The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas features Starr Carter, an African American teenager who sees her childhood best friend, Khalil Harris, being shot and killed by a police officer after a routine traffic stop escalates into Khalil’s untimely demise. Starr is then forced to decide whether she will adhere to the unspoken laws of her local neighborhood and stay silent about the injustice she had witnessed, or testify in front of a grand jury and join an ongoing movement to end racist/xenophobic violence and police misconduct in communities across her area.Read More
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The year is 1957, and Spain is under the iron-fist rule of General Francisco Franco. Daniel Matheson, a Texan teen, is visiting Spain with his family. With his passion for photography, he hopes to take the perfect picture for his portfolio, a picture that will also somehow convince his dad to let him pursue his dreams.
But Spain isn’t the perfect tropical paradise it seems for its American tourists and soon, Daniel finds himself falling– for his maid, Ana, and for the secrets some people would do anything to keep buried. Ana herself is enchanted by the American freedom promised by the hotel magazines. She dreams for a life for herself and her family away from Franco’s tyrannical rule.
Daniel and Ana are the main characters, but we are also given glimpses into other people’s lives. For example: Julia, who is Ana’s older sister, and a new mother, is drowning in secrets and fear. Her brother, Rafael, who works both at a slaughterhouse and a cemetery is fighting with the past and his memories. Fuga, Rafael’s friend wants to bullfight more than anything, and Daniel’s mother is struggling to find out where she belongs.
As any Ruta Sepetys book, Fountains of Silence is as rich in history as it is in humanity. This book brought to light an injustice often overlooked in history: Spanish babies were stolen from their families, proclaimed dead, but instead given to other families of a higher creed. I loved the historical accuracy of the book, but sometimes grew bored with the many first-hand documents.
A beautiful romance, a suspenseful historical fiction, and everything I search for in a novel. 9.5/10, only because I didn’t like the large skip in time (it throws me off) and some parts felt dragged on. Otherwise, STRONGLY RECOMMEND!!
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli is a renowned and critically acclaimed young adult novel which was published in August 2000. Like many of Spinelli’s other young adult novels, Stargirl deals with issues of conformity versus individuality, leaving the novel to resonate with various demographics from young adults to adult educators alike.
Leo Borlock is an eleventh grader who would like nothing more than to conform within his stereotypical high school environment. However, Leo and the rest of Mica high school become torn away from their conventional existence by the arrival of Stargirl Caraway, a defiant and eccentric student who has been homeschooled her entire life and is now attending high school for the first time. In the first half of the school year, Leo observes Stargirl’s abnormal actions and how his classmates react to her strange lifestyle. At first, the students are suspicious of Stargirl’s eccentric nature and are hesitant to socialize with her. As the story progresses, some of the students are influenced by Stargirl’s individuality and become more open-minded themselves.Read More
Most Likely by Sarah Watson can be described as a most interestingly structured coming-of-age story about four girls and their friendship. So, you ask, what’s so interesting about the book’s structure?
Well, the story begins with a scene, as follows: A newly-elected (female!) American president is about to be sworn in to office. Her husband (who’s last name is Diffendefer or something like that) is there by her side. It is also revealed that her husband and her are deeply in love and have been for a long time. The catch? We don’t know her name. Since there are four protagonists in the story, she could be any one of them. Throughout the book, we are given clues to help us guess which of our female leads becomes the future president of America (and ends up marrying Diffendefer).
And of course, while the reader plays with the idea of guessing/choosing a president, the four girls -Ava, CJ, Jordan, and Martha- are each going through their own battle in the war more commonly known as senior year in high school.
So. What did I think of the book?Read More
Quick Spoiler-FREE Summary: Frank Li is a senior in high school. Like many Korean-Americans, his parents are racist. So, when he discovers that he really likes a girl, he’s forced to date her in secret all because she’s white. His close family friend also has the same problem so together, they decide to “fake-date” each other for their parents’ sake. Don’t worry, this story is a lot more than fake dating schemes so read on for my thoughts!
Where do I even start? I loved this coming-of-age novel so much I don’t think I can even describe how much I related to it. Being of Asian descent as well, I felt Frank’s pressure from his parents’ expectations, I felt his need to do well, his helplessness as he tried to sway his parents from their false beliefs and his wanting to freely say the words “I love you” to his parents without getting weird looks. My parents aren’t racist, but they do have many beliefs that are old-fashioned and it’s very difficult to say I love you to them not because I don’t, just because it’s not something we say often at all. This book is far from a light romance. It was very touching and there were so many parts that really hit my heart. It shocked me how much I found bits of myself in this book. Towards the end, I was sobbing so hard, I could barely read past my tears. My little brother literally told my mom about me crying, that’s how bad it was. I would recommend this book to absolutely everyone and anyone, it doesn’t matter your age, gender or race, this is the book for you. Full 10/10 stars because frankly, I’m in love with Frank Li.
Emoni Santiago is that girl everyone warns you about not becoming; the girl that become pregnant when she was a freshman and now has a daughter. But, like her best friend and Abuela (grandmother) know, if you get to know her past her rough exterior, you will get to know a loving girl passionate about cooking the most delicious dishes she can.
When Emoni, who’s struggling through her last year of high school sees culinary classes being offered as an elective, she knows that it’s where she belongs. But from the trip to Spain she can’t afford, the strict teacher that makes her want to drop her only passion, and her very own Babygirl, Emoni doesn’t know how she’ll be able to face the challenges.Read More
I’ve seen the movie, we’ve all seen the movie, except (obviously, I think) the book is so much better (no offense intended to Anne Hathaway, Julie Andrews, LOL, the movie was great.)
Amelia Thermopolis isn’t the popular girl, the nerdy girl, she isn’t even the artsy girl. Mia is just a regular kid with regular kid problems when her dad tells her that he is the prince of a small European country which makes her, Mia, the princess of Genovia. Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo can choose to stay in Manhattan and continue pretending to be a normal girl (not a princess) on the condition that she will take princess lessons from Grandmère (grandmother in french) in preparation of when she will ascend to the throne. Her father will also donate a hundred dollars a day to Greenpeace in her name if she agrees to the princess lessons. Mia, being the steadfast vegetarian she is, accepts because of that last part.Read More
Before Verity, there was Julie. (The Pearl Thief is the prequel to Code Name Verity, a best-selling book by Elizabeth Wein which you should totally read right now if you haven’t 0_0 i’m serious) Julia Beaufort-Stuart comes home to her grandfather’s estate from boarding school, expecting one last summer of relaxation, of appreciating grandfather’s large estate grounds before it, and all of her grandfather’s possessions are sold off.
What she didn’t expect is waking up in the hospital her beautiful hair cut off because of an injury on her head that made her unconscious for almost three days. Julie is unsettled, especially when she starts to realize that her having hit her head might not have been an accident. One of her family’s employees has disappeared, and the last day he was seen was the same day she was injured.Read More
Stunning, compelling, and heartwrenching. Someday We Will Fly by Rachel DeWoskin is the story of a Polish-Jewish refugee escaping the Nazis in Poland for Shanghai, China, inspired by true stories of the past.
After her mother vanishes from Warsaw, Lillia, her father, and baby sister Naomi escape Nazi-occupied Poland and arrive in Shanghai, China. With little money for even food, and no mother to look after them, Lillia knows she will never feel at home in this city. As the weeks go by without sign of her mother, Lillia sees herself grow into a woman she doesn’t recognize. She feels like she’s been broken into pieces that can never join to make her whole again.
But despite all of that, she’s not alone. Lillia finds herself in a small community of rag-tag friends and neighbours, and with their help, Lillia can’t make herself whole again, but maybe she can learn to survive and keep Papa and Naomi safe until her mother comes home.Read More
Whenever I read an incredible book, I like to search up the author and see if they have published other works because chances are, if I enjoyed one of their books I will also enjoy the others. Once such example is Andrea Portes. After reading Liberty (see my review here), I decided to read some more of her work, hence my review on The Fall of Butterflies. I am disappointed to say that I enjoyed The Fall of Butterflies less than I did Liberty, but found it a good read nonetheless.
The story starts with our protagonist, Willa Parker leaving her small town of What Cheer, Iowa to attend a fancy prep school her mother has chosen for her. Willa doesn’t see how a new life in the East will help her, and having hardly been able to fit in Iowa, she knows she will never fit in with the wealthy students of Pembroke Prep. Determined to lay low until she can find a way to escape, even if it means taking her own life, Willa goes by unnoticed by the students of Pembroke Prep on her first day at school. She is a little surprised, but mostly relieved. Her plan to lay low is demolished the next day, though, when a glittering, elusive, and rich girl takes the empty seat beside her in class.Read More