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
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

Book Reviews

Gemina (Illuminae Files), Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu

Meanwhile, while everything that could possibly go wrong, is going wrong in the Kerenza Sector on the Hypatia. Heimdall Station is going on with life like everything is normal not knowing that they are next in the clean up job being handled by BeiTech Industries. Hanna Donnelly is normal teenage girl who’s hobbies include shopping, being the best in the Dojo, war games with her Dad, the Commander of Heimdall and the occasional “party favor” from our favorite neighborhood drug dealer Niklas “Nik” Malikov. Nik Malikov on the other hand is a part of “The House of Knives” gang, and once you’re in it, you’re in it for life. Heimdall Station is the wormhole jump point that the Hypatia is hoping to make it to in order to survive, but that they don’t know is that they are having a lot of technical difficulties with the wormhole, and that all of their radio transmissions are being filtered by a BeiTech operative on the inside of Heimdall Station With the upcoming holiday of Terra Day a lot of the crew of Heimdall station are either off station with loved ones or they are taking the evening off. They never knew that this would be a Terra Day they would never forget, especially for Hanna and Nik as they try to save their homes and themselves from the BeiTech operatives meant to wipe out the entire station.
 I absolutely loved this book. I don’t know why I don’t read more sci-fi because I have been really enjoying this series. Granted I have been listening to the entire thing on Audible, which is SO MUCH FUN! They use an entire cast on Audible and it just makes it so different than other audiobooks that I have listened to. I love how these books are paced. There’s enough time to know who the major characters are and be able to visualize the surroundings. I also love in this series how the women are not afraid to do what is necessary to save the world, they aren’t waiting for someone to uplift them and make them feel stronger, they know their worth and they kick butt doing it. The men of course are not helpless and do their own things to help, but they never try to put the women down. If at any point they hint that the women are weaker than them, the women are quick to let them know who they are and that they can get this done without them. I definitely recommend this book especially if you’ve already read Illuminae Files. Until next time,
Keep turning the Pages
India
Book Reviews

An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes follows two characters Laia and Elias on their different journeys and how they end up falling in and out of each others orbits. Laia is from a group of people called the Scholars that have been oppressed by the Martials and the empire. Frequently their friends and family go missing in the middle of the night or are killed by raids conducted by the deadly and unfeeling Masks. When Laia’s world gets turned upside down she tries to seek out the group called the resistance, who her parents used to be apart of. Only thing is when she finds them are they going to be the people who she wants and needs them to be, or without her parents guidance have they warped into something different.
Elias is first in his class and on the right path to be the best Mark in Blackcliff history, but he doesn’t want it. Elias wants to be free of all of the non-feeling, brutal, and brutish ways of the Masks, he wants to desert. Punishment for getting caught deserting is death in front of the whole school, so of course Elias can’t get caught. His best friend in the entire world, Helene, suspects something is going on with him, but she has her own feelings to deal with and is loyal to a fault to Blackcliff and the Masks. Elias believes that there is another way to be and he can’t stuff down his emotions anymore.
The two of them find out that they’re lives are not their own and that they have a higher calling to do more than is expected of them. They discover that within all of the hardships they have already faced there are plenty more in front of them, but now they have the chance to do something good and something that can change the world. They just have to survive first.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It honestly gets straight to the good stuff which is awesome because I hate when books take to long to get to where you need to be just to add some pages.  I thought that there was a good mixture of being true to who you are while fulfilling your obligations, but at the same time pushing back at the people who are doing the wrong things. I believed that Laia’s character was believable because even though we always want the heroine in the book to be brave immediately after something bad happens that’s just not always possible. It takes a while to find that inner courage and for awhile you have to fake it until you make it. Elias on the other hand had to make some true life and death situations and then is placed in a situation that he honestly can’t turn down and I loved that we got to see his background to figure out where these thoughts came from. I loved that this book was fast paced and made me keep wondering what the other person was doing at the time. Until next time,
Keep turning the Pages
      India

 

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir