Thursday, April 20, 2017

Here We Are by Kelly Jensen Review

Title: Here We Are: 44 Voices Write, Draw, and Speak About Feminism for the Real World
Editor: Kelly Jensen
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Nonfiction
Series: Standalone
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

I borrowed this book through my local library and reviewed it.

This book has been sitting in my library stack for a while now, and I've really been looking forward to it. To put it simply, there is a staunch, intense need for feminist literature of all kinds, nonfiction and otherwise. Here We Are is such an essential breath of fresh air. I really, really loved it, even as it made me feel the full spectrum of emotion; rage, sadness, fear, and most of all, sympathy. This book needs to be read by all, no matter your age or gender. I'm so, so happy with this book, and I can only hope that the authors and editors in this book have more to come in the future! What a great, well-written eye-opener of a book!

Here We Are is edited by Book Riot writer, Kelly Jensen, and she has brought together forty-three authors, women from all races, sexual orientations, and walks of life, to discuss the feminist issues that are important to them, including, but not limited to, Roxane Gay, Kody Keplinger, Laure Halsie Anderson, and Courtney Summers. I loved it. I loved the sheer volume of the contributors, the lush illustration, and the variety of the prose. This book is so necessary and exciting--this is what we need to get the ball rolling on the whole discussion of feminism. I won't name every piece I loved, as there are so many, but I'll write briefly about the standouts.

Bad Feminist, Take Two by Roxane Gay: I loved this essay, unapologetically feminist and unique. I loved the way the author explained that she is full of contradictions, but definitely a feminist, even if that makes her a 'bad' one in the other ones. It really opened my eyes on how personal feminism really is, even if the onslaught of information is overwhelming at times, even frightening.

I Have Always Eaten the Bread by Lily Myers: I loved this one! I loved the way Myers talked about her sometimes toxic relationship with food, and how she discovered that she can enjoy it and still be happy with herself, even if it means eating a little more bread at the dinner table. It was at times hard to read, but I really enjoyed it!

Don't Cash Crop on My Cornrows by Amandla Stenberg: This essay really opened my eyes about the growing racist trend that is called cultural appropriation, and black culture in general, It made me realize that black culture in America is loved, even in high-demand, but a lot of black people end up stigmatized or avoided in general, or associated with the darker side of sexuality. (Yay for education!)

I loved each and every story in this book, beautifully written and honest and raw. What an essential read, for everyone, of all ages! What a great book for the year of 2017! The bottom line: Forty-four authors write, draw, and speak about feminism, across all walks of life in an essential read on the importance of feminism in this day and age--one of my favorites of the year! Absolutely amazing! Next on deck: The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle!

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