Pages: 304 pages
Published: March 12, 2019
Publisher: Viking Books
Genre: Young Adult, Nonfiction, Poetry, Biographies & Memoirs
A searing poetic memoir and call to action from the bestselling and award-winning author of Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson!
Bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for the unflinching way she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Now, inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was first published twenty years ago, she has written a poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless. In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she’s never written about before. Searing and soul-searching, this important memoir is a denouncement of our society’s failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #metoo and #timesup, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts. Shout speaks truth to power in a loud, clear voice– and once you hear it, it is impossible to ignore.
Laurie Halse Anderson has returned once again with her inspirational writing with her latest book, SHOUT, a personal memoir that is written in an unlikely but beautiful way.
This memoir is written in free verse format. I have never seen a memoir written like that so it was interesting to see how it would play out. After reading this, I believe it was a stroke of genius. This free verse format was so inventive and creative. Readers, particularly the ones of the younger set, more engaged with her story since it is written this way. Younger readers find nonfiction books drag on and not getting to straight to the main objective. But with SHOUT, young readers will not have to worry about that. The poetry format will allow them to focus more on her words and the message she is trying to convey.
After reading this, I continue to be in awe of Anderson. I loved her and her writing when I was a teenager and I am glad that sentiment still rings true today in my 30’s. When talking about her life, she doesn’t mince words, she gets to the honest truth, which is raw and heartbreaking but at the same time uplifting. She talks about the aftermath of her sexual assault in excruciating detail but it’s something that needed to be done. She explores the positives and the negatives of the #MeToo movement and the effect it has on our current society. You can feel her anger at how that it appears that nothing in society has changed. For a book that is for teens, she doesn’t handle them with “kid gloves”. In fact, she tells them the God honest truth, something teens need to hear right now. Oddly enough, this book offers encouragement. She motivates her readers to be that change. I was left with sadness, anger and most importantly, determination. This is the book that will hopefully get teens to change their attitude towards the rape culture and give them the confidence to tell their own stories.
Anderson’s SHOUT is thought provoking, inventive and profound book that was necessary needed for our society. We need to have these type of conversations and this is the book that will definitely incite them. This is a book everyone, people of all ages, need to read right now.
I received an advanced copy from Edelweiss for an honest review.
Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars