UNSLUT by Emily Lindin


A Diary and a Memoir
Age Range: 12 & up
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A diary kept in the late 1990s by a middle school girl labeled a "slut" by her peers is transcribed, with footnotes adding her adult commentary, in this expository memoir.

Prefacing this collection of intensely personal journal entries is a foreword written by Lindin, who explains the process by which she decided to make them public (with changed names) in an effort both to provide support to teens experiencing slut shaming and to make adults aware of the intricacies of this type of bullying. While it’s a worthy intent, the monotony of these day-to-day entries, preoccupied to the extreme with the volley of relationship and friendship drama so common (and developmentally appropriate) to early adolescence, makes this a slow read. The founder of an advocacy program called The UnSlut Project, Lindin's analysis of her younger self definitely adds valuable context, levity, and keen insight into a number of different issues. Some of the most important center on how little agency many girls feel over their own bodies and the psychological disconnect often present for teens who engage in such self-harming behaviors as cutting. However, these same elucidations may turn off teen readers, rooted as they are so firmly in an adult perspective.

While this direct presentation of events allows readers to see the nuances of this bullying experience, it's a difficult and at times tedious narrative. (Memoir. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Dec. 29th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-942186-00-7
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Zest Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2015


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