Monday, January 30, 2017

Here We Are edited by Kelly Jensen (Review)

Release date: January 24th, 2017
Publisher: Algonquin BRYR

Description (from Goodreads):

Let’s get the feminist party started!

Here We Are is a scrapbook-style teen guide to understanding what it really means to be a feminist. It’s packed with essays, lists, poems, comics, and illustrations from a diverse range of voices, including TV, film, and pop-culture celebrities and public figures such as ballet dancer Michaela DePrince and her sister Mia, politician Wendy Davis, as well as popular YA authors like Nova Ren Suma, Malinda Lo, Brandy Colbert, Courtney Summers, and many more. Altogether, the book features more than forty-four pieces, with an eight-page insert of full-color illustrations.

Here We Are is a response to lively discussions about the true meaning of feminism on social media and across popular culture and is an invitation to one of the most important, life-changing, and exciting parties around.

WHAT AN IMPORTANT, DIVERSE BOOK! If you have a teenager in your life, this makes a brilliant gift, especially at a time like this. 

Here We Are is a collection of essays, lists, illustrations, etc. all about feminism. It has been edited by Kelly Jensen and I think she has done an amazing job putting together such a diverse, intersectional set of works by writers from different walks of life. 

I can honestly say I enjoyed every single one of the pieces from this collection and I loved the way the book is organized. It is accessible and easy to read and it really managed to make me think about a lot of things. I loved the intersectional approach it offers to feminism, featuring voices by writers of different races and sexualities because after all if your feminism is not intersectional, it's not really feminism at all. 

I suck with reviewing collections like this, so I will keep this short, but want to just say that this book is a true gem, an extremely worthy collection of thoughts about self-identity, the relationship between popular culture and feminism, body image, the relationship between feminism and race as well as feminism and disability, and so much more. 

To finish with this review, here are a few of my favorite quotes:

My body is fat. I won't win any awards or lose any points for saying that. I am merely stating a fact. I am fat. - Angie Manfredi (this is a statement I can really identify with and I loved Angie's essay as a whole because it really just hit home in many different ways)

When you want to be someone else, you can never be yourself or learn who you really are. - Alida Nugent

Women are humans. Complete, complex, flawed, beautiful, worthy humans. So to expect an impossible level of perfection from ourselves is, in fact, self-oppression. It's denying ourselves the pleasure and privilege of being real. - Lily Myers


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