Book Reviews

Strange the Dreamer, Laini Taylor

Lazlo Strange  has always been a no body. A person of insignificance. An orphan, a boy who helps monks, a librarian, a dreamer. Even with his low social status and overall menial existence to the world around him Lazlo has always found a way to dream and to have the wildest imagination fueled with stories from an old monk whom no one ever wanted to go see or talk to. From this monk Lazlo started to hear stories about Weep. A city that had long since been forgotten except for in legend. When Lazlo serendipitously becomes a librarian he has all of the information he could ever want laid out in front of him and sets his sights on finding out the mysteries of Weep. When he one day stumbles into the path of a spoiled alchemist who cannot turn items into gold and decided that he needs to help in someone way out of the goodness of his heart. When they get unexpected visitors in the city Lazlo finds that this is his chance to make a difference and to be someone greater than who he is,  but does he have the courage to do it?
I truly did love Strange the Dreamer. It was something different than I had ever read before for a fantasy novel and so it was very refreshing. I felt like it was somewhat relatable to a lot of people who believe that that they can be more than what they are. I also enjoyed the two perspectives that were given during the novel because it forms a more complete picture of all sides. I did feel like the characters could have used a little bit more development, but I didn’t feel like it was lacking. The only thing I was missing was a true antagonist to the book to get a little bit more conflict. A lot of it was about searching for a purpose and trying to find our purpose and where we fit in life. It was definitely worth the read and I can’t wait to read Muse of Nightmares for the rest of the story. I do have a review of the Strange the Dreamer up now on my Booktube channel that you can watch here! Or check it out down below. What did you think of Strange the Dreamer? Have you read any other books by Laini Taylor? The Darker Shades of Magic Series is on my list to read as well! Let me know, until next time,
Keep Turning the Pages
India
Book Reviews

The Poet X, Elizabeth Acevedo

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The Poet X by Elixabeth Acevedo
Xiomara came into this world fighting and she’s going to keep fighting through out it. She’s learned now when to use her fists and when not to, but she’s starting to learn how to use her words. X has always had a lot to say, but often would never say it. She had to please her mother and the Catholic church, she had to look out for her twin, and she had to be a best friend. X wanted to experience more and be more, but with her mom believing that God would send her to the depths of hell with just a word to a boy she couldn’t do much. Her twin gave her a leather bound notebook for one of her birthdays and X has always written her thoughts and feelings in it, including some poems. When she meets her english teacher for the year and she suggests that X joins the Poetry Club, X isn’t quite convinced and plus it’s another thing that she has to hide from her mom. What if this is what Xiomara needs to spread her wings and speak her truth. Maybe this is where she can find and use her voice.
This book was really good. To me it wasn’t great, but I also think that it was because I couldn’t relate to a large part of the book and it took me awhile to get into it. I started off by listening to it on Audible, but I felt like I was missing some formatting of the book. Then I decided to read it on my Kindle, it was then that I understood that everything was written as a poem.  It all clicked! I definitely felt like the book could be relatable to the Latinx and Catholic communities and brought some amazing points on family dynamics. I guess the reason this book wasn’t great to me was because I was also looking for resolve with Xiomara’s brother, Xavier. I loved what happened between Xiomara and her mom. I’ve been lucky because I’ve always felt like my mom is my best friend, and I don’t mean that in a way that she gives me everything I want, but she has always been supportive of me and I can spend all day with her. I loved talking about what it’s like to go from a body of a girl to a body of a woman and how the rest of the world starts to perceive you. Some good topics were brought up and I loved how they were expressed in poems, but I just didn’t feel completely fulfilled at the end. I would still recommend this book though. Have you read The Poet X? What did you think? Until next time,
Keep turning the Pages
India
Book Reviews

Let’s Talk About Love, Claire Kann

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann is definitely a book that the world needs. Is it my favorite book probably not, but definitely a book the world needs and young ones in high school and in college need. Let’s Talk About Love is about a 19 year-old black woman who has partially come to terms with her sexuality or lack of sexuality. Alice considers herself to be biromantic and asexual. Only a few people in her life know those terms when it comes to her and that makes her hold a lot of emotions in. Of course you would never know it because she is still an expressive person. With her experiences in relationships she has found that people don’t understand what she needs and what she wants and that they don’t see her. She was even nicknamed “The Corpse” because sex doesn’t mean anything to her. It doesn’t give her a thrill, but romance does. This book follows Alice as she suffers through one breakup, but finds support and comfort in her long time friends and a new man who has come into her life that is breaking her Cutie Code and turning her ideas upside down on if she can have a stable relationship or not. Alice has a lot to work through and a lot to come to terms with herself and she takes the strides to do it.
I enjoyed Let’s Talk About Love, but I’m not going to say that I loved it. I believe that it is a book that some people in the LGBTQ+ community might need in their lives. I think it dives into a realm of the LGBTQ community that is not often talked about and is often overlooked. For me it was a side I often wondered about, but never had anyone to ask, so I’m glad that this book discusses what it means to be asexual. I enjoyed the friendship dynamic because sometimes it is hard to be the third wheel of someone in a relations, but I think that it was awesome for them to talk about and discuss what was going on, and to be able to remain friends. I do believe that it is rare to stay friends with your high school friends through college, but that it can happen. That’s why I also thought that that was something good to be discussed in this book because friendships matter. Not just romantic endeavors. I talk some more about it in my review on my Booktube channel, which you can find here and down below. Let me know what you think about Let’s Talk About Love in the comments! Until next time
Keep turning the Pages
India
Bookish

BLACKATHON TBR!!

Hi everyone and welcome back to my channel. My name is India and today we are going to be doing my TBR for Blackathon, which started at the beginning of the month, but that I’m finally getting up now. If you’ve been following me on twitter then you know that I had a difficult time getting some of these books and went ahead and started reading some other books. Let me know what you’re  reading during this challenge!
I’m really excited about this read a thon because it is centered around books written by black authors and/or books with black main characters. This read a thon is hosted by Francina Simone over at Francina Simone, Lauren over at The Novel Lush, and Jessie over at Bowties and Books. They have decided to do this with reading challenges to help pick out your books and to force you to try to read more diversely, which I think is awesome! I know that I’ve picked way too many books for this read a thon and probably won’t get to a lot of them, but I decided to aim high. It also gives me a lot of variety to read, so I can go from book to book. What are some of the books that you’re reading? Below are some of the books that I have chosen as well as a couple that I have read and loved that fit into the categories
1. FEEL THE LOVE. Read a book (any genre) featuring romance between two black people (or one black person + a person of color).
An American Marriage, Tayari Jones
Recommend A Princess Theory, by Alyssa Cole
2. WAKANDA FOREVER Read a graphic novel or comic series with a black or African MC
Kindred, Octavia Butler
3. HEAR US ANY work by a Black or African author
Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland
Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany Jacksonn
Let’s Talk About Love, Claire Kann
Black Enough, Anthology by multiple authors
Well Read Black Girl, Anthology by multiple authors
4. FEEL THE BEAT. Spoken word: listen to these 4 poems and share your favorite on social media or with a friend. Discuss what this poem means to you and why it matters.
Balaenoptera by Joshua Brandon Bennett https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9TWj…
What I’ve Learned by Aja Monet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8byI7…
“Waiting” by Jasmine Mans, Alysia Harris, and Jennah Bell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgxU7…
Cuz He’s Black by Javon Johnson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Wf8…
5. MORE THAN A COLOR. We house complexity within us. Read a book starring an intersectional black character (black & LGBT, black & neurodivergent, black & disabled, etc)
Let’s Talk About Love, Claire Kann
Recommend: Odd One Out by Nic Stone, Little and Lion by Brandy Colbert
6. IN THIS TOGETHER Read the group book with us! Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Bookish

Favorite Reads of 2018!!

This post is a long time coming and for some reason I just haven’t put it up on my blog. It has been placed on my youtube channel and you can also watch it down below. These books were some of my favorite reads from 2018. I tried to only pick 5 because I read a lot of good books last year and I didn’t just want to gush about all of the books I read during the year. I still kind of cheated though as I made it into two videos. One video for favorites and one video for favorite romance and contemporaries. As someone who self proclaimed as a fantasy reader, I was surprised at the amount of romance and contemporary that I read during 2018, especially towards the end of the year. Anyway, let’s get down to this list, starting with my favorite reads of 2018! None of these books are in any particular order.

My Favorite YA Fantasy books of 2018:

  1.  Three Dark Crowns, Kendare Blake
  2. Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi
  3. Tower of Dawn, Sarah J Maas
  4. Kingdom of Ash, Sarah J Maas
  5. An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir

A lot of these books I’ve talked about through out the year, and some of them I have reviews up on my youtube channel of. I will link those above, and I talk about some of these books a lot more in the video!

Next up are my favorite my favorite Contemporaries of 2018:

  1. The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang
  2. The Proposal, Jasmine Guillroy
  3. Dumplin, Julie Murphy
  4. Intercepted, Alexa Martin
  5. Curing Doctor Vincent, Renea Mason
  6. Odd One Out, Nic Stone

I kind of cheated on this list and added in a sixth just because I felt like all of these needed to be talked about.

 

What were some of your favorite books of 2018, or maybe you’ve already read some books in 2019 that have blown your mind! Let me know what you’ve been reading because I’m always looking for something new to add to my shelves! Until next time,

Keep Turning the Pages

India