February 2017 Bookish Wrap Up

Better now than never, that’s what I say!

February seemed like such a short month! Then again, it technically is a short month and goes under the radar a lot. However, it is Black History Month and I dedicated it to reading all PoC writers.

After looking over all the books I’ve read, I’m surprised I only came out of it with only reading 3 books. While I try not to keep up with my reading challenge, I did notice that I’m already 2 books behind. Have you ever had that feeling that you’re in a book slump, but you don’t want to admit it to yourself?

I love looking over a month of reading or a month of anything that I track and really processing the data. It’s a very corporate thing to do, but I work for a corporate company, so I can’t help but to analyze things and use jargon in my reviews. SYNERGY!

But February is much too short to enjoy the plethora of novels about PoC coming out. I love the upsurge of novels about different races and sexes and people. It always fascinated me about books how much you can learn about human beings and I think the choices from this past month really put that on display.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Zadie Smith’s Swing Time

28390369Two brown girls dream of being dancers–but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, about what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either.

Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from northwest London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.

Brit Bennett’s The Mothers

288153711It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.

In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a “what if” can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever.

Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything

186924311My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

 

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – Review and Trailer!

Happy belated Valentine’s Day, y’all! The internet gifted us the other night with the new trailer for Everything, Everything and I’m in love!

I didn’t plan for the trailer to be released at the same time I was finishing this book. Since that’s the way it goes, I’ve decided to post both my review of the book as well as the new trailer.

You have no idea how excited I am about this!!!

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Synopsis (from Goodreads.com)

186924311My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Rating: 5/5 humuhumunukunukuapua’as

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My thoughts

Before you say anything about this book and your level of interest, I need to say something. If you’re an adult or perceive yourself to be an adult, pull yourself out of your adult mind and get excited to read a piece of young adult fiction. Watch out, folks, because I’m about to sell you this book.

Everything, Everything has everything (duh) that I love about YA. Yes, the book is set in the narrator’s teenage years, but like almost all the YA books I’ve read there are some hard hitting themes. It has love in all shapes and forms, identity crisis, family issues, and personal growth. When I read YA, I don’t do it because the world is easier in a YA novel. I do it because the stories are relatable and if you’ve ever been a teenager, then you know exactly what kind of stories these are.

I originally picked this book because of a few reasons. First, I loved The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon as well. Second, the main character is a POC but it’s the kind of story you want to read about POC. On one hand, it’s really important to read about struggling with identity and race, but on the other hand, it’s really important that you see POC characters played out the same way white characters would in a book. Meaning, hey, they live ordinary lives just like everyone else.

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Finally, being in an inter-racial relationship myself, you get to understand more that love has no color. My boyfriend loves me because of who I am and not because I’m Asian or not white or any of those. The world needs to evolve itself to the point that you’re dating someone because of what’s on the inside. You’re friends with someone because you have things in common and we are basically all the same despite where we come from. We’re all human and that’s super important to remember and see and be comfortable with in real life.

But let’s get back to the book.

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Yes, it’s about love but it’s also about life. It’s about what you would do if you met someone truly sick and you wanted to be their friend. It’s about a mother who’s been struggling with letting go of her tragic past. It’s about a young man who is trying his best to be the best son, brother, and friend possible. It’s about a young woman opening herself up to the world as well as to the possibilities beyond the four walls of her little home. You can guffaw at the insta-love (I know I did), but here you feel the same way you felt the first time you had a crush. It’s that warm and fuzzy feeling you feel everyday when you’re in love.

You feel so many emotions. So so many of them! And now you’ll see those emotions on the silver screen. If you need convincing on whether or not you should read this book, I would recommend taking a peek at the video above. It’ll tell you everything you need to know. Everything.

 

Celebrate Black History Month with Some Amazing Fiction

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Welcome to February! What is with February and being all romantic and lovely and all those good things in the world? It’s like December is all about Christmas even though there’s so much more going on in December than just Christmas.

But February is also Black History Month and being an advocate for diverse reads, I’ve got to put in a plug for some of my very favorite reads. You can go hardcore and read Frederick Douglass or Malcolm X. You can listen to Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech on repeat. Do whatever it is you want to do, but do it in celebration of black culture.

Before I get into my quick list of recommended reading for the month, I want to mention (as I tend to do from time to time) that diverse reads are so important. Many people (including myself) believe that racism is an extension of fear and ignorance. Why not break that stigma and read about other cultures!

Books about cultures aside from our own (or even our own, let’s not forget we come from somewhere!) opens up our minds to how other people live and exist in the world. We are humans and each of us holds traditions and heritage and culture different from the person you’re sitting next to. Why not celebrate our differences, learn a little bit about being someone else, and spread the good love across this universe.

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Anyway, here’s a few of my favorite books to read during this month as well as a few I’ve got on my TBR for the rest of February. Let’s celebrate diversity and learn more about what it’s like to be on the other side of the pendulum OF LIFE!

Continue reading “Celebrate Black History Month with Some Amazing Fiction”

July 2016 Book Haul

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Back in June, I told myself that this would be my last book haul in a little while. Finances have been rough the past few weeks so buying more books felt like an extravagance that I can do without.

I honestly think I might have a problem.

I sometimes feel like I’m “deprived” from living in the city. You can’t honestly be deprived of anything in New York unless you’re actually deprived. I wouldn’t call myself deprived. I’m getting off the topic. I’m just saying that there are things that come easier to those who live in smaller cities….and have a car.

Bookstores in the city are great, but they’re always so crowded. The Barnes and Nobles are always dotted with homeless people trying to spend a little time in air conditioning or heating. You can also never find a place to sit and you can’t sit on the floor (I’ve personally been yelled at a few times because of that).

So when I’m in the suburbs of some town and I have travel arrangements, I make a trip to a bookstore.

Anyway, I found myself hauling back my haul from Florida to New York over the weekend. Here’s my picks:

  1. You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour – I have heard great things about both of these authors separately, so I’m excited to know what they can do together. This definitely seems like the “slice of life” YA that I enjoy thoroughly.
  2. Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler – Honestly, I picked this book up because it’s about food. It only has 3.5 stars on Goodreads and that worries me a little bit. Hopefully, I’ll walk away from this book with a higher appreciation.
  3. Dreamology by Lucy Keating – Oh this one I’m really excited about. The premise of this book is that a young woman dreams of a dude and he was awesome. Then, this dude becomes a reality. Sounds like my high school dream.
  4. milk and honey by Rupi Kaur – I was a little bit hesitant on picking this one up mostly because I’m not a fan of reading poetry. I did a lot of that in high school and reading poetry sometimes means you have to find some hidden secret the writer is leaving for you. I read a few lines before I decided to pick it up and I think this might be a little bit off the beaten path.
  5. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon –  For some reason, when I think of this book premise I think of that movie Bubble Boy with a young post-Donnie Darko Jake Gyllenhaal. Obviously, this book isn’t about that, but you can’t help but to imagine it.
  6. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – I don’t know how this happened, but there are some YA books I missed while I was in college and a lot when I was in middle school and high school. Vampire Academy appears to be one of them (I was too busy wrapping up finals in college and there was no booklr at the time).
  7. My Lady Jane by a bunch of people (Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows) – This book has been getting a lot of press lately. While it isn’t the most accurate portrayal of Lady Jane Grey, it’s supposedly hilarious and beautiful. I’m excited about this one for sure.

Now, I’m not a big fan of making TBR lists because I end up straying from that, buying a brand new book, and reading that. However, I will say that I’m excited about these picks and I hope to read them before the end of the summer.

Ok, no more buying books until Comic Con.