Book Tag, Uncategorized

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 2018

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018.

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That would definitely have to be The Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018.

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For a book series I didn’t think that I would ever continue, the second and third book of the Fablehaven series has really sucked me in this year.

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

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I need to read Dread Nation by Justina Ireland soon.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

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That has to be a tie between Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria (because she wrote Iron Cast one of my favorite books ever) and A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney (because Buffy plus Alice in Wonderland sounds amazing).

5. Biggest disappointment.

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I think this is my only one star on the year, and I don’t believe I ever wrote a review here for it. It was confusing and gave me a headache when I thought I would really enjoy it.

6. Biggest surprise.

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Even though I was excited to read Medium Wave by Rose Zolock, I was still surprised by the book and how much I liked it.

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

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That has to be Sayantani Dasgupta. I’m going to be looking forward to whatever she puts out even if it isn’t part of the Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond series.

8. Newest fictional crush.

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Naji from The Assassin’s Curse duology is perfect.

9. Newest favourite character.

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Everyone is this book.

10. Book that made you cry.

None of them has.

11. Book that made you happy.

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This Dragonbreath book in particular though all of them make me happy.

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

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I love the gold lettering.

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

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I need to get to The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas before the movie comes out. I would also love to finish the Percy Jackson series. I only have two more books to go in that first one.

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Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Dis_ability by Munir Zamir

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The tears of life will fall
Into a river full of grief
Only then can the whisper of the Beloved
Provide the ailment as magnificent relief

I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. That in no way changes my opinion of it.

Dis_ability by Munir Zamir is a short poetry collection surrounding Zamir’s struggle with living with his disability. Zamir was born with congenital deformities in the early 70’s. This short collection talks about love, relationships with other people and himself, and society as a whole.

It’s tough reviewing poetry because it changes so much from person to person. I don’t typically read poetry either. I get confused easily with too many metaphors and similes. I find myself wanting them to straight out tell me what they mean. However, there are times I step out of my comfort zone, and I must say I’m glad I did with this collection.

I found that this collection had a nice balance of pretty sentences and straight forward ones so I didn’t get frustrated. I know I don’t relate to these poems, but I don’t need to. Not everything is meant to be deeply personal, you know? 

I found this to be easy to read with some truly lovely poems in them. I enjoyed myself and I think others will too.

3 stars

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Star Jumpers: The Lion Roars by Sophie Baxter

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I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Star Jumpers: The Lion Roars by Sophie Baxter is the first book in a new fantasy series. Four teenagers are unknowingly picked for an important mission to save their world and another that they had no idea existed. It involves magic and politics and creatures and adventure.

Along with the four teenagers, the reader is also dumped into the deep end of this magical world. There is the briefest of introduction and then it’s okay accept it and go go go. As a result, I had a lot of trouble absorbing the world. There was so many words thrown around with no explanation that everything was flying over my head. Which is disappointing because a lot of thought went into the world and I would have liked to enjoy it.

I mentioned that the characters were also thrown into this all willy nilly as well. I feel like this was perhaps the worst way to start the book. I didn’t understand Zara’s immediate acceptance to the mission or how she started talking like how Refus and them talked. I didn’t understand the motivations behind characters a lot of times which makes it hard to connect. 

I also disliked how we jumped into different heads all the time, but I think that’s a very personal thing for me. 

Overall, I thought they was going to be an exciting book for me, but I was left confused and disappointed. I think it has a great premise but the execution was a little off.

2 stars

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Shipwreck Detective by Richard Platt

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The Shipwreck Detective by Richard Platt is an interactive children’s book following the death of Duncan’s Uncle Joe. He has left a letter behind that talks about a hidden treasure he wants his niece and nephew to find if they can. He gives them a list of shipwrecks and a riddle with a deadline. If they don’t find it in a couple months, a letter will go to a museum so they can have it.

The book is made to look like Duncan’s journal. He sketches, writes out his thoughts, and pasts pictures in it. There’s little flaps to open, and envelopes to rifle through. Unfortunately, my copy came from the library so all of these extra items weren’t there. This takes a lot out of the book, and I think is one of the main reasons I couldn’t enjoy it more.

There is a lot of information in this book about ships and scuba diving. I found it all very interesting though I have to admit to getting bored after a while. And some of the text is so tiny that I had a hard time reading it.

So while I did think a lot of the book was cool especially with the beautiful pictures that covered every page, I did not enjoy this book. Honestly, I have no idea how the book ended. I don’t know if it was in the extra pages I was missing or what. While that isn’t the books fault, I did find all the knowledge and extra bits tedious around the halfway mark. Since this is a children’s book, I wonder how well a child could get through this if I can’t.

2,5 stars

Book Tag, Uncategorized

Bookshelf Tag

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Describe your bookshelf and where you got it from.

Isis: My bookshelf is handmade by an old coworker of my mom’s. She bought the wood and paid him to build it from scratch. I really love it. 

Nicole: I have three bookshelves. One I think belonged to my grandma or someone. One my dad bought at a garage sale for me, and the other my boyfriend bought at a garage sale for me.

How do you organize your books?

Isis: I have two LGBT+ shelves, a Stephen King shelf, and a Benjamin Alire Sáenz shelf. Other than that, there’s no organization. 

Nicole: I try  to by genre, but I don’t have enough space really. So then it dissolves into whatever I have recently bought grouped together.

 

What’s the longest book on your shelf?

Isis: Probably Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Nicole: It by Stephen King.

 

What’s the shortest book on your shelf?

Isis: Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving.

Nicole: One of those Clue books by A.E. Parker.

 

 

Is there a book you received as a birthday gift?

Isis: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. My mom gave it to me on my 22nd birthday before she passed away. 

Nicole: I don’t think so. Not all my books are on my shelves right now. Most are in boxes. 

 

Is there a book from a friend on your shelf?

Isis: Nicole gave me The Novice by Taran Matharu.

Nicole: Isis gave me the City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty.

 

 

The most expensive book on your shelf?

Isis: The Saga Books 1 & 2 I own cost around $50 each. 

Nicole: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas was $22 I think. 

 

 

The last book you read on your shelf?

Isis: Anything Could Happen by Will Walton. It was short and memorable. 

Nicole: Tokoyo, The Samurai’s Daughter by Faith L. Justice.

 

 

Do you have a complete series?

Isis: The Harry Potter series, the Captive Prince trilogy, the Angelfall trilogy, all of the Shatter Me books that are currently out. 

Nicole: The first Percy Jackson series.

 

 

What’s the newest addition to your shelf?

Isis: All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages edited by Saundra Mitchell.

Nicole: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland.

 

 

The oldest book on your shelf?

Isis: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone which I bought for $3 at a Scholastic book fair in 2002.

Nicole: I think School Of Fear Gitty Daneshvari that I bought in 2012.

 

 

What’s a book you’d hate to let out of your sight? (A.K.A. No one is touching it. Ever.)

Isis: My signed hardback copy of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. 

Nicole: None of them.

 

 

Most beat up book?

Isis: The copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone I mentioned. One of my dogs peed and chewed on it. 

Nicole: The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan that I bought at the dollar store.

 

 

Most pristine book?

Isis: My Hufflepuff edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I love that edition.

Nicole: The City of Brass that Isis bought me.

 

 

A book that doesn’t belong to you?

Isis: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexis.

Nicole: I have a whole shelf that is just my current library books and books I’ve borrowed from Isis and my mom.

 

 

A book that is your favourite colour?

Isis: I don’t really have a favorite color, but the colors on the cover of Autoboyography by Christina Lauren are beautiful. 

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Nicole: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary by Brandon Mull. I love purple.

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A book that’s been on your shelf the longest and you still haven’t read it?

Isis: There are too many to choose from. But I’ll go with The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

Nicole: The School of Fear that I’ve mentioned before.

 

 

Of all the books on your shelf, which was the first you read?

Isis: A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Nicole: Let the Circle Be Unbroken by Mildred D. Taylor.

 

Any signed books?

Isis: Most of my Benjamin Alire Sáenz books, and a few by David Levithan, Adam Silvera, and Shaun David Hutchinson. 

Nicole: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry.

Uncategorized

Kid Lit Says No Kids in Cages

Kid Lit Says No Kids in Cages campaign image

In case you haven’t heard the news in the past couple of days, children of immigrants seeking asylum in the United States are being ripped away from their parents, and being put into cages. Up to twenty kids are in each cage with some as young as 18 months. These facilities are not able to care for these kids, and some are started to attempt suicide. 

Comments have been made that make it clear that it is unlikely that these families will ever see their kids again. And why is this happening? Trump wants to build his wall. He is essentially holding these kids ransom to get money.

The situation is a intricate with so many more details.  I urge you to look into it if you haven’t already.

But a bunch of authors have started a fundraiser to raise money to help these people. Money will go towards things like legal fees and translators. Here is the link. 

If you can’t afford to donate, here is a link to sign on that you agree this shouldn’t be happening. Another thing to that you can do to help is to call your senator and let them know your opinions. This puts pressure on them to act especially if they are up for reelection this November. You can find out how to do that here.

There is talk that Trump will soon be signing legislation, but with his track record, I wouldn’t trust it. So don’t let that stop you from doing something if you can. This post is something small, and probably all over the place, but it still helps me not feel so helpless in this situation.

Personal

When did I know I was gay?

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In honor of pride month, I wanted to talk about a topic I’m very curious about. Back in college, I wrote an essay for my creative nonfiction class, where I mentioned my sexuality. My professor was unhappy with me leaving out a big detail regarding the topic. During workshop, she asked, “When did you know you were gay?” and requested that my answer be added to my revised essay.

I wanna preface this by saying that I’m using gay as an umbrella term. I identify as pansexual. I’ve seen many debates about the legitimacy of pansexuality as an identity separate from bisexuality. I’m not here to make a statement about my identity. I’m pansexual, and that’s it.

Now back to my class. My professor asked a very pointed question about a topic that I wasn’t very used to discussing. When I told one of my queer friend about it, she rolled her eyes and said, “You should have asked her: when did you know you were straight?” And we just laughed it off.

Recently, I’ve been seeing tweets about queer people sharing stories about the moment when they knew they were gay (or not straight). I don’t really know what to do with all of these stories, because I’ve never given much thought to a specific time when something clicked in me and I thought, “Hey, I’m not actually straight. I think I like everyone!” My journey to coming out was a bit different.

What I’m trying to say is, there is no one specific moment when everything changed for me. It happened gradually. Mostly because I’m clueless to most things, including myself. As a kid, I found my girl friends attractive. I never paid much attention to it, though, because I found boys just as attractive, and that was all that mattered. As I got older, I found myself getting all sorts of “girl crushes,” which I believed to be totally normal for a straight girl.

And then came the day I watched Black Swan. If you’ve seen the movie, maybe you’ll remember the scene between Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman having sex. I certainly do. The moment I saw it, I was very, very shocked. I had never seen two women getting it on, and let me tell you, it was doing funny things to me. I remember being unable to stop thinking about it for days. I kept bringing it up with my friends, but pretending I’d hated that part of the movie. I wanted to know their thoughts on it, but they were clearly not as fazed by it as I was.

I guess if I wanted to pinpoint a pivotal moment in my coming-out journey, it would have to be seeing Black Swan. But it was until many years later that I finally accepted my sexuality, and wholly embraced it.

In high school, I had come to the conclusion that I could probably fall in love with anyone, regardless of their gender. Because gender didn’t seem to factor in my ability to fall for people. But I still didn’t consider myself anything but straight. I figured every straight person in the world felt the same way as I did. See what I mean about being clueless?

I was in college when I had my first crush on a girl who wasn’t a celebrity. In other words, a real girl. It started out slowly. I was so confused as to why I was so drawn to her until the day I came out to her, after knowing she was queer too, and realized I liked her. After that moment, I just kept coming out to people. Because, why not?

I didn’t know that pansexual was a term, but Nicole brought it to my attention. After a lot of reading up on it, I grew attached to the term. Now I don’t know what I would do without it. I feel comfortable using that label. It feels right. It fits me.

So, to answer the title of this post: I guess I always knew I was gay. It just took me a while to figure it out. I used to feel bad about not having a specific moment when things clicked and I just knew. But I don’t care anymore. I’m pansexual. I’m gay. I’m happy to be part of the LGBT+ community. I’m here and I’m queer.

Do you guys have a specific moment when you knew you were gay, or is that a silly question? Let me know! I’d love to hear your stories.

Happy Pride!