Revenge of the Sluts by Natalie Walton
Published: February 2, 2021
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Natalie Walton makes her writing debut with Revenge of the Sluts. She is also the host of Sex Ed Taught Me podcast. Natalie wrote her debut novel while completing her degrees in sociology and criminal justice.
“It was capital-B Big news.”
Eden is an editor on her high school paper. She’s a smart but relatively reserved student. She has devoted her school career to be a good student and her high school career to the school paper. She found a friend in Ronnie, who is a gifted journalist and an outspoken individual. When a school-wide email gets sent to every student containing nude photos of a group of senior girls, Eden and Ronnie know they have to get to the bottom of what has been dubbed “Nudegate.”
This story is intense. I have to shoutout the way the context of this book was handled. There is such a powerful and positive light being shed on the victims of revenge porn. I love how the victims in this book reclaimed their power by dubbing themselves the Slut Squad. When some were blaming the girls from the email, shaming them for taking and sending nude photos, the girls refused to accept that this was their fault.
I loved the character in this book. Eden, Ronnie, Sloane, Atticus- all of them. There is such a profoundly dynamic strength in this cast of characters, and the things they each represent is beautiful.
I love that Eden and Ronnie are women of color, in relatively powerful positions being editors of their school paper. Ronnie is strong, smart, bold, and brave. She fearlessly goes after exposing this story, despite the school telling her not to. Eden is intelligent, capable, and compassionate. She knows the leaking of the nudes is wrong. She also knows the way some are reacting to the leaked photos is wrong. And she refuses to remain silent. She wants to give the victims their spotlight to reclaim their power, but she also wants the individual responsible for the mass emails to be caught.
This book is filled with incredible themes. Girl power. Respect. She is refusing to stay quiet and refusing to victim blame. Accountability. Boundaries. Sexual confidence. And so many more. I genuinely appreciate Natalie tackling the task of exposing a woman owning her body, and her sexuality, and her ability to be as sexual as she wants to be as such a positive thing. There is such an ugly stigma placed on a female who is comfortable in her skin, comfortable with her sexuality, and who owns her desire to have sex. Sloane is such an important character. I think she is an essential character in this story. Females need to know that being confident with themselves and with their choices is okay.
I have so much respect for how this book was written and the moral of the story. It is deep and beautiful and something so relevant. Far too many women have been victimized by revenge porn. And the fact that we as a society are far more comfortable with hearing about it being sent a nude from someone else that was not meant for us than we are at defending the right of a person to send a nude to someone trust is a problem.
I love that this book normalizes someone owning their choice to send a nude photo to a consenting recipient. The receiver of that photo is in the wrong for sharing, speaking about, or showing others that photo sent in confidence. This is the literature our young people need. This is what girls need to read. This is what should be discussed.
Thank you so much, Natalie. For being brave enough to write a story about a severe issue. For being raw and honest. For exposing all sides of the story. For giving a voice to every individual affected by this situation. Thank you for providing a voice to those victims who were too scared, too ashamed, too intimidated to fight for themselves. Thank you for giving us a team of people who are not willing to be silenced. Who refuses to back down. And who is not afraid to reclaim their story.
Find Revenge of the Sluts by Natalie Walton on Amazon.