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!!!

rzr3w

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

IMG_2034.jpg

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.

img_2072

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.

img_2093

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.

 

January 2017 Bookish Wrap Up

The beginning of the year is supposed to be the most successful part because everyone’s got the motivation to exceed their own expectations. It’s usually in February when everyone drops their resolutions and returns to their former state.

But I always have to be the exception to the rule. ALWAYS. I have to defy the understood norm because I have problems with authority. That being said, it turns out I was only able to read three books for all of January.

Three.

giphy

Honestly, I was hoping to read more than four, but I was on vacation for more than half the month. What is with vacations and me just wanting to be a vegetable on the couch? Aren’t you supposed to read more when you’re on vacation? I ended up reading less and on top of it struggled throughout the entire time to read.

However, I need to stop beating myself up. I always give myself a hard time for not reading enough when I’m reading more than most people. Perhaps I needed to decompress from my regular life since I haven’t had a vacation since last July. Perhaps my brain just went on auto-reboot and it took me that long to get back on the track of things. Whatever it was, it’s passed and I think I can battle out the rest of February.

Reading and writing this blog has really opened me up to types of hobbies I really enjoy. I love sharing with you all my bookish thoughts and I hope you like them. Here’s my pitiful list from January.

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller

30304221

Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, but instead of giving them to him, she hides them in the thousands of books he has collected over the years. When Ingrid has written her final letter she disappears from a Dorset beach, leaving behind her beautiful but dilapidated house by the sea, her husband, and her two daughters, Flora and Nan.

Twelve years later, Gil thinks he sees Ingrid from a bookshop window, but he’s getting older and this unlikely sighting is chalked up to senility. Flora, who has never believed her mother drowned, returns home to care for her father and to try to finally discover what happened to Ingrid. But what Flora doesn’t realize is that the answers to her questions are hidden in the books that surround her. Scandalous and whip-smart, Swimming Lessons holds the Coleman family up to the light, exposing the mysterious truths of a passionate and troubled marriage.

img_1112-2

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

9627755

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. 

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

img_1374

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

28763485Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

img_1468

 

Celebrate Black History Month with Some Amazing Fiction

9e75808b9c093ba32d02caf763b25a65

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.

a305a-letmeloveyouthorin

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”

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

img_1468

I’ll admit, I picked up this book believing that Nicola Yoon was a young Korean woman. The name seemed like a dead giveaway, but I took another look. What I found was a story with more power than a simple love story.

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com)

28763485Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Continue reading “The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon”