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179: Book-to-Screen Adaptation - Jennifer Matthieu's MOXIE

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

In this Unabridged Podcast episode, we discuss the Netflix screen adaptation of Jennifer Mathieu's Moxie. We discuss the book and the adaptation and what we thought of each, so check out the adaptation, and then give this discussion a listen! We also share our Bookish Check-ins and, in our Give Me One, we talk about a thing we each like to do by on our own. Let us know on social media: What is something you enjoy doing by yourself?

Bookish Check-in

Ashley - Alan Bradley’s The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie ( | )

Jen - Zora Neale Hurston’s Dust Tracks on a Road (narrated by Bahni Turpin) ( | )

Sara - Joshilyn Jackson’s Never Have I Ever ( | )

Mentioned in Episode

Mira Jacob’s Good Talk ( | )

Joshilyn Jackson’s The Almost Sisters ( | )

Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Are Watching God ( | )

Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist ( | )

Give Me One - Thing You Like to Do by Yourself

Listen in to hear our choices, and join us on social media to share your thoughts!

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Bookish Check-in

Book cover of Alan Bradley's The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Ashley said, "So, I shared about this one on Instagram recently. So, Sara and Jen will know, but I am looking for comfort reads. I've been talking about that on my account and have shared a little bit on here, but we have a lot of tumult in our family life right now. So I found that I was reading a lot of romances, which I was really enjoying, but then I was looking for something a little different but still in the arena of comfort reading, and so I started Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce Book One, which is The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Jen and Sara have shared about this one, and I knew that it would be fun and interesting. You also had shared that the audio was great. I had seen it on—they did that $5 audio deal a little while ago—and so I purchased it on there, and I know we've shared before, but I just love, and I love the way their platform works. That's another thing I really like about them is you can without a subscription: you can purchase things, you can do the sale items, and you can add those. So it's been just kind of hanging out on my Libro app for a little while now, and I was excited to get started with it. So, this one is narrated by Jane Entwistle, and I remember Jen sharing before that the audio is really fun. So, I just dove in with that one the other day, and this centers around Flavia de Luce, and she is 11 years old. I'm not going to go into a whole lot of detail because I know that both Sara and Jen have talked about it before, but she is very precocious, she loves science. She's particularly interested in chemistry. She has quite a dark side, but the dark side is really funny. I think all of that is really fascinating. She's very interested in poison and concocting things that could hurt people, and yet she is quite charming and has a pretty challenging situation. She's got these two sisters, and she feels very distant from them. They dump on her, and in the opening of this book, they dump on her the fact that she is adopted and casually mention it over breakfast one morning and say that they weren't supposed to say anything, and they were sworn to secrecy. And she was like, 'No, it can't be true. That can't be true.' And they tell her a whole story about how her mother who had passed away when she was very, very young took all these pictures to the adoption agency to try to see if that looks like her. So, it's that kind of thing that she is always battling with those two older sisters and kind of concocting ways to torture them, it seems. But in the beginning of this one, she discovers a person who is dying in the garden outside of their house and then watches this man die. That is the inciting incident and is essentially what this story is about. Things go from there, and prior to that, the one other ominous occurrence is that there was a dead bird found in the morning outside of the house, and it was clear that her father, who she cares about but seems very distant from, was deeply disturbed by this appearance, so you see that, and there's a bit of a scuffle in the night that she hears going on and sees going on a little bit. Then she discovers this body in the garden, so shenanigans ensue. I am only a little bit of way in, but exactly as promised, she is a very, very compelling character and the story is a lot of fun. So again, that's Alan Bradley's The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie."

Book cover of Joshilyn Jackson's Never Have I Ever

Sara stated, "Joshilyn Jackson's Never Have I Ever, and this is sort of like a twisty mystery thriller-adjacent book. It is about Amy, who is a suburban wife and mother who lives in this, I don't know, I picture like a planned unit development where all the houses look very similar, and most people are wealthy, and there's a lot of neighborhood gossip. She lives in this neighborhood, and she has a secret that happened a long time ago. Then this new woman moves in. They have a house that they call the Sprite House, and it is I guess, a more transient location, people rent it out. They kind of look down on that house, and someone new moves in. It's a woman and her son. Her name is Roux, and she basically shows up at this evening book club that the women in the neighborhood attend, and she shows up unannounced and kind of takes over. She's very charming, and people really like her. Then you find out she also is a pretty dark, shady lady. She begins this ploy to blackmail Amy about her secrets. I have to say, it is very compelling. It has some twists that I did not see coming and may disturb some readers. So, I just want to put that out there, but I think it's going to be an interesting one to discuss. I was actually at the beach for a little bit, and it was the perfect retreat because it's super quick, and it kept my attention. But again, it's a little twisty. So just so you know, but I really enjoyed the experience of reading it and I thought that it definitely lived up to the expectations I had. So that is Joshilyn Jackson's Never Have I Ever."

Book cover of Zora Neale Hurston's Dust Tracks on a Road

Jen said, "So I am in a Zora Neale Hurston kind of place right now. I am teaching her book Their Eyes Were Watching God with my students, and Toni of @readwithtoni. is doing these read-to=learn buddy reads: it's kind of these side buddy reads each month. So I signed up to read Zora Neale Hurston's Dust Tracks on a Road, which is her autobiography, and I am listening to this one on audio. It is narrated by Bahni Turpin. I always think she is amazing, but in this book, sometimes I just want to pause and applaud even though nobody's around me because her narration is so amazing. So Hurston talks about her childhood—which, parts of it were really horrific. She had a very difficult childhood. She talks about how she ended up getting to go to college. She talks about how she became interested in anthropology, and one of the things that she studied was different dialects in the south. She goes to the Bahamas, and so Bahni Turpin is navigating all of these different dialects, all of these different regional accents, and it is absolutely amazing. At times I kind of have forgotten that it's a narrator, and I keep thinking of Zora Neale Hurston, which of course is ridiculous, but it is just that vivid. She just really brings all of these characters and Zora Neale Hurston herself to life, and Zora Neale Hurston has some pretty strong opinions. So the book is fascinating to listen to just what she's thinking about different things. She does talk about race, and racism and activism and protest., and so she's talking about all of these things. Sometimes her opinions were quite, quite controversial. So, I think it's an interesting read with opinions that I haven't necessarily heard before. But I am just absolutely fascinated by Hurston's life and by the stories that she's conveying. And again, yeah, if you have the opportunity to listen to this one on audio, it is ah-mazing. I'm thoroughly enjoying it."

Main Discussion—Book-to-Film Adaptation of Moxie

Sara said, "I really love the book. I thought it moved really fast, and I really loved that the book was centered so much on female relationships, and supporting each other as women. So, I really love the way that Vivi found her voice in the book, and then had all of these wonderful characters with her and they have created these friendships around her. I love, I love the book. The movie? Not so much."

Ashley said, "I felt like it was a really powerful read, and I thought that the message of the strength of being together as women and how powerful women can be through that is really awesome. I also love that, additionally, Mathieu's addressed the role of male allies and what that can look like and why that's challenging. I think all of that worked really well. I especially like the female friendships that came from uniting together under a cause that they all supported and how they learned to be empowered, but from that support, they learned what feminism was and why it's important and how it's okay to celebrate that and important to celebrate. So I thought all that worked really well."

Jen said, "Yeah, I really enjoyed it. I thought it's a different kind of YA book. I haven't read one like this: it was really refreshing. I have read a few books focusing on female friendships lately, but in those examples, the friendships are ending. So, I thought it was really nice to read about female friendships that are working out and that aren't always easy, but that sometimes when they had conflicts or when they had a certain understandings, you could see them making an effort to work through it, which I really appreciate. Yeah, I really loved it. I do think it reads a little younger than some YA that I've read recently as well, and I think that's mostly comparative, but I also think that it would be appropriate and enjoyed by a huge audience of YA readers. So, I enjoyed that too. "

Listen to our episode to find out more of our thoughts on the Moxie book to screen adaptation!

Give Me One - Thing You Like to Do by Yourself

Listen in to hear our choices, and join us on social media to share your thoughts!


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