Book Review: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

 

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

Rating: 3/5

Release Date: March 24, 2015

The Walls Around Us

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Book Review: The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Rating: 4/5

The Scorpio Races

I could give you some lines about how my “eyes ate up the page” or how it was “a real page-turner” but those don’t really explain how much fun The Scorpio Races was to read. From the moment I downloaded my copy, I was hooked. I read on my phone as I walked into work, on my kindle as I brushed my teeth and on the kindle cloud reader whenever I had a spare moment.

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Multi-Cultural YA Literature

 

This week in my young adult literature class (INLS 530: YA Literature and Resources), we talked about literature of diversity. Growing up where I did it was easy to think that only one race (white), one sexual orientation (straight), one religion (Christianity), and one dominant gender (male) existed. Most of the literature I read supported this view: Anne of Green Gable’s milky white skin, Winnie and Tuck’s straight love story, and Wendy‘s overbearing father.

Through reading Tyrell, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Down to the Bone and We Beat the Street I was introduced to an all-together different facet of YA literature. The importance of these stories is so great. Introduction to these stories should not occur at 22 as it did for me, it should be integrated into the cannon for 11-17 year olds.

Below is a video explaining the importance of representative stories. It’s a little long but incredibly moving. I hope you enjoy!

What I Read: August 1-12

Sorry for the radio silence around here lately! I’ve been moving into my new place in North Carolina and reading like crazy so expect more posts soon. Here’s what I’ve read this week:

  1. Ten Things You Should Know About the Economy Before You Vote in November (Forbes): I am such a political news junkie right now and this article is right up my alley! I think everyone should be informed about the issues before they head to the polls and this article is a good start. 
  2. How to Be a Better Procrastinator (WSJ): Since I always have my fingers in a lot of pies, I like hearing that it can be productive! This article shows the ways that working on multiple projects can actually make you more productive.
  3. I’ve Forgotten How to Read Adult Novels (blog): I spend a lot of time reading YA literature and I make no apologies for my taste (check out my post about why I YA here). Reading about other people with the same “problem” makes me happy!
  4. Being a Confident Bada** Does Not Make a Female Athlete a Diva (Jezebel): As much as I love women’s olympic gymnastics, I was less than thrilled with the coverage NBC showed. The commentators regularly used sexist terms to talk about the gymnasts (re: calling them girls, divas, and moody). This article explores what the coverage exposed about the network. 

Book Review: Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowan




Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowan

Published June 1, 2012

Summary:  Set in modern day city, Dark Kiss is reminiscent of Twilight with more lovable characters and a stronger narrative voice. Samantha is a teenager who runs into a mysterious homeless boy, Bishop. Bishop seems a little off but after he kills a man in front of Samantha she’s forced to involve herself in his world. Rather than reinventing the YA paranormal trope of a love triangle Rowan sticks to the script and introduces Bishop’s brother, Kraven. Bishop and Kraven have been sent to earth on a mission to save Sam’s city from soul eating monsters called grays — the catch is that Sam herself is a gray and doesn’t know it.

Bechdel Test?: Not at all. Sam and Carly talk a lot about Stephen (a hot guy at their school), Kraven and Bishop but don’t discuss much else.

Rating: 3/5
Maybe because I’ve always found Anne Rice to be the original, but Rowan’s Samantha is more fresh than Bella Swan; for the stronger female character along I found myself wrapped up in Dark Kiss. Even though the story isn’t the most original thing ever I will probably indulge in the sequel when it comes out.

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Blogger’s Note: Just a quick note to say I’m sorry this review took so long to get up . I finished the book before my graduation on May 19th but life has just gotten in the way. I have a few more posts coming your way this week so check them out!

Book Review: Matched by Allie Condie

Matched by Allie Condie

Published September 2011

Summary:  Set in a post-apocalyptic America, called the Society , the novel follows Cassia through her Matching ceremony. In this new world everything is laid out for citizens: their food is premeasured and send to them, their jobs are based on intense aptitude tests and their deaths are pre-planned. Matching is at the center of these plans and involves young people being chosen for each other by a committee. The Matching Ceremony allows the young people to see a picture of their match for the first time and to revel in their new “adulthood.”After the ceremony, the matched are given a computer chip with information about their intended so that they can get to know them. Cassia’s experience is complicated by the fact that she sees someone other than her Match on the computer chip. When this happens she begins seeing all of the things that have gone wrong within the Society.

Bechdel Test?: Cassia doesn’t really have any girlfriends so this is a little hard to determine. There is a female government official with whom she has conversations about the state of things, so I think it passes!

Rating: 3/5

Though I’m late to the party — the third book in the trilogy comes out this fall– I’m glad that I arrived! This is a thoughtful book about how government control can corrupt a society. I was most intrigued by the way the Society interacted with art and culture. . The Society decided that the world was too cluttered by choice so a committee chose 100 paintings, 100 poems, and other things to save and then burned all of the rest. I was appalled at the destruction of important documents but found it amazing that these treasures play such a central role in the novel!

Book Review: Gilt by Katherine Longshore

Gilt

Gilt  by Katherine Longshore

Published May 15, 2012

Summary:  Though I’veread a lot of historical fiction set during the Tudor dynasty, I had never read a book that chronicled Catherine Howard’s rise to the throne. In Gilt,we see the story from Kitty’s perspective. Kitty is a minor noble who becomes friends with Catherine Hoaward when they are both in service to a wealthy Howard relative. Catherine has lofty ambitions and it is clear from the start that Kitty will follow her every move. The novel traces their friendship from servanthood to the Tower. Along the way both indulge in romances that are dangerous, politically and psychologically.

Bechdel Test?: Surprisingly, I didn’t think so. Even though the two main characters, Kitty and Catherine, are strong women in their own right, together they talk only about plotting love affairs.

Rating: 3/5
A solid historical intregue, Katherine Longshore’s novel was exactly what I thought it would be: fluffy goodness.There wasn’t much that the (informed) reader didn’t realize going in but it was fun to see the way that Longshore jazzed up the well-known story. Overall, I wish that the story had focused more on Kitty since she was the more interesting woman. I finished the book feeling as though there was a great deal more that Kitty could’ve done.