Crystal Rose, a 17-year-old high school junior, and her younger brother were abandoned by their drug-addicted mother fifteen years ago in an Alaskan Native village, an event which Crystal resented for years. However, when she learns that her mother was raped in high school, Crystal declares war against a society which reduces girls to their looks, forcing them to feel worthless without the approval of guys.
While living in a small Alaskan town, she starts The War Blog website, along with her best friend and crush Kato—a brilliant Native boy—attacking everything promoting female objectification and offering ways to fight back, all supplemented by her original songs. Crystal rises from nothing in the wilds of Alaska to become a champion for change, risking her life against men who would force her to keep silent. She faces her parents’ abusive past and fights for a better world.
If there is one thing I can’t stand, it is a social justice warrior. Most of the ones I’ve run across never go farther than retweeting, reblogging, sharing and arguing with people who don’t share their world view, all while using hashtags like #staywoke or #justicefor(insert name here). I can’t stand them because they don’t get away from the keyboard and screen to do anything to affect change. But the social justice warriors in The War Blog by Glen Sobey aren’t like that.
Kato doesn’t just blog about Native problems in Alaska, he speaks to classes about them. He tries to make his people see that they need to make changes.
Crystal also makes it a point to affect change. Yes she has her blog and her songs. But she also comes up with ways to help make changes. She tells the stories that need to be told and tries to find ways to make the changes necessary. She suggests actual changes, in person, to the people instead of just blogging, reblogging, tweeting, etc..
The War Blog is an anti-rape culture and feminist blog. To be honest, rape culture is directly related to how men view women as less than equals. Crystal’s blog speaks out against rape culture. She speaks out against keeping silent, against letting the men who commit rape and abuse toward women get away with it.
The book is full of surprising twists that almost overshadow the social justice issues that Kato and Crystal’s blogs are meant to talk about. Even more surprising is that the book was written by a man. You just wouldn’t think that a male author would think of these things, being that the blame for rape culture is almost exclusively placed on men. Perhaps this was the author’s way of saying “Hey we aren’t all like that.”
You will grow to love most of the characters. You will want to hug Crystal, JD, Kato, etc.. You will want to punch Eugene/Steve, Dylan, etc..
This book gets 4 out of 5 stars. I loved the book, but a couple of “bit part” characters had story lines that were left hanging. I’d also love to see a sequel to this book, just to see how things are going in the future.
I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.