession and Bloodthirsty. She studied marketing and French at the University of Notre Dame, where she barely survived the terrifying array of priests and nuns, campus ghosts, and bone-crushing athletes who inspired Bad Habits. Since completing a very practical MFA in Poetry, she works for a French company and travels often between New York (when she’s in the mood for bagels) and Paris (when she’s in the mood for croissants).