Sunday, June 7, 2015

Grady Harp's 5-Star Just Another Number Reveiw

 Grady Harp's 5-Star Review for Just Another Number

Seattle, Washington based author Maggie Young grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, joined the US Navy despite suffering form bulimia and meth abuse, was stationed aboard the USS Higgins (San Diego based), lived the wild life, tried marriage, endured a NCIS investigation, and after her Navy commitment she attended UC Berkeley following which she traveled extensively with a back pack and served as a television reporter in Alaska. Though she has been published in the San Diego Weekly Reader, this is her debut novel - a memoir `to expose corruption through a memoir's emotional authenticity'.

Maggie may have a gritty tale to share but she writes so well that wading through all the R and X rated material is pure entertainment - her honesty and style shine through it all. In one of her introductory remarks she lift the curtain on her play: `As an author, I became an internal pioneer. I explored the foundation of my sexuality , from my childhood discovery of self-induced orgasms, to a fifteen-year-old's road rash after shaving her southern borders. I dipped into the darkness of my adolescent drug use, eating disorders, and rape. I even had fun, gulping red wine as I splattered filthy words and my gritty episodes of intimacy clashing with bodily functions. Throughout my stories, only one message was consistent. Every grave I dug for myself was in the name of a man. Although I left a man to enlist, ironically, the unexplainable urge to please them only amplified. Loaning my soul to the government was more intense than simply stumbling into `bros before hoes' territory. When I enlisted, the military was rapidly changing. Technology had altered everything. Suddenly, the brave warriors parading to combat with bugles and bayonets were replaced by the push of a button. The combination of the War on Terrorism and the declining economy damaged my generation's patriotism. The Navy seemed to push old school rituals like marching, uniform inspections, and military bearing like a parent demanding their children ditch their smart phones at dinner. Once brains became more powerful than brawn in wartime, females flooded the military's ranks. The Navy began with staffing women safely ashore, but we inevitably leaked into aircraft carriers and then smaller ships. I was one of the first on my destroyer.... This book is not meant to be an exorcism of femininity, sexuality, or romance. This book isn't about disowning all of our gender roles. This book isn't meant to bash men, but to address the detrimental ways all genders have been told to act. This book is my rigorous trek to emotional freedom.'

Maggie's story of `numbers `is both erotic/overwhelmingly raw/brutal and hilarious. How she manages to pull off this diatribe and make us love her so much through the process is the sign of a truly fine writer. She - and her book - are incredible! Grady Harp, June 15

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