Hello book lovers! I am finally writing a review for my first ever blog tour! I was sent this book by Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Random House. How exciting! I am a bit late on this due to it getting lost in the mail but I am still so thankful for this amazing opportunity. I am hoping to film a review/discussion on my booktube channel soon (once I am no longer ill) so be sure to watch out for it!
A single-subject anthology about the heart’s most powerful emotion, edited by Tavi Gevinson. Featuring exclusive, never-before-seen essays, poems, comics, and interviews from contributors like Jenny Zhang, Emma Straub, Hilton Als, Janet Mock, John Green, Rainbow Rowell, Gabourey Sidibe, Mitski, Alessia Cara, Etgar Keret, Margo Jefferson, Sarah Manguso, Durga Chew-Bose, and many more!
A VISIONARY AUTHOR WITH AN EVER-GROWING PLATFORM
Rookie’s editor-in-chief, Tavi Gevinson, is an incredible advocate for her books. She’s very much a star in her own right, as a cultural icon/influencer and more recently an actress. She’s a media darling, very well-connected, and always willing to use the full power of her iPhone contacts to help sell books.
A POSITIVE MEDIA OUTLET FOR TEENS
Rookie gives voice to girls, encouraging them to speak up, to meet up, to make stuff. It empowers them to submit their stories, ideas, and artwork to the site and participate in media rather than letting it control them. It’s a positive, supportive environment where many have felt comfortable sharing intimate details of their inner lives, particularly when it comes to love.
Tavi Gevinson is the editor-in-chief and founder of Rookie, an online magazine for teenage girls. Tavi’s career in media began when she created the blog Style Rookie in 2008 at age eleven. She was profiled by The New Yorker in 2010, and in 2011, at fifteen, launched Rookie. Six days after its debut, Rookie received more than one million page views. Tavi has since spoken at TEDxTeen, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Sydney Opera House, The New Yorker Festival, the Commonwealth Club of California, the University of Wisconsin’s Distinguished Lecture Series, the Brooklyn Museum, the Melbourne Writers Festival, and The Economist’s The World in 2011. Tavi is also an actress, having starred in Kenneth Lonergan’s Tony-nominated This Is Our Youth, Ivo van Hove’s revival of The Crucible as Mary Warren, and most recently Stephen Karam’s revival of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard on Broadway and the Sundance darling Human People.
Schedule for Other Bloggers on the Tour
February 5 – Mind of a Book Dragon – Review
February 6 – Fiction Fare – Review with a feature
February 7 – Paper Cups and Paperbacks – Blog Review and YouTube Video
February 8 – Brianna_book_binding – Review
When I was first offered a spot in this blog tour, I was so eager and excited. I found the idea of an anthology written by teenagers who have similar interests to me and so much talent so appealing. Not to mention the fact that I could not ignore the three names that I knew by heart: John Green, Rainbow Rowell, and Alessia Cara.
As explained in the book description, there are essays, poems, comics, and interviews which means that you can pick up this book whenever you want and not have to worry about pausing in the middle of a chapter or losing interest in a weak plot. I have read books like this before for school but they typically just include poems and short essays that relate to each other in a specific topic – rather than the freedom of this one in which you can interpret romance, self-care, and friendship any way you want.
I am going to go back to my normal review system for this book as I think it will be the easiest way to get my thoughts across so let’s begin!
1. The concept. The idea of reading an entire book full of (mainly) work written by teenagers like me, discussing their experiences that can either be overwhelmingly relatable or just really interesting was such a special experience. It just made me want to have coffee shop meetup’s with so many of the authors and inspired me to start (possibly) writing my own short essays whenever I want to – so probably this summer when I finally have some proper free time.
2. The freedom. The three themes are romance, friendship, and self-care but the way that each writer tackles them in different ways was so refreshing. I never felt like I was reading the same thing and as much as I admit that the romance pieces were my favourite, they covered such a large range. From a girl’s school crush to first relationship in college to a gay couple meeting up for the first time and thankfully avoiding a catfish situation. All of it was just so fun to read and never bored me – it was a wonderful break from my research reading that I have been basically drowning in.
3. The age focus. Although the authors don’t always mention their actual age, you can tell by their experiences and mental point in life that they are all around the same age – roughly 18 to mid 20’s. This was so encouraging to read as a writer who has never been published and wasn’t even aware of such a community like Rookie. I have so much respect to all of the people who submitted their work for the publication – what confidence they must have had, or the beautiful leap-of-faith to just go for it.
1. The poetry. As a writer who used to absolutely love reading and writing poetry, it made me so happy to see it included in this anthology. Though I do have to admit that I wish there had been more of them, the pieces that were selected were so beautiful and inspirational. It was so neat to read such personal pieces that spoke to my age group, rather than just reflecting on topics set by school’s or reading pieces from the classic’s (as good as they sometimes are). I loved each one and even tabbed them in case I ever think to re-read them.
2. The inclusion of LGBT topics. Yes Tavi! Yes! As a massive believer that there needs to be more LGBT inclusive books, it made me so surprised and happy every time I read a piece that took the spin of mentioning that they are gay. Those pieces were just a touch more special and deserve recognition for their willingness and talent to write such personal issues in such beautiful ways. Once again though, I do wish that there had been more of them as I felt they were stronger than some of the pieces that seemed to go off in tangents.
3. The illustrations. The little illustrations were such a cute touch that really connected the branding of Rookie for me. In a few cases, the illustrations really added to the pieces to provide visuals that were lovely, while others just added a bit of cuteness which is never bad.
1. Production of the comics. As much as I loved the idea of comics being included in the anthology, they were so hard to read. The illustrations are done as if with a colored pencil which makes the pictures look nice but the words nearly ineligible. I found myself squinting at the book while holding it to my face every time I reached a comic just so that I could know what was actually happening and to give that author the time they deserved to be heard. Hopefully this was just an issue for the advanced copies and not the final copies being sold in stores.
2. Certain essays went off on tangents. As touching and relatable as most of the essays were, certain ones just seemed so out-of-place. I kept hoping for them to reach an actual point and to make sense but they just seemed to keep following different tangents that didn’t fit my expectations nor what I enjoy reading. Thankfully there were only a few pieces like this but I did feel that they could have been cut, allowing stronger pieces to be included instead.
Overall, this was such a beautiful book full of comforting and mind-expanding content that made me feel eager to join the community that Tavi Gevinson created. I wish all the best to all of the authors who got selected for the book and I would love to see more from them in the future!
*From what I have found, it has been on sell in the US through Amazon, Penguin Random House, and Barnes and Noble since 01 January 2018. Hopefully a later release date will be announced for the UK though you can currently order it through Waterstones.*
Would I suggest this book to a friend: Yes if they love young adult (non-fiction), are a writer, or just need that bit of comfort in their life.
Would I love to read more anthologies like this one: Yes please!