Monday, March 6, 2017

Review: Girl Code

Girl Code by Andrea Gonzales & Sophie Houser
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: March 7th, 2017
Source: Edelweiss
Date Read: 3/3/17 to 3/3/17
416 pages
Rating: 1/2


Perfect for aspiring coders everywhere, Girl Code is the story of two teenage tech phenoms who met at Girls Who Code summer camp, teamed up to create a viral video game, and ended up becoming world famous. The book also includes bonus content to help you get started coding!

Fans of funny and inspiring books like Maya Van Wagenen’s Popular and Caroline Paul’s Gutsy Girl will love hearing about Andrea “Andy” Gonzales and Sophie Houser’s journey from average teens to powerhouses. Through the success of their video game, Andy and Sophie got unprecedented access to some of the biggest start-ups and tech companies, and now they’re sharing what they’ve seen. Their video game and their commitment to inspiring young women have been covered by the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, CNN, Teen Vogue, Jezebel, the Today show, and many more.

Get ready for an inside look at the tech industry, the true power of coding, and some of the amazing women who are shaping the world. Andy and Sophie reveal not only what they’ve learned about opportunities in science and technology but also the true value of discovering your own voice and creativity.

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I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

Let me first get this out: CODING. GIRLS. TEENS. PROGRAMMING. TAMPONS. VIDEO GAMES. ONLY THE BEST SUCCESS STORY EVER. AND. A LOOK INTO THE TECH AND COMPUTER PROGRAMMING INDUSTRY.

Those were the keywords that ran through my head when I read the synopsis. And luckily for me, and the young girls who will be picking this up, these themes stayed true throughout the book. Girl Code emphasizes the lack of women in the computer programming industry, and STEM overall. There is this stigma that women should not be in this field.

Girl Code tells the wonderful success story of Andy and Sophie, two brilliant teens who managed to put together a complex, viral, side-scroller web game in only one week. The game you ask? TAMPON RUN. Where you throw tampons at cops trying to confiscate your tampons. The idea for this game? The one that is also emphasized throughout the book? It’s that there is this taboo around talking about menstruation. And there really is. Periods are normal, monthly thing. If I no longer view it as gross, then I should be able to talk about it with anyone (and I do, really). Talking about periods should definitely be normalized. And that is very much emphasized throughout this book, and through the game, WHICH YOU CAN PLAY HERE.


Andy and Sophie encounter many obstacles while designing and programming their game. I really appreciated how the authors went into how they tackled each project and each line of code. Sometimes it's really overwhelming to look towards the end goal, in that you start thinking "wow, will I even be able to do that?" Little by little, however, the project DOES come together. And before you know it, you have the full thing ready to go. That was me programming my first year project!

Though I did enjoy Girl Code, the writing style was a bit simple for me. Nevertheless, I’m sure it will provide many young girls with the encouragement and motivation to learn programming. Because sadly, many girls interested in STEM at age 11 lose interest once they hit 15.