Sunday, July 21, 2019

Review: The Nickel Boys

The Nickel Boys The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So much injustice in this novel.

A teenage black boy catches a ride to the community college in a stolen car and gets years in reform school as punishment during the Jim Crow era. The reform school is hell on Earth and even worse for the black boys. Beatings, sexual abuse, emotional abuse--the Dozier school in Florida is gross, as are the men who worked there.

There is a twist at the end, but that part almost felt like a strange aftertaste--the injustice and the reform school seemed to be the focus in this novel for me.

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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Review: The Way You Make Me Feel

The Way You Make Me Feel The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Funny light-hearted romance about 16-year-old Clara Shin who pulls one too many pranks at school. Her single dad punishes her by making her work all summer in his KoBra food truck in LA--fixing a small menu of Brazilian/Korean fusion food. Clara and her dad have a great relationship, but Clara still wants to run to her mom when things get rough. Her mom is one of the Instagram influencer people who don't work but get paid to travel (I still want to know how all that works?? This librarian is for hire?) Clara makes two new best friends and one of them is a gorgeous Chinese kid who can't get enough of Clara. She freaks.

I enjoyed this a lot--it's so refreshing to read about a teen who makes little mistakes but life turns out okay because she has people around her who love her! And I laughed out loud because of sentences like this: "The flight back home wasn't too bad, even though the grandma next to me farted steadily the entire time."

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Review: Lost Children Archive

Lost Children Archive Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'm not sure if audio is the best format for this title, because some parts may have been lists or included pictures, but I didn't have a print copy for me to check. I also felt like the author tried to cram in too much symbolism. Reminded me of a short story I would have read in undergrad as an English major. Name your characters, please. Combining voices on audio can sound cool, and it did, at first, in this novel. But then the gimmick was overdone and I wasn't a fan. By that point, I was ready for the parents to finish the dang road trip, get divorced, and be done with it all! :)

I really loved the young boy and young girl narrators though--can't wait to hear more of him in other works!

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Review: The Fountains of Silence

The Fountains of Silence The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC provided by the publisher. I'll post a longer book review closer to October when its published.

I loved Salt to the Sea and I loved this novel about Spain after World War II even more. Read it. Recommended for YAs and adults. Perfect for book clubs. Add it to YA World History reading lists.

Please let this be turned into a movie.

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Friday, June 28, 2019

Review: Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture, & Identity

Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture, & Identity Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture, & Identity by Winona Guo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Important read. Two young women take a gap year to travel across America interviewing people about race. Fascinating stories by amazing people.

We don't talk about race enough in America. This book could help and serves as an example on how to frame conversations and questions.

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Review: Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations

Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

So freaking good. I'm really loving all the graphic memoirs that are being published. Mira Jacob is an American with a story to tell about sexuality, race, religion, immigrants, and being a mother and wife. Try the audio--it's short and full cast and amazing.

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