‘Oh hello darling, and welcome to The Book of Non-Binary Joy! This book is here to help you be yourself – free from judgement and expectation – as you unlock more joy in your life. Take my hand, and let’s start your journey of self-love today.’
Whether you are at the start of your journey or have been on the wild ride of gender introspection for a long time, this guide is here to help you thrive as your authentic – and most fabulous – non-binary self. With personal stories, valuable insights and interactive sections, this inspiring book covers a wide range of topics, including mental health, pleasure, fashion, understanding your past, allyship privilege and self-expression.
Written with warmth and unapologetic humour, and with bold illustrations throughout, Ben Pechey has created the ultimate safe space for you to embrace your non-binary life and start living.
Strangely it took me a while to finish this one. When I first started I thought it would be a quick, easy read, but somehow it was quite the opposite. I think it was the style of writing for me, it was to a certain extent very conversational, but there was a lot to absorb. This wasn’t a bad thing entirely, all of which was covered in this book I found to be really insightful. For me, a lot of it was reinforcing ways of thinking that I already had (or was trying to embody), but some parts did show me different ways of exploring (and accepting) my own gender identity.
What I liked most about this book was the way it was organised. The book covered topics all to do with gender and understanding who you are. From Understanding Your Past to Self-Expression, as well as Social Media which I think is something really important to cover. Each topic was covered in a really accessible way, and included anecdotes as well as a summary at the end of each chapter. As well as this, there is a really great list of resources in one of the last chapters for those who might want to know more (I want to point out that as this was originally published in the UK, the resources are UK based, but helpful – in some cases – none the less). This book also recommends some further reading on the topic of gender identity which I will definitely have a look at.
I think part of the reason that it took me a while read this is that I found the narrative voice a little grating. While it is conversational, I found it to be a little pushy. Despite this, I think that some people might find this a lot easier to read than other more factual (or even clinical) books on gender identity. I also found that while there were quite a few topics covered, the information seemed to be talked about at a surface level. Again, I think this would be helpful for some, but I was left wanting more from the book.
On the whole this is a really well thought out book, and great for someone who is just starting to question their identity, and needs a place to start. It is a wonderful safe space to explore their gender identity and what it means for them. It is accessible, and, as the title says, is an exploration of the joys your gender identity can bring you.
Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for sending me this free eARC (eAdvanced Reader Copy). I am leaving this review voluntarily. This title will be published 19th May 2022.