I haven’t been well enough to reread all the novels by Juno Dawson that I plan to review therefore I am doing my Author Overview of Juno in two parts.
Margot & Me is a novel which I really related to on many levels as Fliss (the main charcter)’s mother has been battling cancer, it’s set in Wales and I’m half-Welsh (on my dad’s side). However my personal connections to the novel is not the only reason I rate it, it also contains Margot’s (Fliss’s grandmother) diary from the Second World War which is beautifully written. This sparks Fliss to learn more about her grandmother’s life and the devastating effect of the AIDS epidemic.
‘It was like being back at the old asylum during the war. A great long room of dying men all lined up like dominios waiting to fall. Partners side by side in adjoining beds. So many of them couldn’t tell their families. Some of them didn’t have a single visitor.’
Admittedly I did have to look up some of the nineties references, did you know Melinda Messenger was a glamour model – I just thought she presented Cowboy Builders. Tammy Girl was a pre-teen clothes store that contained lots of leggings and bright colours.
The Gender Games is an incredibly honest account of Juno’s complicated relationship with Gender and her experiences as a gay man prior to transitioning, while also examining how Gender stereotypes impact everyone, yes even cisgender men.
‘Words can be so powerful – they can be an incredible force for love, or for hate. Some words, and here I refer in particular to the word ‘tranny’, are terrible weapons. It is used against my community like a grenade’
I dress in a ‘stereotypically female’ way, I have blonde highlights in my long hair and I love a bold lip. Therefore I have experienced some of the negative aspects of Gender mentioned in Juno’s book, such as my opinions of Donald Trump and Scottish independence being dismissed as I can’t possibly be informed or knowledgeable about these subjects because I am ‘just a girl’.
On a side note, I recently read a book by Hollie McNish called Nobody Told Me which was all about her experiences as a parent. I am not usually a fan of poetry (I blame my GCSE anthology), however it contained a poem regarding gender which really reminded me of the main message in Gender Games.
‘Boys told to man up, Girls told to make up, boys told to shut up, boys told be tough, girls told to be pretty, men told to make money.’
I’m sure Juno won’t mind me including Hollie McNish in her Author Overview, I follow her on Twitter and she is always championing other female authors.
What’s your favourite Juno Dawson book? Do you like Poetry? If so which poet is your favourite?
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