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Warrior Princess: My Quest to Become the First Female Maasai Warrior

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3.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  155 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
WARRIOR PRINCESS is the funny and inspirational memoir of Mindy Budgor, a young entrepreneur tired of having a job to have a job, who decides to make changes in her life. While waiting for her Business School applications to go through, she decides to volunteer in Africa building schools and hospitals in the Maasai Mara. While there, Mindy asks the chief why there are no w ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by skirt! (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,040)
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Nicole
I’ll preface this review by saying I read an advanced readers copy, so the final version could certainly be changed.

This book started out with the tone of a bad chick lit novel. While the style made the book read more like a novel than non-fiction, I get the sense that Mindy and I would not be friends, as her tone and attitude drove me a little nuts.

For positives, the book provided a glimpse into Maasai culture, which is still relatively untouched by the modern world, and I do applaud Budgor’s
...more
Liralen
Nov 01, 2013 Liralen rated it it was ok
One-sentence summary: Entitled American, told she can't do something, stamps her foot and rushes headlong into a quest to change a culture she does not -- and does not try to -- understand.

Honestly, I don't know where to start. There's the blatant lack of Maasai women in the book, despite the author's claim that her goal was to open up new opportunities to said Maasai women. There's the repeated objectification and sexualisation of the Maasai warriors. There's the very limited amount of research
...more
Katey
Jul 06, 2013 Katey rated it it was ok
Talk about a spoiled, entitled author. Mindy may have taken on a huge, life-changing endeavor, and may have done her tribe's women a favor, but she did it whining and imposing her demands. She flip-flopped between wanting to be "authentic" and being a spoiled brat. Had I liked her better, the tale would have been more impressive.
Alice
I'm having a hard time rating this book, because I have several different reactions to it:
First the good; great overview of Maasai warrior culture, and what it takes to become a Moran (warrior). What the author and her friend (both white American women) did is so completely audacious, it's almost unbelievable that they were given the chance. She obviously needed to prove herself, both to herself and to her family, so good for her!

Now the not-so-good; She really was mostly princess, not very warr
...more
Y.
Sep 13, 2013 Y. rated it did not like it
White woman's cultural appropriation and opportunism being sold as "empowerment". Ridiculous and sad!
Sue Potter
May 30, 2013 Sue Potter rated it liked it
Recommends it for: younger readers
Recommended to Sue by: first reads
I will start with the fact that I received the book as a first read.

I am definitely divided on how I feel about this book and it's author, Mindy.

We'll start with the good points ..
* It's about travel, and as a traveler myself, I am instantly drawn to nearly all books about travel.
* The Maasai culture in the book was quite interesting, though based on the author's perspective, I'd want another source before attempting to assimilate with them, as she did, apparently.

Now for the parts that I found,
...more
Hannah
Sep 27, 2013 Hannah rated it did not like it
Great example of colonialist attitudes masquerading as empowerment and trying to "save" a culture from how primitive we perceive it to be.

A summary: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013...
Ginger
Oct 14, 2013 Ginger rated it it was ok
Shelves: library
Let me start with some background, first off I hate these types of stories , second this is the first one I have read. So how can I hate something I have never read? That’s what someone asked me and I didn’t really have an answer, so I decided to read one. I guess what I meant was I hate the idea of a story like this. To clarify this is one of those I had to go find myself books. It’s along the lines of Eat Pray Love, (saw the movie skipped the book) and Julie and Julia ( saw the movie also skip ...more
Helen
Sep 05, 2013 Helen rated it did not like it
Having lived and worked in Africa, I eagerly grab reads such as these hoping to find a kindred spirit - NOT! What a joke! I don't know how the girl who wrote this book could sign her name to it, add her pictures and allow shocking ignorance to be on display. This book gets one star for the poor Maasai who put up with her.
Madalene
Sep 05, 2013 Madalene rated it really liked it
A pretty interesting book, although it has its flaws. The idea of a mid-20s woman, hoping to get into an MBA program, goes to Kenya to show Masaai tribe members that women can hold up under the training reserved for male warriors, is intriguing - and the other people in the story seem real and not altogether surprised at her efforts. However, there is a lot of focus on how much weight she loses on the diet of goat and routine of traveling between camps - and she seems unsure of whether to poke f ...more
Jeanne
Jun 03, 2013 Jeanne rated it it was ok
I read an ARC of this book. The premise is good, the result is that Maasai women may now get the right to become warriors. But the tone of the book is off-putting. There is too much emphasis on the culture shock of a Jewish girl from Chicago dealing with the wildness of Africa. Having read many a Peace Corps volunteer memoir, I was expecting the author to observe more of the Maasai culture, to be more accepting of their lives. Instead she really makes it all about how it affects her. I think a m ...more
Haven Gordon
Oct 01, 2013 Haven Gordon rated it it was ok
I don't really know where to begin. I guess let me start by saying that I won this book in a goodreads giveaway. I couldn't really get into this book very much, although I really tried to. I felt like the author's personal quest got in the way of some very important cultural anthropology lessons. When trying to study a culture by immersing oneself it in, one should never try to change that culture. That's what I felt the author was trying to accomplish. I understand the need for empowering women ...more
Anne
Jun 23, 2013 Anne rated it really liked it
I won this book from Goodreads, so it is an advanced copy.

One word: Empowering.
The story was easy to follow (which I thought might be difficult with the language differences), the characters were smartly written, and the book had a good amount of beginning, middle, and end. The only thing I missed a little was that with the included pictures, there wasn't one of her and Becca, or Becca at all! It seemed a little strange since they were on the journey together... It also seemed a little odd that
...more
Nathan
May 02, 2014 Nathan rated it did not like it
Poorly written memoir of a privileged antihero on an ecotourist journey of self-discovery. The young person who has to travel abroad to find herself, confront another culture to understand her own, go east to travel west, etc. No amount of mixed metaphors, business jargon, canned dialogue or Wikipedia the author cites can obscure that Khaleesi, she ain't. Oh, and by the way, it's basically a long con advertisement for Under Armour disguised as a mission for empowering African girls. Read it for ...more
Unwisely
Dec 21, 2015 Unwisely rated it did not like it
I like books where someone goes and learns about something and immerses themselves in it. Memoirs of someone who got in over their head are often entertaining. Stories of someone who had a romantic ideal with zero research usually annoy me. (There's a specific book I'm thinking of, but I just went back through 6 years of logs and it must've been before I started keeping records. Dude decides to become a farmer and does zero research before buying a farm and moving cross country and I rolled my e ...more
Sheila
Feb 04, 2014 Sheila rated it did not like it
This is one of the most offensive & disgustingly entitled books ever published. If anything would push me to book burning, this book would be what I burned. This book is only enjoyed by the horrifically ignorant as well as shamelessly entitled white women who loved the movie 'Avatar'.
Kim
Dec 08, 2015 Kim rated it it was ok
With all due credit to Budgor for her achievement, please, writers, can you make a pact to stop finding your "identity" within the context of the oversimplification of another culture? 'Kay? Cool.
Dimity Powell
Nov 09, 2014 Dimity Powell rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
In spite of being intrigued by this topic and curious to learn about the author's exploits, I was left in a state of ambivalence at the end. Occasionally written with wry humour, the authenticity of her account troubled me. Much of the narrative is conversational and personable however I think it's just my personal problem with the author's voice that created a few stumbling blocks for any true enjoyment of her account. I just didn't feel connected to her often self-indulgent psyche, feeling muc ...more
Sorrel Carmichael
Feb 18, 2014 Sorrel Carmichael rated it did not like it
Oh dear. Sheer ignorance such as this is saddening.
Jackie
Apr 25, 2013 Jackie rated it it was amazing
Shelves:
an amazing quest
Line Skori
Mar 12, 2014 Line Skori rated it really liked it
I noticed this book for the first time at BEA 2013.. And I was like.. Whatever with all the other books.. I needed this one.. Even though I sad to myself. Only YA books at YA.
I needed this one.. I love Africa <3

There was a signing with the author and I was so excited..
Actually my first signing ever, my whole life.. So it was so cool. And Mindy was so sweet.
Wish I had more time to talk to her.

Took me awhile before I started the book, coz I knew I would not be able to put it away, once I got s
...more
Thomas
Jan 24, 2014 Thomas rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Nobody
In many ways this was a disappointing book. Since it is an account of a "western" woman becoming the first female Maasai warrior, I expected something other than a description of her whining about no private toilet facilities in the bush and dreaming of chocolate, not to mention her friend's desires to bed with one of the genuine Maasai warriors accompanying them.

As I read about the infinite patience of the Maasai warriors who led them on their "trial," I couldn't help but think that there was n
...more
Noelle
Aug 22, 2013 Noelle rated it it was amazing
What a great story!!!! I laughed out loud all through the book. If you like the smart and wise cracking books of best selling authors Jen Lancaster or Valerie Frankel, then you will love this book. Mindy Budgor begins an amazing and unforgettable journey of self discovery by going through the rights of passage to become the first female Maasai Warrior. How did a California girl talk her way into the tribe and overcoming the first obstacle of even being allowed to train with the warriors? Read it ...more
Henry Hakamaki
Jan 03, 2014 Henry Hakamaki rated it really liked it
Won this book on FirstReads.

Before I read this book, I had looked at quite a few of the reviews, and saw some very conflicting ratings. Some very high, some very low, and I understand both of them. My rating reflects only what I thought of the book (how entertaining of a read it was, how it was written, whether I found it interesting or not, etc.), and not on the moral motivation behind the book.

I thought that Warrior Princess was an interesting, funny, "fast read" (finished it within a day). Th
...more
Amanda
Aug 18, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it
I gave this book more stars than it deserved in itself simply because it transported me right back to a few moments spent in the Loita Hills myself. And it got me thinking, thinking beyond Mindy's quest (which I feel was more self-motivated than for the good of the Maasai). There are some gems in here that I hope those less familiar with African culture pick up on, the idea of for the good of others and the community being just one example. There is such a lot we can learn and development isn't ...more
Care Maree
Mar 17, 2014 Care Maree rated it it was amazing
Amazing memoir of a young woman who takes on a personal challenge to become the first female Maasai warrior. I have a great deal of respect for Mindy and her friend, Becca, after reading this book. Some of it is hard to digest. Definitely makes me want to visit Kenya!
Bob Snook
May 10, 2014 Bob Snook rated it really liked it
I read this mainly because I wanted to learn about the Masaii culture. Mindy's drive for success and to make a difference was inspiring. There are some very interesting cultural aspects about this culture.
Kristen
Mar 10, 2014 Kristen rated it really liked it
I am sorry that I did not read this book as soon as I received it from a giveaway last year. While I wanted more depth into the struggle, both physically and mentally of the author as well as more information on the interaction with the warriors she was with, I enjoyed this book. It isn't exactly clear how/when the shift of mindset of most of the warriors she was with happened, but it is clear that the author was able to demonstrate that women are both physically and mentally capable of many fea ...more
Jennifer Travelstead
Sep 30, 2013 Jennifer Travelstead rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a story! My mom and her friends had recently read this in their book club, so my friends and I decided to do the same, and I am so thankful that we did. While I don't think I could ever handle what she did, I found her to be very relatable, and fell in love with her attitude, her self-deprecating humor and her dedication to the tribe. In her book she talks about how the tribe doesn't keep track of time, they just live in the moment, and that is one thing that truly inspired me to try a ...more
Dianne
Jul 17, 2014 Dianne rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
Just couldn't get into it. Couldn't relate to the bored rich socialite pouting while looking for something to do with herself.
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