Being Bad: Breaking the Rules and Becoming Everything You’re Not Supposed To Be

Chronicle Prism. Sept. 2024. 272p. ISBN 9781797228976. pap. $18.95. SELF-HELP
While framed as a contemplative memoir, this book offers lessons and frameworks for managing things like life transitions, grief, and personal discovery, as former Salon sex and love columnist Egozi (who uses both “she” and “they” pronouns) walks us through their personal journey, confronting their sexuality and the cultural differences between her immigrant parents and her American life. The author asks readers to confront their own misconceptions or try on new definitions and expectations of what life is supposed to be or look like so they can reclaim their futures. Each chapter dives into a different aspect of identity, ending with steps to work on finding what “being bad” means to readers and how they can process and take charge of their own lives with the boundaries they set. Some chapters lean more toward personal air-clearing for the author, but she pivots back to positive takeaways and words of affirmation. The book discusses a number of sexual encounters, both good and bad, described matter-of-factly. Egozi’s ultimate goal is to help readers find a comfortable way to be during all phases of life.
VERDICT Hard-biting and vulnerable, this is a recommended read for LGBTQIA+ patrons and twentysomething cis women, especially children of immigrants like the author.
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