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Search tags: sexual-assault
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review 2018-04-23 05:22
Psychological thriller that puts sexual assault and harassment at the center, and keeps you gripped all the way through; an unassuming title but a great twist
The Girl I Used to Be - Mary Torjussen

This is a psychological thriller that is hard to put to down, and despite the unassuming title, this novel goes from being a story about a seemingly innocuous meeting with a prospective client for estate agent Gemma to a full-blown harassment and sexual assault case. Gemma is the breadwinner of her family, with her husband being at home with their three-year old son, and while she is trying hard to deal with the mounting stress of running a company, she’s constantly dealing with the anxiety of an incident in her past. Suddenly she is very much alone in a world where she is being harassed by private messages and letters, and she is finding herself lying and wondering who she is becoming.
It’s so hard to review this without revealing a major amount about the plot but this had me quickly turning the pages because author Mary Torjussen has crafted the perfect thriller whereby she has weaved a story from the character’s past into one in the present day, and while I was reading I felt Gemma’s anxiety - and fear - all the way through. It really was compulsive reading.
I will also personally disclose that the initiating incident that Gemma experiences, the one that she feels she must run from, and the one that is the cause of so much tragedy (revealed in part 2), is something that I personally went through myself. I only wish this sort of thing didn’t actually have to be something that becomes the basis of both adult and YA fiction, but (yes, this is my trigger warning), sexual assault happens, and will continue to be a part of fictional and non-fictional works. As women start to fight back by talking about it, as now it is very much a topic of our time (there’s a line in the book acknowledging that once upon a time, it wasn’t talked about so easily), it has become different when we read about it too.
This is actually the second book released this year that I have read with this similar sexual assault issue.
The book is thoroughly engaging to read and I liked the ‘two parts’ that it was separated into, with the massive twist. I don’t know what I’d change it to, but for some reason I have an issue with the title, although I understand the concept of how we look back at what we ‘used to be’, feeling like we have changed so much, or looking at what we were back then, but I want something else to grab people by. This book is so good and too clever for people to miss.

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text 2017-10-21 13:53
OT: The #metoo campaign

This past week I've read about the #metoo campaign. It's depressing reading. Today I found out that one of our most famous singers is in fact a rapist and also a person who takes advantage of his position to silence his victims. I don't know who it is, and that's really unsettling. It might be one of my favorites. The victim said (anonymously) that every time a friend sings along to one of his songs or even just plays it, she gets a flashback to that night and she can't say anything about it.

What I really wanted to mention was the fact that my mom, sister and I have never (or at least almost never) been targeted. My mom has lived a relatively fun and varied life. She's travelled a bit, worked in different professions and had lots of friends. Back in those days people were clearly better brought up. Or she's been lucky and met only decent people.

My sister and I didn't grow up in such a time. Girls we went to school with were probably targeted like these women that I've read about in the media over this past week. But not my sister and I. And - it may not come as much of a surprise to my readers - we've lived very sheltered lives. Most of the time we just sat at home and read our beloved books. We're simply not very outgoing.

After reading all this depressing stuff, it hit me. Does it really have to be this way? Do you have to stay inside the safety of your own home to be respected as a human being?

Source: crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/182145.html
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review 2017-10-13 16:36
Body armor
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body - Roxane Gay

Today I'm going to attempt to form some coherent thoughts about my experience reading Roxane Gay's newest book entitled Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. Some of you might have already had this book on your radar because of the huge amount of press that it got right after its release. This is an extremely personal account of Roxane's experiences as an obese woman in our society (which is obsessed with being skinny as you know). However, it's less a commentary on that than a self-exploration of her relationship with food and her body. You might recognize Gay's name from my review of her frank assessment of feminism and how she identifies herself (not just as a feminist but all-around human). I thought that she had pushed the envelope with her openness and willingness to 'go there' with that book but reading Hunger was a whole new experience. For one thing, this isn't a book about the trials and tribulations of being overweight in America and how she's planning on using this book as a tool to get her life back on track. No, this is a cathartic exercise in purging some of the darkness that she has had buried inside for too long. (I'm trying to not give away too much because her writing of the events of her life is kinda the whole point of the book.) This book will make you rethink the way that you look at your own body and how you make assumptions about other people based on their bodies. It is not meant to be preachy or shaming. It's one woman opening up about a horrific experience in her life and how that changed her forever. I think this is the kind of book that everyone should read because it opens your eyes to yourself, to others, and makes you think. 9/10 definitely recommend

 

What's Up Next: The Book That Changed America: How Darwin's Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation by Randall Fuller

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-05-31 17:25
An entire chapter devoted to competitive Scrabble
Bad Feminist: Essays - Roxane Gay

I've recently delved into the world of feminist literature and so it was bound to happen that I would read Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist. Ya'll, this book will slap you in your face with its brutal honesty. It's a collection of essays about everything from what it's like to be a black female professor (or what the teaching profession is like at all really) to the pressures of being the 'right' weight in our society. It's a no holds barred look at how we place everyone into categories and what it's like when you're one of those people that defy this categorization. This is a look into what it means to be a flawed human (or a bad feminist to use Gay's terminology) who recognizes that it's impossible to get everything right. One can only try to be their best self and do their best to stay true to their beliefs. She talks about her struggles with the label of 'feminist' and how she has always chafed against being lumped in with this group as she doesn't fit all of the supposed parameters. However, there is no one definition of feminist. (Am I ranting? It feels like I'm ranting. And even this worry right here is a part of the problem because I have been conditioned to feel that expressing my opinions/feelings is something I should apologize for.) She covers a lot of sensitive topics such as rape and in particular gang rape. The discussion of whether or not the term 'rape culture' has helped or hindered our society in terms of making this a known issue but at the same time desensitizing us to its effects (mention of Law & Order: SVU may have been made). This book is real. If you only read one book labeled as 'feminist literature' then I hope this is the one that you pick up. 10/10 highly recommend. :-)

 

Note: More books on feminism coming up soon.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2015-12-11 08:44
Tawni Waters
Beauty of the Broken - Tawni Waters

Beauty of the Broken is such an appropriate title for this intense story.

The blurb pretty much sums up this book:

'In this lyrical, heart-wrenching story about a forbidden first love, a teen seeks the courage to care for another girl despite her small town’s bigotry and her father’s violent threats.'

except its so much more than that! Mara seems so real (and completely and utterly bizarre) and she is going through hell. Her father is a monster, she has mixed feeling about whether she should love someone like him, or feel ashamed. Her mother isn't much better but is trying to make alright a terrible situation. Her brother is beyond complicated, with so many mixed emotions its hard to contemplate. Her home is filled with complete whack-jobs. Bigots, the worst kind of whack-jobs.

This story was painful, cringe worthy and occasionally disgusting but it was also beautiful, soulful and filled with such passion that it was breath taking. Beauty of the broken is taking the whole YA genre to a new extreme. Its all about discovery, Not just about who is Mara, but her sexuality, her morals, her values, her will, her beliefs and religion, what God means to her verses what he means to everyone else. It was a truly beautiful and completely bizarre story. The other characters aren't just page fillers either, they have their own unique and interesting histories and opinions, their diverse, some are wonderful and some are cruel.
(I loved Henry. I was worried about him being a cliche character, but he wasn't he was such an individual, and even if he was cliche, his dad alone would of separated him into a category of his own!! what a quirky trait, i wonder how the author thought of it?)

The writing was incredible. absolutely beautify. Lyrical i believe would be a more apt term.

The only complaint i would have (besides the very weird beginning which almost made me put the book down - i recommend reading past it, it gets better) is the open ending. Yea i can picture what would happen afterwards, but i would have preferred the author to write something, letting us know. I'm hoping for a happy ending, but
with poor Mara's luck who bloody knows?


3.5 stars. I almost feel like i should maybe give 4, this book is worth 4 stars, but for me i believe 3.5 is a better fit, maybe because of the topic's covered? it was painful to read, but I'm glad it was covered. It's such authentic topic and was pictured so vividly in this book, something i believe teenagers will appreciate while reading. something they may be able (unfortunately) be able to relate to in certain families. Hopefully it won't make them feel so alone.
The book was also weird as fuck on occasion as well, which may contribute to my rating. I feel 4 stars should go to an enjoyable read, something that made me feel uplifted. This was great, but uplifting it is not.
I'll be looking out for more book written by Tawni Waters, who is an incredible author. Kudos for doing such a fantastic job, where most people would shy away from such topics.

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