Thinking about Speak Now by Kenji Yoshino

So, I decided to try something new. See, there’s this really cool site called Blogging for Books. If you agree to write a review for them, they’ll send you a book for free. I thought I’d give it a shot, and receiving this book for free does not affect my opinion of it at all–it only affects the publishing date of this review~

Thanks to Google Images!

Thanks to Google Images!

Title || Speak Now: Marriage Equality on Trial–The Story of Hollingsworth v. Perry (GoodReads)
Author || Kenji Yoshino
Published || 2015 by Crown Publishers
Form || Physical
Genre || Nonfiction: Law
Rating || 4/5
Yay || The writing, the comprehensive overview
Nay || The information overload of part 1
Summary || Kenji Yoshino offers an overview of the process and trial surrounding Proposition 8 in Calfornia.


I’m a bit emotionally invested in this book. I teared up several times because of overwhelming sympathy and empathy. I’m a softie, so this may not apply to you, but I do want to make known that a book about a trial, about law—things that are often viewed in a sort of clinical way, as being passionless—resulted in a well of emotion for me. I want to give props to the author’s style for that, because he has a voice that I think evokes a very personal connection to the topic (though I may be biased because I had that already).

For those of you aren’t sure anymore (because this is almost old news), Proposition 8 was passed by voters in California with the intent of banning same-sex marriage.

When I started to read this book, I felt as though I should be taking notes. The first section just threw so much information at me that I got a little lost. While most of the legislative background made a lot of sense, the presentation of the side in the debate was harder to follow. There are a lot of people and a lot of groups involved with Proposition 8, and I had a hard time keeping them all straight.

Until we hit the trial section of the book. I won’t call it flawless because I don’t generally like absolutes, but I do think it was very well done. The way it was boiled down and explained was just so brilliantly clear. I also think that the author tried very hard to make both sides seem respectable and fair, and I think that he succeeded, despite his own biases (which he acknowledges). I just found myself finding it difficult to respect some of the espoused viewpoints, personally.

The last part of the book felt very much like a conclusion, even as we were still hearing the results. I do find myself wanting to read a bit about Windsor now, because of how it and Perry interacted in the Supreme Court and later court decisions. The Epithalamium was the true conclusion, and the last line of the book made it come full circle in a way that just makes me incredibly happy:

“Let me tell you,” I said, “about a trial.”

Thanks for reading!
Have you read Speak Now? What did you think?
If you haven’t, do you now want to?
Where do you stand on the same-sex marriage debate?
I’d love to hear what you think!

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