MISC: Top Ten Tuesday- 23rd May 2017

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is summer-themed, which seems appropriate considering how warm its been recently (cue thunderstorms and torrential rain, I know you Britain), but I’m not co-ordinated enough to read summery books in the summer. My reading trends are haphazard at best. I’m more of an ‘oh look, a book’ kind of reader which means I’ll pick up absolutely anything regardless of the season (unless its Christmas, I feel weird reading Christmas-themed books at other times of the year). Last year I took an eclectic mix of books across the ocean with me when I travelled to Crete, and although I’m not off anywhere sunny this year, I thought I’d pick the 10 reads I would take if I was.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a different topic that one of their bloggers answers, and they invite others to join in either by posting their answers as a comment or by creating their own blog post. Continue reading “MISC: Top Ten Tuesday- 23rd May 2017”

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REVIEW: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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I don’t think I can really call this a review because all I have is outright praise for The Hate U Give. This is exactly why we need diverse books that show us the world that exists outside our own experiences, because in 2017 we haven’t come as far as we should have, and we need to be reminded of that.

Sixteen year old Starr is driving home from a party with her best friend Khalil when they are stopped by the police. She’s scared, but at twelve years old her parents gave her the talk about what to do when an officer approaches you. She knows to keep her hands visible, not to make sudden movements. But Khalil is asked to step out of the car and is searched. When he turns to ask Starr is she’s okay the officer shoots him, three times. Instead of focusing on Khalil’s senseless death, the media and the police department attempt to justify his death by alluding to his potential links with gangs and drugs, instead of the real facts- that an unarmed black teenager was shot dead.

But Starr knows what really happened, and she knew the real Khalil. Over the course of the book she discovers the power her voice has to defend her friend’s memory and her community, even when the truth might put her in danger. She doesn’t realise how brave she is. Having to be questioned by the colleagues of Officer One-Fifteen, the man who killed her friend, testifying in front of a Grand Jury, trying to maintain normality when her would has been upended twice- all at sixteen years old. Of course she’s scared. It’s not something she should have to deal with at her age, but she stands up despite that fear.

Starr’s family were a shining light. They were real. They brought humour and love in the darker moments of Starr’s life. All the undercurrents that exists in most families were there, but they were endlessly supportive of each other. Especially their parents, who were willing to adapt for their kids. The tense situation they were in might break some families, but not theirs. The level of community support and spirit that her neighbourhood had was heartwarming. They help each other without thinking about it and that’s something the media neglects to show.

I felt exhausted for her having to constantly hide facets of her self at her predominantly white school for fear of being stereotyped. She has to keep a tight reign over her emotions and when they do understandably bubble over she’s dismissed for being over-sensitive. Jokes give her friends and other students a free pass to be as insensitive and racist as they want, by disguising their comments as humour and Starr has to laugh along or be ostracised.

It’s the sense of entitlement  from being born a certain skin colour and the ignorance that comes with it that are dangerous, because those flippant comments breed attitudes that divide us. In speaking out, Starr fights against those attitudes.

Sometimes you don’t realise you’re eyes are half-closed, but Starr’s story opened mine. Everyone should read this book.

Rating: 5/5

 

MISC: 5 Reasons I’m Excited for Hay Festival

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Hay Festival is just over a week away and it can’t come soon enough. I’ve been waiting to go since last year, but I left it too late to organise myself (as usual). So for Christmas, my wonderful parents agreed to take me for the opening weekend. My mother picked the short straw because she’s the one who has to accompany me and listen to my bibliophile rantings for three days trapped in an idyllic village, but I’m not sorry. So in anticipation of a dreamy weekend in booktopia, here are 5 things I’m looking forward to: Continue reading “MISC: 5 Reasons I’m Excited for Hay Festival”

BOOKISH FINDS: Online Spree

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Again you might ask incredibly. Yes again. I bought books again. I was only going to buy two but, well, online websites give you free postage if you spend so much. They’re sneaky like that. I have so many books that I want to read at this point that I have to pick them at random, and then even when they arrive I have them hidden away under the bed for a few months of years before I actually read them. Such is the life of a bibliophile. So here are the new additions to my under the bed book collection: Continue reading “BOOKISH FINDS: Online Spree”

REVIEW: The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

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roanokeThey say don’t judge a book by its cover, but don’t let the genre put you off either. Every reader has one that they avoid, the dark corner of the fiction section they never venture into. Some readers have more than one. For me, it’s Crime/Thrillers. Why I’m not entirely sure, but when it comes to reading novels in this genre, I always have a hard time letting the story take me. But genres aren’t always so clear cut, and you never know when a book will surprise you. Sometimes you have to venture outside your comfort zone or you won’t experience anything new. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel”

BOOKISH FINDS: Supermarket Splurge

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There’s something commendable about going out to buy ingredients for a Greek salad and coming back with two books and a bag of wilting rocket salad. It doesn’t seem to matter where you go, if you’re a bibliophile books will find you. Even in the supermarket. Just when you think you’re safe, you remember that most supermarkets have their own modest book section and you go in search of a bargain you definitely don’t need. So here are the two new additions to my TBR mountain of doom:

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

I’ve lost track of how many prizes the Waterstones Book of the Year has been nominated for. It’s been at the back of my mind for a while, and then there it was for a couple of pounds. I’m always been fascinated by Victorian superstition, so I can’t wait to find out how the Essex residents deal with the mythical threat of a winged serpent.

May We Be Forgiven by A. M. Homes

Another award winner, May We Be Forgiven won the Baileys Womens Prize in 2013. Unusual family dynamics pull me into a story, and thie novel promises that in spades. The lives of two brothers take a dark turn after one fateful Thanksgiving. I’ve wanted to read a book by A. M. Homes for a while now, and here’s my chance.

Anyone else bought any book bargains this week?

MISC: WWW Wednesdays- 10th May 2017

Hello, hello. I’ve missed taking part in WWW Wednesdays the last few weeks. I was a little unprepared for the stress of my last essay. I couldn’t pick a topic so for two weeks I tried to write four different essays until I decided which one was better. But it’s done! Just 15,000 words stand between me and my MA! Hurray! I won’t bombard you with all the reading I’ve done since my last WWW post, I’ll just give you the highlights!

WWW is hosted by Taking on a World of Words. Each Wednesday book enthusiasts share their reads by answering three questions:

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Continue reading “MISC: WWW Wednesdays- 10th May 2017”