Review: Not That Bad, Dispatches from Rape Culture by Roxane Gay
Not that bad is an important, but heartbreaking conversation for our time. Filled with first-person autobiographical essays, it gives a voice to those who have been sexually assaulted, harassed, raped or sexually abused. Many of the victims downplay their experiences, yet each of the narratives show just how much trauma that every one of them has been through. This isn't about what happened to these people nearly as much as it is about the impact it had on their lives.
Unrequited love is a common theme in the Peanuts Comics and is one that I have previously explored on this blog. We know that Lucy loves Schroeder, Sally loves Linus and Charlie Brown has a crush on the unseen, unnamed and utterly unattainable Little Redhaired Girl. But perhaps the saddest unrequited love stories from the comic is that which ran in late June 1972. It was the series of strips where the usually self-confident Peppermint Patty came face-to-face with the Little Redhaired Girl with the intention of thumping her and then something surprising happened: Here we have a usually self-confident girl, who is funny, unashamedly herself and talented at sports reduced to tears by the realisation of who she is not and never can be. I really feel for her in this series of comic strips. She knows that Charlie Brown can never love her, when he is so hung up over a girl who represents a supposedly ideal feminine beauty. Fortunately Linus, the most spiritual member of the Pean
Are there any other authors out there who write similar novels to V.C. Andrews? This is a question I see asked frequently in excellent fan run V.C. Andrews Facebook groups like Attic Secrets and The Dolls Club. In times gone by, The Complete V.C. Andrews webpage (which is no more, but the best bits are archived by Lorraine at the Attic Secrets blog,) had a comprehensive list. Today, I thought I would put forward a few of my own thoughts and recommendations. (Note: This will focus mainly on the series and novels written by the actual V.C. Andrews and not ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman, who has a distinctive writing style of his own.) The Classics This is probably the best place to start, as it is likely that some of these novels influenced V.C. Andrews herself. Andrews was a fan of Charles Dickens, mentioning the author in the prologue of her most famous novel Flowers in the Attic. I have yet to read all of Dickens novels (I've read about half,) but I can feel a slight V.C. Andrews vi
Colleen Hoover's latest offering is a short, heartwarming and occasionally over-emotional novella that acts as a sequel to both Finding Cinderella (itself a companion novel and sequel to the Hopeless series,) and her stand-alone novel All Your Perfects. It's thanksgiving break, and Six is sad, and her boyfriend Daniel is sad because Six is sad, and it all comes down to the secret they have been keeping from everyone. And then it turns out that two strangers--Quinn and Graham--hold the key to helping them find their way. There is no denying it, this is definitely a story written for diehard fans who want to revisit their favourite characters and know what happened next. In many respects it works as a lovely crossover, with each pair able to give the other exactly what they needed. Unfortunately, it also feels overly sweet in places and the situation tied up a bit too well. The characters themselves, particularly Daniel and Six, come across as one-dimensional and shallow, in sp