A Delayed List of 2021 Goals

I made a list of reading goals that I shared on my Instagram, but I hesitated writing up a blog post about them. I don’t exactly know why I hesistated, maybe because so much of 2020 left me wondering what the point was, but now that I’ve taken some time, I have found the energy to write them up in a blog post.

Reading Goals

  1. Read More Non-Fiction: I have a habit lately of becoming fixated on complicated topics and through 2020 I order several intense non-fiction books about various topics from Marxism to Japanese history to feminist film industry readings. I hope to try and read at least ONE non-fiction book each month this year and learn a little bit more about the topics I got fixated on earlier.
  2. Read More Light Novels: To those unfamiliar with the term, light novels are a kind of book that comes mostly from Japan that are more serialised novels that tend to be mostly fantasy or romance. Many are more “slice of life” rather than the kind of fantasy and romance English books fall into and I tend to feel more relaxed and connected to them. With more and more series becoming licensed for translation, I’m hoping to find more new series as well as continuing to read my favourites.
  3. Read All of One Piece: In December, I wrote my thoughts about the first ten volumes (roughly the first 90 chapters) of the famous One Piece series by Oda Eiichiro that broke records the beginning of 2021 by releasing the 1000th chapter of the longest running manga series of all time. For so long I avoided this series because of it’s length and thinking it was stupid and I’m so pleased I was wrong. I love this series and hope to be caught up by the end of the year through reading 10 volumes every month.
  4. Read What I Want, When I Want To: This one was a goal I was worried about sharing. My plan is this: No more cancelling books because of little things. Yes, authors need to be held accountable for their actions but the entire publishing industry needs to be held equally accountable. It’s exhausting to keep up with everything at every single moment, so from here on out unless it’s a problem that was expressly done with malicious intent, I don’t care. The book community continues to demand people be perfect and I’m tired of it. I’m going to read books the same way I did when I was a kid and 90% of social media platforms didn’t exist. Does it sound good? Do I like the cover? I’m going to read it. End of discussion.

Personal Goals

My personal goals are a little simpler. I want to try and find my confidence again with my writing. I want to build up my Japanese language skills again. I want to succeed in my university classes this semester while understanding that I don’t need to be perfect (a lesson I started to get better with learning during last semester – my first time back in school in 5-ish years). I’d love to find a new day job that is easier for me to manage mental health wise, but living through a global pandemic puts something of a wrench in that one so we’ll see. I’m also going to play a bit of catch-up for books I read in 2020 that I will be reading the sequels to in 2021, so expect me to be a bit more active than usually for the rest of the month.

I’d like to clean my apartment as well. I know that sounds like a silly one but as a person with mental illness living on his own, it’s difficult to stay organised especially when simply making it through the day is so draining.

There’s not much else I have to say in terms of looking forward in 2021. It’s hard to even attempt it when there’s so much uncertainty. But we’ll see how it goes.

Take care of yourselves.

Saying “No” To Book Blogging

Hi everyone. It’s been a minute since I’ve posted a review and I want to take this time to explain why.

I’ve been involved with the social media side of loving books and reading for nearly five years now. I’ve worked hard to take photos and read books and post reviews for the sake of being noticed by other bloggers as well as publishing companies in order to gain more followers and therefore be able to take part in more blogging opportunities. When I first started in the community, it was a lot different. Everyone was more or less reading the same books, the drama was kept to a minimum and mostly just involved spoilers, outrageous demands for ARCs wasn’t really a thing I was aware of. These days it seems like there is nothing but drama between authors and reviewers and publishers. Every day someone has messed up (sometimes intentionally, sometimes not) and my feeds are flooded with vague tweets that require at least an hour to dig through to find any names, or call-outs for bigotted people to be cancelled, or more and more things that I just can’t keep track of anymore.

With all of the civil unrest regarding Black Lives Matter as a movement and an organization turning a human rights issue into a political one, with the harmful transphobia of a once-beloved author that will lead to the deaths of transgender children being brushed aside in the name of nostalgia, with statistics from both COVID and police brutality numbers being skewered in the name of “pro-life” religious bigotry, there is so much going on and it is hard to have the strength to keep up with everything. It is hard to find the mental and emotional and physical capacity to continue moving on when there is nothing but awful on all sides.

But you’re probably wondering what any of this has to do with the book community. Allow me to explain.

As all of these civil rights movements gain more and more ground, those who oppose them are doubling down on their bigotry and becoming just as vocal about why the minorities involved shouldn’t be listened to. Within the book community, there are people who don’t see the point in “forcing” Black authors’ works onto other – or other racial minorities for that matter. There are people who don’t want to listen to trans folks who are directly hurt and harmed by the foul words of J.K. Rowling because they would rather cling to their nostalgia for a series that has always been riddled with racist, anti-semitic, homo- and transphobic depictions. There are people who side with a bigotted book-themed Etsy shop owner who was using statistics listing how many people have been killed by police in 2020 to ask where the outrage was for “how many babies have been murdered” and using religion to force right-wing anti-abortion (or as I prefer to say, anti-choice) views on people. This latter example also called for her supporters to report Instagram accounts who were speaking out against her.

What hurts the most is that many of these people who I have unfollowed and/or blocked on social media have huge followings within the book community and many of these people have publishing companies among their follower counts even after months of horrible statements. Several of these people are constantly receiving ARCs for massive releases or even finished copies or several copies of both ARCs and finished copies.

There are 200 people following this blog. I have less than 200 people following my Twitter. I have 875 followers on Instagram. Compared to bloggers I look up to as well as these hurtful bloggers, these numbers are barely a fraction of what they have. Perhaps this is a selfish opinion, but every time I have worked with a publishing company, I have jumped at every opportunity, I have worked hard on blog tour posts that involve interviews as well as book reviews. I have accepted ARCs out of my preferred reading genres to prove I can and will read whatever I’m offered and do my best to put out some positive content with which the company can use to promote the book in question.

Bloggers big and small do all of this work for free that vast majority of the time.

But no matter how hard I work, my counts aren’t nearly as big as the huge accounts and therefore my time is worth even less. This means that while accounts spouting off bigotted views will still receive specially packaged exclusive ARCs for the biggest titles of the year while bloggers like me are left with the scraps.

So with all that has been happening, I have made the decision to stop being a part of blogger teams until I can be sure that these teams are properly vetted to ensure that everyone will be respected. Will I continue to just email companies directly for the bigger ARCs I would love to read? Yes. Will I continue working with the smaller authors for release posts? Yes. Will I still apply for ARCs on NetGalley? Yes. But when it comes to the publishing companies directly, I plan on saying no far more often than I plan on saying yes.

Before I learned about how to get ARCs and before I got sucked into hype holes, I just read what I wanted, when I wanted and enjoyed myself. I think we all need to get back into that kind of thinking. I think we need to remember how to care about each other.

COVER REVEAL: Marauder

I spent the early days of my quarantine season curled up with Bella Di Corte’s first Gangster’s of New York book, Machiavellian, and I adored it.

Coming later this summer is the second book in this series: Marauder! It’s Cash’s turn to be in the spotlight and I’m so excited for this book. I mean, check out how gorgeous he is on the cover!

Available as of August 7th, I can’t wait for the story to continue and congratulate Bella on her success so far! You can learn more about Marauder below:

Synopsis:

He stole my heart out of revenge.

There was one thing I always thought was mine to give: my heart.

I never imagined a marauder would steal it out of vengeance—vengeance that had nothing to do with me. His greatest enemy happened to be the man in love with me, and somehow I became nothing but a pawn. I was no damsel in distress, though. More like an archer, ready to battle.

And my target? The marauder himself.

Cashel “Cash” Kelly.

Kelly might have been as gorgeous as he was ruthless, but he had no idea what I’d do to steal it back. Or better yet, get even.

She was determined to keep what was mine.

They say hearts can’t be stolen unless they’re willing to be. Tell that to the man everyone on the streets called “the marauder.”

Me.

Because by the time I was through, Keely Ryan’s heart would be mine. And my enemy’s? As good as broken. Trouble was, the archer was precise with her aim, and her arrow was pointed at my heart.

Marauder is the second of three books set in the savage world of the Gangsters of New York series. Each book can be read as a standalone, but they are all based in the same world.

Why I’m Afraid of DUNE

One of the greatest science fiction series of all times is Frank Herbert’s, Dune. Six books in the saga and they’re still timeless through the intense political and religious commentary as well as the unforgettable world building.

Everything about Dune has my name written all over it.

So why am I afraid of it?

As a kid, there was a “rule” in my house, and that rule was “There is no such thing as a Dune movie”. It was a running joke as I got older that included an irrational dislike of David Lynch (who I’m still not a fan of) and legitimately telling people I didn’t believe them when they mentioned the 1984 adaptation that featured Sting (yes, the singer) in one of the main roles. That alone made it pretty easy to say I didn’t believe people.

What did exist were the first six books by Frank Herbert and the 2000 miniseries (that starred Alec Newman as Paul), nothing more. I have the vaguest of memories of watching the miniseries and having a huge crush on Paul, but I’ve never read the books, and if you asked me the plot I couldn’t tell you.

To this day I can give you three facts about the series. 1) Paul is the main character, 2) There are giant, phallic-looking sandworms that eat people, and 3) there’s something going on with spice.

So again, you’re probably still wondering why I’m afraid of reading this series.

If I didn’t make it clear enough, this series has been a huge part of my childhood even if I know little about it. My mom is a huge Dune fan and I admire the original books so much and how they shaped my mom’s love of science-fiction, therefore shaping my love of science-fiction. Because of all of that, I’ve always been afraid I’ll miss something, that the allegories and metaphors will go over my head, or – even worse – that I won’t like it.

Is all of this completely silly? Absolutely. But this is the struggle of an avid reader with high expectations and crippling anxiety.

Either way I’m going in. Stay tuned to more thoughts.

MANGA MONDAY: Boku no Hero Academia #1

Today is a special Manga Monday. Why? BECAUSE ALL-MIGHT IS HERE!

That’s right, today we’re talking about the first volume of Boku no Hero Academia – aka. My Hero Academia. I’ll say now that I started watching season one when it first came out so it’s force of habit to refer to this series as BNHA rather that MHA, but despite being familiar with the show (ps. I’m not caught up though) I’ve never actually read the manga so I was really excited to finally get to it.

Over the last few years, I’ve become so incredibly bored by superhero content. It used to be fun and different and now it’s just “white male rage” or a three hour trailer for the next three hour trailer in a long line of Disney over saturation. This is why it took my old roommate forcing me to watch BNHA with her to actually get me to watch it. And wow did I sob almost every episode because of Deku.

The first volume of the manga covers the first two or three episodes of the show (give or take) and the adaptation is pretty faithful. Midoriya Izuku is a powerless student in a world full of those with powers, yet he still wants nothing more than to be the kind of hero that saves people with a smile. After meeting his personal hero, All-Might, Izuku has that chance at last and he gets to learn what it means to have the responsibility of power.

I love the art style, I love the story, and I love almost 99% of the characters (true fans will know who is in that 1% category of hatred). The only thing that doesn’t super work in the English manga is “Deku”. The insulting nickname means “useless” or “someone who can’t do or achieve anything”, and is a cruel play on the kanji for Izuku. The explanation is there but yeah… not the easiest play on words to translate because English works so differently from Japanese. Regardless of that, the volume really draws back to Big 3 manga* in terms of an introductory volume and it honestly makes me happy. We don’t get these huge cast, long-running series any more and the part of me from high school that is still alive, is so nostalgic for it. BNHA isn’t trying to be something it’s not, but it’s nostalgic and heartwarming as well as full of intense action sequences.

It’s hard to separate the manga from the anime for this review, but I enjoy both and recommend both. This is a great series for fans new and old and is definitely a title to recommend for younger manga readers as well. It’s rated T, but so was Naruto and I will recommend that until the day I die.

Definitely 5 out of 5 for this one.


* Big 3 titles are the three most well known and popular titles in the genre and are Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece

In Which I Read Too Far Into DOCILE

This post contains spoilers for K.M. Szpara’s book, Docile, and may also contain trigger warnings for gender dysphoria, self-harm, suicidal ideation, and sexual assault.


In January, I was lucky enough to receive an ARC for what was probably my most anticipated release of 2020 (not including Murderbot). Pitched on GoodReads as a gay Handmaid’s Tale and written by an openly trans author, this was a book I’ve been thinking about for the better part of a year. When I finally did read it, I was taken aback by how hard it hit so many intense feelings that I spend most of my waking hours repressing into the void I  pretend doesn’t exist.

The novel tackles issues with consent and the abuse the lower classes face at the hands of the ultra-rich, even if it isn’t 100% directly so. The class system will always be the cause of a lot of hardships and this book takes it to the extreme by forcing debt on generations of families and crippling them entirely with it, while those without debt flaunt their money and buy the poor for their own entertainment. Debtors are faced with an ultimatum that isn’t really a real choice as they are forced to pick between servitude and prison. It’s a false choice. No one would want to have their entire family imprisoned when the option to sell themselves for some financial relief is an option.

I, myself, have student debt that isn’t going anywhere any time soon. The weight of it constantly dangling over my head is unbearable at times. The fear of this trickle-down debt accumulation feels very real in the current climate of the world, which made the anxiety of thinking about this very intense. Paying and paying and paying without getting anywhere is an awful feeling especially when the job market is the way that it is. Especially when hobbies feel like time wasters unless they can be monetized. And yet this is only a fraction of the weight Elisha must feel where the debt his family carries is in the millions.

But what hits me the hardest is how Elisha manages being a Docile. The dependency he develops on Alex and how he struggles to face his family after only six months as one.

After spending months learning how to anticipate Alex’s needs and going through tutoring to learn everything from cooking to art history to music, Elisha feels that despite his status as a Docile, he is becoming a better version of himself. At long last, he is able to learn all of the things he longed to but was never able to out in the middle of nowhere and crippled by debt. The relationship he shares with Alex borders on abusive, to say the least. Elisha was essentially forced into signing the consent waiver that allows Alex to have his way with him sexually, and he has no real choice but to allow Alex to shape and mould him into whatever person he desires. But Elisha doesn’t really see any harm, not when he begins to enjoy his plush life with Alex and all of the things that come with having money.

But when Elisha goes home for his state-mandated family visit, his family is far from receptive. Because of his mother’s long-lasting struggle under the effects of Dociline, the drug that turns people into obedient drones, Elisha’s loved ones struggle with what they see in the young man they thought they knew. To them, Elisha is a doll. He isn’t a person as his obedience comes across as robotic, as his new likes and knowledge make him better than the rest of them.

The scenes where Elisha was back home, both his weekend visit and his later abandonment at the farm, were so difficult to read. The more I thought about why these moments upset me, the harder it got to breathe. And then the anxiety attack hit me. What I was reading were reactions I was – and still am – facing in regards to coming out as trans. The feeling that I was finally being my true self, snatched away by people who didn’t understand and who didn’t want to accept the changes. The backhandedness of being “tolerated” but put down in the same sentences. Elisha’s family still loved him, but they othered him, they pushed away his feelings and dismissed him as no longer the man they actually loved. When Elisha can’t stand it anymore, when he can’t bring himself to live with those who were brushing him aside and wants to fade away, I felt that. I knew exactly what he was fighting. The idea that it would be easier to not exist at all instead of simply being tolerated or “put up with” set my nerves on fire. In that moment, I wanted to fade away with Elisha.

It also echoed my own experiences with abuse in a relationship, the longing and the wanting to please the person who you aren’t even sure you really love simply because as long as they’re happy, you’re not hurting. These things made this book so difficult to read at times but Szpara just knows how to put it, how to say these things that encourage you to keep going, keep reading until the end. That you can open your eyes after taking a deep breath, and you’ll have the courage to move on.

But Elisha gives me the hope that I might have the courage to move on, to keep going and know that I’m living my life to me and as long as I don’t forget who I am, changing and growing won’t cause me to lose myself. He stumbles, he falls hard, he hurts so badly and yet he’s still able to keep going.

I’m afraid of saying more and letting this “article” get out of hand, but this book touched me in more ways than I was expecting it to. I cherish it more than I was expecting to. Perhaps I did, in fact, read way too much into things with Docile, but this is an example of what a book can mean to a person and for that, I can do little else but say thank you to K.M. Szpara for telling this story and to Tor for publishing it. I hope everyone involved knows how loved this book is. At least by me.

 

A Valentine’s Note

It is the 14th of February and for some that means excitement and for others it means dread. I’m somewhere between the two as I spend every year watching horror or otherwise unsettling films that I’ve yet to see yet.

Whether you’re with someone or spending time on your own, what matters the most of taking care of yourself as well. Feed some kind of love into something you enjoy doing, or towards a friend or family member. It can be hard to remember that there is more to love than a partner this time of year but doing your best to remember that is what counts.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you know me and my cynical (read as: single) behind have been suffering from an obnoxious head cold this week so I haven’t gotten any reading done. It’s very frustrating but rest is what I need considering I still need to go to my day job. However, I have been doing a bit of writing here and there, so if you’re in the mood for some preview reading I have just the thing for you!

Elsker og kvaler: A Love Story In Denmark is a novella told through vignettes that I’ve been playing with from some time about a vampire who falls in love with an actress and his struggles with the loss of mortality and fitting in with modern society. Full of dorky flirting, bloodshed, and a dash of smut, I’ve been posting this story on Wattpad for the time being and you are able to read that here!

Happy Valentine’s Day, readers. I hope you have a nice day regardless of the capitalist holiday behind this one, haha!

2020 Monthly Wrap-Up: January

January 2020 hasn’t been especially kind to me in terms of my personal life (or professional if I’m being entirely honest) but what I will say is that I’ve read some damn good books.

While my first read of the year – Infinity Son by Adam Silvera – was a bit of a bust, the majority of the other books I read were more wonderful than not. I’ve also been feeling rather proud of my resolution to stop reading books I’m not into and it’s such a weight off of my shoulders to not be so stressed out about trying to finish books I’m bored by.

The complete list of books I’ve reviewed this year is a nice one, with nine books finished in total!

  1. Jujutsu Kaisen #1 by Akutami Gege
  2. Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
  3. No Longer Human by Dazai Osamu
  4. No Longer Human by Dazai Osamu and Ito Junji
  5. Saint Young Men #1 by Nakamura Hikaru
  6. Docile by K.M. Szpara
  7. The Test by Sylvain Neuvel

The other two books I read I didn’t end up writing full reviews for (and I had started them before the new year) but they were also fun.

  • Psychopathia Sexualis: 238 Case Histories by Richard von Krafft-Ebing

This book isn’t really the kind of book you end up “reviewing”. It is a very dated collection of case studies from 1886 that focused on mental illness and how it’s related to sexual urges, delinquency, and crimes. Given how dated it is, the part I found the most interesting was looking at how mental illness terms have changed over time and the strange excuses people came up to “explain” those suffering from mental health problems. Not all of the cases were explicit and some of them were even kind of funny. It was definitely an interesting read.

  • Arsene Lupin, Gentleman-Thief by Maurice LeBlanc

A good friend of mine got me into the Lupin the Third anime series and was telling me all about the original novels. I honestly went in with low expectations, thinking it would be like the dryer of the Sherlock Holmes books, but I was definitely wrong. I had a blast reading the shorts and they were all hilarious in one way or another. Lupin is such a dick and the way he just saunters around was so entertaining. It was a lot of fun.

All in all, I think it’s been a successful January and I’m looking forward to all the other books I’ll get to in February! Stay tuned for my reading list which I’ll be finalizing tomorrow!

 

2020

We’re back to the roaring 20’s and I am so honestly thrilled that 2019 is officially in the past.

It was a really tough year for me where I was kicked a lot during the times when I was down, but there were good times too. I went to my first blogger events, I took my mom to see Michelle Obama on her birthday, I got an apartment all to myself! But the tough times weigh heavily still so I’m very excited to be moving past them.

Now that it’s 2020, the start of a new decade means it’s time to set some goals regardless of whether or not I actually complete them. For my GoodReads Reading Challenge, I want to read 65 books at least and unhaul any and all books I don’t finish. I have a bad habit of putting books down and saying “Now just isn’t the right time for this book” and not picking them back up. Well no more! Life is too short and my shelves are too jammed for books that don’t interest me. The same goes for ARCs. I have so many ARCs that I was dying to get my hands on, and yet they all still sit on my shelf. I don’t plan on doing much “influencer” blogging this year, at least not until I can get through the ARCs that I already have.

I want to have a more regular posting schedule on my blog, and I’ve got a relaxed schedule all planned out in my bullet journal to stay on top of it all. So stay tuned for weekly reviews every Wednesday with a manga feature on Mondays!

In personal goals, I want to quit smoking and use the money I’ll save to get a cat. I want to finish writing my book. I want to really live my life as myself, for myself, and stop being so concerned with how other people see me. I try way too hard to try and make other people happy or to get them to like me without taking care of myself. It’s time I think about how I want to live MY life and let’s hope a brand new decade will help me do that.

So here’s to 2020 and all the lovely books I’ll have to share with you all! Below is the list of books I’m hoping to read this January!

Pastel Vintage Bike Facebook Cover

A Love Note to Ronan Farrow Otherwise Titled “A Review of CATCH & KILL”

I want to start of this review with two things:

1) For those unaware of the content of Catch and Kill, it covers four major sexual assault cases in the entertainment industry. The encounters are explained in detail and can be not only upsetting to general readers, but triggering for victims of sexual assault.

2) For those who want a little bit more context about the Weinstein case, I highly recommend reading Rose McGowan’s book, BRAVE, first. You can read my review of BRAVE here.


In 2012 I started film school. It was the most stressful three years of my life, and every year I wasn’t the only one surprised that I returned. First year was a rather public breakdown, second year I was assaulted, third year I attempted to tackle these issues in my thesis film but things didn’t go as planned. I graduated with excellent grades despite all of this, and threw myself head first into following every production announcements, every casting call, I learned the names of every above line crew member of all my favourite films and made cold calls every few days to try and get into production offices.

I learned the ins and outs of the industry in Canada and the US as best as I could while working in and out of the industry and tried to find my passion, to keep it burning despite knowing the stresses of set work and the long hours.

I remember seeing how many films I enjoyed that came from Miramax and subsequently The Weinstein Company. I remember going over how to get work visas for the states again and again in hopes of potentially working for all of the major production companies.

I remember hearing the news break that he was a monster.

I continued to follow the Weinstein story through Deadline Hollywood as well as other news sources, watching the TWC twitter account as well. No one wants to believe that those they look up to are horrible. The more I read, the more horrible I felt and slowly I made sure to unfollow those involved in the scandle and following those who were making the accusations against Weinstein. I remember seeing that Rose McGowan was going to be releasing a book and rushed to get it. I read fast and BRAVE is not a long book. It took me a month to get through it.

The pain and anguish and shame that radiated from the pages had me in tears more than once. On top of Kevin Spacey’s actions being brought into the light, I hated the film industry. The industry didn’t care about the safety of those working in it. Every person who was hurt by someone powerful was brushed to the side and put down through mental health rumors or dreged up past life experiences to discredit them.

So I gave up wanting to be a part of it.

I learned two weeks before the release that Ronan Farrow was going to be releasing a book covering the assault cases against Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, and even touching upon Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump as well as mentions of Woody Allen. Despite how hard it was to get through McGowan’s personal story about the issue, I knew I needed to read Catch and Kill. I knew how important it would be to hear the other women who have been hurt and ignored and silenced. I hit the preorder button right away on Audible and impatiently waited for the email telling me I could now download the audiobook onto my phone. Ten days later, I’d cried twice in public and once more in private while listening to Farrow narrate the most tragic stories I’ve ever heard.

Catch and Kill isn’t just about the assault of young women (and children in a few cases) who just want to do their jobs. It is also about the lengths the men accused and the new outlets went to in order to make the accusations go away. Not only were these women violently assaulted on more than one occassion, but they were threatened, otherwise harrassed, and forced into silence with money. The sums may have been large in some cases, but money doesn’t fix trauma. Farrow, himself, was also threatened, harrassed, and fired all before he was practically forced to lie when the networks turned around and said they never did anything of the sort. The level of gaslighting on the side of NBC was absolutely revolting. It reminded me of a quote I recently heard on a Side Stories episode of Last Podcast on the Left when host Ben Kissell (a former producer at Fox) said, “Do not get your information from TV news. You can pick up tidbits every now and again, but it is 100% entertainment. It is not real […] If that is the only place you’re getting information, this is why we have Donald Trump.”

The censoring of information was one of the more horrifying things about this story. On top of the private investigators and the Black Cube operatives survailing everyone involved to provide information to those who would further upset or threaten these people, the blatant lies of the staff at NBC was infuriating. The lack of accountability was infuriating.

While on the one hand, Farrow’s book can be seen as one about being careful who you speak to, the primary point of it is to get those killed stories of the victims out there. It is about letting these women have as safe a space as possible to finally share their story and finally get a chance to force some accountability on their rapists. It is about believing victims and hearing them out. It is about telling the truth and telling all of the truth, not just the key points. It felt like a life raft for victims as well as an apology note to Dylan Farrow, Ronan Farrow’s sister who was assaulted at age 7 by her adoptive father, Woody Allen. It’s an exposé about those who valued themselves over the victims who trusted them. It is Ronan Farrow putting it all on the line to help people. Catch and Kill is more than journalism, it is more than nonfiction.

His bravery, while not being allowed to overshadow the bravery of all of the women he spoke to, needs to be acknowledged in this. He risked so much to get this information out there, to help protect the women who agreed to come forward and risk it all themselves. Farrow is a reminder of why it is so important to listen to others, why it is so important to have compassion and empathy and the want to help people. He makes me want to be a better man while also reminding me it is okay to be vulnerable and I am not in the wrong for being a victim and a survivor. The most important part of coming to terms with a sexual assault and/or rape experience is remembering it is not your fault.

I thank Ronan Farrow for his work with these cases, with handling the whole thing with grace and not glossing over the hard parts. I thank him for his efforts in being there for the victims and taking care when they opened up to him. I thank him for continuing forward even when it felt like no one had his back. I thank him for being vulnerable himself and for not hiding his emotion while narrating the audiobook. I thank him for reminding me what it is to be strong.

Thank you Ronan Farrow.

Thank you.

And for anyone else reading this, I urge you to learn the names of these victims. Weinstein’s name will be the one remembered, but like any criminal case, the long list of victims’ names won’t be. Please learn their names and thank them for their bravery.