If you’re looking for a YA feminist read, then this is for you | ARC Review: The Burning by Laura Bates

If you're looking for a YA feminist read, then this is for you | ARC Review: The Burning by Laura Bates

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If you're looking for a YA feminist read, then this is for you | ARC Review: The Burning by Laura Bates

      BOOK DEPOSITORY ADD ON GOODREADS WORDERY


SYNOPSIS

New school.
Tick.
New town.
Tick.
New surname.
Tick.
Social media profiles?
Erased.

There’s nothing to trace Anna back to her old life. Nothing to link her to the ‘incident’.

At least that’s what she thinks … until the whispers start up again. As time begins to run out on her secrets, Anna finds herself irresistibly drawn to the tale of Maggie, a local girl accused of witchcraft centuries earlier. A girl whose story has terrifying parallels to Anna’s own…

The compelling YA debut from Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and bestselling author of Girl Up.


Should You read The Burning by Laura Bates ?

CW: slut-shaming, homophobic slurs, rape(off-page)

A rumour is like a fire. You might think you’ve extinguished it but one creeping, red tendril, one single wisp of smoke is enough to let it leap back into life again. Especially if someone is watching, waiting to fan the flames …

This is going to be short review because it’s a short book. Wow..umm, this is not a great introduction but let’s begin anyway.

The story starts with a girl named Anna remembering lists and walking inside an house. It appears that she’s moved homes-from Birmingham to Scotland- in the middle of a school year with her mother. Curious. Then, as Anna goes to her new school and her school adviser expresses regret over her father’s death, she sighs in relief thinking that her mother kept her promise. Curiouser.

The “secretive” theme plays out through quite a number of pages and my “intrigue”-o meter is sky high throughout. As Anna starts to settle into her new school, she’s given an assignment to write about an interesting historical figure in their town. *cue the groans*

Anna, new to town, has no clue so she goes to the local library and stumbles upon a book which has an anecdote on a local witch. This is where I tell you that I love stories about witches..I mean, what’s not to like? Anna ,with the help of a friend, manages to track down the author who wrote the book and he agrees to help her find out more about the local “witch”.

Now, the house she lives in is really old and Anna decides to take a trip into the attic and… she gets weird vibes from the moment she steps in. Anna also discovers a secret room and finds a necklace which Anna takes for herself. After availing herself o this necklace, Anna begins to have these visions of the so called “witch” she’s rsearching about. The name of the woman is Maggie and Anna finds some similarities with her and promises to find the truth about her. Meanwhile, it turns out Anna cannot escape her past as rumours spread like wildfire with the help of social media. Will Anna be able to survive as rumours threaten to undo everything she’s built?

I think that this book highlights a lot of important issues such as slut-shaming, double standards, bullying, the negative and positive aspects of social media. I loved the incorporation of a 400 year old story i.e. the story of Maggie. However, I think that there was too much to unpack. I thought that this story would have a paranormal element to it but I liked the way the author brought Maggie’s story to an end but I would have liked to hear more about Maggie.. I wanted there to be some sort of connection with Maggie and Anna. the abscence of these points left a void in a book which had a promising start.

Overall, I recommend this book if you’ve read GIRL UP or if you’re looking for a YA feminist read which highlights issues all women are forced to face. This was author Laura Bates’ YA debut and I found it promising so I will definitely look out for her upcoming titles.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT:  

Author: Connect with Author Laura Bates here .

  • Publisher: Simon Schuster Children’s UK
  • Publication Date: 21 Feb 2019
  • Paperback(ARC): 368 Pages

Do you think you’ll read The Burning? What’re some of your favourite YA reads that deals with feminism? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

I spent International Women’s Day watching Captain Marvel and writing down some bottled-up thoughts

Is this my first non-bookish post ? Why yes, it is. I must warn you the further you go it gets a little personal as my thoughts on Captain Marvel movie transitions into my thoughts as a woman on this day.

I spent International Women's Day watching Captain Marvel and writing down some bottled-up thoughts
Image credit: Pyramid International.com; Quote: from movie

8th of March has been an extra special day for me because of three reasons:

  • It is International Women’s Day!
  • It is the day after my birthday ! *I’ll explain below*
  • Captain Marvel releases today!

First, I’m gonna ramble about Captain “badass” Marvel movie starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Gemma Chan, Lashana Lynch, Algenis Perez Soto, Rune Temte, Mckenna Grace, Clark Gregg You may consider it my spoiler-free review.

“Have you ever seen a little girl run so fast she falls down? There’s an instant, a fraction of a second before the world catches hold of her again…A moment when she’s outrun every doubt and fear she’s ever had about herself and she flies. In that moment, every little girl flies.”

Captain Marvel Vol 8 #1

It was pretty significant to watch a first day, first show of this epic superhero movie. Not only Cap Marvel is the first movie in the Marvel franchise to have a female lead but she is said to be THE most powerful superhero in the franchise.

#NotreallyaSpoiler The beginning will make you super emotional as it is a tribute to Stan Lee and you’ll probably bawl your eyes out like I did. After the montage, we see Brie Larson waking up in a new world with a new name “Vers” and immediately after we see her wake up the commander (Jude Law) to spar. I love Brie Larson’s moves here and I know my girl has trained so much for this role and it shows! What also shows is her glowing fist..*Now, this is the point I imagined Iron Fist scowling and saying..Hey girl, you’re coping me..* Well, Iron Fist, watch the rest of the damn movie to see that the glowing fists are nothing but the beginning of the show.

The movie progresses on really well and I have no idea why I heard someone complaining that it was a bit lengthy. Captain Marvel might be touted as a feminist movie but it also shows us what happens when A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) controls an entire nation. It is scary as hell and you will know why when you watch the movie.

When Cap Marvel ‘literally’ lands on Earth, she is questioned and semi-arrested by S.H.I.E.L.D agent Fury (JUST Fury). Fury is looking so young and good looking and Coulson too..like the entire hall screamed and whistled at their appearance. Then, there are the “evil” Skrull’s who she has to hunt down because she’s a Kree “noble” warrior. Not only she has to track down rogue Skrulls but find a scientist whom she knew in her past life and become the victim of catcalling.. And SHE handles all of her problems as ALL FEMALES do ..effortlessly to the tune of Gwen Stefani singing Just a Girl .

Maria Rambeau: Thought we’d show these boys how we do it. You ready?
Carol Danvers: Higher, further, faster, baby.
Maria Rambeau: That’s right..

– Captain marvel movie

This is the moment when viewers will see a woman driving away with a stolen bike and I thought I would love to do the same. You see, when I asked my uncle to teach me how to drive a “bike”(a motorcycle), he responed with a hefty dose of sexism: ” Girls can’t ride a bike. You won’t be able to sit without falling or make turns or move.” I was like, ” Uncle, you do know there are bikes of different sizes right ? I am SURE that I can one capable of riding but thank you for refusing to teach me because I’m not a boy.” Watching Brie Larson riding a bike and smoothly making her way through a highway reminded me of this moment and I vowed that someday I’ll be riding one too.

Back to the movie discussion. Vers/ Brie Larson/ Carol Denvers(that’s Cap Marvel’s real name) along with *Call me* Fury goes on a journey to help recover Carol’s memories and along the way, not only she gets back all her memories but she opens her eyes to some hard truths too. You need only wait a couple more excrutiating minutes to witness the glory of CAPTAIN MARVEL’s powers. Thanos is screwed and he’s about get a real hefty dose of this women’s wrath soon.

I loved the movie and its showcase of feminism in such an epic way but, come on writers! Was the anatomy joke in the autopsy scene necessary ? *ughhh*

Beside that cringe-y moment, Captain Marvel made me emotional, made me feel empowered, happy..no ..ecstatic and hopeful. Little Carol Denvers childhood scenes reminded me of my own childhood and her present scenes reminded me of my own present state…when I would run too fast for the boys, when I would play with the boys, every time I had to REGRET that I was a woman. I thought back to the days I was ashamed of having my period or wearing a LBD or my “revealing” bra strap. I thought of the countless times men would look at my breasts before making eye contact -or sometimes even forgoing eye contact- or my butt like it was a pretty art to inspect and buy. I thought of the times I had to PROVE myself because I was a woman, I was too feminine ..I was too much this or that. I thought back to the day when my brother told me that I was too emotional to be a doctor. Really? You think I’ll cry or *oh my god* faint when I’ll see someone in need. Get real. Yeah, I said that through tears in my eyes and report card in my hands.


Now, back to the bullet point no. 2 . WHY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY IS IMPORTANT TO ME. Because of what i went and still go through as a woman, because my birth someone felt even more significant to me…like I had a purpose. Well, I do have a purpose as a human and a woman to support women, encourage women and help people understand that FEMINISM means equality for men and women. International Women’s day is even more significant when I hear that every day 137 women are killed by a member of their own family; that eeveryday 848 rapes are “reported” in India alone; that 300 million women alive today have undergone genital mutilation; that 15 million adolescent girls have been forced into sex; 650 million women today were married before the age of 18; that 82% of women in parliament have experienced violence, harrassment, or abuse of a sexual nature; that 87,000 women were murdered last year – 30,000 of them by their partners. I haven’t included numbers and statistics on female infanticide, trafficking, pay gap or education yet . If I did, you’d dicovers more horrors in the shape of numbers and stats.

I had to debate with myself a lot about posting this. No matter how hard I tried to post an objective review or discussion of the movie, I couldn’t do it. I don’t think many people will read this but if YOU are reading this and understanding me then talk to me in the comments below. Tell me why INTL. WOMEN’S DAY is significant for you or talk to me about your experiences as a woman or your frustrations or expectations.

LITTLE REMINDER DUE TO WOMEN’S DAY BUT FOR EVERY DAY : YOU’RE NOT JUST A LITTLE GIRL OR JUST A WOMAN. YOU’RE UNSTOPABLE, YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL ( yes, whatever the colour of your skin, scars , moles , freckles, strech marks and everything), YOU’RE LOVED. THERE IS NO DEFINITION OF BADASS. YOU KICK ASS WITH YOUR SHYNESS, WITH YOUR SMARTNESS, WITH YOUR WORDS, YOUR ACTIONS, YOUR HUMOUR, YOUR CLEVERNESS. YOU ARE CAPABLE.

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