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.

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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.

 

*Hiatus*

HI GUYS!

I’m terribly sorry for that extended hiatus. Life was getting a bit hectic so my reading temporarily hit the back-burner. Hopefully, things are officially slowed down to a manageable pace so I can get back to doing what I love: reading, writing and reviewing!

While my posts may have stopped temporarily, the growth of my TBR pile never wavered. I still have a bunch of books that I can’t wait to review for you guys and pick up right where we left off.

So, keep an eye out for my next post which is going to be a book review on Tayari Jones’  Silver Sparrow.

Everything Everything

Nicola Yoon has been on my list of authors that I was looking forward to reading. I wasn’t quite sure whether to start with The Sun is Also A Star but once I saw the film trailer for Everything Everything, I knew that would be the first book of hers that I would have to read.

Yoon is an exceptionally talented writer and demonstrates her skills in character development, plot and descriptions in this novel. She is patient with the descriptions and really makes the main character, Madeline’s youthful and child-like fascination with the world believable. In the Q&A portion of the book, Yoon even says that the innocence of Madeline was largely inspired by her own infant daughter’s reactions to the world around her.

In all honesty, I hadn’t anticipated enjoying Everything Everything as much as I had. It was a new and fresh story that has never been told before. I think that there are themes like love and protection that are carried on throughout that really grip at the readers heartstrings and get them invested in the turn of events. I also respect Yoon for making the main female character multiracial. It’s not her identity but it is something that is made clear about her. I think that it’s incredible to have more culturally diverse characters in books, television and film because it really helps to inspire diverse readers and encourage diversity in the world. It helps remind audiences that fundamentally being different is nothing to be ashamed of.

****

I would recommend this book to YA readers, fans of John Green, fans of film to book comparisons, or anyone looking for an entertaining but light read.

Talking As Fast As I Can

I don’t think there is any better book that I could have followed Born a Crime with than an equally as stunning and refreshing memoir by Lauren Graham– actress, writer, producer and all around effortless talent. Talking as Fast as I Can was witty, quirky and full of laughs. I often find it difficult separating the person: Lauren Graham from her roles as Lorelai Gilmore and Sarah Braverman, two of my favorite television characters. I had to stop myself, at times, and remember she is not the roles she has played, they have impacted her to some extent but she continues where their stories end.

It was truly interesting to learn more about Lauren Graham. I never knew about her struggle to stardom. Apart from learning that she was in a relationship with her former cast brother, Peter Krause (Adam Braverman), I didn’t know much about her. I think my favorite part of the story was the firsthand details that Graham recounted from previous seasons of Gilmore Girl. She also included her personal journal entries during Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. I think knowing how close of a relationship she built with her co-stars and crewmembers, returning for the final season was extremely emotional. It was incredible hearing about old memories and everyone being taken back into the nostalgia of the show the same way that audience members felt when they sat down to watch the long anticipated, A Year in the Life.

I remember growing up with Gilmore Girls and watching it constantly. At one point, when I realized that the last episode had aired, I refused to finish out the last season. I decided to wait until the inevitable tv movie aired to finally watch it all…only to learn that those months would turn to years. I binge-watched all the seasons on Netflix before the new season came on and had absolutely no regrets about it. The show honestly changed my life and made me aspire to have the Lorelai-Rory relationship with my future daughter. Their bond was unbreakable no matter what hiccups came along the way. I also agree 1000% with Lauren Graham about the final four words of the show being a cliffhanger! Is there going to be a Gilmore Girls Reloaded?! Or was this just a reminder that even if the show ends the Gilmore Girls live on in Stars Hollow!? Inquiring minds want to know.

Born a Crime

Being humorous and intelligent are rare characteristics to display in a perfect balance. Trevor Noah not only has mastered that balance but turned it into an unforgettable and captivating memoir.

First impression? I thought Trevor Noah, a mixed kid who was funny and found his claim to fame on The Daily Show. Here’s his memoir about growing up in South Africa and there’s more than likely a ghostwriter who has actually written this.

I want to start off by saying that I was completely off.

After reading his memoir, I realize there is so much more to people than meets the eye even when it comes to celebrities. The story of his life would’ve been interesting if it merely covered being a mixed child in South Africa but, that is merely the background in this story. So much happened to Trevor in his youth.

I really enjoyed reading, “Born A Crime.” There were moments when I laughed out loud and times that I was genuinely surprised by what Trevor had lived through yet could recount with such a light-hearted and comedic tone. Trevor gave us a glimpse into his little bit of perspective in the world and I’m grateful. His intelligence is apparent in his writing and he uses incredible metaphors and anecdotes to explain why he is the way he is.

I would definitely recommend this book to readers who may not immediately gravitate towards non-fiction or memoirs. I think there’s a stigma (at least in my opinion) that all memoirs are filled with research and are boring. Boredom was the farthest thing from my mind while reading this, so I can’t recommend it enough.

Five Favorite Authors to Date:

My favorite authors are transient. They are constantly changing depending on outside factors like my tastes and interests. The authors that I can’t get enough of now were definitely not on my radar when I was in high school. Here is a list of 5 of my favorite authors to date and why.

1) Gillian Flynn
I absolutely adore her. She introduced me to the enthralling, irresistibility of a good thriller and suspense novel. That feeling when I first read Gone Girl is a moment that I will cherish forever. Though I’ve only read one of her books, I am planning on purchasing everything she has written.

2) Rupi Kaur
A rare and talented poet. She has only one book of poetry published but “milk and honey” has changed my life for the better. In short, poignant prose, she spoke the rawest of truths. I was so inspired after reading it that she immediately cemented her place in my favorites. Milk and honey should be required reading.

3) Roxane Gay
She’s on my list for a number of reasons.
She’s incredible, for one. Although I haven’t read a single piece of her writing, she is a fellow Haitian women and writer. Being that we’re both interested in the publishing world, I immediately consider her a kindred soul. Besides being bisexual (which I am not), we are basically the same person and I truly admire her and what she has accomplished for herself as a fellow first generation child of immigrant parents. I’ve purchased 3 out of 4 of her books and can’t wait to read them.

4) William Shakespeare
You’re probably thinking “how random” but honestly I’ve always really liked Shakespeare. I’m not like a weirdo who can recite Hamlet’s monologues off the top of my head but I’m crazy for Othello. It’s my favorite play. Shakespeare was able to create and imagine these lasting and complex stories that are discussed in the U.S and abroad, he was a genius. RIP.

5) Jane Austen
How sappy, how traditionally feminine. I’m overwhelmed by the cliche of this choice but I love her nonetheless. Pride and Prejudice was iconic, Becoming Jane (the movie), everything I’ve read from her has been exceptional. I don’t read romance novels but I will always appreciate a good Jane Austen novel.