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Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy

Title: Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy

Author: edited by Kelly Jensen

Published: 18th of August 2020 – Algonquin Young Readers

Format: eARC (Netgalley) – 256 pages

“The most important thing I’ve learned from this entire experience is that all those things we sometimes don’t like about ourselves truly can be seen as beautiful or unique or strong or wonderful if we love ourselves enough when we look at them.” – Body Talk

Hello Hello! How are you?

Today I’m so happy to be bringing you my review of Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy edited by Kelly Jensen for the blog tour organised by Algonquin Young Readers. As soon as I saw the email about this book, I knew I absolutely needed to read it, I knew I was going to love it, but I didn’t realise how much it would end up talking to me.

Thank you so much to the people over at Algonquin Young Readers for reaching out to me about this book and inviting me on to this blog tour, I am honoured to be part of the review team for this book. Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Keep reading for my thoughts on this amazing and timely book.

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS

It’s time to bare it all about bodies!

We all experience the world in a body, but we don’t usually take the time to explore what it really means to have and live within one. Just as every person has a unique personality, every person has a unique body, and every body tells its own story.

In Body Talk, thirty-seven writers, models, actors, musicians, and artists share essays, lists, comics, and illustrations—about everything from size and shape to scoliosis, from eating disorders to cancer, from sexuality and gender identity to the use of makeup as armor. Together, they contribute a broad variety of perspectives on what it’s like to live in their particular bodies—and how their bodies have helped to inform who they are and how they move through the world.

Come on in, turn the pages, and join the celebration of our diverse, miraculous, beautiful bodies!

MY REVIEW

Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy edited by Kelly Jensen is a nonfiction anthology about the body, body confidence and body image, about people with illnesses and disabilities, people who identify as other than what the world we live in wants. In this book, 37 people give their own testimony about themselves and their struggles, what they’ve gone through and what they have learned from their experiences. This book is needed, it really is, and I am so glad I got the chance to read it.

This book really took my breath away at times, and even made me a bit tearful. I couldn’t believe the ways in which I identified with so many people who told their stories. I have suffered my whole life from serious allergies, eczema, psoriasis, fibromyalgia, migraines, and since puberty, I have suffered from endometriosis. On top of those conditions, I’ve also always struggled with my body image and have gone from one extreme to the other many times, I have never had body confidence and even today, at 21 and after going through so many experiences, I am still not confident in my body. I’ve never read a book like this where I can say “oh my god, this is exactly what I feel, I’m not the only person who thinks this” or even think “I’m not the only person who flinches when someone tells me I’m not sick”. This book gave me so much and I think it should be read by everyone.

The thing that really got me in this book is that every single person who told their story was so different, but they all have a body and I think it’s something we all forget. We all spend our lives trying to be better, trying to be more perfect, a bit skinnier or a bit heavier, we try to have straight hair or curly hair, wear contact lenses instead of glasses because it’s deemed not “cool”, and so many other things, and we have all at least once judged someone else for their body even though we are not comfortable or perfect ourselves.

As well as remembering that I have a body thanks to this book, it also taught me so much more about different illnesses, conditions, feelings, identities, genders, etc, that I’ve known about, I know what they are, but I’ve never heard it from someone who lives with it (whatever it is) every day of their lives. Google is a really helpful tool to educate ourselves, but it’s not a true testimony whereas this book is.

I enjoyed reading this book so much, it was so special and there were so many testimonies that really hit home for me and all of them combined with the little explanatory parts and the beautiful images really made this book such a great reading experience. This is a great book to read if you need a boost because you feel down, I have to say that quite a few quotes really struck me and I wanted to get up and go show the world how powerful I can be despite having chronic illnesses and body confidence issues – those are part of me, but I’m so much more as well!

“So go put on a swimsuit, flip a middle finger to the patriarchy and remind yourself that you’re a work of art and any fabric that drapes your body is lucky to do so. You are powerful.” – Body Talk

MY THOUGHTS AND RATING

Overall, I absolutely adored this book, it really did give me such a great reading experience and I will take a lot of amazing quotes and inspiration away from it. I think it’s really important to remember that we all have a body, that we must listen to our body and our mind and take care of it, while also doing the things we love, and stay kind to ourselves and each other.

I knew I was really going to enjoy this book, but I didn’t think that it would hit home as much as it did. I gave this book 5 stars and I highly, highly recommend to every single person, even if you don’t like anthologies or nonfiction, I can guarantee that you will enjoy it and maybe even feel understood and know you’re not the only one feeling the way you do.

Thank you so much to Algonquin Young Readers for giving me the chance to read this book, I loved it and will promptly pick up a physical copy to keep at hand as I’m sure it’s going to be one of those books I revisit time and time again.

“Do not wait. Life is going to pass you by, so just do the things you love. It is easy to talk about things rather than do then, but if you take the plunge and go for it, things are going to work out. It may not be how you originally envisioned it, but things will fall into place.” – Body Talk

That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this post, see you soon, stay safe,

Ellie xx

If you would like to purchase this book, you can find it here: Amazon UK (affiliate link) – Amazon FR (affiliate link) – AbeBooks (affiliate link) – The Book Depository (affiliate link) – Amazon USWaterstonesBarnes and NobleKobo

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