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Truncated Reviews

Hey guys, I’m back again and I’ve been doing some reading! In the midst of my job search, I’ve been dedicating as much free time to reading as possible. I’m not sure if it’s true for others but the more I read, the better I write. Since, I’ve read about 5 books since I posted last,  I’m going to provide truncated reviews

 

#1) Nora Ephron’s Heartburn

Heartburn was my first book of 2018 and I loved absolutely everything about it. I mentioned before that I had never read any of Ephron’s works before and I can’t believe it took me this long. She is witty, engaging, and her writing captivates you from beginning to end. I never knew I could laugh so hard reading about a woman who is seven months pregnant finding out that her husband is having an affair, but somehow I did. It was a quick but insightful read that I enjoyed back and forth on my train rides to work. I can’t recommend it enough.

 

#2) Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Lisa See is an incredible writer and does such a great job of showing rather than telling the reader about the customs of Snow Flower and China in this time period. It is exceptionally literary and well-written, however, I was disappointed by the lack of action. The story is majorly reflective and I did not like Snow Flower’s resignation to her fate. It left me dissatisfied that her only means of rebellion was this recounting of events that she also seemed resigned to share. I would recommend it for those looking to examine Lisa See’s writing style, those interested in Asian culture especially the tradition of footbinding, and readers who enjoy the more factual recounting of events versus more emotional memoir-esque stories.

#3 & #4 Olivia Gatwood’s My New American Best FriendNeil Hilborn’s Our Numbered Days.
My secret santa bought me both of these books after noticing my love for spoken word and poetry. For those who are friends with me on Facebook, they know just how often I am posting a video from Button Poetry. These two books were high on my TBR list and they were incredible. Short, sweet, and to the point — each of these two books gave me chills. Stars now adorn the margins of the poems that left me pensive even hours after I’d closed the books. I recommend them both to those who are fans of Rupi Kaur’s, spoken word, or just exploring poetry as a whole.

#5) David Barclay Moore’s The Stars Beneath Our Feet

This book was a gift from one of my supervisors at Writers House. I had gone on and on about how I was dying to read this book and she gifted it to me. David Barclay Moore introduces you to the main character, Wallace a.k.a Lolly. A young boy growing up in Harlem, forced to cope in his own way with the loss of his older brother. Moore tells a story of both diversity and dealing with grief in an urban community. Through unlikely friendships, much-needed conversation, and the use of creativity as an outlet, Lolly finally finds the perfect outlet for his emotions. I absolutely adore this book. It’s not a PSA or after-school special, it’s a realistic portrayal of the decisions that are laid before young men and women in urban communities everyday along with the consequences of those choices.

It is long overdue but I am presently reading, Angie Thomas’ THE HATE U GIVE and I am in love with it. That book will surely warrant its own blog post so look out for that in the not too distant future.

Also, feel free to follow my Goodreads account

What are you guys reading? 🙂 

Currently reading…

I am so excited to announce that I have just started reading the famous Leigh Bardugo duology, Six of Crows! I know I’m super late on the whole bandwagon thing but — a good book is a good book whenever you choose to read it, at least in my opinion.

Life has been hectic so I haven’t been reading or writing as much as I used to. I want to change that and make an active effort to read and write more regularly. They always go hand in hand for me, if I’m not writing often it’s usually because I’m not reading as much as I should. I don’t want to make excuses but instead, challenge myself to take free moments to read. Y’all know how much I love a good YA fantasy so no better way to dive back in than with the famed Six of Crows duology. I’ve only heard good things and I’m excited to read it for myself.

My TBR is overflowing but if you have any suggestions for books to read. Comment below! I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading and why you liked it.

State of the Union

Hello all,
I went ghost again on you guys, I swear — it’s completely unintentional. Nonetheless, I really want to get back to blogging regularly. For now, let me give you some updates!

I am currently the subsidiary rights intern for the literary agency, Writers House, based out of NYC. WOOHOOO!  It is, sincerely, a dream come true. Writers House represents authors like Hank and John Green, Stephenie Meyer, Neil Gaiman, J.D. Robb, Nora Roberts, The Estate of Martin Luther King, and the Estate of Octavia Butler among others. I’ve only been interning for about 3, almost 4 weeks now. It’s everything I could have possibly dreamed of and more. I’m learning so much hands on and really bonding with the 16 other intelligent and lovely interns.

What else? I am currently a couch surfer. I don’t have an apartment so those three days a week that I spend interning in the city, I also spend at either a friend or relative’s house. I’m just trying to make due for the time being. I’m 24 years old, unemployed, interning at my dream company and that’s just the way things are for the time being. I’m hopeful that the unemployed portion of my life changes fairly soon but I’m taking it day by day.

I also wanted to make an announcement that although this blog is called, On The Deckled Edge in honor of my first and true love, books, I also want to use my blog as a platform to talk about other things in my daily life. I feel as though if I open my topics up apart from book reviews — I might be able to blog more regularly even if I’m not reading as often as I want. I have some ideas for upcoming topics but if you have any suggestions, feel free to comment and let me know what you would like to hear about from me.

‘Til next time. XOXO

The Return

Hello followers! I am back and it is long overdue! In August, I disappeared to commune with nature at camp with Writopia Lab. It was an incredible opportunity where I got to serve as a counselor. I got to mentor and witness these talented kids write poetry, perform spoken word, write music, play instruments, and create more art than I have ever seen done by children as early as 8 years old. It was life-changing and inspired me in more ways than I can begin to express. These kids reminded me that writing can be scary but your best work comes from being uninhibited.

While in the Poconos area without any cell service, most of my time was spent reading or writing. I explored writing some poetry that I may or may not post on the blog soon. I also got to reflect on some of my favorite books. One book series that I fell in love with in high school was Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. If you haven’t read it, I can’t begin to recommend it enough. Mead creates three dimensional characters that capture your heart. I completed the series sometime in my senior year of high school or freshmen year of college (2011-2012).

During my time in college, I learned that a spin-off titled, the Bloodlines series was underway. Mead’s new series was set to continue a storyline of a briefly introduced human character, the Alchemist Sydney Sage. It was exciting to learn that not only was it not the end of my favorite characters but that it would be told through the eyes of a human aware of the vampire world. I immediately jumped into the first book of the series, Bloodlines. It caught my attention but as college grew more hectic, I never made it to the fourth book out of the six-book series.

Now, that I’m older, I feel inspired to finally complete the series. I’ve always been curious about how events turned out for my favorite characters. Mead’s books are a major reason I love young adult novels. Revisiting the spin-off series will be interesting just to see whether I’m still crazy about these same characters or if the tropes don’t carry as much weight for me as they used to. Well, time will tell and I’ll keep you posted on my opinions of the books as I go along. I may take a break and read some standalone books too just to keep some content on the blog.
Thanks for your patience, guys, and feel free to recommend any books that you would like me to review: poetry, non-fiction, YA, all of the above except horror honestly.

 

Silver Sparrow

Hello again, so I apologize for that unannounced hiatus — but I am back.

Luckily enough during my hiatus, I did still get to read a bit. I actually just finished reading Tayari Jones’ novel, Silver Sparrow. I actually had the opportunity of meeting Tayari Jones last year and not only is she an incredible talent, inspirational speaker but she’s also just a genuinely relatable human being. Last summer, I heard her speak to my Columbia Publishing Course class in a time that I desperately needed to hear everything she had to say. I could probably gush for ours about how much of a role model she is to me but let’s concentrate on her book.

I actually purchased her book when she came to visit the Publishing Course and she signed my copy for me. I knew that I was desperate to read it but with little to no free time within the course – it kept getting postponed. During my hiatus, I had been off and on reading the novel and was a little unsure about the general direction of the plot. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to happen or where I wanted the plot to go.

Silver Sparrow is the alternating narrative story of two girls who live in the south and how their circumstances have impacted them. The narrator of the first chapters is Dana Lynn Yarboro who is the daughter of James Witherspoon. Even in her childhood, Dana is acutely aware of the fact that she is a secret. Her father, an already married man, participated in bigamy by marrying her mother, Gwen, and fathering her. Although older than her sister, Chaurisse, Dana as the product of that bigamy and must learn to take a backseat in all things. The narrator to the second half of the novel is Bunny Chaurisse Witherspoon, James Witherspoon’s daughter from his first marriage. These chapters highlight the complex circumstances and truly cast a shade of gray on things that are generally seen as black and white.

I think that Tayari excelled in making the depth of each character’s turmoil apparent. There are so many conflicting feelings and opinions, that even the reader is swept into the conflict. This novel is very different from what I usually gravitate toward the shelf but I enjoyed reading it as a whole. It was an escape that I was happy to turn to and I look forward to reading more of Jones’ works.