Narrator: Gabrielle Union
Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
Published by Dey Street Books on October 17th 2017
Reading Challenges: Alphabet Reading Challenge, Audiobooks Challenge, Beat The Backlist, Library Love, Review Writing Challenge
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In the spirit of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl, and Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist, a powerful collection of essays about gender, sexuality, race, beauty, Hollywood, and what it means to be a modern woman.
One month before the release of the highly anticipated film The Birth of a Nation, actress Gabrielle Union shook the world with a vulnerable and impassioned editorial in which she urged our society to have compassion for victims of sexual violence. In the wake of rape allegations made against director and actor Nate Parker, Union—a forty-four-year-old actress who launched her career with roles in iconic ’90s movies—instantly became the insightful, outspoken actress that Hollywood has been desperately awaiting. With honesty and heartbreaking wisdom, she revealed her own trauma as a victim of sexual assault: "It is for you that I am speaking. This is real. We are real."
In this moving collection of thought provoking essays infused with her unique wisdom and deep humor, Union uses that same fearlessness to tell astonishingly personal and true stories about power, color, gender, feminism, and fame. Union tackles a range of experiences, including bullying, beauty standards, and competition between women in Hollywood, growing up in white California suburbia and then spending summers with her black relatives in Nebraska, coping with crushes, puberty, and the divorce of her parents. Genuine and perceptive, Union bravely lays herself bare, uncovering a complex and courageous life of self-doubt and self-discovery with incredible poise and brutal honesty. Throughout, she compels us to be ethical and empathetic, and reminds us of the importance of confidence, self-awareness, and the power of sharing truth, laughter, and support.
We’re Going To Need More Wine: Stories by Gabrielle Union was my first read for 2018 and I absolutely loved it. I have no idea how to properly review this so here’s a list of things I liked and what I didn’t like.
What I liked:
- I loved how personal the narration felt. Gabrielle is the narrator and I felt like one of her friends whom she was having a conversation with. This made me that more invested in her stories.
- I loved how opened she was. She wasn’t afraid to say she liked sex and had sex with multiple people. And more importantly that it is okay to have sex with as many people as you want.
- Trigger Warning: Rape – Gabrielle talks about her rape. I was listening to her retell what happened that night and the affects it had on her now even years later and I realized I have a lot of the same habits. She mentions she still only goes to the store during a certain time and counts how long it will take her to get in and out of the store. This is one of the things I do among many of the similar traits we share. And it made me kind of sad that we belong to this group and it wasn’t one that we wanted to be apart of. But Gabrielle gave me hope that one day I’ll stop feeling like victim and I’ll start feeling like a survivor. If she can get there, so can I.
- I felt like Gabrielle and I were similar people because the way she explained her first period went a lot like how it happened to me. My mom never explained anything. She signed me up for those classes at school and threw a book on my bed that explained what was going to happen to me. That was it. I had no real notion of what a period was, how exactly do you get pregnant. I mean, my mom gave me the sex talk after I told her I was pregnant (better late then never no?).
- I absolutely loved how she talked about Hollywood and how she has was so open about her roles. I especially liked how she talked about Bring It On; this was and still is one of my favorite movies ever. I was really hoping Gabrielle would talk about it and I was glad she did. She mentioned that a lot of the dialogue had to be change and how she helped the director work on it to get things right. It made me love the movie even more because she really did work hard to make it better.
- I also adored how she spoke about her stepsons. You could feel the love for them coming from listening to her talk about them. I also loved how she spoke about how Dwayne Wade and his sons proposed to her. It was truly a family thing to want her to be in their family and that was so awesome to see. She also talked about her struggles with infertility and I feel like this is such a taboo topic so I was glad to see that she was willing to be so open about it.
- I loved how much I laughed, I cried (when she talks about her dog, I couldn’t stop crying). This truly felt like I was chatting with one of my friends and that made me love the book even more.
What I didn’t like:
- I didn’t want this book to end because I felt like I was getting to know Gabrielle and I wanted to know more. The only real compliant I had was that it would have been better if she had grouped the stories by time period instead of by topic because it made the book feel a bit jump.
However, I loved the book and the narration was great! I would highly recommend this on audiobook because to me it made the book feel that much personal and it made me love it more. If you’re a Gabrielle Union fan, I would definitely recommend you pick this up.