Cover Image: The Society of Shame

The Society of Shame

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Member Reviews

I really enjoyed reading the Society of Shame. It was a humorous look at internet culture, social movements, and cancel culture. Fun writing while offering social commentary.
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Highly entertaining.
I laughed out loud.
Love the satire and the secrets and the society of shame.
Really well done.
Thank you so much
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I didn’t expect this one to be a satire in the vein of Don’t Look Up. An important book about menstruation that also deals with the negative aspects of (social) media, a part of the story I enjoyed. I definitely need a physical copy!
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**Thanks to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

This book was a bit absurd/over-the-top, but I enjoyed it. I thought the author did a fantastic job of capturing our culture's obsession with social media and cultural movements. I found her critiques of twitter hashtags, liberal infighting, and men's insistence on inserting themselves into issues they know nothing about, spot-on and funny. I also appreciated that there was no romantic interest for the main character--the story was really focused on her growth as an individual and there was no man to get in the way. I initially picked this book up because of the senator/campaign angle, and there is actually very little of that in the plot, but that didn't change my enjoyment. Overall, this is a fun piece of women's fiction that is smarter and more biting than I expected.
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Just wasn’t for me. A little too tongue in cheek but without any edge or bite. Characters were unlikeable as well, but not in a good way. Um, yeah, no.
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The story of our protagonist Kathleen Held is something that could easily happen in these Internet times.
Some of the points that seemed very accurate to me are:
The importance of destigmatizing menstruation.
The ridiculous thing about canceling people on the internet.
The impact of social networks on movements.

Among the cons I could include that I found that sometimes the author covered many topics and left them halfway, so it felt like she was only using them to cause drama and it felt overwhelming.
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Yes, she went there! Kathleen finds her world turned upside down by learning her husband is a cheat and her tampon leaked. Amazingly, it is the blood stain on her pants that becomes the inflection point that drives her future. Kathleen is, by turns, vilified and sanctified. This evidence of a menstrual mishap causes Kathleen and her daughter to become involved in the YES WE BLEED movement. 

At this point the the novel becomes a satire of all the movements and social media that drive our current world. I enjoyed the start and end of the  book, but I found it dragged in the middle. I really admire Roper’s use of  menstruation as a centerpiece of this novel. It is thoughtful and provocative. 

I highly recommend this to all my reading groups. I think the time has come to truly examine this issue and begin to make systemic changes to the way this body function is treated. 

Bravo Jane Roper and thank you Netgalley for this extremely interesting ARC.
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Cleverly put together with the articles and transcripts of shows being a part of this story. Indeed, three men talking about women's reproductive health without even a single woman being part of the discussion is weird, yet unfortunately still very common in this day and age.

That said, this book was not for me. I loathed her the moment Kathleen turned into Kat with her highlights, supporting Yes We Bleed simply to feel empowered, talking about her brand and narrative. From there on it was somewhat predictable, even up to her still clinging to her highlights in the end. What is wrong with being mousey?

And as we're on the subject of bashing, shaming, ridiculing and exclusion... I really don't understand the absence of at least a wee bit of diversity when it comes to skin color, sexual preferences, religion, history, cultural background, income (or lack of), and chronics. Couldn't her best friend have been a woman of color, or in a wheelchair?

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the book.
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