Monday, October 30, 2017

Post challenge

I have been high key stressed on reading books for a conference I had signed up for but now that conference has passed. I had a blast and I can't wait to do it again. If you're interested, it was Books for the Beast. Here's the link to the 2017 conference that happened this past Saturday. Some of the books I've reviewed were on the required reading list.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
3 STAR RATING

All the Light We Cannot SeeAfter almost a month of dragging my feet, I've finished this damn book. I did like it, but the subject matter was just a downer to listen to. I knew I'd hear horrible things that would put me in a dark mood. So I only allowed myself to listen a small portion at a time. Marie and Werner are very relatable leads. Even though they were painted into tough corners, especially Werner, I still felt like I could understand their thought process. The book doesn't shy away from the horrid details of war and what most people had actually gone through. So if you are a sensitive reader, I'd avoid this book.






The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
5 STAR RATING

The Hate U Give
• Starr is at odds with the expectations from her community and her school
• DIVERSITY
• Starr feels like two people, can’t be herself around private school friends /boyfriend or her black friends
• Starr finds her voice by speaking out against police violence
• Audiobook was very engaging and held my attention the entire time
• Modern classic for teens of today

I didn't realize how much I needed this book in my life. It was so freaking awesome. Starr is a great protagonist; she has one of the most honest voices in YA fiction. The audio book did a great job of sucking me into the story. It did take me a little while to get into it. The younger tone threw me off and made me think I should have been reading the hardcover instead. It was only a small hiccup though and I fell in love with the story. It made me laugh, cry and, damn near have panic attacks. It's a new favorite, for sure.





Assassination Classroom vol 17 by Yusei Matsui
5 STAR RATING

Assassination Classroom, Vol. 17 (Assassination Classroom #17)I guess it was inevitable that the story would end up in space? It doesn't even surprise me that Nagisa and Karma are now in a rocket ship heading into outer space as an attempt to save Koro Sensei. After an intense battle between the class, team Save Koro Sensei came out on top. Nagisa vs Karma was a great thing to behold. They both have amazing assassinating skills but Nagisa just has that ruthless edge. I'm not as excited to see how this space expedition will play out. Only so much can happen.







All Different Now by Angela Johnson
3 STAR RATING

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As a picture book, the artwork is nice to look at. It's fluid and fits the tone of the story well. Since it's not nonfiction, the story itself doesn't really delve into what Juneteenth is and why it was such a big deal. It does get the message across on how important it was to black people. I'd recommend this book for a younger age group, somewhere between 3-6. It could possibly come with questions from the child but I think they'd just enjoy the flow of the book.





The Library Book by Tom Chaplin
3 STAR RATING

The Library Book
Since the text is actually a song, it's best to read this aloud to the beat or to sing it to children. Reading it as a normal book falls flat. There's a rhythm to it that doesn't translate it reading it aloud. The art is cute and I love the little girl and her glasses. She's so darn cute. I also like this book because it encourages kids to go to the library and that they can have fun there.









Thursday, October 5, 2017

100 BOOKS in 2017

I DID IT. I've read 100 books. My goals used to be a lot higher but with a full time job, I've had less and less time to read for personal pleasure. But with 3 months left, I'll be well over my initial goal by the end of the year.


Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Vol 1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates
2 STAR RATING

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1• Beautiful art
• T’Challa is king again after a long absence, his people are against him
• He’s finding it difficult to rule and find a balance between justice and serving his people as king
• He wants to stamp out the evil easily but his mother advises him it won’t be
• Aneka and Ayo are not giving up on what they think is right for their country, starting a revolution against T’Challa
• Nonlinear plot lines, hard to tell what is actually happening and the significance of it
• Reads too dense to be enjoyed by a general younger audience

This book fairs a little better than the last one I read for this conference but not by much. T'Challa is the most boring superhero in the comic. He's struggling to keep peace and order in his lands but he's doing a piss poor job of it. The opposing revolutionaries are more interesting but the author fails to expand on their interests and motives. I won't be reading any more volumes so see who comes out on top.



Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling
5 STAR RATING

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3)My original rating for this book was 5 stars but I'm taking a star away. I found Harry and Ron to be very annoying in this book. They ganged up on Hermione more times than I liked. She was struggling so hard this year and was just looking out for her friends and TRYING TO KEEP THEM ALIVE. Plus, I thought it was adorable how her subtle crush towards Ron is showing itself to the reader. 

Another thing I'm noticing is that movie Snape is eons above book Snape. Book Snape is repulsive and awful. I can somewhat relate and sympathize with movie Snape more. I hate him just as much as Harry does. Book Sirius had less time to grow on me than the movie version. But I highly suspect that's because Gary Oldman's sexy ass was portraying him in the film.

The voice actor for the audio book knocked it out of the park again. His voice is so relaxing, even when he's yelling and describing the most stressful and action packed parts of the story. But I'm sad to say I skipped over some of the book towards the end. I grew tired of Lupin's storytelling when I just wanted Pettigrew to die. That scene felt like it went on forever.




Attack on Titan Vol 22 by Hajime Isayama

4  STAR RATING

Attack on Titan, Vol. 22Finally, we get some answers. They're not the answers I was expecting but they felt genuine and not forced. I honestly don't think it's smart for Eren to keep any information to himself about bloodlines and titans. This late in the game, everyone's cards need to be on the table. At least with the people he trusts. After letting Commander Erwin die and choosing Armin to live, Eren should tell him and Mikasa.








Forgotten Bones-Uncovering a Slave Cemetery by Lois Milner Huey 
4 STAR RATING

Forgotten Bones. Uncovering a Slave CemeteryThis is a great book for all ages, not just the younger audience it is intended for. I had heard about the lost cemetery in passing but had never looked into it. This book details each step that the excavation crew went through in order to shed light on who these people were and how they lived. They even hired someone to do facial reconstruction so we could see what they probably looked like. For anyone more interested in archaeologists and lost bones, this is a great read.







Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung
3 STAR RATING

Lucy and Linh• Coming of age story
• Lucy is “at odds” with the new school and her classmates, what they expect from her and who she really is
• Diverse characters
• Written in letter format, Lucy writing to Lihn
• Not a fan of writing style, it takes me out of the story
• Fans of Mean Girls might enjoy the Cabinet (popular girls of the new school)
• Story picks up steam after Lucy is engaging with her new classmates
• Teens can relate to giving into peer pressure
• Lihn is a metaphor for who Lucy was before she got her scholarship, how at ease she was with herself


I was so confused for a while. I didn't realize until the very end the Lihn was not actually a friend of Lucy's. That really took me out of the story itself. I found it hard to enjoy it. The Cabinet is the most interesting aspect of the novel. Reading about how privileged these young girls are and how delusional they are with their self importance made me laugh. I thought about giving this book 4 stars but I wasn't invested in Lucy's journey. She's not very relatable.