“Is it a body that makes a slag? A body that’s seen? Then I’m guilty.”
I think I’ve found my new favourite book.
This is no exaggeration – I read this book in mere hours, simply because I couldn’t bring myself to put it down.
Laura Bates – yes, that Laura Bates, founder of the #EverydaySexism project – has done it again, with another beautifully feminist piece of work.
Laura’s writing style is so accessible, yet descriptive and vivid – I cried more times than I’d care to admit.
As you start reading, you’re just as clueless as Anna’s new Scottish school friends as to her previous life, but as you turn each page, the puzzle pieces start to slot together.
By the end, it’s a startling slap back to reality that we haven’t moved on from the repressive ideals of our seventeenth-century witch-burning ancestors.
Technology hasn’t made us more advanced – societal pressures, misogyny, sexist expectations, and attitudes toward women mean that we may as well be living in a Neanderthal world.
As a millennial, I grew up in the early days of social media, but so much of this book sent me careening back, kicking and screaming, to my teenage years.
It’s still the same – if a woman has sex, she’s a slut; if she doesn’t, she’s frigid.
It’s not the technology that’s the problem.
And things won’t change unless we incite change.
So I implore you all to read this book, if not for the feeling of community and sisterhood, or the stark snapshot of society, then for Anna’s mother’s beautiful, angry speech at the end.
Plus, because Laura wrote this book to open our eyes to our misogynistic, victim-shaming world and to inspire change, she’s also added some interesting conversation starters, which I would love to explore with you all.
So please, read this book, and get in touch!
P.S. As a final, baffling note, I’d like to point out the bizarreness that, when searching for this book on Amazon, it suggested a range of ‘Other YA tomboy romance novels’. Rest assured, SOCIALights, this is certainly not the case.
The Burning is available on Amazon and at all good bookshops (RRP £7.99)