Author: Various Authors
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: January 7th, 2020
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: E-galley from YA Bound Book Tours which did not influence my opinion
My rating: 4 stars
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.
Because I have my own #MeToo story, I was definitely interested in reading this book and being able to recommend it to others. While I didn't completely finish the book, it's not because it wasn't worthwhile to read. It's because after a while the stories started to depress me a bit. Yes, I definitely connected with and felt so much about the stories and authors was true for me as well. And I do think it is an important book to have and for others to read. But for me I couldn't keep going because in the end, I just was getting more and more depressed. However I still will try to purchase it for my school library, because I think it is helpful to read and know that other people have dealt with situations that still today we don't always feel we can talk about or actually confront those who have done these things to us. There was even something in one of the stories that was very much that thought, that she wondered if she had only spoken up sooner or even done more if she could have saved others who might have had to go through what she did. There was also in one story something that really stuck out to me because it is something I have struggled with as well. There was a guy I who was a part of a group of friends I had from my part time job about 10 or so years ago. He said something that really stuck out to me, about how a girl only thinks a guy flirting is creepy when she is not attracted to him. In the one story that made me think of this comment, the author talked about how her boss, a boy that was like 19 when she was still 16 or 17, who was her boyfriend, did treat her special at work because she flirted back with him and let him touch her. Gave her extra time off, better jobs to do, etc. She quit when they broke up because it was too hard to see him every day. Her next job she found and was told shortly after that she'd only been hired because of her large chest. She was also told by those same fellow female coworkers if she would just flirt back and play along with the much older male manager's flirting and advances, she would again get lots of special privileges like easy tasks, more weekend days off, and the like. But with this much older man, it was creepier to her and unwanted. And in the end, when she did not give in, she ended up losing her job, and the other women who did use those tactics to their advantage were not happy with her putting up the resistance and causing problems.
Another big topic that came across and really stuck with me was about how we are taught as women not to be rude or make a big deal out of things. I currently work with a man who is about 20 years older than me, and he has always done things or said things that kind of are creepy in a sexually forward manner at times. But because it isn't anything major, no touching or any threats because he's not in a role of power to me, and other than those occasional comments he's really a pretty nice guy, I don't do anything. Even though other girls, younger than me, making him at least 40 years older than them, have expressed similar feelings about it. I should say something, I should, right? But is it worth it? That's the way our society works. And I hate it. But am I still a part of the problem not saying anything myself? So those are the things that made me not finish the book for myself. Although I did read through a few of the stories of authors that I have read before and wanted to support them as well.
I do highly recommend it. Just know that it will be a hard read for a lot of it, but worth it, and these stories deserve to be heard.
About the Editor:
Janet Gurtler's young adult books have been chosen for the JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD SELECTION and as BEST BOOKS FOR TEENS from the Canadian Children’s Book Center. Janet lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband, son, a chubby black Chihuahua named Bruce and a Golden Retriever named Betty White.
Website - http://www.janet-gurtler.com/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/janetgurtler
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/janet.gurtler
We are giving away two copies of YOU TOO, signed by each author, entries are automatically entered with a donation to RAINN on our YOUTOO Fundraising Page.