Aug 26

Hyperbole and a Half Review

Book Reviews 1

Hyperbole and a Half ReviewHyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
Published by Touchstone on October 29th 2013
Genres: Graphic Novel
Pages: 371
Goodreads

This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative--like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it--but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:

PicturesWordsStories about things that happened to meStories about things that happened to other people because of meEight billion dollars*Stories about dogsThe secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

Someone gifted me this book in APRIL! I read it almost immediately, but between having ALL sorts of feelings about it and the move, I never put up a review. Obviously it’s been hugely popular (131,295 ratings on GoodReads!), but it just wasn’t on my radar due to my general dismissal of graphic novels. Then I read Marissa Meyer’s Wires and Nerve in January (also never reviewed) and became OBSESSED with them! I still have only read a handful but I have SO MANY on my list now. But I digress. Presenting my long overdue Hyperbole and a Half review!

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Hyperbole and a Half is hilarious and immensely relatable. IMMENSELY. Allie is clearly a nerdy, bookish, animal-loving introvert, and so many times I felt like the book was ABOUT me. Sidenote: I had no idea this was where the phrase “ALL THE THINGS” originated, despite it being one of my favorites! I laughed until tears ran down my face, and then a little bit later I actually cried, because I couldn’t believe someone else actually felt the way I had the last year or so. I took pictures of the pages to send to my best friend, because I hadn’t been able to explain to anyone how I felt, and this book had just done it.

Just wanting to stop existing. Just wanting to disappear. Not permanently, really, at least not in my mind.

How did she articulate that so well? I could have written that myself if I could have just figured out how. She goes on to briefly mention that she discovered she was not the only one who felt this way, that while not a healthy state of mind, it did not make her weird or an outcast, even if it felt like that. She obtained help for her depression and went on to feel like her usual self again, able to enjoy her relationships and her dogs. She doesn’t dwell on it, and the book moves along to happier, more hilarious scenes…but this is what really stuck out to me and earned this book a permanent place on my shelf and will have me recommending it to every introvert kindred spirit, ever.

Allie Brosh ahas been disappointingly silent in the past couple of years, with nothing else released that I could find. But, as a fellow introvert, I get it. I do hope she comes back, but she deserves her privacy for her own mental health and her life. 🙂 In the meantime, you can read through all her old comics here, and she her most recent media interview seems to be this YouTube video from Will Wheaton (wait, what? He’s not just a Big Bang Theory construct??).

 

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Aug 21

Down the TBR Hole #21

Books/Writing 6

down the tbr hole

Time to wield the axe again – I’m mercilessly culling my TBR list on GoodReads with the amazing Down the TBR Hole meme by Lia at Lost in a Story (who has, somehow, already made it completely through his own TBR)!

Most of you probably know this feeling. Your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

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When I started this series of posts, I had 604 books on my TBR list. As of today, I have…648. As usual covers link to GoodReads!

Title/Author: Midsummer: Magical Celebrations of the Summer Solstice, by Anna Franklin

Date Added: May 17, 2015

Thoughts: Still intrigued by this, not sure when I’ll get to it but at some point…

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: Mr. Churchill’s Secretary (Maggie Hope Mystery #1), by Susan Elia MacNeal

Date Added: May 19, 2015

Thoughts: Still interested…I just got out of reading historical fiction for awhile, even though I still love it. Also apparently this series has been quite popular and now has 4 books!

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: A Letter of Mary (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #3), by Laurie R. King

Date Added: May 20, 2015

Thoughts: Whaaaa?? It’s been 2 years since I finished the 2nd Mary Russell book??

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: Constantine, by John Shirley

Date Added: May 22, 2015

Thoughts: Where did this even come from? Apparently it’s based off a movie…?

Judgment: Go.

Title/Author: Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom, by Erynn Rowan Laurie

Date Added: May 22, 2015

Thoughts: If I had a better way to keep a list of books for reference, I would. These sort wind up on my TBR because no, I haven’t read them, and would just like to remember they exist for possible future reference…while in the meantime they make my TBR number go up. Grump.

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: The CR FAQ: an introduction to Celtic Deconstructionist Paganism

Date Added: May 22, 2015

Thoughts: See above.

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: The Miniaturist, by Jessie Burton

Date Added: May 22, 2015

Thoughts: Still sounds fascinating, and I have an ebook copy. One of these days.

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty

Date Added: May 22, 2015

Thoughts: This seems like one of those authors everyone has to read at least ONE book by, just because they are SO damn popular.

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin.

Date Added: May 22, 2015

Thoughts: Apparently this was a day where I was just in the mood to add ALL the books…because eh.

Judgment: Go.

Title/Author: Flaming Iguanas: an All-Girl Road Novel Thing, by Erika Lopz

Date Added: May 25, 2015

Thoughts: Why have I not got my hands on this yet? Because road trips and motorcycles, yes please.

Judgment: Keep.

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Ai-yi. 2/10. That’s not exactly helping much, is it? 😛 Must. Read. Faster. ALWAYS.

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Aug 20

Blog Tour: The Hummingbird Heart by A.G. Howard

Book Tours, Books/Writing 2

I nearly missed this! With everything else going on in life this last week…but better late than never, right? And there’s still time to enter the giveaway! I loved the first book in this series (you can see my The Architect of Song review here), it was just too sweet and sappy for words, hehe. <3
I am so excited that THE HUMMINGBIRD HEART by A.G. Howard is available now and that I get to share the news!
 
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author A.G. Howard, be sure to check out all the details below.
 
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a 5 AMAZING Prizes courtesy of A.G. and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
About The Book:
Title: THE HUMMINGBIRD HEART
Author: A.G. Howard
Pub. Date: August 15, 2017
Publisher: Golden Orb Press
Pages: 339
Formats: Paperback, eBook
 
Set 19 years after The Architect of Song:
Shortly after escaping a circus tragedy, young Italian orphan, Willow Antoniette, seeks refuge at The Manor of Diversions—a holiday resort in England born of a ghost story. For eleven years, she’s raised alongside the children of the resort’s owners: Julian, his twin brother, Nick, and their younger sister Emilia. Now that Willow is of marriable age, she’s determined to escape finishing school along with everyone’s efforts to make her a proper lady. The only man she wants to spend her life with is Julian, after all. Yet how can she tell him, when he thinks of her as nothing but a friend?
As a machinist and engineer, Julian Thornton prefers a governable life. He can’t allow his ever-deepening attraction for Willow to distract from his amusement park plans to lure a younger, wealthier clientele to their family’s resort. In hopes to escape Willow and find investors, Julian sets off on a transatlantic ocean liner headed for the St. Louis World’s Fair, unaware Willow has secretly stowed away on the same ship.
A tiny, mute orphan named Newton and a pair of haunted Italian shoes bring Willow and Julian face to face on deck. Forced to work together to solve the mystery of Newton and his vindictive, ghostly companion, Julian and Willow can no longer fight their untapped passions. However, time to admit their true feelings is running out, for the ghost and her murderer have enlisted them as unsuspecting pawns in a karmic game of cat-and-mouse that could cost all of them their lives.
Grab book 1!
 
Title: THE ARCHITECT OF SONG
Author: A.G. Howard
Pub. Date: August 15, 2016
Publisher: Golden Orb Press
Pages: 425
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: AmazonGoodreads
 
A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower – intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.

For most of her life, nineteen-year-old Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a twenty-seven-year-old mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through
romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.

International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga following the generations of one family as – haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts – they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.

New Adult: Recommended for ages 17+.
Excerpt:

In the dream, Willow was a child again. With each barefooted step around
the stacks of baggage in steerage, she found them taking on new shapes:
pyramids of clowns, bears, horses and feathered performers, all balanced atop
one another. She was back at the circus, albeit a much hazier and dimmer
rendition than she remembered. She skipped along the center ring, excited to be
home at last. Grit and discarded trash snagged between her little toes. A
spotlight clicked on to illuminate a trunk. From within came a thumping sound,
and girlish giggles.
“Tildey!” Willow cried out, racing across the distance to find her doll,
her pigtails slapping her face and neck upon each bounding step. The creak of
abandoned trapezes swung overhead, cutting intermittently through a thick cloud
of fog. Yet it wasn’t fog. It was tobacco—a stench that seeped into her
leotard, her tights, her very pores, until she could taste it coating her
tongue like bile.
The spotlight shifted from the trunk to a trapeze just above her where a
shape took form in the light: a graceful silhouette in a shimmery leotard and
glistening tutu.
“Mama?” Willow whispered in the dream, forgetting Tildey for the chance
to see her mother perform once more.
The trapeze vanished into thin air but the aerialist continued a controlled
descent toward her, held in place by harnesses attached to the center pole. A
face came into view, painted white like a clown, with bloody eyes and a hollow
of a mouth—stretched wide on a perpetual scream. Willow yelped and squeezed her
lashes shut, willing away the creature … for it was not Mama.
When she opened them again, the freakish performer exploded into a flock
of hummingbirds made of ink. They skittered around Willow, buzzing wings
scraping her skin and hair, imprinting tattoos everywhere they touched. She
screamed and stumbled backwards, bumping into the trunk which was somehow right
behind her. A tinkly, off-key lullaby drifted from inside the giant box. The
lid shook and shuddered, as if something wanted out.
Whimpering, Willow tried to back away, but her feet grew heavy. She
looked down and ballet shoes, covered in steel spikes, swallowed them up. The
empty harness that had held the ghastly aerialist slithered toward her like a
snake, coiling itself around her legs and arms to hold her in place.
On the final haunting strains of music, the trunk’s lid popped open, and
out from the midst rose a hunched old man, holding Nadia’s haunted shoes upside
down. Blood and water gushed out of them—a stench of copper and stagnancy—and
the man laughed with a voice that gnawed into her bones like a thousand
snarling wolves.
About A.G. Howard: 

 

A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would’ve happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.When she’s not writing, A.G.’s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.
Giveaway Details: All International
(1) Grand prize: Signed set of The Architect of Song & The Hummingbird Heart PB
(1) First Place prize: Signed The Hummingbird Heart PB
(1) Second Place prize: Signed The Hummingbird Heart poster
(3) Third – Fifth Place prizes: Signed The Architect of Song & The Hummingbird Heart swag pack sets

 

 

 

 

Ends on August 22nd at Midnight EST!

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Aug 20

Sunday Post #2

Books/Writing, Life 2

sunday post

Linking up with Kimberly over on Caffeinated Book Reviewer today! I obviously fail at doing things on a weekly basis right now (my last Sunday Post was over a month ago…), but here I am again at long last.

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This Week:

Life has been nuts. And I mean absolutely NUTS. I totaled up how many hours I was spending at work or commuting to/from work, and it was over 70 a week. No wonder I was feeling exhausted and kept complaining that I needed a clone to get everything done! HOWEVER, on Monday this past week I was abruptly moved to a different position, one that cuts my hours in nearly half! After the initial shock (but I was JUST getting used to all you people!), I am delighted. This works out very well for me as I’m trying to transition out of full-time work and into full-time student/part-time work. Hopefully this also means I can get back into blogging regularly, and that both my reading and writing mojo will return!

sunday post

I did manage to finish a book this week, Silver Stars (Front Lines #2) by Michael Grant. It was really, really good. Really good. Also I had to show off this lovely bookmark a friend made for me!

sunday post

I STILL haven’t read ACOWAR. I am afeared of what is to come. Also that people don’t seem to be nearly as happy with it as they were with ACOMAF. But I am obsessed with my new book sleeve, which (shockingly!) actually fits it! I love the moon fabric. Anyone else geeking out over the eclipse tomorrow?

Next Week:

THE ECLIPSE!! Ahem. I’m way too excited for less than 3 minutes of strangeness.

Down the TBR Hole #21
Hyperbole and a Half – graphic novel review
Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1) – YA review

Those reviews are LONG overdue, I read them both before we moved from Korea! Eeeps. But, life. 😛

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Aug 06

Review of Night Swimming by Steph Bowe

Book Reviews 0 ★★★½

Review of Night Swimming by Steph BoweNight Swimming by Steph Bowe
Published by Text Publishing on April 3rd 2017
Genres: Modern, Young Adult
Pages: 311
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Goodreads three-half-stars
one-flame

Imagine being the only two seventeen-year-olds in a small town. That’s life for Kirby Arrow—named after the most dissenting judge in Australia’s history—and her best friend Clancy Lee, would-be musical star.

Clancy wants nothing more than to leave town and head for the big smoke, but Kirby is worried: her family has a history of leaving. She hasn’t heard from her father since he left when she was a baby. Shouldn’t she stay to help her mother with the goat’s-milk soap-making business, look after her grandfather who suffers from dementia, be an apprentice carpenter to old Mr Pool? And how could she leave her pet goat, Stanley, her dog Maude, and her cat Marianne?

But two things happen that change everything for Kirby. She finds an article in the newspaper about her father, and Iris arrives in town. Iris is beautiful, wears crazy clothes, plays the mandolin, and seems perfect, really, thinks Kirby. Clancy has his heart set on winning over Iris. Trouble is Kirby is also falling in love with Iris…

I bought this book after reading a review of it over on Paper Fury. Because Cait does amazing reviews, and I’d be wanting to read something from an Australian writer/publisher, and she’s Australian so obviously she would be a good judge of Australian YA books! Perfect. This was, actually, my very first Aussie read (I feel embarrassed admitting that but ehhhh I’m going to try not to feel awkward). So without further ado, my review of Night Swimming!

Feels: Just…awwwww. Lots and lots of awwww moments. Between the besties Kirby and Clancy to the awkward anxiety of a new crush, there was just so many times I got a case of the warm fuzzies. Also, Kirby’s grandfather. My heart hurt for him, and for Kirby and her family. I remember my great-grandmother as dementia set in for her, and it was absolutely heart breaking. It’s difficult sometimes as a teenager or young adult to see our loved ones growing older when we feel like we’re just starting out in life.

Characters: I love Kirby. She is unapologetically (though sometimes embarrassed) nerdy and unfashionable, and I wish I had her self confidence. Her quirky family, complete with unaffectionate mother and absentee father, is endearing even while they exasperate Kirby. Clancy is just hilarious and unpredictable (except to Kirby, who knows him better than he knows himself, it seems) and I loved how he repeatedly scandalized their small town with his antics.

There is a lot of minority representation in this book. That was probably my favorite part, besides the general Australian-ness (is that a word?) of it, which had me chuckling over slang I didn’t quite understand. Kirby is gay, while Clancy and Iris are both minorities. I was a little sad that the book glossed over Iris’s mental health issues, but I guess you can only do so much in a relatively short book.

Plot: So, this is where I felt the story was a bit weak. The plot line just sort of dragged while it skipped around somewhat and left me a little bit confused about what was going on in places (though maybe if I had paid a little more attention to the dates at the top of some of the chapters, that would have helped). There are a couple of side plots that were interesting but then turned out to not be so interesting or they were just finished off so quickly it felt a bit disjointed. Then at the end it felt like the author realized something exciting needed to happen and threw that little disaster in the works to shake everything up. Which it did, but it didn’t have enough time to resolve, in my opinion.

Oh! How could I forget.

You’re welcome.

STANLEY! You should definitely read the book just for Stanley. Because everyone, apparently, needs a pet goat.

Overal, 3.5 stars. 1 flame because there are a couple slightly sexy scenes but nothing over the top or that I felt would be inappropriate for a young teen reader.

three-half-stars

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Aug 01

OwlCrate Giveaway!

Books/Writing, Giveaways 8

owlcrate giveaway

Sssshhh…we’re going to pretend that it’s still July, because that’s when this June OwlCrate giveaway was supposed to happen! July just FLEW by me and yesterday I thought, “OMG, I still haven’t posted that…” and then I got sleepy and forgot. July just basically kicked my ass. I didn’t finish a single book, I don’t think…maybe a non-fiction one on gardening. YIKES!! There just haven’t been enough hours in the day! Hoping to change that with August…and nothing pumps me up more than other people getting excited about books, and I know one of the best ways to get people excited is to give them books and book stuff! Anyway, so here we go. 😀

owlcrate giveaway

This is the June OwlCrate box, themed Make it Out Alive (you can see it on the Past Boxes page). Open to U.S. addresses only this time – I’m so sorry, all you lovely international people, but the shipping is just outrageous, as I’m sure you all know. Contest is open from now until Friday, August 11th, at midnight CST! Thank you all for following, and commenting, and sharing – I will be back with more reviews and fun bookish stuffs soon!

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Jul 16

Review of When Dimple Met Rishi

Book Reviews 2 ★★★★★

Review of When Dimple Met RishiWhen Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Published by Simon Pulse on May 30th 2017
Pages: 380
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Goodreads five-stars
two-flames

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Ok, prepare yourself. This review of When Dimple Met Rishi is not the most rational thing I’ve ever written, because I was left in an ooey-gooey pile of feels after finishing this book! I was not. prepared. Modern fiction isn’t generally my thing, but the blurb for WDMR was just too awesome and I had to pick it up. I’m SO GLAD I did!

Yep.

First off: Dimple. I love her so much! She’s quirky, she’s nerdy, she’s spunky, she’s smart and not embarrassed by it (something I really struggle with). She’s not perfect, and she’s not cookie-cutter. I adored her reaction to Rishi’s first words to her – THAT was perfect. Appropriate? “Nice?” No. But no one is perfect, and we all have different ways of dealing with situations. I’ve seen a little of the mumbo-jumbo i.e., people getting their underpants in a wad over some of the things she does, and my opinion is still that NO, she is NOT perfect, and most readers will love her more for it.

So then, obviously: Rishi! He’s cute. He’s also SUPER traditional. Somehow he manages to be cute at the same time, and I’m still a little confused by that. Hehe. I think Rishi grows as a character the most in the course of the book. He becomes more of his own person, rather than the “good boy” who wants to please his parents so badly he will give up parts of himself to do it.

The story introduced me to Indian culture more and better than anything else I’ve ever read. I don’t have any friends or even acquaintances from that background, so I was a little lost in the beginning by some of the terms and traditions that were more alluded to than explained. Eventually I figured everything out, but I did end up Googling a couple of things.

I also bawled. At one particular point. I was just so crushed and I couldn’t BELIEVE I felt so strongly about “it” because at first I was all for Dimple just saying EFF THIS to everything…but as I read I realized that completely bucking her family’s traditions is not, actually, what will make her happiest. However she IS a modern American woman and as such…she totally does things her way.

Dimple and Rishi’s relationship and them growing into themselves is obviously the main focus of the story, but there are a couple of side plots as well. The first involves some of the other students at the camp they are attending and how disrespectful (to say the least) the rich, white students are to anyone who is “other,” as Dimple puts it. The second involves Rishi’s brother and Dimple’s roommate and I was intrigued enough to hope for a sequel with them as the major characters.

WDMR was one of the most satisfying books I’ve read this year. While of COURSE I would love to read more of Dimple and Rishi’s story, it is beautiful and amazing just as it is and I closed the book entirely happy. 5 stars!

five-stars

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Jul 12

Review of The Hate U Give

Book Reviews 2 ★★★★★

Review of The Hate U GiveThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
on February 28th 2017
Genres: Modern, Young Adult
Pages: 453
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Goodreads five-stars

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

I’ve been trying to write a review of The Hate U Give for weeks and weeks now. It’s difficult to put my thoughts about it into a cohesive form, so I’m just kind of going to put a few things out there. Also, I’m aware that this book is HUGE because of it’s subject matter and representation. I read it BECAUSE of that, because I know that I am in the majority and I want to understand what the minority goes through and feels. I realize a book will never give me a complete understanding, but I do think reading #ownvoices books can help. The entire point of reading is to learn and to travel and experience things in our mind that we can’t or don’t have the opportunity to experience in our place in the world.

THUG is an important book because it so thoroughly places the reader into another person’s shoes. Because it was written by someone who has been there. She didn’t have to do research to see how Starr and her friends and family would talk – she knew, because her family is Starr’s family, her town is Starr’s town. This isn’t someone from the outside looking in and writing about it, this is someone writing what they have seen right in front of them.

Read The Hate U Give to see the world outside your comfort zone. Read it to understand why people have and do react the way they do to words, implications, and events. READ. IT.

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The truth casts a shadow over the kitchen—people like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice. I think we all wait for that one time though, that one time when it ends right. Maybe.

The Great 

  • Angie Carter does a fabulous job of giving her characters unique voices. I could hear each character distinctly and it was amazing. I felt like I was following Starr around, eavesdropping.
  • I was completely immersed in the story. When the pivotal point of the story, the shooting, happened, I felt like I’d been sucker-punched. I felt sick. I had to put the book down and go compose myself. At first I tried reminding myself that it was just a book, but of course that didn’t work because OH YEAH STUFF LIKE THIS HAPPENS PRETTY OFTEN and IN OUR WORLD and…yeah.
  • This book helped me understand a lot of things. It helped me see a lot of things for the first time. Every town I’ve ever lived in (except in Korea, heh) had two sides and I never completely understood why it was that way, when segregation was a thing of the past decades ago…supposedly. Starr’s struggle to be more, her struggle with her feelings for Chris, and to bridge what seems to her (and to the reader) to be the two sides of her life, encapsulated everything I’ve ever been confused about or wondered why when it came to those two sides of town.
  • FAMILY. I freaking love Starr’s family. Her parents’ relationship isn’t perfect but it’s there. Her entire family – her blended family, there are step and half brothers and sisters in there too – is there for each other. They pull together. They may picker and fight but in the end they are there and it’s amazing.

The Other Thing:

  • I, personally, was really disturbed by the wrecking of the town and the looting/destroying of property that went on during some parts of the book (mirroring, obviously, a lot of actual events as well). HOWEVER. What really came home to me was that while no, I didn’t agree with the characters doing it, I finally understood to some extent why. I understood that it was a form of expressing how angry and scared Starr and her friends and neighbors were, of the injustice and prejudice that seem to meet them at every turn. Did that make it right? No. Starr even says so later. But I finally had some sense of why things like that happen.

Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.

5 stars.

five-stars

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Jul 10

Down the TBR Hole #20

Books/Writing 4

down the tbr hole

Holy crap, it’s been awhile! I’m trying to get back into this one, at the very least. I’ve started to add books again so it’s definitely time to continue going through the old ones.

Time to wield the axe again – I’m mercilessly culling my TBR list on GoodReads with the amazing Down the TBR Hole meme by Lia at Lost in a Story (who has, somehow, already made it completely through his own TBR)!

Most of you probably know this feeling. Your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

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When I started this series of posts, I had 604 books on my TBR list. As of today, I have…645. HO.LY. I’ve added more than I thought! All that progress I thought I had made…haha. 😛 Anyway, as usual covers link to GoodReads.

 

Title/Author: The Lions of Al-Rassan, by Guy Gavriel Kay

Date Added: May 11, 2015

Thoughts: This is one of those books I have NO recollection of at all, and have no idea how or why I added it.

Judgment: Go.

 

 

 


Title/Author
: Dead Witch Walking, by Kim Harrison

Date Added: May 11, 2015

Thoughts: Oh, this is one of those I still want to get around to EVENTUALLY…and I have a Nook copy!

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

 

 

Title/Author: The Pride of Lions, Marsha Canham

Date Added: May 11, 2015

Thoughts: This is yet ANOTHER one of these that I have no memory of…where the HELL was I finding these books?

Judgment: Go.

 

 

 

 

Title/Author: Through a Dark Mist, by Marsha Canham

Date Added: May 12, 2015

Thoughts: I like Robin Hood, but this one just sounds blah.

Judgment: Go.

 

 

 

 

Title/Author: Dragons Lair (Justin de Quincy #3), by Sharon Kay Penman

Date Added: May 15, 2015

Thoughts: I enjoyed the first 2 in this series, but for some reason haven’t got my hands on the next one yet!

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

 


Title/Author
: An Ember in the Ashes, by Sabaa Tahir

Date Added: May 15, 2015

Thoughts: Ahhh, how have I not read this yet?

Judgment: Keep!

 

 

 

 

Title/Author: The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Date Added: May 15, 2015

Thoughts: Yet another one that I REALLY want to read, but somehow never have.

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

 

 

Title/Author: Bellman & Black, by Diane Setterfield

Date Added: May 15, 2015

Thoughts: OH MY GOD I TOTALLY FORGOT DIANE SETTERFIELD WROTE ANOTHER BOOK!!

Judgment: KEEP!!

 

 

Title/Author: The Firebird (Slains #2), by Susanna Kearsley

Date Added: May 15, 2015

Thoughts: Apparently I’m super bad at reading sequels…because I loved the first of this series but yet here we are.

Judgment: Keep!

 

 

 

Title/Author: A Companion to Wolves (Iskyrne World #1), by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear

Date Added: May 16, 2015

Thoughts: Uhhhhh…sounds mildly interesting but not so much to stay on the list.

Judgment: Go.

 

 

4/10 this time. Not as good as I hoped, but not too bad!

 

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Jul 09

Sunday Post #1

Books/Writing, Life 1

Linking up with Kimberly over on Caffeinated Book Reviewer today! Going to give the Sunday Post a whirl for a few weeks and see how it works out for me.

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This week we are supposed to FINALLY receive our shipment of stuff from Korea! And by stuff I mean our BED. I am sooooo tired of sleeping on an air mattress. 😛 Also by stuff I mean BOOKS!!! And shelves. I’m so excited to get everything put into it’s new place here. Of course it’s getting packed up again right before Christmas, but I’m choosing to ignore that for now. Hehe.

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This Week:

  • I was interviewed by Victoria Grace Howell over on her blog Wanderer’s Pen, for her post “So Your Character’s from South Korea...” – go check it out!
  • Not quite THIS week, but I started a blog for all my gardening and herbalism experiments! Check out The Bent Gardener. 😀

Next Week:

  • Down the TBR Hole #20 – finally getting back on the road with this meme and my ever-growing TBR pile!
  • Review of The Hate U Give (YA #OwnVoices)
  • Review of When Dimple Met Rishi (YA, #OwnVoices)

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Anything exciting going on in the book world this week? I feel REALLY out of the loop. Hope you all have a great day!

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