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!FREE E-PUB ⚆ Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl: A Memoir ⚖ Jeannie Vanasco has had the same nightmare since she was a teenager She startles awake, saying his name It is always about him one of her closest high school friends, a boy named Mark A boy who raped herWhen her nightmares worsen, Jeannie decides after fourteen years of silence to reach out to Mark He agrees to talk on the record and meet in person It s the least I can do, he saysJeannie details her friendship with Mark before and after the assault, asking the brave and urgent question Is it possible for a good person to commit a terrible act Jeannie interviews Mark, exploring how rape has impacted his life as well as her own She examines the language surrounding sexual assault and pushes against its confines, contributing to and deepening the MeToo discussionExacting and courageous, Things We Didn t Talk About When I Was a Girl is part memoir, part true crime record, and part testament to the strength of female friendships a recounting and reckoning that will inspire us to ask harder questions and interrogate our biases Jeannie Vanasco examines and dismantles long held myths of victimhood, discovering grace and power in this genre bending investigation into the trauma of sexual violence Update I decided to change this to two stars from one It deserves at least an additional star for the act of doing this at all, what it took emotionally to be able to write anything down, let alone interviewing and seeing her rapist, someone who was a good friend and betrayed that relationship.First brave topic and approach However, the execution is flawed Most obvious nothing in this book implies a list of things that weren t taught to the author as a girl Nothing was mentioned in any wa Update I decided to change this to two stars from one It deserves at least an additional star for the act of doing this at all, what it took emotionally to be able to write anything down, let alone interviewing and seeing her rapist, someone who was a good friend and betrayed that relationship.First brave topic and approach However, the execution is flawed Most obvious nothing in this book implies a list of things that weren t taught to the author as a girl Nothing was mentioned in any way, so the title justdoesn t make any sense My biggest problem is that it s basically the story of her process interviewing the friend that assaulted her and putting it into a book, not the book itself It feels like a long, drawn out, repetitive QA with herself She transcribes the conversations with him, so it becomes a QA with him There seems to be no point, no lesson, no insight at all The guy feels terrible, guilty, and feels he owes it to her to talk to her for this bookbut it s like you never get to the point Several times in the book I had to flip back to make sure I hadn t misplaced my bookmark because I d already heard the same things, chapter after chapter I appreciate what I think she was trying to do which I think is prove how any guy, even the nice guys, can do something awful But it doesn t ever quite get there because the sample set is just Mark , it s just again the process of talking through WANTING to make this point and wanting to write a book that achieves that, but not getting down to it The author wants this to reach an audience, but to what end I hope it helped her work through some things, but it just reads like someone talking about the book they re GOING to write, an author s work product, but not the book itself Oof I suspected this would be great but it packsof a punch than I even expected Vanasco, a woman in her early 30s and teacher of memoir writing at a university, decides to get back in touch with her rapist, a guy she was close friends with as a teenager until he assaulted her at a party when she was 19 The book then chronicles the process of getting back in touch with this guy Mark , first through a series of phone calls and how the process of revisiting the rape and her friendship Oof I suspected this would be great but it packsof a punch than I even expected Vanasco, a woman in her early 30s and teacher of memoir writing at a university, decides to get back in touch with her rapist, a guy she was close friends with as a teenager until he assaulted her at a party when she was 19 The book then chronicles the process of getting back in touch with this guy Mark , first through a series of phone calls and how the process of revisiting the rape and her friendship with him while also trying to write about it impacts upon her, building up to when she decides to travel to meet him and interview him face to face.Jeannie decides to record the phone calls, allowing for a level of self analysis reflection as well as being able to go over and really think about what Mark says during these conversations She quickly realises that she is trying to reassure and comfort Mark through the language she uses to make sure she isn t making him feel uncomfortable The level of introspection is, I guess, expected from someone who teaches memoir writing, but I found it added so much to the narrative Why do some women find it so hard to put their own feelings above those of almost invariably men around them Jeannie also discusses the writing process with a number of writer friends throughout the period spanning her conversations with Mark, helping her to further pick apart and analyse her own reaction to events, as well as how Mark responds to her getting back in touch I found this impossible to put down and a thought provoking read on a number of levels.Highly recommended Thank you Netgalley and Prelude Books for the advance copy, which was provided in exchange for an honest review. I doubt I m the only woman sexually assaulted by a friend and confused about her feelings Wow This is one powerful read.Heavy content warnings for rape and sexual assault.15 years ago, Jeannie Vanasco was raped by a close friend In this memoir, she explores how that incident affected her then, affects her now, and in a move that makes this book not only unique but a necessary read talks to her rapist about his view on the assault.Despite being written in a simple style that s easy to folI doubt I m the only woman sexually assaulted by a friend and confused about her feelings Wow This is one powerful read.Heavy content warnings for rape and sexual assault.15 years ago, Jeannie Vanasco was raped by a close friend In this memoir, she explores how that incident affected her then, affects her now, and in a move that makes this book not only unique but a necessary read talks to her rapist about his view on the assault.Despite being written in a simple style that s easy to follow, it s taken a week for me to get through this because the heavy subject matter was mentally exhausting at times It reads like a stream of consciousness at times it is messy but that only makes it feelreal Throughout the writing, Vanasco is exploring her feelings and coming to new ones, and the fact that she is constantly battling between what she, as a Good Feminist, should be feeling versus what she is actually feeling makes it a very interesting and relatable read The fact that the book is written in a kind of real time the author describes writing the memoir while doing so makes it feel very much like reading a diary It s a very intimate feeling to read this book, but never feels intrusive The prevalence of sexual assault is felt heavily throughout the book This was not the author s only experience of this, and she talks candidly about other times she s been violated She also talks about the depressing number of her students who have had similar experiences, as well as friends of hers Many books exist about rape and sexual assault, but the nuance that this one offers by bringing the assailant s voice is brought to the table makes it a standout in a world of MeToo and other movements that have made the topic an important talking point While this, as Vanasco herself acknowledges several times throughout the book, may be a red flag for many women, I d encourage people to go in with an open mind The perpetrator doesn t get an easy ride in this, and there s never a point where he s portrayed as either a someone without blame.It s interesting to see both Jeannie and Mark not his real name process their feelings about that one night, 15 years laterThis story isn t original, and that s the story Sexual assault happens all the time What makes this story sort of unusual is we re having the conversation I don t think that happens very often 4.5 stars DNF at 22% I don t remember how I encountered this book, but I want to say that it was a books similar to recommendation from my library after reading Not That Bad Dispatches from Rape Culture So I added it, and then waited for ages on hold for it and now I ve read less than a quarter of it, which has taken me four days already, and I m returning it This is a memoir about a woman s sexual assault when she was a teen, and her coming to terms with all that that entails regarding what co DNF at 22% I don t remember how I encountered this book, but I want to say that it was a books similar to recommendation from my library after reading Not That Bad Dispatches from Rape Culture So I added it, and then waited for ages on hold for it and now I ve read less than a quarter of it, which has taken me four days already, and I m returning it This is a memoir about a woman s sexual assault when she was a teen, and her coming to terms with all that that entails regarding what counts as rape and how that has changed SINCE her rape , how she should feel about it, how she should feel about the man who assaulted her, how she should feel about how she feels, how she feels about how HE feels about what happened, how she feels about caring about how he feels How she feels about writing about this, how she feels about how HE will feel about her writing about this, how she feels about her feeling anything about him feeling something about writing this etc etc etc On the surface, this seems right up my alley Examinations of the nuance of rape culture are important, and I appreciate them But this one just did not work for me The style, right off the bat, was off putting This is written in staccato sentence clusters, sans quotation marks, and on top of that, it jumps around not only in time one sentence speaking about now, and the next about the past but also randomly among disparate and seemingly unconnected thoughts and ideas And because of that, it has a very mishmash, unfocused, first draft feel Because a lot of this so far is the author s thoughts and feelings about the PROCESS of writing this book, it enhances that first draft feel evenIt s so meta that it bothers me I get that it s relevant, but my Kindle informs me that there are approximately 78% and 5 hours left to read in the book, and I already feel the repetitiveness and my interest is waning In addition to that, I m finding it hard to identify with the author and her friends here, and their responses and analyses of his actions, her actions, her reactions, his words, her words, etc I know that everyone s experience is different, and people react and process very differently to their assaults than I have to mine But these examinations of all of the feelings and underlying intent and analysis of every word, etc and the WAY that they discuss it It feels less like friends discussing a traumatic experience and offering support than it does a critical analysis of a writing assignment Already I ve lost count of how many times the phrase performance of gender has been used But THIS paragraph is where I stopped reading because it s just too much Rebekah says, You re wrestling with a really important question, which is, How can someone who seems so harmless or acts so well or is so intelligent be capable of committing what is understandably kind of an evil act and how can it happen I m going into the whole banality of evil thing but not in an Arendtian sense,in like a how can that act occur in such a commonplace setting and now you re going back and talking to the guy and the guy is still himself It s just fascinating to me It s a fascinating work of journalism and memoir I think that a lot of what gets shown online is conforming to a very flat intersectional narrative, simply because it has to be flat, it has to be blunt, or else it s not consumable Your narrative is to be chewed and thought over and reflected upon in a way that maybe MeToo isn t MeToo ispolitical activism I think I would do the exact same, be the exact same way as you are, figuring this all out.Really It takes a certain amount of guts to write a memoir solely focused on one s sexual assault and reactions to it and to incorporate confronting one s abuser into it I ll give it that But She s hardly the first person to write about their assault Hardly the first to think about it or ask these questions, to wonder how it could have happened, how the person they trusted could have done this, etc etc etc This paragraph comes across as so pretentiously congratulatory that it just Noped me right out of the rest of the book I am sorry that she was raped I m sorry that I was, and that millions of women have been and will be raped I read a lot of difficult subject matter, so it s not the depictions of rape or suicide or mental illness or any of that that is bothering me and making this hard to read It s the writing and the style and all the rest Honestly, I feel like the way that this is structured and written is so clinically detached that I just don t like it It feelsabout her writing than anything, and the assault is just the catalyst for it That may work for some people, but it s not working for me So I m out I finished Things We Didn t Talk About When I Was A Girl, a memoir about sexual assault rape where the author contacts and interviews her former friend who assaulted her 14 years prior It s a powerful story of friendship, betrayal, gender, sexual assault, forgiveness but mostly about the performance of gender for good and ill Mark is not redeemed but also not demonized Essential reading It will be read and discussed mostly by women but should also be read by boys men. Wow This was an extremely heavy book Jeannie Vanasco wrote a memoir about how she was raped by one of her best friends when she was nineteen and now in her thirties gets back in contact to interview him about what happened The book is unlike anything I ve ever read before It shows all of the complicated and conflicting feelings that can come after a sexual assault Jeannie worries that she s not angry enough, that she s letting other women down by giving Mark a voice, that she s too forgiv Wow This was an extremely heavy book Jeannie Vanasco wrote a memoir about how she was raped by one of her best friends when she was nineteen and now in her thirties gets back in contact to interview him about what happened The book is unlike anything I ve ever read before It shows all of the complicated and conflicting feelings that can come after a sexual assault Jeannie worries that she s not angry enough, that she s letting other women down by giving Mark a voice, that she s too forgiving towards him, and so on A lot of the book details how she wrestled with the idea of writing the book How interviewing Mark and hearing his side of things is what makes it different in terms of the market, but then why is the story only worth telling when you get his voice and hear how the assault impacted his life The format of the book was also interesting, there are large parts of the book that are transcripts of the conversations that Jeannie had with Mark But then she d cut in and analyze what he was saying and have input from her friends and her partner Chris This isn t a light book by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a very compelling read I d highly recommend reading it if you feel equipped to handle the subject matter 5 big huge giant stars for this memoir I ve not read anything like this before I loved her style, transparency, honesty, and heartfelt true emotion in this Transcribing conversations with her perpetrator was smart, but then analyzing her own behavior in each interaction after transcription was genius If you or anybody you know has experienced sexual assault or a confusing sexual encounter with anybody in your life, this book will shed some light It did for me. 4.5 starsI got to review Jeannie Vanasco s memoir about confronting her rapist who had been a close friend fourteen years after he assaulted her Thoughtful, provocative, and raw you want to read this one.Want to knowHere s a link to my TIME review 4.5 starsI got to review Jeannie Vanasco s memoir about confronting her rapist who had been a close friend fourteen years after he assaulted her Thoughtful, provocative, and raw you want to read this one.Want to knowHere s a link to my TIME review The premise of this memoir was very original, and for me, that s what made it a compelling read How the story was related to the reader didn t totally work for me and seemed very repetitive, but I still really appreciated what the author was trying to do Jeannie was sexually assaulted by some legal definitions she was raped by a good friend of hers, aka Mark, when she was 19 years old 14 years later, she tracks him down, and basically attempts to get his side of the story, and to process th The premise of this memoir was very original, and for me, that s what made it a compelling read How the story was related to the reader didn t totally work for me and seemed very repetitive, but I still really appreciated what the author was trying to do Jeannie was sexually assaulted by some legal definitions she was raped by a good friend of hers, aka Mark, when she was 19 years old 14 years later, she tracks him down, and basically attempts to get his side of the story, and to process the event in her own mind There s a lot of things about the book that surprised me view spoiler The author s honest appraisal that she wasn t really all that mad at Mark Mark s willingness to participate in the project and his frank admission that the assault occurred and was all his fault The fact that both parties had pretty serious mental health issues prior to the incident hide spoiler In the end, I m not completely sure what conclusion the reader was supposed to draw, and I liked that the author allowed for that Personally, I think this book would be amazing for a book club just because there s a lot to discuss and unpack, but I m sure some people might find it too distressing I don t know I think these things need to be discussedopenly Kudos to the author for taking on the challenge