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Allow Me To Introduce Myself - Shelf Interest Book Review

"Allow Me To Introduce Myself" by Onyi Nwabineli was Shelf Interest book club's pick for the month of May! We had the pleasure of getting the book early and meeting up with Onyi online! We journied with Anuri to rediscover herself whilst working through the trauma of living a hypervisible life thanks to her step-mother's obsessive social media documentation. Being a household sensation has caused Anuri to feel disillusioned, unloved and only valued as part of a brand. Anuri battles with her stepmother to have her online content scrubbed from the internet so that she can reclaim her sense of dignity. Through self-determination, Anuri runs businesses, develops strong bonds with her closest mates and gets professional support to stand up for herself and fight for the life she deserves. Anuri strongly desires to protect her little sister from the same fate too.

This book brings up themes and discussions such as family trauma, sisterhood, children's rights, self-acceptance, friendships and a found family! Onyi emphasises the importance of community when it comes to restoring one's sense of self-worth and lovability. This was heavily highlighted through the beautiful and consistent love and care afforded to Anuri by her friends, grandparents and aunt, despite her flaws - it was also noted that although romantic love can be wonderful, it was not a NEEDED part of Anuri's journey. Onyi also discussed humanising villainous characters, even if it may be difficult and they are still unlikeable, because their wickedness doesn't come from nowhere! Many of our book clubbers enjoyed Anuri's imperfections and chaos as her journey showed that healing can be ugly and relapses occur, but that doesn't mean that you cannot be loved and still move towards betterment. Our book clubbers were split when it came to deciding if they would reconcile with their family or not if they were in Anuri's shoes!

Onyi's book forces healthy discussion around children's autonomy, consent, and their overall rights. She also rightfully causes the reader to look inwards at their social media consumption habits. While babies and children are adorable to watch, more and more social media child-sensations are growing up to speak on the dangers, threats and traumas this caused. From parents that were abusive to churn out content, to attracting perverts that prey on children online, feeling disenfranchised amongst theirs, to parents squandering the money without a penny to put towards their children's futures - all without the children having full knowledge of what they signed up for.

Onyi Nwabineli is passionate about supporting vulnerable groups, especially women and children. She is the founder of Surviving Out Loud, which was created to support survivors of sexual assault following a list of sexual abusers being shared on Twitter. Whilst lists serve as grassroot methods to protect women through sharing vital information, they are not entirely foolproof, however they help more people than not in a world where so many systems fail women. We asked Onyi how she felt about such lists being sensationalised and picked apart in media, and as you can image - she was not a fan!

Shelf Interest Book Club's Ratings of Allow Me To Introduce Myself

Check out other thoughts about Allow Me To Introduce Myself that our book club discussed and join our book club for future chats!


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