TOP TEN TUESDAY- 3rd October 2017

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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, by posting their answers as a comment of by creating their own blog post.

I’ve missed out on the last few weeks of Top Ten Tuesday, but I’m back and looking forward to sharing this weeks picks! The topic is Top Ten Book Boyfriends/Girlfriends (which characters do you have crushes on?), but I’m picking characters who have a special little place in my heart. Continue reading “TOP TEN TUESDAY- 3rd October 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: 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”

BOOKISH FINDS: Tea & Paper

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Does anyone remember that self-inflicted book ban I imposed a few months ago? No? Probably not- I put very little effort into staying away from the book stores. Over the last few weeks I’ve come to the decision to embrace my book-buying nature. There are worse things to be addicted to, and I honestly don’t buy financially crippling amounts of paperbacks, so I’m probably not hurting my back account too much. Right?

So I went on a shopping trip to buy some much needed clothes last week, and then came back without any. But I did find some new teas in TK Maxx to try out and two books. They may not have been essential, but they definitely made the torturous journey into town feel worthwhile. I’m also a tea-hoarder. I have several hundred loose leaf tins all waiting to be drunk. Anyway, here are the books I bought:

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

I have been coveting this book for a while now, particularly after reading The Girls. I’ve been enjoying reading more complex female characters recently,  more complex characters in general really. There’s something about a character you can have a conflicted relationship with. It makes a story so much more interesting to read.  I’m looking forward to peeking behind the wallpaper and uncovering the family’s secrets.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I felt like I couldn’t really walk past this book without picking it up. The blogging community has so much love for this book, there are so many strong reviews. Its a story that is so relevant to current issues and has encouraged people to talk about what’s going on in the world. I think any book that can do that is worth reading.

 

Bought any books recently? On a self-imposed book ban, or failing in your book banning?