#NotYourPrincess

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 20 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

I wanted to read this purely because I know so little about Native Americans, and practically nothing about Native American Women, which is appalling. I love this book for so many reasons - there are so many different voices, experiences, lives; the format is exciting and although I read it in ebook, I think it'll look beautiful in physical copy; it's unapologetic and uncompromising yet full of so much hope and heart. That's the understanding this book has given me of these Native American women: uncompromising, truly brave women who have so much love and hope and faith.
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A great combination of memoir, story, art, politics.
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No one likes to be boxed in, to have things assumed about them, to be a fetish for some, to be a sterotype, and that is what this book is trying to break.  These are the voices of women and girls of First Nation and  Native Peoples.

Some stories are quite sad, others are of being more, of breaking free.  These are poems, and essays, and photos, and all sorts of ways that girls and women are speaking out against stereotypes.

Here is part of an poem from Melanie Fey (Diné)

Today I couldn't handle the pain of being an American Indian
There's a clawing deep inside
Like a spider in a thirsty drought
And it screams in broken lullaby:
I don't want to be a drunk Indian
I don't want to be the drunk. Indian

TOday a boarding school sat like a lump in my throat
And the ghosts of the dead Indian children
With butchered hair and broken Christian wings
Shatter bottle down on my feet and screamed:
We don't want to be drunk Indians
We don't want to be the drunk Indians.

Or this one by Francine Cunningham (Cree/Métis)

What are you?
Excuse me?
You don't look all white.
I'm Indigenous
Oh, well what kind of Natiave are you?
Cree
You don't really look it.
I am also Scottish and Métis on my dat's side
Were you raise don a reserve?
No I was raised in the city
Oh well, I guess you're not a real one then.

Highly recommended reading  just to hear the voices of the different Native women speaking.



Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
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In parts heart wrenching and heart warming, joyful and sad but above all beautiful.  "#not your princess" is a collection of poems, drawing, and stories from indigenous women.  It is a true tale of love and loss and what it is to be an indigenous woman and that can never be forgotten or ignored.  
"#not your princess" can and should be read by everyone, especially other women.  That any woman can hold the message of strength to their hearts is powerful, but the focus is indigenous woman and any other stories of strength and perseverance can add to that, but never detract from the focus of indigenous woman.  In this day and age with the political climate to the actual climate, holding onto our pasts and our heritage is important. That we stand up for what we know is right is important.
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"They spent hundreds of years trying to assimilate my ancestors, trying to create Indians who could blend in like me. But now they don't want me either. I'm not Indian enough."

I received an e-ARC from Annick Press Ltd. through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!

Unfortunately, this e-ARC was poorly formatted. Therefore, a lot of the art and poetry was unreadable. So please keep that in mind when you're reading reviews of #Notyourprincess. None of us can review it in its entirety, and some readers might be more critical because of that. I'm not, because I don't think it's fair to punish the authors for something that's out of their hands.

#Notyourprincess is described as "a love letter to all young Indigenous women [...] but also to help dispel stereotypes", so it's by Native American women, for Indigenous women.

I'm a white European and the only things I know about Indigenous people in the 21th century, I know thanks to the Indigenous people I follow on social media. Even as a history teacher, my knowledge of them is very, very limited. I don't know much about what has happened to the Native Americans since the European exploration and colonization, and I know even less about Indigenous people from other parts of the world. Marginalised people are under-represented in media, especially under-represented in non-harmful, accurate portrayals, but things are even worse for Indigenous people. When are they ever shown in movies and TV shows, besides the stereotypical portrayals written by white people?

That's why I would definitely recommend #Notyourprincess. I highlighted tons of great quotes and learnt a great deal in less than 200 pages. I had no idea about Native American Women being sterilized by the government, or their children taken away from them. Like I said, I don't know anything about the recent history of Indigenous people. But first and foremost, this isn't at all a history book, but a collection of poems, art, essays, etc. in which Native American Women get to voice their feelings. Trigger warning for sexual assault, rape, alcoholism etc. though!

conclusion: I definitely want to get a physical copy once it's released. Because the e-ARC was poorly formatted, a physical copy will most likely be a whole other experience! #Notyourprincess educated me, but it more importantly gave Native American Women the chance to express themselves, which was much needed.
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An interesting idea, for sure. I wish my e-ARC was better formatted as I found it difficult to distinguish between the artwork, essays, poems and quotes. Selfishly I was hoping to read something more significant from someone from my own tribe (Tlingit) and while a contribution is there, it wasn't as satisfying as I'd liked. Really enjoyed several of the contributions but on the whole wanted just a little bit more.
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I received an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

My main reasons for reading this book are simple. There are so many own voices out there and I want to read and support as many as I can. I was also looking forward to learning more about Native culture as well as the women telling their sides and I was not disappointed.

This book depicts all the different, and important stories as essays, art, poems. It is a beautiful work by a wide range of women. From doctors to students, from mothers to daughters, they all share their experiences growing up and living as indigenous people,

Unfortunately, the formatting made it very tiring to read on my e-reader. Some of the works used different colours which weren't all displayed correctly; artworks were split between the screens; or sentences were falsely connected with other sentences. I really hope that the physical copy will portray everything as it was intended, because it will have an even stronger effect on the reader that way
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I received an arc via Netgalley for an honest review. 

I requested this arc because of 2 reasons: first I want to read more books by indigenous authors and second it was rec'ed on twitter by an indigenous reviewer. They are Mvskoke. 

Did I like the book? No, I loved it. It's so powerful. The art work is gorgeous. The poems are divine. Every story is so full of emotions and feelings. 

That's all I'm going to say about this book. Please read the reviews of indigenous people for more. 

At last, I wanna add some trigger warnings: depression, anxiety, blood, abuse (physical, emotional, sexual), suicide, violence, death, grief, child abuse.
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https://anovelhaul.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/notyourprincess-ed-by-lisa-charleyboy-and-mary-beth-leatherdale/
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I was already aware of some of the things covered in the book - the fetishization of Native Americans, particularly - but mostly from a more academic standpoint which is generally unemotional. The real emotions and feelings of the women make a much greater impact. The art adds to the experience.  I hope this book becomes required reading for boys and young men as well as girls and young women.
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3.5 Amazing Stars

Thank you to Annick Press for the ARC, provided via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest opinion.

This was such a captivating read. The Voices of Native American Women really resonated with me. The artwork was phenomenal. The poems and essays were informative and were packed with the strength, oppression, humility and humanity of all the contributors. 

As a reader you could feel their emotions being adequately expressed whether it was frustration or happiness.  These women have compassionate souls, who despite adversity, will stand up for what they believe in. They are warriors who fight against oppression of their cultural heritage and their identity as a Native woman. Each entry expressed this superbly. 

The part that really drew me in and resonated with me, was the sexualisation of Native Women in the Western culture. This was a topic that I, as a non-American woman and lover of history, in my innocence, thought would have been moot by now and not relevant in modern society. After reading this book I understand the modern plight and will educate others in the future on this aspect. 

The only reason that I didn’t give this book a higher rating is the fact that the e-format was a hot mess. The sentences flowed together, you couldn’t keep proper track of what was intended and the art work with captions didn’t always match up. This is the type of book that would most definitely work better in a paperback format. 

I recommend this book to any reader, whether your Native or not, to read #NotYourPrincess. Any reader will find a refreshing perspective on issues that form part of our society. The artwork is beautiful and the content is very informative.
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This is a collection of works (short stories, drawings, poems, comics) by Native women. It's a short book but with its few pages it achieved so much. It managed to move me and make me think and most importantly it gave visibility to a lot of women. It put them front and centre and we get to hear their voices, their struggles, their happiness, their day to day life, the systematic and every day racism they have to face, the heritage that they're so proud of but also the ones that they're not that proud of and the different intersections they have in their every day life. We got stories about teenagers, adults, queer women, successful women, women who are not afraid to call out an unjust system that still goes on until today. I actually admire the capacity that some of these works had to make me feel so much. There are so many of these women that are still carrying the weight that their ancestors had and who are trying to overcome the past-trauma and some of them are trying to take control of it. 

I believe this was created by Native women for Native women and I just felt so grateful to be able to see all of this and read their stories. This is a story of the resilience that Indigenous women have been going through for so many years in the face of a corrupt and racially biased system that caters towards their oppression and the horrible things that keep happening to people like them. I felt the strength that these women had through the pages and it filled me up with inspiration and admiration. I love that we get pictures of successful Native women who achieved their dreams and also that we saw some of the (very little still) representation that they get in the media. It was incredibly interesting to also see people talking about current issues that still to this day are not solved and how they're using social media to make a change (this is specially with the Dakota Pipeline story). 

My favourite works were The Things We Taught Our Daughters by Helen Knott (Dane Zaa/Cree) which is a poem about the transfer of the toxicity through family that became a pattern in their lives and the hope of healing and doing better in the future, My Grandmother Sophia by Saige Mukash (Cree) which is about Saige's grandmother and her realisation of things after she passed away, Blankets of Shame by Maria Campbell (Métis) which is about the shame that Indigenous people use like a blanket in their every day life and Portrait by Sierra Edd (Diné) which is about her work helping fight the Dakota Pipeline (which I'm so thankful because I never really understood what was happening there until now).
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Fantastic collection of prose, poetry, and art from indigenous female creators. Important voices and stories.
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A beautiful book full of art, poetry, quotes and snippets of autobiography from a wide range of native women (teens through adults; Americans and Canadians; doctors, lawyers, athletes, artists, students, mothers, daughters, and on and on), speaking up about what it really means to be a native woman and speaking out against stereotypes, cultural appropriation, violence, abuse, and the generational impact of colonialism and oppression.

I read this in e-book format and unfortunately the formatting was off in quite a few places, so paintings and photographs were broken into pieces and some text was all out of whack. Based on that, I'd recommend picking up a physical copy of the book in order to get the full impact of the art and words.
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Disclaimer: A free copy of this book was received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

This is a #ownvoices book and I’ve talked before about how important these books are, but it doesn’t mean that every single one of them is a winner. This book showcases stories, poems and art by indigenous women about being Native American in today’s society. I really wanted this one to be, and it’s a shame that it just wasn’t.  

This book isn’t well curated and it’s not a significant length. Now I don’t mean that it’s short, I mean they have enough contributors that 25% of the book (according to my Kindle) is just contributor bios and acknowledgements while the other 75% is content. That’s not a good ratio and even THAT is generous considering much of the content was a single page image across several pages because of typesetting errors that will be fixed in the proper release, so the content section will likely be shorter. 

I cannot stress enough that this review is based on an ARC that was bordering on unreadable. I’m positive that it will be better formatted upon release and perhaps there are whole poems that got lost in the formatting. As it stands, this book needs far more artwork, poems and stories to feel substantial. Even formatted properly though this book is so art heavy I would avoid purchasing a copy for an e-reader as you lose a lot of the intended content when everything is black and white. 

I want to hear the voices of these women. I am a forgettable percentage Native American, but I had relatives on the reserve. My mother’s grandparents who raised her made us moccasins that were hand beaded and doll clothes out of rabbit fur. These stories are important to me, and they deserve more. 

The stories I read were interesting, especially the personal tales. The poetry wasn’t much to my taste, I would have preferred if the book focused on letting indigenous women tell their stories. Speak about their struggles growing up and figuring out their identity. Although perhaps when the book is formatted the poems will be more heartfelt.

Overall I just didn’t feel like there was much substance here, a few really strong stories with more content about the contributors than actual content.
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I saw #NotYourPrincess on NetGalley and knew I had to read it.

Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous women across North America resound in this book. In the same style as the best-selling Dreaming in Indian, #NotYourPrincess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. Stories of abuse, humiliation, and stereotyping are countered by the voices of passionate women making themselves heard and demanding change. Sometimes angry, often reflective, but always strong, the women in this book will give teen readers insight into the lives of women who, for so long, have been virtually invisible.

I don’t know where to begin with this review. It’s a short book but it’s a powerful read for those of us who have been overlooked in society and even in marginalized movements. #NOTYOURPRINCESS explores what it means to be a Native woman and looks at the experiences of several woman through poetry, art, comics, and stories.

There were 2 stories and 1 comic that really stuck with me with I was reading this. The first was BLANKETS OF SHAME by Maria Campbell which talks about how we all wear blankets of shame. The story starts with Maria talking about how her Cheechum told her that the government stripped Natives of everything that made them living souls and then gave them blankets to hide their shame and we still carry those blankets of shame through intergenerational trauma.

INVISIBLE INDIANS by Shelby Lisk explores what it’s like when Native people don’t meet the expectations of how white people view us and how they try to strip away our identities in order to make themselves feel superior.

THE TALE OF TWO WINONAS by Winona Linn is a comic that deals with tragedy porn, the weight of names, and heroes.

I loved every piece of this book and I cannot wait to have a finished copy in my hands. You can preorder here.
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To me this, this collection of poetry and prose is important. It gives voices to Indigenous women, tells their stories and empowers their sisters to embrace themselves and who they are. To me, this collection that contains experiences I haven’t felt myself and experiences I deal with as well into words. The poems and stories that did this was stories talking about how they weren’t raised with their heritage and have to learn it on their own or families that whitewashed themselves to hide who they are, much like my own family has. These pieces hit hard while reading them, leaving me wanting to tell my own story instead of biting it back in fear of ‘not fitting’ the expected mold.

To me, I found these pieces well done. However, about half way through this collection, the formatting sort of gave out on me. Sentences ran into other sentences, not ending but cut off suddenly. Some poems make use of different colored fonts while others have the same idea, but the formatting  made it repeat the sentence above when it wasn’t meant to. As it was, the white colored fonts can’t be seen well on kindles, leaving your eyes hurting trying to read it. A more common issue with ebooks on kindles is art work getting cut to pieces so it’s not a full images but small pieces. This was an issue through this arc as well. I felt like the formatting issues did effect my impression simply because half of the pieces I couldn’t understand because I had to try and repiece the pieces together again, leaving me a little frustrated. Hopefully, this can be fixed before this goes out into ebook formats.

Do I recommend this? Yes. Wait to get it in physical form or for the publishers say that formatting has been fixed for ebooks if you get it. I find it a really important read and one that touched my soul and my own experience of trying to find my way of my heritage and understand what that means for the woman I am, as a Metis, who’s family that has been rewritting who they are to hide this side. I feel like this book is important to both Indigenous women and women who want to better understand the struggle.
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I really wanted to love this, because when I realized it was a compilation of artwork and stories from native American women, I was like, "Yeah, sign me up!" I always am looking for more education, and I strongly believe that there's no better place to be educated than through the experiences of the marginalized peoples who are actually going through these situations.

That said, this book is just really poorly compiled. The formatting is poor, and by the time I finished my ARC of it, I had only actually read 4-5 stories and a couple of very short poems, as well as maybe half a dozen quotes. The majority of the book was just graphic designs (not the art of the women - I mean literally just random graphic designs) and blank spaces.

If the editors ever decided to revisit this idea and add a lot more stories and artwork to it, I think it would be a 5-star read and I'd be the first one to pick up a hard copy to keep on my shelf, but as it is, this wasn't for me.

Thank you to NetGalley and Annick Press for granting me this ARC! All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
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