REVIEW: The Importance of 'I Am Change' by Suzy Zail
Hello Fellow Readerholics,
I very recently won a book giveaway in which I was given a copy of ‘I Am Change’ by Suzy Zail. I only just finished it and I have a lot to say.
Lilian has learned to shrink herself fit other people’s ideas of what a girl is.
In Lilian’s village a girl is not meant to be smarter than her brother. A girl is not meant to go to school or enjoy her body or decide who to marry. Especially if she is poor.
Inspired by the true accounts of young Ugandan women, I Am Change is the tragic but empowering story of how a girl finds her voice and the strength to fight for change.
Many of us enjoy reading as we get to enjoy the story of somebody else. This isn’t a story to enjoy but is instead a story that teaches us to be better and to become better people of the world. This is a story that brings awareness to those who need our help. This is a story that shouldn’t have to be based on true accounts, it should be a work of fiction but it is not.
When I finished this book, I wasn’t sure on how to feel. This book details what I believe to be some of the upsetting things we face in today’s society but it was written in a way that I couldn’t help but adore. My favourite books are books that make me feel something, as enjoyable reading to me is escapism. This book made me feel happy at times, sad at others, angry and without power. How am I supposed to review a book that is so unfathomable to me? That is a question that I don’t have an answer to, so instead I am going to tell you why I feel like this and why this book holds so much importance.
I felt upset when Lilian described how she is treated in her village. I was able to empathise with her character and the lovability of her character was something that made it so much more tragic when bad things would happen. I felt enraged when people undermined Lilian and those around her and when they would do things that no human should ever do to another. I felt powerless when I learned that this story is based on the accounts of real people and that although Lilian may be a fictional character, her story is very real.
I felt joyful when Lilian did the things that others told her she couldn’t do. Every time she proved somebody wrong or demonstrated her intelligence I did a little mental fist pump. I loved how even in the face of injustice, Lilian continued to persevere and do what she loved.
This book greatly revolves around the importance of feminism for young (or older) women in mostly third world countries. While I agree that the feminism we see in Australian society is important, feminism on a global scale is so much more than what we are exposed to here. When we see feminism, we talk about equality which is so important but when we look at feminism on a global scale and see that these women in third world countries aren’t even treated like humans, it makes me think that we all need to talk about these injustices before we strive for what I see as ‘local’ (Australian) feminism. I highly commend any organisation that works on narrowing the gap between the experiences of women globally so that we can all have a safer, happier and more equal future.
Overall, I adored the themes and messages that ‘I am Change’ has for audiences. I think that although it offers such a tragic perspective of life for people like Lilian, it is a story that needs to be heard. Due to the horrific themes in this novel, I would probably recommend it for slightly more mature readers (14-15+?) as some of the scenes are quite disturbing, this is heavy stuff, you guys! I would probably rate it 4.2/5 stars.
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