florence given new book

‘The girlbossification of bad writing’: People are trashing Florence Given’s new book

‘How come she’s Florence Given but this book isn’t giving?’

Florence Given released her first fiction novel, Girl Crush, last week (9th August). And it’s safe to say she probably won’t be hailed as this generation’s Jacqueline Wilson anytime soon.

She’s sold it as “a dark, feminist retelling of Jekyll and Hyde” – but people have already argued it’s actually *nothing* like the classic horror story. Readers have been relentless for their hatred of the book on Twitter; posting “bad” extracts and criticising Florence for simply not sticking to her day job.

So, it’s time to embrace the cringe and confront our fears. Here’s a rundown of why people are absolutely trashing Girl Crush:

For a seemingly sex-positive book, it’s FILLED with innuendos

“My pussy opens up like a rosebud at the sensation of her touch.” Sorry, but this is a REAL line from the book. It sounds like a 30-year-old man trying to sext like a poet.

This brings me to the most intricate takedown I’ve ever heard: “Reading Florence Given’s debut novel Girl Crush you get an insight into many things Gen-Z,” journalist Blanca Schofield tweeted. “You also get an insight into the author’s love of allegories — even a drink coaster gets a simile (‘like a rocket’s discarded engine’) So here’s mine: this book is like an overripe peach.”

Lesbians feel they’ve been misrepresented by the characters

Basically, Florence uses the “F” slur far too comfortably throughout the novel, when it wasn’t ever a word for queer women to reclaim. Phrases like “d**e daddy” and “a random butch in leather” have pissed people off, too. The general consensus seems to be that Florence – a bisexual woman – has massively reduced her lesbian characters down to stereotypes.


Is there really anything else to say? Florence Given introduced Florence Given into Florence Given’s literary universe. The final act of girlbossification. AND SHE CALLED HERSELF “COOL”.

“Still reeling from this,” one person tweeted.

“There’s no way, there is no way!” said another.

Just the general writing and how the words are formed on the page, basically

It’s giving: “Cynthia! Cynthia! Jesus died for our sin-thias.”

Journalist Moya Lothian-McClean said: “I’m still thinking about Florence Given’s prose… Once again, publishers and editors involved in that… have a word with yourselves.” And I couldn’t have put it better myself, really.

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Featured image via @florencegiven on Instagram before edits.