Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Book Review: Girls Who Bite Back


Girls Who Bite Back: Witches, Mutants, Slayers and Freaks is an anthology edited by Emily Pohl-Weary, who also writes the introduction. The book is chock-full of essays, short stories, and artwork by a whole mess of talented contributors. The book highlights the importance of female heroes, and the problems with the media's portrayal of the ones we do have.

The part I liked best about this book were the essays. I learned a lot of new things about comic books that I didn't know before (I love comic books, but I learn about them very slowly!) and got to read from women who bonded with television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the same way I did. In fact, possibly my favorite article was Candra Gill's Cuz the Black Chick Always Gets It First: Dynamics of Race in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which acknowledged Buffy's importance and the show's flaws: most notably, the lack of racial diversity. Some

As with most anthologies, there were some weaker moments, leading to some moments I didn't particularly enjoy. A few of the essays sung the praises of the "tough girl" archetype and dismissing or insulting more feminine, quiet women in the media- which is something that super duper annoys me. It also seems a little dated. Although this is expected of a book dealing so much with pop culture (which of course always has a shelf life), it is a noticeable aspect of the book. Some of the contributions are stronger than others, and it leads to a bit of an uneven read.

If you love zine culture, riot grrrls, comic books, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this book is definitely an interesting read. It's filled with information and inspiring stories. Despite some weaker moments, this is a fun book is all about finding strength in female characters.


Buy the book from Amazon (super cheap used versions!)
Weary's new young adult book about a teen werewolf: Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl

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