book review

Book Review: Another World

ANOTHER WORLD by Maximillian Matthews is a heartfelt, sincere memoir and an earnest call to arms to improve the world for marginalized communities. Check out what Jada Wilson has to say in her book review of this indie nonfiction book.

Another World

by Maximillian Matthews

Genre: Nonfiction / Memoir

ISBN: 979-8211965607

Print Length: 232 pages

Reviewed by Jada Wilson

A heartfelt, sincere memoir and an earnest call to arms to improve the world for marginalized communities

Another World is a memoir in essays that seeks to inform readers of the realities of living as a Black gay person and about how society fails members of the LGBTQ+ community. It encourages abolitionism as a means to reconstruct the world into a more welcoming place for all, regardless of sexuality, gender, or race. Along the way, it covers themes of the importance of consent, mental health, dating as a gay man, and proper education for LGBTQ+ youths.

Maximillian Matthews does not hold back from revealing his past mistakes as he grows as a person. He bares all about his experiences with love, identity, and growing up in a society that does not always support the rights of people who do not conform. This could serve as a warning and lesson to readers who might find themselves falling into the same pitfalls of self-hatred, abusive behavior, or otherwise toxic mindsets installed in them by their peers. 

He explores the dangers of being a marginalized person living on their own in an unfamiliar city, as he made the move from North Carolina to Washington DC. With the move came new problems, such as trying to use dating apps. He goes over the safety risks involved with online dating and the unfortunate reality that LGBTQ+ people are identified as easy targets for predators. They are seen as unvalued and vulnerable, with some likely having no or few connections, especially in a new city. He goes into the bigotry both within society and the community, including ableism, racism, fatphobia, misogyny, transphobia, and classism. These limitations make life even more difficult, as there are even some laws in place preventing folks of certain identities or appearances from finding work, housing, and romance.

Another thing addressed in the book is idealizations based on societal expectations and naivety. Idealizing negatively impacted Mathews’ relationships and expectations for life on his own as an LGBTQ+ person. His unfair expectations for his partners caused him to react selfishly and chase after what he was supposed to want, as deemed by society, like monogamous relationships, ownership of one’s partner, and a pressure to be desirable by fitting in with conventional standards of beauty and behavior. His idealization backfired on himself, as well, as it caused him to feel as if he wasn’t enough and made him fear the rejection that came from not conforming, eventually resulting in depression.

Matthews does an excellent job teaching from his experiences, stating what he felt he did right or wrong and giving examples for what he could have done better. The memoir informs the reader of the ways society’s focus on white, cisgendered, heteronormality harms anyone who does not fit within those ideals in a detailed, yet easy to understand way. It is thoroughly entertaining and realistic, without sacrificing either for the other. Matthews gives his honest thoughts and memories of his past while expressing his hopes for a brighter future for all who identify outside of what society deems acceptable.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading others’ life experiences and learning from them. This book is excellent for LGBTQ+ people who have little experience engaging with the community and can stand to learn from Matthews’ mistakes and achievements. I only hope that this memoir helps in its goal to lead others toward another world, one of acceptance and love.

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