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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.

Review: Anne of Green Gables

Review: Anne of Green GablesTitle: Anne of Green Gables
Author(s): LM Montgomery
Series: Anne of Green Gables #1
Genre(s): Classic
Pages: 384 (Hard Cover)
Source: Own
For: Readalong
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

"She'll have to go back." Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert had decided to adopt an orphan. They wanted a nice sturdy boy to help Matthew with the farm chores. The orphanage sent a girl instead--a mischievous, talkative redhead who the Cuthberts thought would be no use at all. But as soon as Anne arrived at the snug, white farmhouse called Green Gables, she knew she wanted to stay forever. And the longer Anne stayed, the harder it was for anyone to imagine Green Gables without her.

My Thoughts

I read Anne of Green Gables as part of a readalong because I had never read it before. I was worried I wouldn’t like it because classics and I don’t always get along very well. I needn’t have worried because I adored Anne and her spunk.

I can see why this coming-of-age story is a classic. Anne of Green Gables is endearing with its quaint setting and memorable characters. As I said, I love Anne. She reminded me of myself, other than of her being ever the optimist. (I’m definitely not an optimist.) Like her, I love to name plants and inanimate objects anthropomorphizing them. I’m extremely talkative and competitive. I love fiercely and tend to hold grudges even though I try not to. I quite related to her.

I also loved the secondary characters, some more than others. Matthew was my favorite. He was such a kind soul, always looking out for Anne. I wish we had gotten to know Gilbert more. View Spoiler » And, even though I was often frustrated with Marilla’s no-nonsense ways, I even liked her because I knew she loved Anne.

I’m glad I can say that I’ve finally read Anne of Green Gables and I look forward to reading at least the second book in the series at some point in the future.

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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: Eliza and Her Monsters

Review: Eliza and Her MonstersTitle: Eliza and Her Monsters
Author(s): Francesca Zappia
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, YA
Pages: 385 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Personal Interest
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

My Thoughts

I had never heard of Eliza and Her Monsters until I saw Suey review it on her blog and then I saw it on a couple of other blogs right after that. After Suey’s review and her recommendation, I decided I needed to read it. Fortunately, it was available on Kindle at my library so I could.

I loved Eliza’s story. I loved her webcomic. In fact, I really want Zappia to publish a novelization of her webcomic as well as a graphic novel of Monstrous Sea now. The story was so interesting and sounds like something I would enjoy so much!

I wanted to strangle Eliza’s parents. I know they meant well like most parents do, but there were times when I felt like these parents just didn’t care because it’s not what they did. I felt like they didn’t try to understand her. It’s not completely their fault. Eliza could’ve talked to them more as well, but as her parents, it’s up to them not her.

I adored Eliza and Her Monsters. I adored the double entendre of the title. And, I sobbed as I read parts of Eliza’s story. Even though I’m not an introvert, per se (I’m an introverted extrovert or an extroverted introvert, lol), I related to Eliza and even Wallace in so many ways. I shared some of their monsters in high school and reading about them made me want to hug them both and tell them, “It’s okay. Life gets better.”

I’m glad I read Eliza and Her Monsters. I’ll definitely keep a look out for more of Zappia’s work.