bookish_wanderer's review against another edition

Go to review page

challenging emotional hopeful inspiring medium-paced

5.0

 First of all, watch out for trigger warnings. This can be a tough read.

I'm actually not sure if I can to gather my thoughts well enough do this book justice. Let's try.

You might have heard of Chanel in the past but did not know her name. You knew her as the victim in a high-profile sexual assault case in the US, a victim of a "promising swimmer". Now Chanel wants to reclaim her identity and be known for the survivor she is, and oh so much more.

She's such a gifted writer, and the way she conveys her emotions, the anguish, the pain, and everything she and her family went through at the time is brilliantly done. It's raw, intimate and honest. It'll make you scream, cry and sometimes even laugh, as she also shares some lovely memories. 
 
With this memoir we have the opportunity to see what can happen to survivors who try to get justice. It reminds us why so many assaults go unreported, under a system that favours attackers rather than protect their victims, and almost accepts that these acts are just an inevitable fact of life (especially on campus). Where if you're a promising jock or famous, rich white and male, you're often held at a different standard.

What does it say about our society, when people are angrier at a woman for "putting herself in that position" (BIG quotes here), rather than at the attacker for committing the crime? Where alcohol is a reason for leniency for the accused, but more of reason to blame the victim? 
Where a promising career in sports is valued more than the sanctity of someone's body and dignity?

Seeing her strength while she fought through it all to come out where she is today is a message of hope, for all survivors out there. 

I really recommend this memoir. It is powerful, and it is so important. There is still so much to change. 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

sarahshapiro19's review against another edition

Go to review page

challenging emotional hopeful informative inspiring reflective sad medium-paced

5.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

taylorjayne's review against another edition

Go to review page

challenging emotional informative

5.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

linguaphile412's review against another edition

Go to review page

challenging dark emotional hopeful inspiring reflective sad slow-paced

5.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

kelly_e's review against another edition

Go to review page

challenging emotional inspiring reflective medium-paced

5.0

Title: Know My Name
Author: Chanel Miller
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 5.0
Pub Date: September 24, 2019

T H R E E • W O R D S

Raw • Illuminating • Transformative

📖 S Y N O P S I S

Know My Name is Chanel Miller's own personal account of her time known as Emily Doe. Brock Turner was found sexually assaulting her at Stanford, and yet was sentenced to a mere six months in county jail, despite witnesses, his running away, and physical evidence. She stunned the world with a letter, and her victim impact statement was shard on Buzzfeed, where it went viral. This is her journey to reclaim her identity and name as she tells of her trauma and shame in the aftermath.

💭 T H O U G H T S

A simply revealing and stunning piece of literature! Know My Name is a portrait showcasing how Chanel is so much more than simply a sexual assault survivor. It's a story intertwining pain, healing, and resilience in an effort to reclaim her life and introduces the reader to an incredible writer. The writing is simply breathtaking and honest. I do not know Chanel personally, nor am I a survivor, but she certainly made me feel not only her story, but the stories of thousands of others as well. This is one of the most powerful memoires I have ever bared witness to, and an illustration of why we fight to tell our stories.

This book exposes a flawed judicial system, the corruption and bureaucracy of Universities and Colleges, societies tendency towards blaming the victim, and the lack of support for victims and their families. It raises so many crucial questions and reveals what the victims of sexual assault must navigate in the aftermath.

I highly recommend tandem reading along to the audio for a more immersive experience. Chanel reads the book herself and you can hear the emotion in her voice and feel her pain in every word.

This is one I will be thinking about for quite some time. It is a necessary read that will spark conversation. Chanel's words have already changed our world, and Know My Name will be a defining piece of literature of our generation.

📚 R E C O M M E N D • T O
• Every human!
• lovers of memoirs
• sexual assault survivor

🔖 F A V O U R I T E • Q U O T E S

"This is an attempt to transform the hurt inside myself, to confront a past, and find a way to live with and incorporate these memories. I want to leave them behind so I can move forward. In not naming them, I finally name myself."

"I pulled out my small red notebook. I illuminated the pages with my phone, and wrote, 'I feel like I've already won'. It was a small nod to myself; I had done the impossible, showed up. Those who watched me cry on the stand might have perceived me as fragile, but I believed it to be the quiet beginning of my strength. I did what I'd never thought I could do, had somehow been spit out on the other side, still far from the finish line, but alive."

"But I had yet to understand the system. If you pay enough money, if you say the right things, if you take enough time to weaken and dilute the truth, the sun could slowly begin to look like an egg."

"Everything I need to get through this, I already have. Everything I need to know, I already know. Everything I need to be, I already am."

"The friendly guy who helps you moved and assists senior citizens in the pool is the same guy who assaulted me. One person can be capable of both. Society often fails to wraps its head around the fact there these truths often coexist, they are not mutually exclusive. Bad qualities can hide inside a good person. That's the terrifying part."

"When a victim does go for help, she is seen as attacking the assailant. These are separate seeking aid is her primary motive, his fallout is a secondary effect. But we are taught, if you speak, something bad happens to him. You will be blamed for every job he doesn't get, every game he doesn't play. His family, friends, community, team, will unleash hell on you, are you sure you want that? We forever her to think hard about what this will mean for his life, even though her never considered what his actions would do to her."

"There have been numerous times I have not brought up my case because I do not want to upset anybody or spoil the mood. Because I want to preserve your comfort. Because I have been told that what I have to say is too dark, too upsetting, too targeting, too triggering, let's tone it down. You will find society asking you for the happy ending, saying come back when you're better, when what you have to say can make us feel good, when you have something more uplifting, affirming. This ugliness was something I never asked for, it was dropped on me, and for a long time I worried it made me ugly too. It made me into a sad, unwelcome story that nobody wanted to hear.
But when I wrote the ugly and painful parts into a statement, an incredible thing happened. The world did not plug up its ears, it opened itself to me. I do not write to trigger victims. I write to comfort them, and I've found that victims identify more with pain than platitudes." 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

ashleighbonica's review

Go to review page

challenging emotional inspiring reflective medium-paced

5.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

charlotte123's review against another edition

Go to review page

challenging emotional hopeful informative inspiring reflective

4.5


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

allyyy's review against another edition

Go to review page

challenging dark emotional funny hopeful informative inspiring reflective sad tense slow-paced

5.0

There are ugly realities we shy away from. Some truths are too hard to bear, process, think about, solve, talk about, and write about. The only way we can cope is by ignoring reality. When we do this, we hurt ourselves and others. Sometimes, we need to do more. We need to be better. This book was like a dive headfirst into a pool in the middle of winter. I knew what this book was going to be about and supported her even as Emily Doe. It is still hard to process that everyday people are sexually abused, hurt, defiled, broken. I hate that this is even a thing; I hate that it's normalized. I hate that victims can't feel safe confronting their attacker. This hate turns into anger and then into sadness, which is when we start distracting ourselves. Because this anger, this hate, can eat us up and leave us as a smoking shell of a person. It took me 18 days to finish this book, and I am glad that I did. For anyone in a similar place as Chanel/Emily, I want to know how to help and comfort and support. Victims, survivors are never alone, even when they feel like it. I and so many others want to be there for them. This book has to be a must-read for everyone, especially for anyone involved in the legal system. 

Chanel Miller's story deserves to be heard and is one of the most honest and truthful accounts of sexual assault survivors' journey in and out of the courtroom. It took me 18 days to finish because I would become depressed, shaken, angry, upset at everything she was going through. She writes in a way that makes me feel her pain; every attack and question goes straight to my core. Read this book; you'll learn so much. 

Look at trigger warnings. 


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

rebecca713's review against another edition

Go to review page

emotional informative inspiring reflective medium-paced

4.0

Not quite a 5 because parts of it started to feel very repetitive by the end, but still an incredible and impactful book

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

elliej's review

Go to review page

challenging dark emotional hopeful inspiring reflective sad medium-paced

5.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings