Wednesday, January 8, 2020

"You Too?" edited by Janet Gurtler

You Too?
edited by Janet Gurtler

You Too? edited by Janet Gurtler

You Too? edited by Janet Gurtler is currently on tour with YA Bound Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, some excerpts, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

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.


Praise for the Book
“It took me a while to read it completely because I could only handle it in small doses, but nevertheless, it’s a very important book and I would love to give this to any young woman I know. But I also think it’s important for adult readers like me to read because we all have had these experiences and it’s good to know we are not alone.” ~ Sahitya
“I think this is a great IMPORTANT book for young girls to read. I recognized my own experiences in several of the stories, and found strength, camaraderie and resilience. I wish this book had been around when I was a teenager.” ~ Christine Bolton
“This collection of short stories reveals a sad truth about our society where young women are still objectified, and in some cases, abused. Each story is different, but there are underlying themes that run though many of them. ‘It's the woman's fault’ is one, guilt is another, and shame. Some made me cry, some made me angry, but all of them made me aware.” ~ C. McKenzie
“This is a very powerful anthology. It's not the most pleasant read, but it's not supposed to be. The stories contain sadness, fear, anger, and betrayal. But they also convey an important message about what it means to be female in a way that is brutally honest but also optimistic. This is the first #MeToo book I've read that has been specifically targeted to teens.” ~ Pallavi
“This was a very powerful collection, and I think it should be mandatory reading for anyone and everyone.” ~ T.B. Caine

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
You Too? is a collection of 25 essays, mostly by published authors, with an introduction by editor Janet Gurtler, who also includes her own story. “In 2018, #MeToo stories began exploding across my social media feed, bringing back memories of the harassment I experienced as a young woman coming of age in the late seventies and early eighties.” As such, she “set out to collect stories from a diverse group of writers who were willing to share their personal encounters.”
Most of the authors tell their stories for the first time in these pages, often feeling that what they experienced wasn’t “bad enough” to be included in this anthology. It’s tough reading about the verbal and physical abuse experienced by these girls (and one boy) via the words and actions of boys and men, not only because of their sex but for their color, nationality, sexual orientation, even body size. They were made to feel like they had done something wrong and were left feeling both fear and shame. They reflect on these incidents and regret not having acted at the time and reporting the behavior of their abusers. This is the message they wish to convey to the young readers who may be experiencing the same sort of abuse:
“I should have been using my voice and standing up to harassment. […] Call out harassers. Speak for those who are too afraid, and let others speak for you when you can’t. There can be consequences for harassers and predators of all types - and there should be.”
On a positive note, these women all came out stronger because of what they endured. And, guess what? Me too.
Should be compulsory reading for all teens - both girls and boys - and their parents.
Warnings: coarse language, sexual references, rape, incest, LGBTQA themes.

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.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of two copies of You Too? signed by each author. Entries are automatically entered with a donation to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization) on the YOUTOO Fundraising Page.


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