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Review: The Hate U Give

Review: The Hate U GiveTitle: The Hate U Give
Author(s): Angie Thomas
Genre(s): Contemporary, YA
Pages: 447 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Book Club
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

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.

My Thoughts

I read The Hate U Give for book club. I have been a supporter of the BLM movement from the get go. However, reading The Hate U Give was a very eye-opening experience. I learned a lot. I learned that I’ve lived a very sheltered and, subsequently, safe life. I learned that being a BLM supporter isn’t enough. And, I learned that supporting BLM for the wrong reasons is just as wrong as not supporting it at all.

I thought Starr was a great character. I never realized how tough it was to live in two different worlds or even that there was a need. My naïveté shined through as I read her and Khalil’s story. I’m now wondering how many insensitive comments I’ve made without realizing it.

Never has “white privilege” meant more to me than it does now. Thanks to The Hate U Give, I want to do better. I want to be better.

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Review: Finnikin of the Rock

Review: Finnikin of the RockTitle: Finnikin of the Rock
Author(s): Melina Marchetta
Series: Lumatere Chronicles #1
Genre(s): Fantasy, YA
Pages: 417 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Book Club
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Finnikin of the Rock and his guardian, Sir Topher, have not been home to their beloved Lumatere for ten years. Not since the dark days when the royal family was murdered and the kingdom put under a terrible curse. But then Finnikin is summoned to meet Evanjalin, a young woman with an incredible claim: the heir to the throne of Lumatere, Prince Balthazar, is alive.

My Thoughts

I read Finnikin of the Rock for May’s book club. I was looking forward to it the entire year. Fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed.

I started Finnikin of the Rock at the beginning of my reading slump. I was worried I wouldn’t get into the story and finish it. I needn’t have worried. I was engrossed in the story right from the beginning. I ended up reading the book in less than a week.

I really liked the concept of the story. And, I loved following Finnikin and Evanjalin on their adventure to uncurse their kingdom. It was fun to meet all the different characters and experience all the different countries in the land. I really liked Finnikin and Evanjalin and I loved their connection.

I like that the story ends in a way that I don’t have to read the sequels if I don’t want to. I probably will, though, because I enjoyed the world Marchetta created.

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Review: The Marriage Pact

Review: The Marriage PactTitle: The Marriage Pact
Author(s): Michelle Richmond
Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 433 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Personal Interest
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

My Thoughts

I decided to read The Marriage Pact because I had heard such good things about it from other readers and my hold from the library came in fairly quickly.

I really enjoyed reading The Marriage Pact even though it was very over-the-top. Each time I put it down, I wanted to pick it up again so I could find out what happened. It made me glad The Pact doesn’t exist in real life. Or, does it? 🎶dun dun dun🎶

I really enjoyed the setting of the bay area, especially since I just traveled there last month. It was fun visualizing all the places they talked about in the novel. And, I really liked Jake and Alice. I rooted for them from the get go.

The only reason I’m giving The Marriage Pact three stars is because I felt the book was a little too long and the ending wasn’t as satisfying as I wanted it to be. All in all, though, it was an entertaining thriller.

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Review: Born a Crime

Review: Born a CrimeTitle: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
Author(s): Trevor Noah
Genre(s): Memoir, Non-Fiction
Pages: 288 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Play Book Tag
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

My Thoughts

I read Born a Crime because the topic for this month for my Goodreads PBT group is Autobiography and because Trevor Noah is one of my favorite comedians.

Born a Crime was a very fascinating read. I learned a great deal about South Africa and the apartheid. Truth be told, until I became familiar with Noah as a comedian, I didn’t know his existence was a crime during the apartheid.

I honestly found Noah’s childhood interesting to read about because of not only how he was treated, but also because of the experiences he had as well. It amazes me how much he was considered an outsider in his own community because his skin was lighter than others. And, I thought it was interesting that language often helped him bridge the gap between his peers; he was only accepted because he was a “chameleon” and could speak their language as well as they could.

While reading Noah’s memoir, there were times I was laughing in stitches, at other times I was in shock and disbelief, and yet other times I was angry at the injustices he witnessed and experienced. I know I’ve lived a very sheltered life, but I’ve never realized how easy my life has been until reading some of these experiences.

I’m glad I took the time to read Born a Crime. It opened my eyes to the atrocities of the world in other areas than just in European and American history. I now realize that while the Holocaust was a horrible time in the world, it’s not necessarily the worst thing that has happened. It all depends on your point-of-view and many of the world’s atrocities are glossed over still because people don’t want to take responsibility for the part they or their ancestors played in slavery or racism because it’s still very much alive today.

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Review: Reaper

Review: ReaperTitle: Reaper
Author(s): Kyra Leigh
Genre(s): Paranormal, YA
Pages: 256 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Listopia Challenge
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Rosie Wolf is sure when you die, you go straight to Paradise, until she wakes to discover she has died in an accident and that Paradise isn’t what she thought it would be.

My Thoughts

This year, I’m participating in a Listopia Challenge on Goodreads. I chose a Listopia list at the beginning of the year to read at least six books from. I chose Books by Utah Authors and Reaper is my first read from the list I chose.

Reaper wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I thought there would be more paranormal-ness to the story, but it was a very straight forward story about death and dying. To be quite honest, it was really depressing. I’m glad it was such a fast read and I got done with it in two sittings so I didn’t have to stay in the story for very long.

Having lost someone close to me and still not being completely over their death, Reaper was really hard to read. I felt like parts of it were very real looks at death and grief. I’m not sure if that was the author’s purpose, but that’s kind of what I got out of it.

Even though I had a hard time reading it, I’m glad I read Reaper. I liked Kyra Leigh’s writing style. I only gave Reaper three stars because of its depressing nature. It’s not one I’ll read over and over. I do look forward to reading more of Leigh’s work in the future, though.