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Search tags: what-does-consent-really-mean
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review 2018-12-08 09:01
A great courtroom drama/psychological thriller that will keep you thinking
Anatomy of a Scandal: The brilliant, must-read novel of 2018 - Sarah Vaughan

Thanks to NetGalley and to Simon & Schuster UK for providing me an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

I got a copy of this book a while back, but I must confess it got buried under tonnes of other books at a time when there were many things on my mind. I kept seeing the book here and there but wasn’t even sure I had a copy any longer. Eventually, as it always happens at the end of the year, I saw a list with recommended reads for the year that ends, with this novel featured prominently, and it was the push I needed to start reading it. I apologise for the delay because it was well worth a read.

The book opens up the 2nd of December 2016, is set in the UK, and is mostly narrated chronologically by a collection of characters. Kate, a QC (the prosecution lawyer in other countries) working in London tells of her experience in court, prosecuting sexual crimes, in the first person. The rest of the characters’ perspectives we get are narrated on the third person, and include those of Ali, a friend Kate met while she was a college student; Sophie, the wife of a junior conservative minister, James, and now stay at home Mum; James himself, the only male account, an upper-class man who always knew his future was golden, and Holly, whose narration starts in 1992, in Oxford. She is a fish out of the water, a young girl from the North, from a modest family, who has managed to get into an Oxford College to study English with a grant, and she suffers a cultural shock at first, although later things seem to look up until… (No spoilers here). It takes a while for all the strands of the story to fit together, although we soon realise there are some coincidences, and some of the people whose narrations appeared disconnected at first, had crossed paths years back.

The author, who as a political journalist has more insight than most people into what goes on in political office and in the government, provides a detailed and totally immersing account of the life of privilege of those who seem destined for “better things” from the very start, and creates very credible and nuanced characters. Vaughan is skilled at describing the atmosphere of the government corridors and of the Old Bailey, and as skilled at shining a light on the characters and their motivations. We have those who feel entitled to everything; characters who keep lying to themselves because they feel they got what they wanted and should now be happy with it, even if it has turned out to be far less ideal than they had always thought; the survivors who reinvented themselves and paid the price of never being completely at ease in their skins, and we have big areas of grey. (I think this book would be ideal for a book club, as there is much to discuss and plenty of controversial topics to keep the conversation going). What is a relationship and what is not? What is love and what is only lust? And central to the whole book, a big question, what is consent? Is it a matter of opinion? Although the definition of the crime seems very clear, when it comes to what people think or “know” in their heads at the time, is anything but.

Although the book is told from different perspectives, it is not confusing to read. Each chapter is headed by the name of the character and the date, and we soon get to know who is who, because their narration and their personalities are very different. That does not mean there aren’t plenty of surprises in the book, and although some we might suspect or expect, the story is well paced, the revelations are drip-fed and make the tension increase, and with the exception of one of the characters (hopefully!), it is not difficult to empathise and share in the thoughts and the moral and ethical doubts of most of the characters. We might think we know better and we would do the right thing but determining what the right thing is can be tough in some cases. And we all compromise sometimes, although there are limits.

I have read some reviews complaining about the amount of detail in the book and they also say that it is slow and nothing much happens. The book is beautifully observed, and the way it explains the ins-and-outs of the trial feels realistic. Perhaps the problem is that we are used to books and movies where everything takes place at lightning speed, and there isn’t a moment to contemplate or observe what is truly happening, beyond the action. This is a thinking book, and there are not big action pieces; that much is true. I have mentioned there are surprises. Secrets are revealed as well, but they surface through digging into people’s memories, or getting them to recognise the truth, not with a gun or a punch. The way we connect with the characters and the layers upon layers of stories and emotions make for a gripping reading experience but not a light one. I have sometimes read books or watched movies that have such a frenzied pace that I always come out at the other end with the feeling that I’ve missed something, some gap or hole in the plot that I would be able to discover if only I were given some time to breathe and think, but that is not the case here. Even the turns of events you might not have expected are fully grounded and make perfect sense, both action-wise and according to the personality of the protagonists. No big flights of fancy here.

This is a book for those who love psychological thrillers, and courtroom dramas that go beyond the standard formula. Although it is a book with strong roots in England, the British Criminal Justice System and the country’s politics, it is so well-written that it will make readers from everywhere think and will inevitably bring to mind cases and well-known characters at a national and international level. Now that I live in Spain, I could not help but keep thinking about the infamous case of “La manada”, where definitions of sexual crimes have become a hot political potato, for very good reason. The debate that the #MeToo has generated should be kept alive, and anything that contributes to that is useful, and if it is a great book, all the better.

I know it is silly, but I was happy to discover that I had finished reading the book on exactly the same date when the book comes to an end, 7th of December 2018. I take that as a sign and look forward to reading many more books by the author.

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review 2018-08-02 21:33
What Does Consent Really Mean? by Pete Wallis & Thalia Wallis Illustrated by Joseph Wilkins
What Does Consent Really Mean? - Thalia Wallis,William Joseph Wilkins,Pete Wallis

This year has been quite rough for my partner and I. As a result, we haven't been going to the library as frequently as in the past. However, two days ago, we decided we needed to get out of the house for a while. Just to clear our minds. So, after six months, we decided to go to the library and just pick up anything that caught our eyes. Whilst browsing the graphic novel section, I spied What Does Consent Really Mean? and I was curious to see how they handled the subject matter. I am quite glad with the outcome.

 

Pete and Thalia Wallis did a fantastic job introducing the topic of consent to a young audience. It's important people understand that when they are being intimate with another person, all parties involved must be willing and able to participate in sexual intercourse. And if anyone seems hesitant, then that means no. It doesn't matter if the person didn't actually say "no." If they don't seem willing, that automatically should be a sign to not proceed any further. 

 

What I like about this book is how matter-of-fact and straight to the point it is. It doesn't beat around the bush about how you should approach someone when it comes to sex. It can seem a bit basic, but for someone who is thinking about having sex for the first time, it's important that books like this exist. You can never have too many resources about giving consent and what it means when someone doesn't say "yes" to having sex.

 

Joseph Wilkins's artwork is quite simple and I think it matches well with the style of the comic. It's a simple way of educating people about making sure all involved are okay with having sex. This book teaches you not to take advantage of someone if they are intoxicated or to post someone's private photos for all to see. And Wilkins art brings these messages alive without distracted the reader from the heart of the book. 

 

I think this comic is amazing. If you have someone young in your life that could be thinking about sex, I think this is a great book for them to read. It doesn't only deal with heterosexual intercourse either. It also talks about having consensual sex between gay and bi people respectively. At the back of the book, there's many resources provided in case you want to find out more about teens questioning their sexuality, if they've been sexually assaulted, or other resources to help teens learn and understand their bodies a bit better.

 

I really like what this book is doing and highly recommend you let a young person in your life read it.

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review 2017-11-13 12:56
Review For: Consent by Charmaine Pauls
Consent (The Loan Shark Duet) (Volume 2) - Charmaine Pauls

Consent by Charmaine Pauls is Book Two in "The Loan Shark Duet". This continues the story of Valentina and Gabriel. You do have to read the previous book "Dubious" before reading this one to fully enjoy their story.
Consent picks up where Dubious left off. Gabriel is trying to locate Valentian who has up and left with her brother and not thinking to take any money with her. Gabriel plans on things going different than how he was working it before when he get a hold of Valentina again. Valentina is a strong women and has been through a lot to keep herself and her brother Charlie going. But even the strongest women still falls in love and can't stay away from that man.
This book continues the transformation from Gabriel being totally a dark character to a totally different one after finding love with Valentina. The sex scene where hot and loved the secondary characters a little more in this book.
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review 2017-11-08 11:38
What Does Consent Really Mean?
What Does Consent Really Mean? - Thalia Wallis,William Joseph Wilkins,Pete Wallis
I think this graphic novel is a great starting point for this topic. I liked its simple approach to the topic and the way it covered a variety of subjects relating to consent. I liked the way that they reaffirmed their clarifications throughout the novel. They explained things in a clear and concise manner and even elaborated in many situations. They talked about values and gave examples, many of which young adults will be able to relate to. The format was easy to read and creating it into a graphic novel makes this topic more appealing to its readers.
 
So, what is consent? The novel elaborates on this many times throughout the novel. Consent means that there is no pressure, that both parties are happy with the decision that they are making, that there is the enthusiastic “yes!” before the act, that the individual is not being forced or coerced into something, etc. This text provides many definitions and many examples of what this word means. Because your body is yours and what you do with it depends on what you want. So, what happens if you say no? What about the famous, “everyone else is doing it.” or what if you’re just not sure? This graphic novel covers these options and many more. The novel consists of a group of four girls conversing. You will meet a group of boys who chime in on the conversation and give you their opinions on the subject matter so it’s not all about girls.
 
In the back of the novel, the author has given its readers a wonderful resource. From consent, sexting, porn, being positive sex resilient, etc. the author has listed some discussion questions, a list of information that was discussed in the novel, some Did You Know Facts and a list of resources where you can go to find further information for each of these additional subjects. I feel that this is a wonderful way to approach this subject and this novel should be read by anyone who is mature enough to handle this subject matter. This novel makes a great starting point for future discussion or research.
 
I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Jessica Kingsley Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

 

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review 2017-03-15 17:58
Review: Consent (Power Exchange #3) by A.J. Rose
Consent - A.J. Rose

 

 

Ben and Gavin are just captivating. They really pulled me through this book. There is so much to say about this book, but I'm really just without words, so I'm not even going to try.

 

This installment was origanally on my "no-no" list because of some issues that would obviously push my limits,. And they did. I cried my heart out, cringed, was horrified but I also loved the hell out of it. But it was ever so worth it. I'm so glad I started reading this series.

 

 

 

 

 

In my opinion it's best to start this book so openminded possible, do-not read spoilers.. For me personally that worked cause | know I would've chickened out knowing what would come.

 

And just one thing; Myah, honey. You're my hero!!

 

I'll just end with some beautiful feelings between Ben & Gavin.

 

Years later, I understood., The point wasn't the climax. It wasn't the two hours or the pleasure derived in the psyical. It was knowin Ben understood everthing there was about me, cherished every single cell that made up my being, and feeling in the essence of who I was that this soul made mine sing,. And I did the same for him.

 

 

 

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