Reviews tagging Adult/minor relationship

Girlhood, by Melissa Febos

6 reviews

eed8's review

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challenging emotional reflective medium-paced

3.75


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savvylit's review

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emotional informative reflective sad slow-paced

5.0

"These, once again, were events - not assaults, not victimizations, but not what I would call healthy sexual experimentation. That is, experiences that separated rather than integrated. I want to say that they were not 'normal' experiences, but, unfortunately, I think that one of the reasons we have no language to distinguish them is that such experiences are quite normal."

In Girlhood, Febos articulates the physical and emotional tolls of developing womanhood. The discomfort of getting used to the male gaze, the double standards of heterosexuality, the pressure to be polite and accommodating, the inherent fear of male violence, the purity myth, unenthusiastic consent, and so much more.

While many of the subjects discussed in Girlhood aren't necessarily groundbreaking by themselves, it's the way that Febos approaches them that is so unique and insightful. Febos blends personal anecdotes with experiences from other women and with analyses of cultural touchstones. For instance, in her essay about what it means to be defined as a 'slut', Febos analyzes the implications of the film Easy A.

Febos gives an eloquent voice to the hurt caused by pervasive & nebulous forms of sexual harassment, manipulation, and empty consent. Reading these essays felt like discovering a gift that I have always wanted - always needed - to read.

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anniefwrites's review

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challenging dark emotional hopeful reflective sad tense medium-paced

5.0

Wow. You know a book is good when you want to go back and reread it right away. Melissa Febos's essay collection attributes microscopic attention to her past and finds common threads that weave together internalized misogyny, lack of agency, and stifled exploration of identity and sexuality. She has such a distinct voice and uses such inventive imagery to welcome the reader into her exhibition of vulnerability. For lack of a better word, this book is full of truth-bombs. I highlighted so much, and it's making me reflect on my own experiences as a girl growing up in a patriarchal society. An excellent read.

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selincck's review

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emotional inspiring reflective sad fast-paced

5.0


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cindymarieo's review

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challenging dark reflective medium-paced

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clarabooksit's review

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challenging dark emotional reflective medium-paced

4.0

These essays pack a punch: some are difficult to read, some are hopeful, and all are thoughtful and thought-provoking. (Definitely heed the content warnings and let me know if you’d like further info on them.)

Febos’ writing is vulnerable and engaging. She has a gift for making a personal story a shared experience with the reader—it’s not just words on paper but an invitation to understanding. I particularly loved her discussions around consent, which made me reshape my thinking on the subject. Likewise, what she has to say about feeling unsafe in all sorts of circumstances really resonated with me.

Overall, this book made me feel seen, I loved it, and you should read it.

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