Consent
In this "compelling and disturbing" true story (Rebecca Traister), a young woman's toxic mentor develops a dark, stalking obsession that disrupts her career -- and her peace of mind. Donna Freitas has lived two lives. In one life, she is a well-published author and respected scholar who has traveled around the country speaking about Title IX, consent, religion, and sex on college campuses. In the other, she is a victim, a woman who suffered and suffers still because she was stalked by her graduate professor for more than two years. As a doctoral candidate, Freitas loved asking big questions, challenging established theories and sinking her teeth into sacred texts. She felt at home in the library, and safe in the book-lined offices of scholars whom she admired. But during her first year, one particular scholar became obsessed with Freitas' academic enthusiasm. He filled her student mailbox with letters and articles. He lurked on the sidewalk outside her apartment. He called daily and left nagging voicemails. He befriended her mother, and made himself comfortable in her family's home. He wouldn't go away. While his attraction was not overtly sexual, it was undeniably inappropriate, and most importantly--unwanted. In Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention, Donna Freitas delivers a forensic examination of the years she spent stalked by her professor, and uses her nightmarish experience to examine the ways in which we stigmatize, debate, and attempt to understand consent today.

Consent Details

TitleConsent
Author
ReleaseAug 13th, 2019
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
ISBN-139780316450522
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Feminism

Consent Review

  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown &Company for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. This is the type of non fiction that can be really difficult to rate. The author, Donna Freitas is detailing the lengthy pursuit of a stalker during her grad school time at Georgetown University. This happened in the 90's and as Donna takes us through the increasingly difficult situation that she lived in, it becomes increasingly clear how far her pursuer will go. It's Donna's story and she Thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown &Company for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. This is the type of non fiction that can be really difficult to rate. The author, Donna Freitas is detailing the lengthy pursuit of a stalker during her grad school time at Georgetown University. This happened in the 90's and as Donna takes us through the increasingly difficult situation that she lived in, it becomes increasingly clear how far her pursuer will go. It's Donna's story and she's walking in her truth and I know that it couldn't have been easy to have it published for a bunch of strangers to read. I applaud her for this. Truthfully, that's why it's difficult for me to rubber stamp it with a 3 star. But given the difficult topic, it's not one that I would easily recommend to just anyone.Goodreads review published 19/07/19Publication Date 13/08/19
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  • Anita Pomerantz
    January 1, 1970
    Consent is a brilliantly rendered memoir authored by a woman, Donna Freitas, who dreamed of being a professor. Unfortunately, she encountered a huge hurdle to realizing her dreams when a professor, a priest no less, became obsessed with her. Let’s just say that the most compelling part of this book is the complete candor with which it is written, but that is closely followed by the beautiful use of language. Parts of the story are poetically rendered; others have more of an academic cast, and so Consent is a brilliantly rendered memoir authored by a woman, Donna Freitas, who dreamed of being a professor. Unfortunately, she encountered a huge hurdle to realizing her dreams when a professor, a priest no less, became obsessed with her. Let’s just say that the most compelling part of this book is the complete candor with which it is written, but that is closely followed by the beautiful use of language. Parts of the story are poetically rendered; others have more of an academic cast, and some parts are simply deeply personal. What makes this book so fascinating is that Donna tells her story in such vivid detail, including her innermost thoughts and her tremendous self doubt. It does help the reader to understand how a situation can start innocuously enough, but then by the time the victim realizes what is happening, she no longer feels empowered to stop it. Her view of herself in hindsight is so interesting. She never really is able to reconcile her image of herself as an attractive person, in control of her sexuality, filled with passion for a life of the mind with a person who was victimized, but when I read about her family background and her propensity for leaning so hard into her studies, building very close relationships with her teachers from a young age, I do see some red flags. Unfortunately, she managed to come into contact with a predator who, with little more than psychological manipulation, invaded her life. She shows how it happened through her unique lens, and the reader experiences the horror of it. She asks why me, and then I personally think some readers will see the answer – yet she remains unsure. Sadly, the ending is not as satisfying as one hopes for throughout, but it is instructive. There was a lot I would have liked to discuss about this book, so I think it would be extremely good for book clubs. I walked away with more questions than before I read her account. All in all, I found the author to be extremely brave to tackle this topic the way that she did, for the world to read. Five stars all the way.#NetGalley
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  • Jenna Bookish
    January 1, 1970
    My thanks to Little, Brown and Company for sending me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher. Consent was a difficult read in some respects; it was difficult to see the author recount her trauma, but more than that, it was difficult to think about the excuses she internally made for her stalker before things escalated out of control. Most women have been there, with varying degrees of severity. (Maybe he does My thanks to Little, Brown and Company for sending me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher. Consent was a difficult read in some respects; it was difficult to see the author recount her trauma, but more than that, it was difficult to think about the excuses she internally made for her stalker before things escalated out of control. Most women have been there, with varying degrees of severity. (Maybe he doesn't realize he's being inappropriate? Maybe I'm being overly sensitive and he's not actually being inappropriate at all? Maybe I said/did/wore something that made him think this behavior would be welcome?)This memoir is a an engrossing exploration of blurry lines of consent and the harassers who rely on plausible deniability to get away with their behavior. Donna Freitas was an enthusiastic student who loved getting to know her professors. This is probably part of why it took her a while to see that her abuser's intentions were less than innocent. But a large part of this was probably also due to the professor's intentionally chipping away at boundaries slowly, so as to acclimate his target to his attentions. By the time things escalated to the point that Freitas felt the need to get outside help, she'd already been in over her head for quite some time. The memoir does an excellent job of illuminating the process abusers of all sorts often use on those they target; things start small and often escalate slowly, all while the victim is questioning whether they're crazy to feel uncomfortable at every step. While this was at times an emotionally taxing read, I definitely recommend it to fans of memoirs and feminist works. The author's exploration of consent, gaslighting, trauma, and institutions that shield powerful men from consequences are all important and timely. You can read all of my reviews on my blog, Jenna Bookish!Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr
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  • Emerald Stacy
    January 1, 1970
    While not a fun read, this book is incredibly powerful. The author finds her voice to speak her truth, including the self doubt that comes from long term gaslighting. Absolutely incredible.
  • Rae
    January 1, 1970
    Read this review and others on my blog: https://thriftybibliophile.comConsent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention by Donna Freitas is Donna’s account of the stalking and unwanted attention she faced as a graduate in college.Donna is a well-published author, a scholar, and knowledgeable in her field, of sex, religion, and consent on college campuses. She’s a sought after speaker and thrives in academia.Donna is a doctor, a daughter, and a friend. But she’s also a victim.As a college graduate, one of Read this review and others on my blog: https://thriftybibliophile.comConsent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention by Donna Freitas is Donna’s account of the stalking and unwanted attention she faced as a graduate in college.Donna is a well-published author, a scholar, and knowledgeable in her field, of sex, religion, and consent on college campuses. She’s a sought after speaker and thrives in academia.Donna is a doctor, a daughter, and a friend. But she’s also a victim.As a college graduate, one of her professors at her Catholic university–a priest–started taking an inappropriate interest in her. While his attentions weren’t blatantly sexual, they were incessant and unwanted. This priest would call Donna, follow Donna, and fill her mailboxes with letters.Since he was in a position of power, Donna struggled with how to handle her stalker. He was everywhere. She couldn’t get away from him.Consent is an in-depth examination of Donna’s nightmarish years as a doctoral candidate being stalked by her professor.Consent by Donna Freitas was a fascinating read. While it didn’t blow me away, I enjoyed it.It’s so easy to think of harassment as black and white. Is sending a few letters and making a few phone calls really harassment? Donna does a wonderful job exploring consent and what that really means. Donna didn’t consent to her professor’s attentions. She was an unwilling participant who was subjected to her professor’s repeated and unwanted affection. And her professor was positively relentless in his quest to commandeer Donna’s time.Unwanted attention is not consent, and this is not okay. Stalking is very real and can be just as damaging as other forms of harassment.While Donna’s life and hardships were interesting, a lot of the book was redundant. Consent could have been a lot shorter and more enjoyable without the needless repetition.If you enjoy memoirs, you might enjoy Consent by Donna Freitas!Thank you to NetGalley for providing the Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Steff Pasciuti
    January 1, 1970
    Consent by Donna Freitas is a rough book to read. Detailing the account of a young woman pursuing a PhD in her early twenties as she is subjected to the unwanted attentions of a Professor in her program. It is a very personal story to the author and yet it is a story that, while some pieces are changed and some have come out worse than others, many women in the world have experienced at one point or another. Whether it is the case of a stalker, as with Donna Freitas or sexual harassment that tak Consent by Donna Freitas is a rough book to read. Detailing the account of a young woman pursuing a PhD in her early twenties as she is subjected to the unwanted attentions of a Professor in her program. It is a very personal story to the author and yet it is a story that, while some pieces are changed and some have come out worse than others, many women in the world have experienced at one point or another. Whether it is the case of a stalker, as with Donna Freitas or sexual harassment that takes darker turns. But what they all have in common, and something I believe many people have a tendency to ignore, downplay, or forget is that they all leave a lasting and deeply traumatic effect on their subjects.Reading the account of a woman who spent a large and rather important portion of her life dealing with the unwanted affections of a stalker, especially when it has been something that you experienced yourself, is deeply troubling and difficult to read. And it unveils a rather disconcerting truth that many of us are aware of but have not consistently fought until recently. It breaks my heart to know how prevalent it has been for men to take advantage of women in this society, particularly those men in power.Consent was a troubling account, dark and uncomfortable to read. It was thoroughly brave for Freitas to publish and was an especially important commentary on the disgraces of the systems that were meant to protect and help women in these situations but only ever really served to protect the abusers and their institutions. The memoir discusses the long-lasting effect that such horrifying events leave upon their victims and the difficulties with which victims consistently have in placing blame solely on those who have hurt them.While it doesn't quite get into the intricacies and horrors of rape, for consent does not begin with sex, Consent does touch deeply on the intricacies of what we consent to and what we do not, when we avoid in order to be polite and what we put up with because we are fearful of the things someone with power over our lives--whether that power is over our jobs, our futures, our families, or something else entirely--can take or destroy.Freitas' abuser destroyed much in her life, left her with a deep trauma that took years of therapy to manage and still has not been repaired. No amount of retribution could really ever make up for the losses suffered on account of the fear and damage that such an event has on one's life. So much ignorance exists around these subjects that I genuinely believe the existence of books that account these events have the very real potential to change the course of societal thought on toxic masculinity for what and why men feel entitled to ignore consent and coerce until they get what they want.While I would definitely recommend this book, I will say that it could be traumatic for some and is one to seriously consider prior to reading as some bits may be rather triggering.I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. | Twitter | Reader Fox Blog | Instagram |
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  • Christina Billhartz
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a testament to the voices of sexual harassment victims that are silenced every day!Freitas was a bright-eyed PhD candidate at Georgetown who was inspired and passionate about her future as a professor when her life started to take a dark turn. Eager to get the most out of her studies, she frequently attended her professors' office hours to further engage with the material. Professor L., a Catholic priest whose stature at the university meant that he would play a major role in her di This book is a testament to the voices of sexual harassment victims that are silenced every day!Freitas was a bright-eyed PhD candidate at Georgetown who was inspired and passionate about her future as a professor when her life started to take a dark turn. Eager to get the most out of her studies, she frequently attended her professors' office hours to further engage with the material. Professor L., a Catholic priest whose stature at the university meant that he would play a major role in her dissertation and career, began to take an interest in her as she continued to frequent his office after class. At first it seemed innocent enough, as though he saw her intelligence and potential, but soon enough the lines began to blur. Before she knew it, he was calling her on numbers she hadn't given him, and showing up at addresses she hadn't given him. Even though she began to feel uncomfortable, Freitas told herself that she was just overreacting.... He was a Catholic priest with a celibacy vow... Of course it couldn't be anything more than the attentions of a caring professor, right? Yet things continued to get worse: he would beg her to go away with him or to go to plays with him, he would call her incessantly and write her multiple letters a day, he would show up outside of her classrooms, write letters to her mom, and even write an article confessing his love for her.Because Freitas' situation unfolded before the sexual abuse and scandal of the Catholic church was exposed, not only did she have to grapple with the stalking and harassment, but she had to come to terms with what this meant about the religion she had grown up with and her family revered. Through telling her story of sexual harassment, Freitas gives voice to the many doubts that women in similar situations face. He didn't actually rape me, so it's not that bad, right? What if nobody believe me? What if because there's never been any physical component to the harassment nothing will be done about it? How do you explicitly say no to someone who holds so much power over you and your future? How do you explicitly say no to someone who is your elder, a religious figure, and your professor? Is it because of something I did or the way that I dressed? Did I somehow give him a signal that this is what I wanted? Is it my fault?I don't know a single woman who hasn't faced these same or similar questions, and Freitas, through her own experience, sheds light on some of the answers and some of the shades of grey regarding consent that accompany them.In the era of the #Me Too movement, Consent provides a beacon of hope that no matter how many times institutions try to silence us, we can speak up. We can tell our stories.
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.A powerful memoir about a young woman's toxic relationship with her mentor, an acclaimed professor, whose dark, stalking obsession altered her future forever.Donna Freitas has lived two lives. In one life, she is a well-published author and respected scholar who has travelled around the coun I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.A powerful memoir about a young woman's toxic relationship with her mentor, an acclaimed professor, whose dark, stalking obsession altered her future forever.Donna Freitas has lived two lives. In one life, she is a well-published author and respected scholar who has travelled around the country speaking about Title IX, consent, religion, and sex on college campuses. In the other, she is a victim, a woman who suffered and suffers still because she was stalked by her graduate professor for more than two years. As a doctoral candidate, Freitas loved asking big questions, challenging established theories and sinking her teeth into sacred texts. She felt at home in the library, and safe in the book-lined offices of scholars whom she admired. But during her first year, one particular scholar became obsessed with Freitas' academic enthusiasm. He filled her student mailbox with letters and articles. He lurked on the sidewalk outside her apartment. He called daily and left nagging voicemails. He befriended her mother and made himself comfortable in her family's home. He wouldn't go away. While his attraction was not overtly sexual, it was undeniably inappropriate, and most importantly--unwanted. In Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention, Donna Freitas delivers a forensic examination of the years she spent stalked by her professor, and uses her nightmarish experience to examine the ways in which we stigmatize, debate, and attempt to understand consent today. This was not an easy book to read: but it should *not* be something that is easy to read as it is deep and powerful and touching. Miss Freitas went through HELL and came out with a positive side of it in her ability to write about and share her story. Side note: as a Canadian, I had to look up what Title X meant (this definition is from www.feminist.org/education/titleix.asp )Title IX Defined. No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972)Her story is dark and gritty and downright uncomfortable and it is a must-read for anyone who is in a book club as it needs to be shared and discussed. She writes it in a clear and understanding manner and does not come off as a harpy, which is great for ANY autobiography. #greatread
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  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    While I appreciate the fact this is an intelligent young woman who experienced what she deemed as 'unwanted' actions from a man I cannot understand the notion of still classifying oneself as a victim.For those of us who lived through abuse as in my case with a malignant narcissist and with a MPA/CJ degree who was left for dead with three kids I can say the last word I'd use to describe myself is as a victim.If you survive abuse you are a survivor.While this shows how easy and quickly the actions While I appreciate the fact this is an intelligent young woman who experienced what she deemed as 'unwanted' actions from a man I cannot understand the notion of still classifying oneself as a victim.For those of us who lived through abuse as in my case with a malignant narcissist and with a MPA/CJ degree who was left for dead with three kids I can say the last word I'd use to describe myself is as a victim.If you survive abuse you are a survivor.While this shows how easy and quickly the actions of another can impeded upon someone else who doesn't consent it also shows the idea that as women we view ourselves as 'never good enough'.Speaking about the abuse or alleged actions is a good start but it seemed that it was a story that while important to tell could've been edited to explain in more detail with help for those experiencing help rather that a cycle of abuse that continued to twirl without a means to an end.To empower others is to tell ones story and I thank you for being so open and honest however I wish there was more for others to take away in helping to heal the clearly obvious wounds.Time may heal but one may never forget.Forgiveness while important may not necessarily allow one to rebuild and it's important to note that financial abuse, physical, sexual, religious, emotional, psychological is all abuse.It can take years to overcome so please get help if having difficulty processing. Documentation is important with no contact for those dealing with toxicity.I must also note I was hoping that more definitive actions to end such abuse would've been taken against the abuser.In my case my abuser was arrested, a protection from abuse order issued, a warrant was processed for failure to pay and appear, an ICC Violation was in effect for violation of the PFA, he was removed by Chief of Police to cool off after abusive incident, and on and on.For those in the constant fight or flight please note it takes a toll upon ones body and you must make yourself priority number one.Thank you for the ARC copy @NetGalley via Aldiko.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    This memoir is complicated for me to review. It tells a story of how the author's professor, who was also a priest, mentor and department chair, chose and stalked his prey, a young woman eager to learn. There were several insights about harassment and abuse that I gleaned from the book, and I've included those notes below. But the book was difficult to read in part because of the content but mostly because the author drags out parts of the story and spends pages discussing a minute part of the s This memoir is complicated for me to review. It tells a story of how the author's professor, who was also a priest, mentor and department chair, chose and stalked his prey, a young woman eager to learn. There were several insights about harassment and abuse that I gleaned from the book, and I've included those notes below. But the book was difficult to read in part because of the content but mostly because the author drags out parts of the story and spends pages discussing a minute part of the story, perhaps in an effort to make the book longer or to psychoanalyze the situation. I do believe this story needs to be told, and I'm grateful Donna Freitas chose to tell it. Women and men should understand how harassment and stalking feel and know that they do have a voice. Insights: *What they wanted was my voice. Women's tongues are dangerous when they let us keep them.*I know that I should be capable of telling myself what I tell college students who've been assaulted and harassed like I was: It's not your fault. Don't blame yourself. And yet, I am unable to convince myself of this.*Death of a treasured spot to me - everywhere she and he went together or where he stalked her.*Professor L knew the way to my heart. (Predators study prey.)*His attention made me feel special.*You begin to doubt your judgment about everything (when your harasser doesn't accept no for an answer and continues to contrive ways to connect with you or when he/she turns the blame onto you).*Professor L carefully calculated stalking behavior from the get-go.*I wanted to give him a benefit of the doubt (mostly because he was her mentor, a priest, respected in the school, community and world).*I did NOT consent. No way. But I kept my non-consent to myself. I was still too afraid to express my resistance openly.*And I felt so ashamed. I felt many kids of ashamed.*Saying no, really saying it firmly, was out of the question for a long, long time--until his behavior grew so intolerable and so out of control and so obsessive and unyielding that I no longer cared about my future or what might happen if I offended him. Until I was so desperate and broken that I didn't want a future anymore at all.*I colluded with my stalker's behavior, as a way of preserving my own sanity. *My initial consent to his behavior could not be ungiven. This man would continue to see how I was in the beginning and refuse to see how I soon became once my feelings about his behavior shifted. *A shift occurred on the night my cover story had fallen apart. *Victims must own the power of naming what they're experiencing.*Mandatory reporting is like being violated all over again. It takes away the victim's voice and makes him/her confront reality before he/she is ready.*I needed my own voice.*Trauma is funny like that. It helps a person bury something so deeply that they literally don't remember it's there--until they do. (It shows up at strange times.)*Replace the word "but" with "and" because two seemingly opposing things can be held in tension.*I am no longer afraid.
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  • Hectaizani
    January 1, 1970
    This was a really difficult book to read and will be difficult to review. The author describes her experiences in graduate school where she was harassed and stalked by one of her professors. This professor, despite being an esteemed scholar, a department chair and a Catholic priest, took advantage of the author's naivety and relative innocence. She suffered in silence because he made her believe that it was all her fault.This is an incredibly powerful and timely narrative. It has recently come t This was a really difficult book to read and will be difficult to review. The author describes her experiences in graduate school where she was harassed and stalked by one of her professors. This professor, despite being an esteemed scholar, a department chair and a Catholic priest, took advantage of the author's naivety and relative innocence. She suffered in silence because he made her believe that it was all her fault.This is an incredibly powerful and timely narrative. It has recently come to the forefront via the #metoo movement that there are very few women who have not been faced with a situation in which they were denied the ability to consent. Be it via sexual harassment in the workplace or school, unwelcomed sexual advances from peers, or catcalling in the street. When put in this situation we feel guilty even though it is not our fault. We agonize over what we can allow ourselves to wear as though clothing our bodies is somehow an invitation to invade our privacy. Our facial expressions come under scrutiny as we are told to smile. Every aspect of a woman's life is under a self microscope because we are taught not to offend. That's how the author felt she was afraid of offending her stalker because maybe she was misinterpreting the situation. Based on his actions she was in no way misinterpreting his behavior, it was not her fault, and yet she took all the blame, and suffered as a result.In the author's own words:"In the end, there wasn't enough feminism in the world to save me from the situation in which I eventually found myself.""But when it happens to you and you are young and powerless, and the person who is making it happen holds your dream in his hands, fragile and beautiful and glowing with hope, there is a lot you will try to do to ensure he doesn't use those hands to crush it.""The woman pays the price with her future and the man keeps his present and future as though he did nothing wrong. That is the deal we strike when we come forward isn't it?"We need to teach our children of all genders about consent until it is second nature that both "no" and "maybe" means NO. That their bodies belong to them and that nobody has the right to invade their physical or mental space without their permission. That pressure and guilt have no place in obtaining consent. But we also need a world where turning in the victimizer doesn't get hushed up and swept under the rug. Where the victim isn't punished for asking for help. Where she is believed.I requested a digital advance reader's copy of this book from NetGalley in return for the promise of an honest review.
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  • freckledbibliophile
    January 1, 1970
    Consent by Donna Frieitas is a must-read. In this case, the perpetrator was a professor, a teacher of the most eminent rank. With his social distinction, he taught Frieitas the meaning of how one moment of recollection leads to a recrudescence of the event and the pain that's associated with it.At the opening of the book, when the professor continued to harry Frietas about opening the package and reading his essay, I knew this was getting to be a disturbing read. Today, countless women are being Consent by Donna Frieitas is a must-read. In this case, the perpetrator was a professor, a teacher of the most eminent rank. With his social distinction, he taught Frieitas the meaning of how one moment of recollection leads to a recrudescence of the event and the pain that's associated with it.At the opening of the book, when the professor continued to harry Frietas about opening the package and reading his essay, I knew this was getting to be a disturbing read. Today, countless women are being victimized. By some means, they are being forced to "consent," hence the #mettoo movement into something that goes against their moral values and eventually takes away their innocence.Consent was challenging to read and very triggering; nevertheless, I feel that it is an essential book, and Frietas narrated her story exceptionally well.Thank you Little, Brown and Company for the advanced readers’ copy via NetGalley.#netgalley #consent
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  • Crystal Zavala
    January 1, 1970
    So excited to win this on a Goodreads Giveaway! Review to come...
  • Sonia Reppe
    January 1, 1970
    The stalker-Priest/Professor didn't get violent or sexual in his harassment; yet it's crazy how he just didn't get it. Most people get the hint when someone stops returning your calls and keeps refusing your invitations; when someone avoids you, it becomes apparent that you should move on. But this guy, and intellectual person so does not get it. Even when Donna started saying "no," over and over, he refused to hear the no, and accused her of "being a bad friend." An added layer of complication The stalker-Priest/Professor didn't get violent or sexual in his harassment; yet it's crazy how he just didn't get it. Most people get the hint when someone stops returning your calls and keeps refusing your invitations; when someone avoids you, it becomes apparent that you should move on. But this guy, and intellectual person so does not get it. Even when Donna started saying "no," over and over, he refused to hear the no, and accused her of "being a bad friend." An added layer of complication came from his position of power. He was on her dissertation committee and would be the one who needed to write her letter or recommendation. So for a long time she felt she had to put up with things. No, he wasn't inappropriate in a sexual way, but receiving multiple letters and calls everyday by this guy would make anyone dread opening the mailbox or answering the phone, and make them a nervous wreck. And yet a third layer to the situation caused even more anger and frustration: how the university HR lied to Donna saying they would do something about it; yet they did nothing. All this made for a quick, compelling read, although I felt Freitas analyzes it too much for the reader. Especially the prologue was not needed. (Not for the reader-- I believed Freitas needed to get that down on paper for her own mental cleansing but the reader didn't need it). Just the facts of what happened will let any reader conclude the craziness and inappropriateness of him and of her innocence. Just by sharing her background,as she does, of being from a traditional Catholic family, will let the reader draw connections between why she waited so long to assert herself against a priest. A different kind of stalker tale.
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  • ashley lloyd spanton
    January 1, 1970
    Review: I knew going into this it would be an emotional read, but it somehow escaped my knowledge at first that this was an actual memoir. Someone actually lived these words. That knowledge makes these words so much heavier.This was a memoir, but this was written like fiction and then like poetry and then like an academic essay and it was easy to forget that it was a true story. Freitas paints every detail very vividly and flourishes the prose into a song, instead of just an account of what happ Review: I knew going into this it would be an emotional read, but it somehow escaped my knowledge at first that this was an actual memoir. Someone actually lived these words. That knowledge makes these words so much heavier.This was a memoir, but this was written like fiction and then like poetry and then like an academic essay and it was easy to forget that it was a true story. Freitas paints every detail very vividly and flourishes the prose into a song, instead of just an account of what happened. This mixture was unique and made the harshness of the words softer as they cut into you.I cringed through a lot of this book, though, seeing the bigger picture made everything look so clear and hard to miss. There were so many feelings I had for young Freitas and I thought she wrote about these hardships very eloquently, both beautifully and painfully. My one issue with the book was that it felt really repetitive sometimes. The idea that she was two people and living two lives was hammered into the reader at the end of almost every chapter in the beginning and certain phrases and situations were revisited multiple times throughout the book. This is a petty complaint, but it did cause me to start to grow a bit irritated and a little annoyed after a while, which is not the feeling I want to have provoked from a book like this.But the messaging was never lost, the messaging stood out very stark against the colourful background. She described the feelings of fear, of confusion and pain and trauma very distinctly and put to words these difficult things that not many people could properly express. I was impressed with the picture that she painted, how one minute she was describing the situation and the next, analyzing it. It was such a mix of story vs essay, of memory vs study.I can only imagine this was cathartic, finally being able to speak with a voice that was cut from her so young. It’s a powerful book and a very scary glimpse at a problem that is still very much dominant in our present life. It may seem like movements have put harassment into the spotlight, but that ugly attention still hasn’t done enough to make the changes that are needed, and that is why books like this are important. They are a reminder that we have voices, that we need change, and that we aren’t going to just sit back and take it anymore.** I received an advance copy of Consent for honest review through Netgalley from Little, Brown and Company and thank them for the opportunity to read this and share my thoughts.
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  • Noorilhuda
    January 1, 1970
    Full of red flags (on both sides.)Thanks to the publisher for the ARC. All the best in life to the author.Memorable (frightening / disturbing / well-written) passages:- No amount of sexual liberation, freedom, confidence, intellectual talent, joy or voracity would save me from going through what I did with my mentor. When it happened to me, no amount of sexual empowerment could have prevented me from becoming the silenced, anxiety-ridden, nearly destroyed young woman that I became further on in Full of red flags (on both sides.)Thanks to the publisher for the ARC. All the best in life to the author.Memorable (frightening / disturbing / well-written) passages:- No amount of sexual liberation, freedom, confidence, intellectual talent, joy or voracity would save me from going through what I did with my mentor. When it happened to me, no amount of sexual empowerment could have prevented me from becoming the silenced, anxiety-ridden, nearly destroyed young woman that I became further on in my graduate-school years. The girl who began to blame herself for everything that happened...............The more pressing questions I have now, in hindsight, are these: Why didn’t feminism save me? - Every time I visited him in his office during that spring, he would ask if I was going to take another class with him. He would ask what I oped to learn next, and then he would offer to teach whatever it was that interested me. Not only this. He offered to plan his teaching around my schedule. He kept asking me to give him my list of fall classes, so he could ensure that whatever he taught would not conflict with my required courses.- My ability to finish my PhD depended on his willingness to get behind my candidacy, get through comprehensive exams, my dissertation proposal, and the dissertation itself. There was still so much of him that lay ahead of me. He would sit on the committee that judged both sets of my exams, and he would likely have to be on my dissertation committee, if not actually be my director. To turn this man’s approval into disapproval would be disastrous to my program. I had to make sure I didn’t do anything to jeopardize this. So I tried to appease him now and then by agreeing to see him.- Could I get together with him for coffee?For a play?To grab dinner?Could he come over and visit my apartment?Did I want to meet anywhere, anyplace, anytime?We should just get together, he said, regardless of the article. As my good friend, he was worried about me. He wanted to make sure I was all right. I had a lot going on. And friends made sure their friends were all right. Friends checked in with friends who were going through a difficult time. Friends do this. Friends do that. Friends, friends, friends. This became his new favorite word. As you friend, I want to....I am....we should...He would call my apartment and preface whatever he was about to invite me to do with these words.When, inevitably, I said no to his newest idea for getting together, he too to scolding me wit this very same words.- Now he went into my file to consult my current schedule, the location of my classes, so he new where I was at all times, what hallways I’d have to walk and when I’d have to walk them. He too to waiting outside the classroom until my professor, his colleague, let us out.- He refused my no.- I was still adamant about things too. Mostly that we not make too big a deal out of the situation.- How could I have cut things off between us? How could I do this to him? He’d one nothing wrong, he’d never done anything remotely close to wrong. I must have misunderstood everything, all of his intentions. What was my problem? He’d only wanted to help me. How could i do such a thing to a friend lie him? I had to change my mind, I absolutely had to change my mind and restore things to how they were before. Worse still, he wrote, how could I do such a thing to my mother? How could I as him to cut off contact with her, of all people? Didn’t I now how much she needed him right now? Didn’t I realize how important priests were in her life, to her cancer survival, how important that he was specifically? By cutting off their correspondence, by not allowing him to go to Rhode Island to meet her, I was going to be the cause of her suffering, her terrible, terrible suffering. I had to change my mind, not only for his sake, and for our sake, but for my mother’s sake. I had to, I must. He refused to accept the alternative.- Because the memories, the associations with what and how I lived back then have their own timelines, their own will, because they are locked away in that vault in my brain, it has taken me years to comprehend what I went through for what it was, and the myriad ways it still affects me, sneaking up on me in places and moments and situations when I least expect it. My memories of him behave much like he did.- I’ve lived two lives, simultaneously, and have two different memories of those lives, accordingly.- Around once a year I google him.- I was paid a small fee for my silence and my denial. I remember my lawyer explaining to me what it was. “They are giving you a nuisance fee,” he said.- “There is no cure for cancer,” the surgeon said. “Your mother will always have cancer. And even if we get it all out now, it will come back.”
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  • David
    January 1, 1970
    recaps from the distance of 20 years or so a shockingly persistent stalker [professor, big shot in her doctoral program, priest] from her grad school days, with lasting negative effects on her academic career. Secondary theme of how poorly the school handled the situation once she finally got the clarity needed to report the faculty member.She's not in touch with him [thankfully], so the "other side" so to speak wasn't presented, but i would have been curious. Sounds like he did quite a bit of t recaps from the distance of 20 years or so a shockingly persistent stalker [professor, big shot in her doctoral program, priest] from her grad school days, with lasting negative effects on her academic career. Secondary theme of how poorly the school handled the situation once she finally got the clarity needed to report the faculty member.She's not in touch with him [thankfully], so the "other side" so to speak wasn't presented, but i would have been curious. Sounds like he did quite a bit of the usual gaslighting [the reason i invite you to dinner/play/symphony.......is because i'm a friend/mentor and want to talk about your scholarly work, that's all] but also (a) really extraordinary volume without needing even intermittent reinforcement (like multiple letters a day she's not opening, let alone answering, interspersed with showing up unannounced at her apartment), and (b) record-setting levels of cluelessness [striking up a correspondence with author's dying mother and READING/ANALYZING THE MOTHER'S LETTERS IN ONE OF HIS CLASSES!!!!]small side benefit for male faculty member readers -- if you ever fall prey to the widespread self-pitying "oh, man, if i so much as talk to a woman student in office hours without a witness, it could ruin my career" meme, remember that the people who actually get busted [or even semi-busted as in this book] are almost always unequivocally guilty of hideous, willful, repetitive behavior, not the one-time joke or compliment or what have you that lands wrong.so.......important issue, broad perspective on it as she's developed a specialization in scholarship on consent esp. in college settings, and riveting underlying story. Only 3 stars for me, though, just because it was such a slog to read. almost reads as though she's still trying to convince herself this all really happened and really was that crazy-making. Can go 3 or 4 pages on considering opening a particular letter. And though I feel weird rating a real experience like a movie, there were not a lot of plot twists -- a semester or so of friendly and reasonable office hours chats goes straight to obsession on his part, and the rest is painstakingly laid out incident-by-incident prosecution.
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  • Madeline Nelson
    January 1, 1970
    Quality of Writing: 6/10Pace: 5/10Plot Development: N/ACharacters: N/AEnjoyability: 5/10Insightfulness: 8/10Ease of Reading: 8/10Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐I thought about giving this book four stars. It is quite good. I just couldn't let go of the fact that it dragged after a while, and while I understand this is a memoir, there is only so much introspection I can take. After a while I would start to wish she'd move on to another topic besides her mental state.Now, I don't want to sound callous. I unde Quality of Writing: 6/10
Pace: 5/10
Plot Development: N/A
Characters: N/A
Enjoyability: 5/10
Insightfulness: 8/10
Ease of Reading: 8/10
Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I thought about giving this book four stars. It is quite good. I just couldn't let go of the fact that it dragged after a while, and while I understand this is a memoir, there is only so much introspection I can take. After a while I would start to wish she'd move on to another topic besides her mental state.
Now, I don't want to sound callous. I understand severe anxiety, and trauma. Those are serious. I understand stalking is serious, and it has major lasting effects on a person. But her writing style focused too much on her repetitive thinking, and not enough on moving the story forward. She wrote about her same guilt and shame-ridden thoughts and how that affected her, but I was more interested in hearing what happened next.
Dr. Freitas is a powerful writer, and a powerful feminist. I admire her for that. Sometimes though, I felt her views were a little too forceful. For all the time she spent talking about her experience, she made sure to offset it with how others gave her positive things to remember or attribute with this or that institution. But I didn't feel like it was enough. She talked so forcefully against the Catholic Church, I didn't understand why she would want to be catholic. She spoke out so much against Human Resources people and university policies, that I could fathom why she stayed or why she still teaches on campuses. For all the words she shared, I still don't understand.
Maybe that's because I didn't live it though, and I just cannot understand.
Regardless, I still think the flow of the book was good. The stories were crisp, and the experience was troubling. A fairly good read overall.
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  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 3.5Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.TRIGGERS: sexual abuse, stalking, PTSD“Consent” is a book about telling a woman’s truth. Donna Freitas suffered a form of sexual abuse in grad school and it destroyed her life as she knew it. She tells the reader exactly, step by step, how this person took a calculated measure to infect every inch of her world. She puts the reader into her skin and it made me f Rating: 3.5Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.TRIGGERS: sexual abuse, stalking, PTSD“Consent” is a book about telling a woman’s truth. Donna Freitas suffered a form of sexual abuse in grad school and it destroyed her life as she knew it. She tells the reader exactly, step by step, how this person took a calculated measure to infect every inch of her world. She puts the reader into her skin and it made me feel gross just reading about the abuse. It’s exhausting to read on about how much she suffered because she makes you empathize with her so much, even if you haven’t suffered anything similar to it in your actual life. This is an important book to read to hear about consent in the viewpoint of a victim of abuse. Especially, abuse that occurred in the academic world and how universities (and the Catholic Church in this case) respond to reports of sexual abuse. It’s an upsetting story with an important message. Due to its content, this book could be triggering to those who are suffering from PTSD due to abuse in their past. I would recommend this book to those interested in reading on the topic of consent or sexual abuse scandals in university settings. There are plenty of books on this topic but this book provides the most important angle of all. The view of the person who suffers the most from the incident. It’s so important for her to be able to tell her story, so you should listen and know her story.
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  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book as a giveaway from Hatchette book group, thank you to them and Donna Freitas! I would give this a 3.5 star review. The story’s backbone is completely horrific for Donna to have to experience, or anyone, for that matter. I commend her for telling her story, and for sticking up for herself and speaking out against her stalker and graduate school. It takes a strong person to bring a dark story to light.While I enjoyed the book and was very eager to start reading it, I felt some I received this book as a giveaway from Hatchette book group, thank you to them and Donna Freitas! I would give this a 3.5 star review. The story’s backbone is completely horrific for Donna to have to experience, or anyone, for that matter. I commend her for telling her story, and for sticking up for herself and speaking out against her stalker and graduate school. It takes a strong person to bring a dark story to light.While I enjoyed the book and was very eager to start reading it, I felt some parts of the story went on longer than needed. I think for myself, I understood the entire time that the situation was wrong and inappropriate. Further reasoning behind what her stalker/professor was doing to her and why it was wrong didn't need further explaining for me. However, I felt the author felt she needed to remind readers multiple times that her story is before sexual assault was more open, before caller IDs and cell phones, and before the catholic church scandal. The first time I read these details, it made her story seem stronger and made me understand the choices she made. I didn't feel I needed it reiterated as much as it was. I can see why she felt that she may have needed to though.
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  • Heidi | Paper Safari Book Blog
    January 1, 1970
    I struggled through this book. While the story was engrossing I felt that Freitas went off on tangents that just went on and on. I don't really care how many people she kissed at prom nor does it really do much for a story about a professor's inappropriate behavior. It almost seems like she is trying to build a case for why his behavior is wrong which makes me sad. Stalking is brutal in the sense that it takes away your sense of security, you find yourself jumpy and always looking over your shou I struggled through this book. While the story was engrossing I felt that Freitas went off on tangents that just went on and on. I don't really care how many people she kissed at prom nor does it really do much for a story about a professor's inappropriate behavior. It almost seems like she is trying to build a case for why his behavior is wrong which makes me sad. Stalking is brutal in the sense that it takes away your sense of security, you find yourself jumpy and always looking over your shoulder. No matter what she wore, talked about, discussed, even if she had had sex with him, his behavior is wrong because it was unwanted. Once the relationship moves beyond consent its unwanted and creepy. This is an interesting story and one I think others should read, her writing style just wasn't for me. Thank you netgalley for providing me with an advance copy of this book to review.
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  • emmy
    January 1, 1970
    (I was provided an ARC of this book by Netgalley.)This is a timely and important everyday horror story. It's a skillfully written book. I appreciated that there was no physical violence on the page, because it makes this book an accessible learning tool for anyone wanting to build awareness about the risks faced by people who are not men in everyday situations. Social awareness about how commonplace stalking and violence is seems to be increasing contemporarily, and this book is a nuanced and we (I was provided an ARC of this book by Netgalley.)This is a timely and important everyday horror story. It's a skillfully written book. I appreciated that there was no physical violence on the page, because it makes this book an accessible learning tool for anyone wanting to build awareness about the risks faced by people who are not men in everyday situations. Social awareness about how commonplace stalking and violence is seems to be increasing contemporarily, and this book is a nuanced and well-articulated exploration of these issues. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy titles such as Rage Becomes Her, Good and Mad, Eloquent Rage, etc. My biggest criticism of this book is that the text is heavily gendered and focuses exclusively on cisgender women's experiences, without recognition that other people who are not men (non-binary, transfeminine, transmasculine people) are at risk of similar or more severe violence at the hands of cisgendered, privileged men.
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  • Tina Parmer
    January 1, 1970
    Consent is a beautifully written memoir by a woman that was stalked by a professor who was also a priest during graduate school. This professor was her mentor and an integral part of her getting a PHd. Her dream was to also become a professor and this professor took this dream from her. This book made me feel so angry that this man continued to make her life so miserable for so long while she continued to wonder what “she had done”. She was young and had done nothing except be enthusiastic to le Consent is a beautifully written memoir by a woman that was stalked by a professor who was also a priest during graduate school. This professor was her mentor and an integral part of her getting a PHd. Her dream was to also become a professor and this professor took this dream from her. This book made me feel so angry that this man continued to make her life so miserable for so long while she continued to wonder what “she had done”. She was young and had done nothing except be enthusiastic to learn. He also took full advantage of her mental state as she went through personal issues with her family and even ingratiated himself into her family life. This memoir is so pertinent today with many women living through the same situations. I would like to thank Netgalley for providing me an ARC for my honest review.
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  • Avid (Maria) Reader
    January 1, 1970
    This is a story based on the authors experience with sexual harassment by one of her professors. And not just any professor, but a priest, who by no means could not accept the author’s nos.The author provides the hurdles and obstacles she had to go through, at first to try and deal with this on her own for 1yr before speaking up. Not her family or friends knew anything that was going on. Second, not having that support system from the University she attended. Only ONE priest heard her. Believed This is a story based on the authors experience with sexual harassment by one of her professors. And not just any professor, but a priest, who by no means could not accept the author’s nos.The author provides the hurdles and obstacles she had to go through, at first to try and deal with this on her own for 1yr before speaking up. Not her family or friends knew anything that was going on. Second, not having that support system from the University she attended. Only ONE priest heard her. Believed her and attempted to help her in anyway he could.I only wished the story would have wrapped up in a different way. What became of the administration at the University? What became of her father once he knew about this book?Thank you netgalley and the publisher for this ARC via ereader. This book is set to publish August, 13, 2019
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  • Brian
    January 1, 1970
    Donna is a doctorate student who encounters an older professor who is a celibate priest. At first, Donna and her Professor, named "L" have a nice interaction, but the interaction quickly turns to uncomfortable and then to stalking. Donna's memoir describes these interactions with this man and how it made her feel and the reception about the situation that she receives from the school that she went to. The book is very engaging and tells of a very horrific story that shows that nearly anyone can Donna is a doctorate student who encounters an older professor who is a celibate priest. At first, Donna and her Professor, named "L" have a nice interaction, but the interaction quickly turns to uncomfortable and then to stalking. Donna's memoir describes these interactions with this man and how it made her feel and the reception about the situation that she receives from the school that she went to. The book is very engaging and tells of a very horrific story that shows that nearly anyone can become threatening, regardless of physical stature and that mental stalking can be just as bad as physical. This was one of the better memoirs I've read recently and I definitely recommend it if you like a real life thriller.
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  • Alexis Nascimento
    January 1, 1970
    This book is difficult to review. On one hand, it’s an honest and troubling story of a young woman who terrorized by her professor, her mentor — a priest. It recognizes the infuriating actions of institutions like universities and the Catholic Church. On the other hand, it ate at me that the author never stood up for herself the minute lines were crossed. Never said anything to her family or peers. I guess that’s what makes the topic of consent so challenging. As I reflect, I also see her ration This book is difficult to review. On one hand, it’s an honest and troubling story of a young woman who terrorized by her professor, her mentor — a priest. It recognizes the infuriating actions of institutions like universities and the Catholic Church. On the other hand, it ate at me that the author never stood up for herself the minute lines were crossed. Never said anything to her family or peers. I guess that’s what makes the topic of consent so challenging. As I reflect, I also see her rationale given this man’s influence and power. Who am I to judge? This is a timely topic, and I highly recommend reading this book. It definitely makes you think.Thank you to Net Galley and Little, Brown and Company for this eBook in exchange for my honest review!
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  • Chava
    January 1, 1970
    Consent is a timely and important memoir. Frietas holds nothing back, and the result is a raw and unflinching read that may be quite difficult for some to get through without screaming at the top of their lungs about the injustices she and so many like her have endured. While I can't recommend this book to everyone due to its heavy subject matter, I do recommend it without any hesitation to anyone seeking to understand power dynamics, sexual harrassment, and the issues surrounding present #MeToo Consent is a timely and important memoir. Frietas holds nothing back, and the result is a raw and unflinching read that may be quite difficult for some to get through without screaming at the top of their lungs about the injustices she and so many like her have endured. While I can't recommend this book to everyone due to its heavy subject matter, I do recommend it without any hesitation to anyone seeking to understand power dynamics, sexual harrassment, and the issues surrounding present #MeToo movement.Thank you to Donna Freitas, Little, Brown and Company, and Netgalley for allowing me to access a digital copy of this book in advance of its release. As always, all opinions are my own.
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  • Jim
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book on Goodreads. This book is difficult to read but engaging at the same time. A stalker who never crosses the line in full on physical/sexual abuse but enough to become a menace. This is what makes it so difficult. His actions can be misconstrued as just being a friend, an obsessive one but just a friend. Clearly this is not the case, he is a compulsive stalker but he knows enough to plan things out to seem like someone who isn't. It must have been extremely difficult for the autho I won this book on Goodreads. This book is difficult to read but engaging at the same time. A stalker who never crosses the line in full on physical/sexual abuse but enough to become a menace. This is what makes it so difficult. His actions can be misconstrued as just being a friend, an obsessive one but just a friend. Clearly this is not the case, he is a compulsive stalker but he knows enough to plan things out to seem like someone who isn't. It must have been extremely difficult for the author to write this sort of book. A worthwhile read even though it may be hard for some people to get through due to the uncomfortable nature.
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  • Danny
    January 1, 1970
    This story was a tough one to read but definitely a powerful one. There are so many women affected by harassment, unwanted sexual advances or attention everyday. It made me recall the "me too" movement we saw on social media not too far back. This is a very important story to tell and I appreciate the author telling her story. It's hard for me to give a rating to someone's personal life and story. It's also hard to say you enjoy the book with such tough content. The story needs to be out there a This story was a tough one to read but definitely a powerful one. There are so many women affected by harassment, unwanted sexual advances or attention everyday. It made me recall the "me too" movement we saw on social media not too far back. This is a very important story to tell and I appreciate the author telling her story. It's hard for me to give a rating to someone's personal life and story. It's also hard to say you enjoy the book with such tough content. The story needs to be out there and told siberry much commend her for that but did not enjoy the writing style. Overall reading was still a positive one of three stars.
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  • Virginia
    January 1, 1970
    From my perspective as the grandmother of several future grad students, this strikes me as a true-life horror story. I held my breath from page 41 on for about 200 pages, relaxed for a few seconds when (view spoiler)[ Dr. H showed up (hide spoiler)], felt as I'd been dropped through a hidden trap door, and then encountered (view spoiler)[Tootsie. We've all worked with a Tootsie at some point - I can still feel that Henckel in my back (hide spoiler)]. I want to express my highest regard for Donna From my perspective as the grandmother of several future grad students, this strikes me as a true-life horror story. I held my breath from page 41 on for about 200 pages, relaxed for a few seconds when (view spoiler)[ Dr. H showed up (hide spoiler)], felt as I'd been dropped through a hidden trap door, and then encountered (view spoiler)[Tootsie. We've all worked with a Tootsie at some point - I can still feel that Henckel in my back (hide spoiler)]. I want to express my highest regard for Donna Freitas for being the woman she has always been, and for accomplishing this book as a result. Recommended reading for absolutely every adult.
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