I haven’t watched the tv show Shrill but I remember reading a little of the book, but I never finished it because it was a time when I used to abandon books midway a lot. But I also remember that I found it very interesting and powerful. So when I saw this book on my Libro.fm list for November, I knew I had to pick it up immediately and I’m so glad I didn’t put it off.
As I always like to do, I listened and read this book simultaneously and while it’s a very wonderful book to read, the author’s narration makes it excellent. She is fiery and passionate and brings out all the emotions that she may have felt while writing the book into her narrative voice, and it makes for a very immersive listening experience. Right alongside her, I felt angry and disappointed, I laughed out and I felt motivated. Any book that evokes such strong feelings in us deserves a read.
This book is also extremely quotable. I just kept highlighting paragraphs upon paragraphs in my kindle, and I think I could have done that to the whole book. The book is not a single coherent story, it’s more like a collection of essays with each chapter dealing with a different topic that the author deeply resonates with. She is a pro-choice, body positive, feminist writer and is completely unapologetic about her opinions and I admire her so much for it. I particularly loved reading her thoughts on the #MeToo movement, abortion rights, youth activism and women’s anger.
But what makes this book special is her no holds barred style of writing. That would probably be considered a good attitude for a man but not a woman, and the author talks extensively about all the ways in which this hypocrisy persists – where men are assumed to be the leaders and risk takers and capable, whereas women have to work doubly hard to prove themselves to be on par while also fighting off impossible expectations of niceness and likability. And whatever topic she is talking about, it’s inevitable that the discussion turns to the current president and she is fearless in her criticism of his policies, as well as the overall destructive platform of the Republicans and their right wing cohorts. And she is also highly critical of the “center” or “apolitical” people as if choosing not to be political in the current climate is in itself not a highly privileged political stance.
I could probably write a lot more in my review, but I want to end it right here and ask you to pick this up. Read it, listen to it, it’s your choice but do consume it. It may not talk about things we don’t already know, but sometimes it’s good to get a reminder – especially from someone who hits the nail on the head so articulately and without holding herself back. And as a fat woman, I admire the author even more for sticking up for her principles in the face of unimaginable trolling and threats. It’s an extremely well written and narrated book and I highly recommend it.
PS: Thank you so much to Libro.fm and Hachette Audio for providing me with this advanced listening copy. All opinions expressed here are unbiased and solely mine.