It looks cute, but it packs a punch. ------------------------------------ Disclaimer: I consider Anne Elizabeth Moore a friend and partner in crime. So...moreIt looks cute, but it packs a punch. ------------------------------------ Disclaimer: I consider Anne Elizabeth Moore a friend and partner in crime. So my gloating about how awesome this book is should be taken with an industrial sized grain of salt. Or maybe not, because it is true.
The full title of the book is Cambodian Grrrl: Self Publishing in Phnom Penh. But this book is neither about Cambodia nor self-publishing. Rather it is about love.
Sure, Anne heads out to Cambodia and meets up with a gaggle of giggly Cambodian grrrls who live in the only dormitory for females in the country. Sure she teaches them how to make zines and express their thoughts and feelings. But the main theme is love. And me telling you that does not ruin the book. In fact it may make it even more awesome for you.
The most poignant part of the book is how powerful it is to teach young women to value their voice. Anne does it over and over, sometimes not even aware of the women she is teaching until a zine finds itself onto her bunk, as if some underground rebel newspaper. And in many ways, it is.
Anne writes in the same manner as she speaks. Direct and simple yet complex. She doesn't waste time with a lot of big academic speak, instead she paints complex thought exercises with every day words. I think this is why I love her so. There's no way you can miss when she throws down the gauntlet like when asks you to consider why those of us in the USA would be up in arms over Cambodians never being educated about the Khmer Rouge, but we barely bat an eye on the invisibleness of the plight of American Indians.
Somehow Anne is able to discuss issues of democracy, freedom of speech, the global garment market, slave labor, rape, mass murder and a litany of other tough subjects and leave me smiling. That left me with hope that all we really do need is love. And a sharpie. (less)
It took me about a 1/3 of the book to get hooked and then it flew by in a snap. One reason I picked up the series was that a lot of friends said, "You...moreIt took me about a 1/3 of the book to get hooked and then it flew by in a snap. One reason I picked up the series was that a lot of friends said, "You gotta read it, Katniss is a feminist hero." Well I'm not sold on her being a feminist hero yet. In the first book, she was pretty kick ass. But in this book, she's more whiny than kick ass. She also does not seem to have any agency of her own. She's alienated herself from her mother and sister (whom, I suspect is pretty kick ass herself) and longs to please one of the three men in her life. Which one, she's still not sure. Off to get the third book so I know how this ends and get ready for the movie. Still a pretty good read. But I wouldn't put Katniss up in the same group as Ripley, Xena or Buffy yet. And Buffy is queen of the whiners! (less)
I read this to the kid over the summer as our goodnight book. We finally finished last night. She really liked it. I did too. I'm happy to report it d...moreI read this to the kid over the summer as our goodnight book. We finally finished last night. She really liked it. I did too. I'm happy to report it didn't scare her either! She has to do a project for class on a Newberry book and we were ecstatic to realize when we finished that this book will do the trick!(less)
Just a mere month after I reviewed Aftertime, I bring you a review of its sequel, Rebirth. I should note that there is a novella, Survivors, that happ...moreJust a mere month after I reviewed Aftertime, I bring you a review of its sequel, Rebirth. I should note that there is a novella, Survivors, that happens between the two books that is available for free download. I haven't read it yet but hope to in the near future.
Warning, this contains spoilers for the first book!
So the publicist for Littlefield saw that I was eager to get my hands on this book and sent it right to me. And obviously, I ate it up. It wasn't as easy going as it sounds. The first part of a bit slow in terms of plot and reacquainting myself to Cass Dollar.
This is a different Cass Dollar than the first. She's recovered, as much as one could, from her time as a zombie. She has her daughter back and settled into what one might call a normal existence in the survivor's camp, "The Box." Then a group of survivors called the Rebuilders, who are bent on ruling Aftertime, attack those who helped Cass at the beginning of her post-zombie journey. Cass' partner, Smoke, heads out to seek vengeance.
This is where we lose the Cass we thought we knew and see a whole new Cass. One who is still wrestling with her demons from her life as an addict and someone who inflicted self harm via sex. The one still wrestling with the guilt of losing her daughter, not due to zombies, but her inability to quell her addictions.
Cass is far from an ideal hero, yet she is a hero. She's not a character most people will fall in love with, but you will admire her for her tenacity and her devotion to her daughter. You will either empathize or be repulsed by Cass' choices all through the book. I swung back and forth depending on the decision! Post-apocalyptic life is far from black and white. Especially when you venture outside the relative safety of "The Box" to go up against the biggest threat - other human beings determined to fill the power vacuum and you have to bring your three-year-old daughter with you.
It's amazing I made it that far. Part of me thinks I should finish the book because I should know what is insid...moreI stopped reading this book on page 68.
It's amazing I made it that far. Part of me thinks I should finish the book because I should know what is inside. People not only like to come to me for gender advice, but also test my boundaries on "gender roles." A friend loaned me this book, I believe as a way to see what my expert opinion of it would be. I have no idea how she feels about it.
It frightens me to think this was a NY Times Best Seller. Oh, the masses who read this and loved it!
You know what made me finally put this book down?
*It wasn't her pointing out that female and male brains work in different ways. *It wasn't her stating on page 8 that a female engineer quit her work to be in a more people-oriented career, thus giving more credibility to the idea that engineers don't work with people or for people. *It wasn't even when she dug up the old "I gave my daughter a truck and she treated it like a baby" cliché. *It was almost when she says men look for visual clues (plump lips, smooth skin) to ensure fertility when looking for women to date.
It was her slut shaming.
In the chapter about how the female brain works in the areas of love and trust, she states: (Warning, put that cup down and swallow that bite)
"Social reputation is often a factor in male assessment, since the most reproductively successful males also need to pick women who will mate only with them. Men want to ensure their paternity but also to be able to count on a woman's mothers skills to make sure that their offspring thrive. If Melissa had immediately gone to bed with Rob or showed off to him about all the guys she has had, his Stone Age brain might have judged that she would be unfaithful or had a bad reputation."
Go ahead, read that passage again. Yes, you read it correctly. Cave men don't want slutty women to hook up with.
There's a lot of research in here and a lot of medical terms that aren't clearly explained. But from all the things on gender that I have learned from reading outside and inside the classroom and the science background I have, I have to say that this person takes facts and uses a huge rubber band to tie it to normative behavior.
Instead of this book, pick up Pink Brain, Blue Brain. Sure it's 2-3 times longer, but it doesn't traffic in stereotypes and certainly believes that we have evolved from the Stone Age.