AD • I received a copy of this book from the publishers. My review is voluntary and opinions are entirely my own.
If you’ve been following my little book blog for a while now, you’ll know that non-fiction isn’t something I post about very often. The last few years have needed an escape from reality as much as possible so I tend to read (and review) more fiction than non-fiction. So this year I wanted to challenge myself to read more non-fiction books. And part of that was to champion exciting non-fiction releases that I knew would appeal to both myself and you, my readers. As such, I’ve got a GREAT one for you today. The book I’ll be reviewing today is We Need Snowflakes by Hannah Jewell. Anyone else despise the term ‘snowflake’? This book is very much an empowering look at how “snowflakes” have been making important changes throughout modern history and why we NEED to be challenging outdated behaviours and policies. So without further ado, here’s my book review!
We Need Snowflakes
by Hannah Jewell
Date of Publication: 27th January 2022
Format: Paperback (320 pages)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Hardcover • eBook • Audiobook
Is ‘cancel culture’ spiralling out of hand?
Are the youth of today oversensitive, mollycoddled and intellectually weak?
Does the scourge of political correctness threaten the very fabric of our society?
Indignant politicians, columnists and baby boomers certainly think so. The problem, we’re told repeatedly, is that the current generation is full of hypersensitive cowards; ‘snowflakes’ who are obsessed with making mountains out of molehills. A safe space here, an unruly protest there, it’s all proof that they don’t know how to handle the real world.
But what if you were to drown out that noise and talk to the snowflakes themselves? What are they actually asking for? How are they going about it? And who’s really benefitting from all the anger being directed towards them?
In this timely and subversive book, journalist and author Hannah Jewell investigates the stories behind the headlines and finds that, shockingly, most of them have been blown out of proportion. ‘Cancel culture’ isn’t really a culture at all, many of the people who claim to have been silenced are doing quite well now, thank you very much, and maybe it’s ok to think swastikas daubed in faeces in a campus bathroom is something that should be adequately investigated.
The truth is that snowflakes understand plenty about the ‘real world’, which is why they want to see it change. And that is what their detractors are actually scared of.
- Discussion of racism and transphobia
Let me start by saying: We Need Snowflakes won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. And no doubt, it will rile up a very specific group of people. However, this book was incredibly well written, it’s inclusive and empathetic and I highly recommend it. It really gets to the heart of the problem which is that anyone who takes an active approach to bettering the world they live in (especially the “youth”) gets heavily criticised by the media and society. I found myself nodding along in agreement frequently. One point in particular that I strongly agreed with is the problem of the UK media in pushing the narrative of an us vs. them culture war.
The author’s perspective was really refreshing. As Jewell has lived, studied and worked both in the UK and the US, there was relevant data and commentary from both sides of the Atlantic. As such, this will appeal to both UK and US readers equally.
I loved how the author covered the “snowflake” side of the argument as this is all too often missing from the debate. (The reasons for this are discussed in the book.) Jewell turns “snowflake” from an insult into something empowering – as something that every person should aspire to be.
The sections that stood out to me most were those on trans rights and capitalism. As a bookish creator, the in-depth coverage of a certain author’s transphobia and commentary on why so many members of our community continue to support that author was eye-opening. It offered a lot of food for thought. I’d highly recommend it for that chapter alone if you’re still feeling conflicted by that particular example – as I’m sure some of you are.
Will you be adding We Need Snowflakes to your TBR? Let me know in the comments below.