Book Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

61SB-c0mHGL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy (Goodreads).

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July Book Haul (#PrimeDay, Book Outlet, B&N Sale, and More!)

Ever since I unhauled and reorganized my bookshelf, I made sure there was a ton of room on my shelves to add more books.  It is actually very out of character for me to buy a lot of books in such a short amount of time, but the month of July was full of opportunities for me to get my hands on some new books! There was a Fourth of July sale at Barnes & Noble, Amazon Prime Day and a bunch more times when I picked up some books to add to my shelf.  I must admit, after my last trip to the bookstore, I did promise myself that I wouldn’t buy anymore books for the rest of the year. This means there won’t be another book haul for a while but I am very excited to get into all of these books! Let’s see what I got!


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Book Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

1014081215My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster, (Goodreads).

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Book Review: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

515pYTNTrcL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing examines the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power – and limitations – of family bonds.

Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. His mother, Leonie, is in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is black and her children’s father is white. Embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances, she wants to be a better mother, but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use.

When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.

Rich with Ward’s distinctive, lyrical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first century America. It is a majestic new work from an extraordinary and singular author, (Goodreads).

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Book Review: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

406235_abf5101fc5274eb18073fe66ca755c1eIn 2014, award-winning journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote about her frustration with the way that discussions of race and racism in Britain were being led by those who weren’t affected by it. She posted a piece on her blog, entitled: ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ that led to this book.

Exploring issues from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, Reni Eddo-Lodge offers a timely and essential new framework for how to see, acknowledge and counter racism. It is a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of colour in Britain today, (Goodreads).

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How I Annotate My Books (and Why You Should Too)!

This week, I had the urge to do some poetry reading and rereading of some of my favorite books and what I like to do during those times is annotate!  I was an English & Textual Studies major in college so I was all about active reading. (Active Reading –reading something with a determination to understand and evaluate it for its relevance to your needs according to The Open University).  I was pretty much trained to highlight, underline, ask questions, and have the urge to discuss any book I read.

Ever since I was in middle school I have been a huge highlighter. That habit carried with me all through college. I have a thing for quotes, so when I like a line in a story I instinctively grab a highlighter and mark it in the text… I also used to copy that quote in a huge notebook where I “collected” my favorite quotes. My quote notebook is long gone now but I still have that same love of quotes and highlighting that I did when I was 13.

A small annotation of mine from Nikki Giovanni’s Bicycles. I was looking for a more detailed page but a lot of my annotations are really personal!

I must admit that more recently I have not been annotating the novels that I read (at least not on the first read).  I am more inclined to mark up a poetry or non-fiction book on the first go around because they are easier to digest in pieces and while I am reading a novel I am definitely more engrossed in the story that is taking place and lose myself in the plot which makes me not want to annotate as often. If there is a quote that REALLY sticks out to me, though, my highlighter is ready.

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Book Review: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

51Obwp7zUhL Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met. (Goodreads).

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Rant: Lack of Diversity on BookTube

This is going to be a mini rant about what I’ve noticed on BookTube.  I must admit, I am a novice to this section of the YouTube platform.  Reading has always been something I kept separate from social media but in the past year I have decided to share what I am reading online (mostly on my Instagram stories) but this led me to exploring more ways people share what they are reading (i.e. blogs, Twitter, Tumblr, and YouTube).  I have only been an avid watcher of BookTube for about a month now but like other niche’s in the YouTube community I have noticed some trends regarding to diversity that disappoint me.


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Book Unhaul & Bookshelf Reorganizing

Last week, I made the very brave decision to finally clean and reorganize my bookshelf. I use the word “brave” because the state of my bookshelf was somewhat abysmal.  I was someone who used my bookshelf as a place to hoard old papers, letters, junk, and different supplies as well as a ton of books that I haven’t read in years.  I had previously cleaned it about two years ago after graduating college so I could put more books that I had gotten while taking all of those English classes but even after my bookshelf quickly became cluttered again.  After ignoring it for so long, I couldn’t be bothered trying to upkeep my bookshelf’s clean state… As my life became more hectic after graduating college and things in my personal life started to get crazy, my bookshelf (as well as the rest of my bedroom) started to become a reflection of my current mental state, cluttered, disorganized, and all around sad looking.

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