Not without flaws but an informative and inspiring book.

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CRASH OVERRIDE

HOW GAMERGATE (NEARLY) DESTROYED MY LIFE, AND HOW WE CAN WIN THE FIGHT AGAINST ONLINE HATE

A video game developer tells how she became an outspoken advocate for victims of online abuse.

In August 2014, the life Quinn had built after “clawing my way out of poverty, homelessness, isolation, and mental illness” changed forever. An abusive ex-lover had decided to take revenge by posting hateful messages about her on video game forums. One post included a link to a 9,000-word “manifesto” that claimed Quinn had slept with video game evaluators to receive favorable reviews. A few months later, she found herself at the center of a cultural storm that came to be known as GamerGate. Hackers sympathetic to her ex hounded Quinn's past associates. Online, they posted nude photos and “discussions about how to drive me to suicide and the merits of raping me versus torturing me first and raping me afterwards.” The author began keeping her whereabouts secret because she felt as unsafe in her virtual life as she did in her real one. Refusing to be cowed into silence, she attempted to seek justice only to find that the “legal system [was] ill-equipped to handle the idea that anything real happens on the internet. In response, she founded an online abuse crisis hotline and victims’ advocacy group, which she named Crash Override Network. Quinn’s book is strongest in the detailed information she provides about the many—mostly underdiscussed—legal and corporate bottlenecks she encountered as both a victim and investigator of malicious cyberattacks. One especially disturbing observation she makes is that typical victims come from sexually and racially marginalized groups that law enforcement “[has] a history of mistreating.” Her story, which mingles details from her personal and professional lives along with hard-won tips for online safety, sometimes comes across as scattered. Nevertheless, the narrative is still a worthwhile read for anyone interested in taking action against the realities—and devastating effects—of extreme internet trolling.

Not without flaws but an informative and inspiring book.

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61039-808-4

Page Count: 256

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

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The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

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