You Too? by Janet Gurtler

Posted December 26, 2019 by Amber in Reviews / 0 Comments

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You Too?

You Too?

by Beth Revis, Cheryl Rainfield, Ellen Hopkins, Janet Gurler, Mackenzi Lee, Saundra Mitchell

Publisher: Harlequin Teen on January 7, 2020
Genre: Essays, Feminism, Non-Fiction
Target Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: ★★★½

Check out this book on Goodreads

A timely and heartfelt collection of essays inspired by the #MeToo movement, edited by acclaimed young adult and middle-grade author Janet Gurtler. Featuring Beth Revis, Mackenzi Lee, Ellen Hopkins, Saundra Mitchell, Jennifer Brown, Cheryl Rainfield and many more.

When #MeToo went viral, Janet Gurtler was among the millions of people who began to reflect on her past experiences. Things she had reluctantly accepted—male classmates groping her at recess, harassment at work—came back to her in startling clarity. She needed teens to know what she had not: that no young person should be subject to sexual assault, or made to feel unsafe, less than or degraded.

You Too? was born out of that need. By turns thoughtful and explosive, these personal stories encompass a wide range of experiences and will resonate with every reader who has wondered, “Why is this happening to me?” or secretly felt that their own mistreatment or abuse is somehow their fault—it’s not. Candid and empowering, You Too? is written for teens, but also an essential resource for the adults in their lives—an urgent, compassionate call to listen and create change.

 

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from NetGalley and Inkyard Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

You Too? is a complicated book to review because of the intensity of its content. These stories are deeply important and I have so much respect for the women in this book who have had the courage to come forward and share their stories. I want to be clear that in the review going forward, any judgement made of the book as a whole are no reflections on the power, truth, and importance of each of these stories. It is so vital these stories are out there, because each one peels back a small window into knowing we are not alone. And it is important these women are able to share their stories. We have to acknowledge that these things do happen and take measures to make sure they never ever happen again.

I think, for myself, there are some things I would have done differently in the compilation of the stories. If there was a theme in how they were arranged, I didn’t catch it. Because of this.. there were a few stories in the middle addressing the same topic but did not have the same traumatic images that they were less impactful.  I’m specifically thinking of Beth Revis and Mackenzi Lee’s contributions here – both stories were meaningful, but were lost in the fray.  I feel as though this compilation could have easily been broken into sections – there were so many powerful stories from women of color! – to better serve each of  the individual voices. Obviously I’m not a publisher and I’m sure the order was made for a reason, but I do feel they could have been organized in a more impactful way.

Otherwise, there’s not a whole lot to say about this book.  These stories and powerful and important and I think it’s very good for teen girls to be able to read this collection and see themselves and know they are supported – that they are not alone and that the things that have happened to them are not okay.  The stories themselves are repetitive in format… but in a way I think that adds to the message that these horrible things are common and overlooked and that the same things happen to a lot of people and… they must stop.

I do also want to recognize that as an ARC, the formatting and the order of the stories may change.  The ebook I received used hashtags (#) instead of spaces and was missing characters every time the text went italic, so I know there is still some work to be done.

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Ratings Breakdown

Writing: ★★★ 1/2
Pacing: ★★★
Detail: ★★★★
Delivery: ★★★
Subject: ★★★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★ 1/2
Overall: ★★★ 1/2

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Have you closely followed the #MeToo movement?  It’s been a couple years since the movement started, but I have a great deal of respect for the people who have the courage to share their stories. 🙂  Are there other movements I should be following?  Catch me up in the comments!

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