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A novel about friendship, feminism, and the knotty complications of tradition and privilege, perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Stephanie Perkins. Jemima Kincaid is a feminist, and she thinks you should be one too. Her private school is laden with problematic traditions, but the worst of all is prom. The guys have all the agency; the girls have to wait around for prom A novel about friendship, feminism, and the knotty complications of tradition and privilege, perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Stephanie Perkins. Jemima Kincaid is a feminist, and she thinks you should be one too. Her private school is laden with problematic traditions, but the worst of all is prom. The guys have all the agency; the girls have to wait around for promposals (she's speaking heteronormatively because only the hetero kids even go). In Jemima's (very opionated) opinion, it's positively medieval. Then Jemima is named to Senior Triumvirate, alongside superstar athlete Andy and popular, manicured Gennifer, and the three must organize prom. Inspired by her feminist ideals and her desire to make a mark on the school, Jemima proposes a new structure. They'll do a Last Chance Dance: every student privately submits a list of crushes to a website that pairs them with any mutual matches. Meanwhile, Jemima finds herself embroiled in a secret romance that she craves and hates all at once. Her best friend, Jiyoon, has found romance of her own, but Jemima starts to suspect something else has caused the sudden rift between them. And is the new prom system really enough to extinguish the school's raging dumpster fire of toxic masculinity? Filled with Kate Hattemer's signature banter, this is a fast-paced and thoughtful tale about the nostalgia of senior year, the muddle of modern relationships, and how to fight the patriarchy when you just might be part of the patriarchy yourself.


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A novel about friendship, feminism, and the knotty complications of tradition and privilege, perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Stephanie Perkins. Jemima Kincaid is a feminist, and she thinks you should be one too. Her private school is laden with problematic traditions, but the worst of all is prom. The guys have all the agency; the girls have to wait around for prom A novel about friendship, feminism, and the knotty complications of tradition and privilege, perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Stephanie Perkins. Jemima Kincaid is a feminist, and she thinks you should be one too. Her private school is laden with problematic traditions, but the worst of all is prom. The guys have all the agency; the girls have to wait around for promposals (she's speaking heteronormatively because only the hetero kids even go). In Jemima's (very opionated) opinion, it's positively medieval. Then Jemima is named to Senior Triumvirate, alongside superstar athlete Andy and popular, manicured Gennifer, and the three must organize prom. Inspired by her feminist ideals and her desire to make a mark on the school, Jemima proposes a new structure. They'll do a Last Chance Dance: every student privately submits a list of crushes to a website that pairs them with any mutual matches. Meanwhile, Jemima finds herself embroiled in a secret romance that she craves and hates all at once. Her best friend, Jiyoon, has found romance of her own, but Jemima starts to suspect something else has caused the sudden rift between them. And is the new prom system really enough to extinguish the school's raging dumpster fire of toxic masculinity? Filled with Kate Hattemer's signature banter, this is a fast-paced and thoughtful tale about the nostalgia of senior year, the muddle of modern relationships, and how to fight the patriarchy when you just might be part of the patriarchy yourself.

30 review for The Feminist Agenda of Jemima Kincaid

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cozy Ink

    UGH. Okay, so at first I thought this was stupid. And then I was like oh, okay! This is pretty vapid but a good enough book. And then it sucked. So badly. So I really couldn't decipher a message here but - It's okay to be judgey! As long as you think about it like once and decide it's okay. If everyone tells you to shut up, you should probably do it! Because outing your brother is equivalent to taking down a misogynistic tradition, totally. Rigging an election is fine if you're morally right. As UGH. Okay, so at first I thought this was stupid. And then I was like oh, okay! This is pretty vapid but a good enough book. And then it sucked. So badly. So I really couldn't decipher a message here but - It's okay to be judgey! As long as you think about it like once and decide it's okay. If everyone tells you to shut up, you should probably do it! Because outing your brother is equivalent to taking down a misogynistic tradition, totally. Rigging an election is fine if you're morally right. As long as your boyfriend knows he's misogynistic, it's okay! And he doesn't need to change, either. Ultimately, this had no message. Like it was maybe a three star and then the ending was just ????? What was the point here?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Zach Foley

    Would’ve been a better book if Jiyoon was the main character.

  3. 4 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Zoë Leonarczyk The Feminist Agenda of Jemima Kincaid by Kate Hattemer is a modern-day feminist manifesto for young men and women alike. Jemima Kincaid, because with a name like that how could you not say the whole thing, is smart, witty, and over the male “agenda.” Being one part of the Senior Triumvirate, Jemima decides that this is the year she will make a difference to the problematic misogyny and toxic masculinity at her private high school C Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Zoë Leonarczyk The Feminist Agenda of Jemima Kincaid by Kate Hattemer is a modern-day feminist manifesto for young men and women alike. Jemima Kincaid, because with a name like that how could you not say the whole thing, is smart, witty, and over the male “agenda.” Being one part of the Senior Triumvirate, Jemima decides that this is the year she will make a difference to the problematic misogyny and toxic masculinity at her private high school Chawton. Jemima soon picks her target of change: the senior prom. To her, this is the absolute worst tradition as the girls are forced to wait for some epic promposal in order to get a date to the dance. And don’t even get her started on the heteronormativity of it all. So, Jemima comes up with a solution to give the females some power of attorney for prom as well as to leave an epic mark on the history of the school. Instead of just a regular prom, the Senior Triumvirate decides to throw a Last Chance Dance. Jemima must work with the other two thirds of the Senior Triumvirate, Andy the flirty athlete and Gennifer the most popular person in school, to ensure that this is the best dance Chawton has ever seen. As the three plan out the dance, they set up a private website for every person in the school to submit their crushes. And by crushes, the Triumvirate means anyone you have ever even considered liking. Once all of these are uploaded, the Last Chance portion of the new and improved prom is put into action and mutual matches between individuals are sought out. Because they must be mutual, this is all about levelling out the playing field between the guys and girls of illustrious Chawton. But, will everything go according to plan? Jemima is one of those characters you will either immediately love or hate. She is amazingly herself and not afraid to share each and every opinion she has. Especially when it comes to feminism. Jemima Kincaid lives, breathes, and practices her feministic ideologies. She’s also lucky to get through any conversation without having to point out a problem with society’s frustrating ideologies about women. But Jemima’s concerns are not only about leaving her mark on the hallways of Chawton. She’s going through senior year with a secret romance while also dealing with the fact that her best friend is pulling away from her. As Jemima spreads her gospel of woman, she must also deal with the relationships in her life. Hattemer has a very witty and sharp style of writing which pairs perfectly with Jemima Kincaid. All of the characters reflect to “typical” people you find in high school. You have the brainiacs, the athletes, the basket cases, the princesses, and the criminals. Oh wait, that’s The Breakfast Club, but you get the idea. There are the typical cliques you see in a high school, but Hattemer elevates these characters another level by pointing out the flaws and the similarities between these seniors. And, in typical Breakfast Club style, Hattemer brings three very different individuals together to form the Senior Triumvirate. Overall, The Feminist Agenda of Jemima will leave you with nostalgia of Senior Year. It has all of the anxiety and rush that comes with graduating from high school. Each member of the Senior Triumvirate is afraid to move on from Chawton and be forgotten, much like the fear of many seniors in high school. I mean, who wants to spend four years of one’s life in school only to leave the doors one day and never be remembered. To never have some sort of legacy that students will talk about for years to come. And what better legacy for Jemima Kincaid than to stick it to the man and showcase the power of women.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Miranda

    I got about 55 pages into this, and it's not bad or anything, I'm just... sort of tired of books about feminism centering on white, straight, able-bodied, upper-to-middle-class MCs. It's fine for a teen just starting out in their feminism learning, but I really want to see books about feminism that don't center young white girls anymore.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Renata

    I think. this would have been a great book for me personally to have read at age 13, and also for a lot of current teen girls struggling with internalized misogyny/Not Like Other Girls syndrome. For me as an adult reader it came across a bit didactic in pursuit of that goal. Still, it's a noble goal, and I also liked it sex positivity and pursuit of intersectionality. It bit off a lot of stuff and some of the family stuff in particular was maybe more than could be properly chewed? But maybe it's I think. this would have been a great book for me personally to have read at age 13, and also for a lot of current teen girls struggling with internalized misogyny/Not Like Other Girls syndrome. For me as an adult reader it came across a bit didactic in pursuit of that goal. Still, it's a noble goal, and I also liked it sex positivity and pursuit of intersectionality. It bit off a lot of stuff and some of the family stuff in particular was maybe more than could be properly chewed? But maybe it's enough just to hint at some parental drama without digging into it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader

    3 1/2 stars While I enjoyed this and it's a quick read, there really wasn't too much difference with the other recent YA feminist books.  However, I think we need more and that people will connect with each one differently.   Jemima annoyed me.  Yes, I said it.  But I also kind of got her.  I know there are things I need to do better.  I know I judge women based on their clothes, etc.  I try so hard to catch myself.  Jemima was worse than me though because she really didn't see that she was doing 3 1/2 stars While I enjoyed this and it's a quick read, there really wasn't too much difference with the other recent YA feminist books.  However, I think we need more and that people will connect with each one differently.   Jemima annoyed me.  Yes, I said it.  But I also kind of got her.  I know there are things I need to do better.  I know I judge women based on their clothes, etc.  I try so hard to catch myself.  Jemima was worse than me though because she really didn't see that she was doing it.  She was so vocal about women's rights, but she was a bit blind to her faults.  She really didn't like other girls.  Her friend, Jiyoon, was the only one she was close to.  She spent time with Gennifer, but they both kind of picked on each other.  Jemima is attracted to a popular boy, Andy.  He starts giving her rides home and they make out.  A lot.  But then nothing happens again until the next ride home.   Andy pissed me off, too.  I wasn't a big fan of him, even when good things came out about him.  I am happy that this was a sex positive book.  Yes, there is quite a bit of sex talk in the book.  It really did feel like things I felt in high school.  The not really knowing how to do things or knowing what is right.  But Jemima did make up her mind to have sex.  I felt a bit like she wasn't thinking enough with her brain, but she made her own choices.  This was good. My favorite characters were all the side ones.  Jiyoon was just amazing.  She called out Jemima on the things she did.  Crispin, Jemima's brother, was probably my top favorite.  I loved the focus on their relationship and the advice he gave her.  Gennifer grew on me after awhile.  I also really loved Paul, too.  The book takes place at a private school where most of the students were rich and white.  Jemima complained about it a lot.  But she was one of those kids that was so ready to graduate, but also not ready to leave high school.   As I said earlier, I did enjoy this book.  Jemima was probably what made my rating lower.  I gave this book 3  1/2 stars, rounded up to 4. This is a more mature YA that has sex topics and details.  Warnings for misogyny, racism, homophobia (talk of), privilege, slut shaming, teenage drinking.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Yeah... this book was pretty bad. I’m not going to lie, I’m disappointed that I didn’t read any reviews before starting this, because it would’ve made a big difference (like I wouldn’t have picked it up in the first place). The main character is unbearable. I get that she’s flawed, and that the point is to discuss privilege and internalised misogyny and whatnot, and to use the MC’s own flaws as a way to make her more relatable to readers, but it just became a game of “how much problematic behavio Yeah... this book was pretty bad. I’m not going to lie, I’m disappointed that I didn’t read any reviews before starting this, because it would’ve made a big difference (like I wouldn’t have picked it up in the first place). The main character is unbearable. I get that she’s flawed, and that the point is to discuss privilege and internalised misogyny and whatnot, and to use the MC’s own flaws as a way to make her more relatable to readers, but it just became a game of “how much problematic behaviour can we excuse under the guise of writing this Super Important book?” And clearly the answer was “quite a lot” because this just never, ever got better. It was a constant battle between the MC doing or saying something horribly problematic and then having her issues pointed out by an endlessly patient WOC, all for the cycle to start up again in the next chapter. They pretended to give the token WOC a story arc outside of the MC’s, but it turns out we have no idea who she is or why we should care. The rest of the characters aren’t any better. They’re barely two dimensional, and I still have no idea what the point of the book was. No one changed or evolved or became better (or even worse?) by the end. Everything just vaguely happened, and then it was over, and nothing changed except the endless passage of time. Who were these people? What was their motivation? Why should I care? The answer is pretty simple: it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter, IT DOES NOT MATTER. There are plenty of writers doing the whole SJW/ feminist thing well in YA, and it would be a shame to waste your time and energy reading something that barely does it at all.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Luna

    2.5 stars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Corey

    I think this was the first time I ever saw a feminist book that actually set feminism decades back. The main character was extremely annoying and the supporting cast didn't have enough personality either. I wanted to like this book but I couldn't get past the horrible dialogues and the main character's thoughts. This completely and accurately portrays most teenagers now on the feminism bandwagon-- the ones who instead of asking for equal rights want women to be the rulers and think of men as dis I think this was the first time I ever saw a feminist book that actually set feminism decades back. The main character was extremely annoying and the supporting cast didn't have enough personality either. I wanted to like this book but I couldn't get past the horrible dialogues and the main character's thoughts. This completely and accurately portrays most teenagers now on the feminism bandwagon-- the ones who instead of asking for equal rights want women to be the rulers and think of men as disgusting toads. Feminism is about equality. It doesn't mean that you have to go to extremes like dyeing your pits blue or boycotting prom because not everything needs to be turned into a social or political issue. Kincaid definitely kept overthinking things and blowing things out of proportion. She was constantly on this rampage even when people weren't even against her.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Iz

    this was actually a big surprise, in a good way! at the beginning of the book, Jemima had a really horrible way of thinking about other girls, but she actually grew and changed and recognized her flawed mindset. the only thing that I thought could have been addressed more was the kind of mildly racist mindset Jemima had. but generally, this book was good and surprising and definitely worth the read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Raquel Silva

    This was a book that tried to be everything and failed. It’s neither feminist, sisterhood, young adult, romance or pro anything. It just felt like it tried to hard to be cool and still doesn’t get it: poser. At the end of the book still did not like the main character.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    Jemima is one-third of the student governing body at her exclusive private school. She tries to take measures to confront some stereotypes and misogyny that surround some of their school traditions, but instead ends up in the middle of a scandal. This is 14 plus for sexual content, but the author is also a high school teacher, so the dialog and relationships are very realistic and authentic.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Isabel

    I didn't even get to page 30 before I simply couldn't take it anymore. This book was an absolute atrocity. "I should note that I, too, am white. And straight. And wealthy, or my parents are. But despite these disadvantages, I do my best not to be a horrible person. I was a feminist before it was trendy." This book came off to me like an incredibly privileged person desperately trying to find something to be oppressed about. She is ranting about how her classmate, Gennifer, is white, blond, we I didn't even get to page 30 before I simply couldn't take it anymore. This book was an absolute atrocity. "I should note that I, too, am white. And straight. And wealthy, or my parents are. But despite these disadvantages, I do my best not to be a horrible person. I was a feminist before it was trendy." This book came off to me like an incredibly privileged person desperately trying to find something to be oppressed about. She is ranting about how her classmate, Gennifer, is white, blond, wealthy, pretty, thin, straight, etc. and how that makes her a bad person, when Jemima is literally the EXACT SAME. In what world is being white, straight, going to a prestigious private school that costs the same amount as a freaking private college a disadvantage??? "Sometimes he acted like a chauvinistic asshat just to annoy me. And then he sometimes acted like a chauvinistic asshat because he was a white, straight, wealthy eighteen-year-old guy, and chauvinistic asshatery was basically his birthright." I hate the mentality that Jemima is the only white, wealthy, straight person who isn't a complete asshole (when, in all reality, she's the biggest asshole in the entire book). Obviously there are many people who are terrible people and follow those descriptions, but then again, there are plenty of people who fall under those descriptions and are still great people. Jemima keeps limiting the other people in her senior committee (or whatever it's called) to how they look, saying that they are only in it because they are blond, tan, thin, hot, athletic, etc. whereas she earned her place because she's a "nerd." "Gennifer is what you'd get if you googled 'perfect American girl': white and blond and thin. She has perfect teeth, which, like her, are white and straight and polished. Sometimes her prettiness made me think she was dumb. She's not. She is just about the opposite of dumb." ISN'T THAT EXACTLY WHAT YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO AS A FEMINIST?? THINK THAT JUST BECAUSE A GIRL IS PRETTY, SHE IS THEREFORE STUPID????? God, the hypocrisy is HORRIBLE. Gennifer is nothing but a stereotype, being the pretty skinny white blond girl that is a hopeless flirt. I got so sick and tired of stupid Jemima hating Andy and yet being hopelessly attracted to him. It's an actual joke, and a terrible one at that. Something tells me that they are 100% going to be in a relationship and I haven't even passed page 30. Let me just give a few examples... "If he hadn't grinned at me, I'd have picked up that shampoo and hurled it at his handsome face. But he grinned and it was over. That was what happened every time. Andy's magical grin." "He bowed. I smiled. I killed that smile so fast, but he saw it. I knew he did. Damn it. Andy freaking Monroe." "...I was distracted by the pleasant bulge of Andy's biceps. He'd taken off his tie and rolled up his sleeves. He had nice forearms. Lean, tanned, golden-haired..." "He smiled at me and I felt a rush of warmth, a cozy and anticipatory stirring, like when you get home and you smell dinner before you open the door and that's when you realize how hungry you are." And then there's stuff like this in the book that I don't even have words for. "...said Andy, licking his fork in a way that was positively pornographic." The author is trying too hard to be progressive with the LGBTQ+ community, and bluntly stating every single person's sexuality despite it always being straight. She mentions something about how prom is an event that is largely influenced by heteronormality and only the heterosexual couples go. This isn't true. Plenty of homosexual couples go to prom together; it's not outlawed. But this prom comment made by Jemima wasn't the point; the point was that she's trying too hard to mention how oppressed gay people are while still acting upon those stereotypes. For example, she said that every girl at the school was after Andy. Put aside generalizations that just because they're female then they must be attracted to Andy because he's good-looking, but that's pretty assuming of every single girl in the school being straight, now isn't it? Then there's Jemima's "brilliant" prom idea, that's definitely straight couple directed too. This is all, of course, besides the fact that the book fails to include a single LGBTQ+ character anyways. There's awkwardly put things, like instead of putting "we cackled" it just put the words "cackle, cackle." As in, after the joke (a very not funny male private parts joke), it literally just said "Cackle, cackle." And the author seemed to not like putting complete sentences. Rather than putting "the conversation briefly ceased" she just put "Conversation briefly ceased." And here we are with Jemima being a shameless "not like other girls" girl, because she's so qUiRkY because she uses words like "succor" and says things like "Flee this accursed place!" I also got annoyed at how every single bit of dialogue was attached to a "said." I counted over twenty bits of dialogue with said in a row until it finally granted me with a "suggested" until it repeated the same pattern all over again. And, just a side complaint, but I hate the names of people in this book. Jemima? Crispin? Gennifer? Terrible. Here's a website I would like to send the author; it has over 300 wonderful ways to say said: http://www.spwickstrom.com/said In conclusion, I would never recommend this book to anybody. Not a single person. I wouldn't recommend it to a non-feminist because I would never want them to have the idea that that's what every feminist is like. I wouldn't recommend it to a feminist either, because just through the first 30 pages I know that, without a doubt, that this is the first feminist novel I've read that sets feminism back a couple of decades. I just wanted to read a book that dealt with actual sexist issues, not one of the most privileged people ever desperately searching for ways to be oppressed. Jemima is the kind of person to accuse a man of being sexist for holding the door open for her at a grocery store, when he was just trying to be kind because he noticed how her arms were full with groceries. That's not feminism. None of this is feminism. It is just straight up garbage that is not worthy of the paper it's printed on. Don't waste your time with this one. If you want to read a YA feminist novel, I highly recommend "Rules for Being A Girl" by Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jill Heather

    Feminist but has somehow never considered even basic things like "slut shaming" and "not like other girls syndrome" even though her best friend complains about her tendencies there? Nah.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Madeleine Sullivan

    Okay. LOTS OF THOUGHTS, but definitely 3.5 stars. Was this book boring?? No! Which is why I give it the extra .5. This book was just such a 2013 era feminist book and I’m so. bored. of those type of white feminism centered books. The author in the back even said she used to be a huge white feminist so I think this book was one huge self insert for her to write about what she used to be like. The book centers Jemima who is rich and white and thinks she’s a feminist. Maybe I wouldn’t have been so Okay. LOTS OF THOUGHTS, but definitely 3.5 stars. Was this book boring?? No! Which is why I give it the extra .5. This book was just such a 2013 era feminist book and I’m so. bored. of those type of white feminism centered books. The author in the back even said she used to be a huge white feminist so I think this book was one huge self insert for her to write about what she used to be like. The book centers Jemima who is rich and white and thinks she’s a feminist. Maybe I wouldn’t have been so mad if she had changed sooner?? But she constantly slut shames and gets called out by her best friend for it (who isn’t even that good of a friend) so the book feels like it goes into circles in terms of character development. This book would have been great in 2013, but not in 2020 when we expect feminism that is broad and addresses the treatment and well being of all women! I will say that Jemima DOES act like some high school white feminists that haven’t grown and learned yet, it’s just that this book alone does not set a good example for how people still stuck in their outdated views of feminisms can grow and become better.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Thanks to the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it has taken me an embarrassingly long time to get any reading done lately (curse you, Tom Nook!). This review in particular has been a long time coming, as I've had this book in my To-Read list for a while. While it wasn't the type of suspenseful page-turner that usually helps me finish a book fairly quickly, I did really enjoy the story and overall message. I think YA literature that discusses sex, feminism, and intersectionality is very Thanks to the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it has taken me an embarrassingly long time to get any reading done lately (curse you, Tom Nook!). This review in particular has been a long time coming, as I've had this book in my To-Read list for a while. While it wasn't the type of suspenseful page-turner that usually helps me finish a book fairly quickly, I did really enjoy the story and overall message. I think YA literature that discusses sex, feminism, and intersectionality is very important, especially in the era of Me Too. This book is full of delightful and realistic characters, and has the ability to spark a great discussion about modern feminism. The Feminist Agenda of Jemima Kincaid follows the story of Jemima Kincaid, a senior at an elite private school known as Chawton. Until recent years, Chawton was known as an all-boys school, eventually merging with an all-girls school known as Ansel Academy for Girls. With this merger came a whole heap of sexist practices, something Jemima Kincaid has made it her life mission to fix. As a member of the senior Triumvirate (along with her friends Andy and Gennifer), it is up to Jemima to plan large events like prom and the annual Powderpuff football game. This year, Jemima has some big ideas about how to shake up the school prom, planning to let every student make a list of crushes to be paired with for the dance. When all of the entries get leaked, however, Jemima finds herself in a sticky situation. Add to this the stress of her complicated feelings for Andy (who was, as it turns out, the only name she wrote down), and Jemima is in for a senior year she will never forget. First of all, I have to say that I absolutely love how this book handles conversations about feminism. At the beginning of the book, Jemima considers herself to be a "hardcore feminist," to the point where even her friends refer to her as the "Jeminist." She scoffs at all things "Old" and "White" and "Male," while also sticking her nose up at the popular cheerleader girls conforming to the patriarchy. Initially, Jemima represents the stereotypical feminist, dying her armpit hair blue and generally snarking on anything she deems to be sexist or patriarchal. As the book progresses, however, she begins to develop more as a character, realizing that there is no one right way to be a feminist or to stick up for women. I loved this idea, as I think it's important for women and girls to stick together rather than tearing one another down, a lesson Jemima has to learn over the course of the story. For example, at the beginning Jemima has a very strained relationship with Gennifer, another member of the Triumvirate. Jemima views Gennifer as being the stereotypical air-headed popular girl, but begins to realize that Gennifer is actually extremely smart and willing to back her up when the going gets tough. Similarly, Jemima tends to dismiss her best friend Jiyoon, never even considering her as a potential candidate for senior class chairman (because, in her words, it's pointless for girls to even try running and she won't stand a chance). Jemima's "feminist agenda" starts out being very superficial, consisting of a lot of complaining and very little action or self reflection. She eventually learns, however, that real feminism looks a lot more like sticking up for your fellow woman, building her up and encouraging her as a teammate instead of tearing her down. I think this is an incredibly important message for teens to hear, as our modern society tends to pit women against each other as "competition," constantly comparing women based on the way they act, look, and think. Another topic I think this book handles well is sex. Sex in YA literature can often feel uncomfortable for me, as I am an adult woman reading about teenagers having sex (it's a little icky). I do, however, appreciate when a book can discuss sex in a healthy, matter-of-fact way, without glorifying it or fear-mongering to its audience. In this book, sex is simply one part of Jemima's journey, as she moves from "making out," to giving oral sex, to "going all the way" with a guy she has complicated feelings for. Sex and sexual desire are represented as simply being a normal thing that everyone experiences, and the sex scenes themselves are in no way romanticized; they are just presented as realistic encounters. The book even mentions masturbation at the beginning, usually a taboo subject in literature aimed at young people. I personally think it's a very healthy thing to discuss, and reading a book like this might help take away the stigma of shame that often accompanies sexual exploration for teenage girls. I also like that this book seems to debunk the myth that having sex with someone will form a "life-long attachment you can never get over," something I was actually told in my sex ed classes in high school. Instead, Jemima explores different sexual acts with Andy, but never starts an actual relationship with him. In fact, by the end of the story, we have no idea whether or not they will reconcile or form a relationship at all, as it ends with Jemima spending time with her friends instead of going to prom. While my romance-driven heart was saddened by this, I like that this plot is left open-ended, as it represents a more realistic view of teenage relationships. In reality, the first person you sleep with might not be your soulmate, and real relationships are messy and uncertain. Both Jemima and Andy deal with a lot of inner turmoil, having moments where they seem to be on the same page and moments where they're at each others' throats. The most important thing, however, is the book emphasizes that it is ultimately Jemima's choice how far she goes, and which lines can and cannot be crossed. Even better, Andy seems to respect this, never forcing himself on her and asking for consent before they finally have sex. While this book is geared more towards girls than boys, I think consent is a CRUCIAL topic when discussing sex in YA literature. There is even a section of the book where Jemima ponders the social construct of virginity, and decides that there really is no line between "saint" and "slut;" it all depends on how you view your own sexual experiences and desires. This is also extremely important, as too many young teens and women are exposed to "slut shaming," making them feel terrible for taking agency over their own sex lives. Ultimately, it is not society's ideas that matter, but what each of us feel comfortable with on an individual level. I commend Hattemer for tackling this topic, and I think she did a great job. While there isn't a ton of LGBT representation in this book, I really appreciate Jemima's brother Crispin, who is an excellent example of both a great big brother and casual LGBT representation. Crispin is gay, and while the book alludes to the fact that he sometimes had a hard time in high school, nobody seems to make a big deal about the fact that he is gay. In fact, the only controversy he faces throughout the book is the fact that he's dating his coworker in secret, which may cause him to lose his job if his supervisor finds out. Crispin is also an incredible older brother, offering advice and comfort to Jemima as she struggles with her identity and sexual exploration. He encourages her to "think about what she really wants" before going too far, and also gently reminds her throughout the book to rein in some of her over-the-top ideas and schemes. Their relationship is incredibly sweet, and I found myself wishing I'd grown up with a protective older brother like Crispin as I read. Lastly, I want to touch on Jiyoon, who is another important character when it comes to both representation and intersectional feminism. As Jemima's best friend, Jiyoon serves as a constant reminder to Jemima that feminism encompasses much more than just "straight white female." Near the beginning of the book, Jemima reflects on the privilege that allowed her wealthy parents to afford her education, while Jiyoon is on scholarship. Additionally, Jiyoon is Asian-American, and is often stereotyped to be "smart and nothing else." Jemima herself has to reconcile with the sexist notion that "girls cannot be both popular and smart," leading her to initially dismiss the idea that her friend could ever become the senior chairman. Once again, Jemima learns a valuable lesson about treating other women as individuals rather than cookie cutter stereotypes, and valuing them for who they are rather than placing them into convenient categories. Jiyoon and Jemima's friendship hits a lot of bumps and curves throughout the book, but the two always manage to forgive one another and have each other's backs. Anyone who reads my reviews knows how much I appreciate strong female friendships in YA, and this was no exception! The Feminist Agenda of Jemima Kincaid tackles issues like feminism and sex in a witty, humorous way that never once feels preachy or overdone. I genuinely found myself laughing out loud at some of the snarky things Jemima says throughout the book, and I really appreciated the light-hearted mood it evoked. Though Jemima acknowledges that high school drama feels life-altering and horrible in the moment, Hattemer also seems to be telling the reader that it's okay not to have everything figured out in high school. Like any coming of age novel, this book showcases a time in most adolescent lives that is later remembered fondly, a time when everyone is trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be. The characters all learn a lot, but nothing is too serious or too awful to be fixed with some communication, and I think the novel shows us a very realistic (if light-hearted) slice of high school life. Add in the frank and healthy discussions about feminism, prejudice, and sex, and this book makes for an entertaining read with even greater messages. I would gladly recommend it to any teenage girl trying to find herself, especially one struggling with identity, self reflection, or sexuality. I think this book offers a lot of interesting ideas ripe for healthy discussion, and it does so in a fun and humorous way. I look forward to reading more of Kate Hattemer's work in the future.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rosie

    I got what the book was trying to do and I think that like it sort of did that maybe but god it was horrible to read. The Mason character sucked like they were so annoying. It was very offensive and physically sicking in parts. Like what the hell she was like offended by her boyfriends actions but he distracted her with sex and he was just so yummy who could blame her for not caring. I just and she was so self centered didn't care about the terrible way she treated the people around her. She was I got what the book was trying to do and I think that like it sort of did that maybe but god it was horrible to read. The Mason character sucked like they were so annoying. It was very offensive and physically sicking in parts. Like what the hell she was like offended by her boyfriends actions but he distracted her with sex and he was just so yummy who could blame her for not caring. I just and she was so self centered didn't care about the terrible way she treated the people around her. She was just forgiven by everyone cause at least she was trying right like what no... And I understand that's how people are but god it is not something I want to waste hours of my life by reading. Also the super cool shut up and deal with narrative that shadowed this story was like kind of offensive like if those teachers new and participated in that powderpuff event they deserve some sort of like comupance like that should be stopped. I'm just really mad. And grossed out. Eww.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kerri

    I didn't like Jemima very much for most of the book, then I realized she didn't like herself very much either. Maybe that is the point, women are hardwired to be in constant critique and we are the first person we see each day and the last each evening. No wonder we are so hard on ourselves.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Jiyoon is a treasure. The rest... felt like it tried to be nuanced, but didn't quite grow enough to get past its (and its characters') shallowness.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ann Rees

    2 1/2 Yes, the point is that Jemima is lowkey terrible and wrong about a bunch of things. Okay. But in 2020 a lot of this info isn’t exactly groundbreaking. There are some good quotes here and there, but the icky love interest and the nagging feeling that this book could’ve been a lot better if it starred Jiyoon kept this from being worthwhile.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    Truthfully my rating would be 3.5 stars. I like this books for its light fluffy story. It is not too heavy or deep. It does ask some interesting questions about checking our on bias and those that we have been taught by society especially in high school. This quick read does contain some sexual situations and also discusses a spectrum of what sex is. Unlike many private school books Jemima's family is a part of the story especially her older brother who is used as a confidant for her. I think at Truthfully my rating would be 3.5 stars. I like this books for its light fluffy story. It is not too heavy or deep. It does ask some interesting questions about checking our on bias and those that we have been taught by society especially in high school. This quick read does contain some sexual situations and also discusses a spectrum of what sex is. Unlike many private school books Jemima's family is a part of the story especially her older brother who is used as a confidant for her. I think at parts the book could have went a little deeper some of Jemima's emotions and attitudes feel light. Overall I would recommend this book for anyone looking for a good beach read or just a morning alone. This review is thanks to an ARC from Netgalley.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    A lot of you are talking about how annoying Jemima was, how much better Jiyoon was, and how problematic so many of Jemima's views were. I agree 100%. However, I don't think that necessarily makes this a bad book. I think this book is valuable because it projects some of our own problematic views out of us in such a way that we can recognize them as problematic and then apply them to our own lives. I don't love Jemima, and I don't agree with all of her choices, but I can empathize with someone wh A lot of you are talking about how annoying Jemima was, how much better Jiyoon was, and how problematic so many of Jemima's views were. I agree 100%. However, I don't think that necessarily makes this a bad book. I think this book is valuable because it projects some of our own problematic views out of us in such a way that we can recognize them as problematic and then apply them to our own lives. I don't love Jemima, and I don't agree with all of her choices, but I can empathize with someone who is learning how to actually be the intersectional feminist she claims to be. I'm not sure if all of you remember exactly what it's like to be that young and that confused, but I certainly do. Jemima feels hurt and angry about the sexism that surrounds her, but she's still vulnerable to falling prey to sexist behaviors like shaming other girls like Ghennifer. I love Ghennifer and Jiyoon and Paul, but I think Jemima's experiences in this book still have value, and that they're still something we can learn from.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Makayla Aysien

    I'm a sucker for strong women, and especially ones who are young and already standing up for what they believe in. That's why I immediately started reading this book as soon as I learned of its existence, but I quickly learned that this book wasn't anything worth our time. The entire time, I kept oscillating between thinking "Oh, that's soooooo relatable, and thinking that the author kept spouting messages nobody should leave this book believing. It would have been fine if the main character, Je I'm a sucker for strong women, and especially ones who are young and already standing up for what they believe in. That's why I immediately started reading this book as soon as I learned of its existence, but I quickly learned that this book wasn't anything worth our time. The entire time, I kept oscillating between thinking "Oh, that's soooooo relatable, and thinking that the author kept spouting messages nobody should leave this book believing. It would have been fine if the main character, Jemima, had actually had meaningful character development in the end. I had such high hopes for this book, and at every turn, I kept expecting the plot to change, or the main character to make a different decision or have a new thought that would actually leave readers with a real message to take away from reading this book. There were so many options, and the synopsis even highlights a few good ones: for starters, feminism, but also "sisterhood", race, inequality in educational opportunities, young love, discovering our own sexuality, and many, many more. Every single one of them fell short, and it was massively disappointing. Another reviewer commented on how this book was trying to be too many things, and as we can tell, the list is rather long. I don't think the author couldn't handle this many subjects, but that doesn't mean this novel couldn't have incorporated all of them. It was sad to see subjects like race mentioned lightly when the intention was to be profound. All of these issues resulted like that, honestly, and I felt like I knew less about feminism as I finished this book. The only two good things about this book are Jiyoon and Jemima Kincaid's name, because that's a pretty fantastic name. A lot of people have commented that this book would have been better if it was in Jiyoon's point of view, and I would have to completely agree with that. Not only was Jiyoon socially aware, but she was the one who ran for the student government position when no woman had ever won in the history of their school. She dealt with and educated Jemima, all the while killing it in school and starting to date the only guy in school who wasn't a massive asshole. The list of problematic content is much larger. First, and one of what tries to be a central theme, is Jemima's unconscious sexism. She constantly puts other girls down and her best friend JIYOON has to call her out for her sexist behavior. Sure, Jemima learns this and tries to control it better, but her development in this area is ridiculously halfhearted. That is the most developed theme of the entire novel. This makes me wonder if it's even ethical to publish novels that don't actually deliver the message. The end is also Jemima saying that she learns to "shut her big mouth". Are you kidding me? I thought you wanted to be heard, be someone who speaks up for women. Why on Earth was this your concluding lessen? The other thing that left me absolutely horrified is the second time Jemima had sex with Andy. She did it knowing how sexist he and all of the guys at the school were. He admitted to dividing the Powderpuff teams according to a girl's breasts or her butt, and wrote it off as not a big deal. He even said that they needed to learn how to take a joke. I couldn't be more appalled. Phrases like that are classic ways people, who undeniably did something wrong, try to blame other people. It's unhealthy, and wildly problematic. Even after this, she's left wondering if maybe Andy is a good guy. He put her name, and only her name, down as his desired date for prom. That's redeeming, right? Barf. I gave this two stars instead of one because this book raises a lot of questions about what feminism should look like. I think that it shows that putting other women down because they look "girly", care about their appearance, or want to date, is inherently not feminist. I don't think the author approaches or concludes the subject in a good way, but it does get us thinking about the important issues. Also, why is this compared to a Stephanie Perkins novel? The "romance" between Jemima and Andy repulsed me the entire way, and the novel's "central themes" didn't seem like they were about Jemima finding a romantic partner. Don't defile Stephanie Perkins like this; she's so much less problematic.

  24. 5 out of 5

    The Bookish Faerie

    Thank you to @times.reads for sending me this ARC. It will be for sale in bookstores starting 18th February 2020. The Feminist Agenda of Jemima Kincaid tells the story of Jemima Kincaid's senior year and her agenda of how to fight for women's rights in her super problematic private high school by being a feminist. As she is the Senior Triumvirate, she has the power to invoke change and a voice that people will hear regardless if they want to or not because she has the stage and mike, literally. I Thank you to @times.reads for sending me this ARC. It will be for sale in bookstores starting 18th February 2020. The Feminist Agenda of Jemima Kincaid tells the story of Jemima Kincaid's senior year and her agenda of how to fight for women's rights in her super problematic private high school by being a feminist. As she is the Senior Triumvirate, she has the power to invoke change and a voice that people will hear regardless if they want to or not because she has the stage and mike, literally. In the Triumvirate, we have star athlete and golden boy Andy and popularity princess Gennifer. It is the end of the school year, and the responsibility of the most anticipated event in High School falls to the trio - PROM. Sick of the double standards and rules that were written by those who are dead, she is inspired to reinvent prom into something less medieval, it is named Last Chance Dance. Every year, girls wait around for a "promposal" while guys get their pick of the fish they want. But Jemima, girls can also ask guys to prom, it is 2020, helloooo. Sure. There are some who do that. But some who do, they get slut-shammed for being direct with a boy they like whereas, if a boy asks a girl, it is romantic. This year, it will be fair to all. Last Chance Dance requires students to sign in to a website to key in a list of people they are interested and the system keep it private and match them together. Of course, students can go old school too and stay off the tech because WhO pUtS PrIvAtE iNfOrMaTiOn LiKe ThAt OnLiNe?!! Chawton High School does. Meantime, Jemima is intertwined in a hush-hush romance with the school's golden boy which she hates and yearns for all at once. And her best friend since childhood, Jiyoon develops a romance of her own, a bridge stars to build between them slowly. Senior year, drama, and a school filled with toxic masculinity. I wonder who will last for graduation. This book focuses a lot about high school government politics and toxicity that we sometimes don't notice. From being a feminist to a misogynistic and the process of losing a friend and making up again. Kate Hattemer's got you covered. Speaking of cover, this book cover is so cool! Thank you once more to @times.reads for the ARC!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Jemima Kincaid is smart, witty, and confident. A longtime feminist, she's part of her class's leadership team, the Triumvirate, she has grown increasingly troubled by some of the school's misogynistic traditions. In a bid to change things while also gaining some recognition, she comes up with an idea for the prom--a Last Chance Dance in which all of her classmates list their romantic interests for a website that then matches them up with whoever listed them as well. At first things go well until Jemima Kincaid is smart, witty, and confident. A longtime feminist, she's part of her class's leadership team, the Triumvirate, she has grown increasingly troubled by some of the school's misogynistic traditions. In a bid to change things while also gaining some recognition, she comes up with an idea for the prom--a Last Chance Dance in which all of her classmates list their romantic interests for a website that then matches them up with whoever listed them as well. At first things go well until someone hacks the coded information for the students and their submissions and makes it public. Through it all, Jemima is fighting her physical attraction to Andy Monroe, a fellow Triumvirate leader, and their relationship goes from witty banter to knees touching during meetings to even more intimate encounters. But the physical stuff is kept secret, and Jemima isn't sure what any of it means. Meanwhile, her best friend Jiyoon is falling in love for the first time and has decided to run for Triumvirate chair. Jemima finds herself feeling jealous of Jiyoon's relationship and ashamed that she never saw her as a viable candidate for the position. Then, too, she starts to realize that many of her comments about her female peers and her judgment of how they dress and act just might be as misogynistic as the attitudes of the males at her school and the school alums she dubs Old White Dudes. There are several examples of messy ethics in this book, and the author raises quite a few questions about what it means to be a feminist and how hard it can be to really know oneself. I wish she'd included a bit more about Jemima's internal struggles and how she resolved some of them, but I give her plaudits for covering some unconventional territory in an entertaining way. Not only is there much snark in this book, but there are some very steamy scenes between Jemima and Andy that might remind older readers of their own sexual awakening. As Jemima begins to recognize, it's often hard to make changes when you yourself might be more part of the problem than you realized.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Liralen

    Hattemer's books have to date been hit or miss for me: I couldn't make it through The Land of 10,000 Madonnas, loved The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy, and found The Feminist Agenda of Jemima Kincaid to be...somewhere in the middle. You've met Jemima before: she's that girl who is loud and proud about being a feminist but has a very narrow view of what 'feminism' encompasses. She's eager to call others to task but is unprepared to take what she dishes out. She's not a bad person, but she's yo Hattemer's books have to date been hit or miss for me: I couldn't make it through The Land of 10,000 Madonnas, loved The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy, and found The Feminist Agenda of Jemima Kincaid to be...somewhere in the middle. You've met Jemima before: she's that girl who is loud and proud about being a feminist but has a very narrow view of what 'feminism' encompasses. She's eager to call others to task but is unprepared to take what she dishes out. She's not a bad person, but she's young. She's getting there. The thing is: Jemima isn't meant to be an entirely likable character, and I appreciate that. She has to do some growing-up over the course of the book; she has to be told, repeatedly, that slut-shaming isn't a good look; she has to figure out how to align her actions with her ideals. So...it makes it harder to root for her in places, but it also makes her markedly more interesting. This whole matching scheme with the dance, though: aiiiiii. The quick-and-dirty version: Jemima & co. decide to develop the high school version of Tinder in order to clue people in to their mutual crushes. But you can see the train wreck coming from miles off—it's just a matter of what form it'll take—and when the wreck happens, it's immediately clear who's responsible. There are so many little safeguards they could have put in to limit abuse of the system! Start by capping the number of names one can put down (can't you just imagine some guy putting down the name of every girl he can think of, not because he's interested but because he wants to know who's included him on their lists?)...and then, if you're going to make a big fuss about how this is a time to think outside the box, maybe put down more than one name yourself. Anyway. That's sort of beside the point. It's a fun book...but I'm going to keep reading Hattemer in the hopes of another Vigilante Poets rather than another Feminist Agenda.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Julianne

    This story is not one that I disliked throughout its entirety, or that lacked any admirable qualities at all, but simply put, this was not a piece of literature, it was a half-formed message about white feminism that happened to have some characters who talked at each other sometimes. Now, from the beginning, despite my dislike of the protagonist, I was drawn in because of my personal similarity to her. I saw myself in her feminist rants that, while not untrue, had no place in conversation and m This story is not one that I disliked throughout its entirety, or that lacked any admirable qualities at all, but simply put, this was not a piece of literature, it was a half-formed message about white feminism that happened to have some characters who talked at each other sometimes. Now, from the beginning, despite my dislike of the protagonist, I was drawn in because of my personal similarity to her. I saw myself in her feminist rants that, while not untrue, had no place in conversation and made others uncomfortable. I felt called out by the way she talked too much, judged others without realizing it, and tried to correct herself but continued to fail. While annoying, she’s very real and unapologetically herself. This book makes some very interesting points about internalized misogyny and privilege that I did take a moment to consider. However, any useful real-world connections were nullified by the complete lack of any dynamic characters, plot, or satisfying ending. This author wrote a page’s worth of ideas about feminism and white blindness and then surrounded it with a couple sex scenes and the protagonist begging/waiting for a ride home from school. The audience never truly gets to understand who any of the character are- what drives them or what relationships are important to them. Nor do we learn what the purpose or lesson of nearly any of their actions were. It was an okay read for a couple hours of entertainment, but it contains no real storytelling. I’m all for debating the necessity and pitfalls of modern day feminism, but if that is your only goal in writing a novel, then an article is a much better alternative.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle Draxler

    2 1/2 stars. I liked the intent more than the actual book though. Here's another white straight able-bodied upper/middle class female main character trying to take down the patriarchy with her sarcasm and willingness to disagree. most of the time I find this perfectly acceptable. But she just kind of seemed to give up on her issues most of the time. She didn't do anything about the sexist dress code except for complain about it and then stop talking when her teacher called her out. She didn't ad 2 1/2 stars. I liked the intent more than the actual book though. Here's another white straight able-bodied upper/middle class female main character trying to take down the patriarchy with her sarcasm and willingness to disagree. most of the time I find this perfectly acceptable. But she just kind of seemed to give up on her issues most of the time. She didn't do anything about the sexist dress code except for complain about it and then stop talking when her teacher called her out. She didn't address the secret sexist agenda of the Powderpuff football game because she wanted to enjoy the last big moment of senior year. She just kind of seemed to give up so that she could enjoy the things which is the exact opposite of taking down the patriarchy because you benefit from it while someone else doesn't. She even has these moments of body consiousness where she hates something about herself and then internally is like "no F society standards and body shaming"... but then continues to think it about herself anyway. It just really didn't feel like she "accomplished" anything with her said "agenda." Positive points: Great use of vocabulary and wit. The best friend character Jiyoon is awesome. It is pretty sex positive in that it talks about sexual experiences as a spectrum and tackles any "slut-shaming" tendencies immediately. Her brother is gay and he's pretty cool as a character and as a brother.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Harry Brandicourt

    The Feminist Agenda of Jemima Kincaid by Kate Hattemer is a fast, fun, and interesting read - especially for an OWD (old white dude). I am a member of the patriarchy - the group that is the stated target of the main protagonist. This is a combination of absolutely no effort on my part and perhaps not enough work to resist that reality. With the progressive waves of feminism even OWDs are starting to wake up and notice the inherent biases and inequalities that face women in our male-dominated soc The Feminist Agenda of Jemima Kincaid by Kate Hattemer is a fast, fun, and interesting read - especially for an OWD (old white dude). I am a member of the patriarchy - the group that is the stated target of the main protagonist. This is a combination of absolutely no effort on my part and perhaps not enough work to resist that reality. With the progressive waves of feminism even OWDs are starting to wake up and notice the inherent biases and inequalities that face women in our male-dominated society. We all need to join in getting towards more equality among the sexes. Lots of times that work is hard and stressful and more than a little messy. In contrast - this book brought some easy perspective and awareness into what I imagine is the reality of a senior high school girl. The considerations and concerns described as Jemima goes through relationships, what to wear, and how she looks were completely foreign to my experience. I cannot speak to whether this work of fiction is an accurate representation or not - I assumed it was. Either way, it was a good story, well written, very funny - and at the same time made me think and consider a different perspective. I would recommend it to any other OWDs that want to get a bit more nuanced view of the reality from a young feminists perspective.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Colline Vinay Kook-Chun

    The Feminist Agenda of Jemima Kincaid is a novel about an emerging young woman who learns to take a look at herself and at the way other people see her. Jemima learns that she needs to take a step back and think about what – and who – is important to her and who she wants to have in her life. As suggested in the title, the concept of feminism plays a role in the novel. Jemima comes to understand what true feminism is. It is not about being the antithesis of femininity. Instead, it is about knowin The Feminist Agenda of Jemima Kincaid is a novel about an emerging young woman who learns to take a look at herself and at the way other people see her. Jemima learns that she needs to take a step back and think about what – and who – is important to her and who she wants to have in her life. As suggested in the title, the concept of feminism plays a role in the novel. Jemima comes to understand what true feminism is. It is not about being the antithesis of femininity. Instead, it is about knowing who you are, being comfortable with it, and supporting other women who express themselves in ways that are comfortable to them. She comes to realise that a woman can be feminine – and still fight the patriarchy. She also comes to the realisation that her reactions might just be supporting the patriarchal system. Hattemer has shared with us a story that is a life story – not a love story. It is a story that centres on the message that girls can empower and support one another in subtle ways and, in so doing, work against the patriarchal system. The Feminist Agenda of Jemima Kincaid is a coming of age novel that is a perfect read for those thinking about what type of person they want to be in our society. It is also a story which shows the importance of supporting other young women.

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