Genre: Contemporary

Waiting on Wednesday: Ramona Blue

Posted March 22, 2017 by Emily in Uncategorized / 1 Comment

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Waiting on Wednesday: Ramona BlueRamona Blue by Julie Murphy
Published by Balzer + Bray on May 9th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 432
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever.
Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.
The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.

I completely adored Dumplin’, also by Julie Murphy. That was the first book where I’ve seen a fat character, happy and proud of herself and her body. Representation is so important. Everyone should have the opportunity to see themselves in a book. With Dumplin’, Julie Murphy earned herself a fan for life. I will read anything she writes. Ramona Blue looks excellent in it’s own right, as well. I lived in Louisiana when Katrina and Rita hit and there are still people displaced today, 10 years later. Julie Murphy writes touching, realistic and important stories. I’m sure this one is no different!

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Review: American Street

Posted March 21, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

Review: American StreetAmerican Street by Ibi Zoboi
Published by Balzer + Bray on February 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.
But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.
Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My favorite part of this book was the voice of the narrator, Fabiola. She’s a teenage immigrant from Haiti whose mother gets detained when they attempt to come into the country. Her mother sends her ahead to Detroit where her aunt and cousins are waiting for them. The story is of her journey to get her mother released and her first few months as an American. She had a very realistic, sincere feel about the way she told the story. It was admirable how she would do anything to get her mother back which ended up requiring tough decisions to be made.

I always enjoy own voices books because I feel like I’m truly able to gather bits and pieces of other people’s realities that are different than mine. The comparisons that she made between her life and Haiti and the acquisition to her life in Detroit was interesting to read because of the things I’ve read/heard about Detroit. While many differences existed between the two places, because of some of the lifestyle choices her aunt and cousins made, there were times when she may have been better off still in Haiti.  

I love when books include different words and phrases from different languages. In this particular book it really added to the story. I also really loved the elements of magical realism that tied back to the religion she and her mother practiced and felt protected themselves and their family members when they were still in Haiti and survived things like the massive earthquake and extreme poverty.

I can’t write a review and leave out her first love, Kasim. He was everything you want a teenage love to be and I think the contrast between the way he treated her as opposed to the way her cousin’s boyfriend, Dray, treated her was powerful. It’s never okay to accept an abusive relationship, no matter what else they do for you. I think this effectively portrayed the two relationships and the different choices each girl made when it came to them.

Overall, I rated this 4 stars. It was a really fantastic read and I highly recommend it!

four-stars

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Arc Review: Literally by Lucy Keating

Arc Review: Literally by Lucy Keating

Literally by Lucy Keating Published by HarperTeen on April 11th 2017 Genres: Contemporary, romance, Young Adult Pages: 256 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads A girl realizes her life is being written for her in this unique, smart love story that is Stranger Than Fiction for fans of Stephanie Perkins. Annabelle’s life has always been Perfect with a capital P. Then bestselling young adult author Lucy Keating announces that she’s writing a new novel—and Annabelle is the heroine. It turns out, Annabelle is a character that Lucy Keating created. And Lucy has a plan for her. But Annabelle doesn’t want to live a life where everything she does is already plotted out. Will she find a way to write her own story—or will Lucy Keating have the last word? The real Lucy Keating’s delightful contemporary romance blurs the line between reality and fiction, and is the perfect follow-up for readers who loved her debut Dreamology, which SLJ called, “a sweet, quirky romance with appealing characters.” I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.This was such a sweet book with a really original premise behind it. Annabelle is a seemingly normal teenager living her life trying to make it through her creative writing class. When […]

Posted March 16, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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ARC Review: Dreamland Burning

ARC Review: Dreamland Burning

Dreamland Burning is beautifully written with a contrast between present day and 1921 and the racial issues that plague the United States. It’s not always a “pleasant” read, but it the impact was enormous. As a white person, it’s painful to read how African Americans were treated in the not-so-long-ago past. To be black and to read this must be an entirely different level of anger and disgust. I liked the characters and how they were from all walks of life, past and present. I think those were really intelligent choices made by the author. For example, the present day teenage main character, Rowan, was a biracial girl living a considerably privileged life. Her family was wealthy, her father was white and from a powerful family, and she went to a private school with mostly white students who she fit in with well because of her finances. This made her somewhat out of touch when it came to situations that afflicted other black Americans who didn’t have the same lifestyle. To balance her out, she had an asexual black best friend who sometimes put her in her place, so to speak. Her job in a clinic was also eye opening for her. On the other hand, the teenage boy from 1921, Will Tillman, presented an entirely different perspective. His journey was obviously the more horrendous because it depicts the […]

Posted February 23, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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Waiting on Wednesday: When Dimple Met Rishi

Waiting on Wednesday: When Dimple Met Rishi

The thing that really draws me to this book is the cover. I love the girl’s face on the cover. That grin!!! It’s just so joyous. I’ve never seen a cover that exudes so much happiness. Past the cover, the book sounds perfect. Enemies to loves is always my favorite trope. I love the idea that these two kids have been promised to each other in an arranged marriage. However, they don’t know it and they don’t even like each other! Can’t wait to read this one!

Posted February 8, 2017 by Emily in WoW / 1 Comment
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Review: History is All You Left Me

Review: History is All You Left Me

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera Published by Soho Teen on January 17th 2017 Genres: Contemporary, LGBT, Diverse Reads Pages: 320 Format: Paperback Buy on Amazon Goodreads When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course. To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart. If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life. This was my first Adam Silvera book and I have to say, I think his writing is beautiful. It’s easy to get lost within his words and the story he created. His characters are well developed and a lot like people you may know in reality. I remember thinking that I wished this book could be forced into the hands of people who don’t understand that love is love, even […]

Posted February 6, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Geekerella: A Fangirl Fairy Tale by Ashley Poston Published by Quirk Books on April 4th 2017 Genres: Contemporary, romance Pages: 320 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win unless her stepsisters get there first. Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons before he was famous. Now they re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfieldfandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.” Fandom in media can be patronizing. If you know me, you […]

Posted January 25, 2017 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment
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Review: The Hate U Give by A

Review: The Hate U Give by A

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas Published by Balzer + Bray on February 28th 2017 Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Pages: 464 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice. Movie rights have been sold to Fox, with Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) to star. I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Going into this, I want it to be known that I doubt my ability to put into words the greatness that is this book. I also want to preface this with saying that I am white and I have lived in a mostly white community growing up. My life changed in that aspect when I began teaching six years ago where I became the only white person in the […]

Posted January 23, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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#DAReadathon Wrap Up

#DAReadathon Wrap Up

Kendice and I totally kicked ass on this challenge! I read all seven books and my mini-reviews are all below. Thank you so much to  Aentee from Read at Midnight for hosting the Dumbledore’s Army Readathon (#DAReadathon) to promote and celebrate diverse books. I really enjoyed the seven different prompts that encouraged me to read a variety of diverse books. I’d like to think I would have read all of these books eventually. They were all on my TBR when this challenge started. However, thanks to the #DAReadathon they moved up to the top.     This book was really hard to read. It was about two people who are hurting and the connection they find in each other. The writing was top notch. I really felt for the characters. The writing was touching and I found myself aching for for both Dylan and Jamie. Still I read to get away and this book was a little too real. Oh, this book! I loved Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven and this was the perfect opportunity to push her YA debut up on my TBR. I’m SO glad I did. I adore Niven’s writing and I’m easily sucked right into her stories. I’ve heard before I was glad I had a heads up. It didn’t take away from the story for me, but potentially saved me from an emotional breakdown. I […]

Posted January 20, 2017 by Emily in Special Feature / 0 Comments
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Review: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Review: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson Published by Katherine Tegen Books on January 24th 2017 Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Pages: 400 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads Mary B. Addison killed a baby. Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say. Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home. There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary? In this gritty and haunting debut, Tiffany D. Jackson explores the grey areas in our understanding of justice, family, and truth, and acknowledges the light and darkness […]

Posted January 10, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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