Posts Tagged With: contemporary

book review | I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver | lgbt+ lit.

i wish you all the best mason deaver book coverAuthor: Mason Deaver
Title: I Wish You All The Best
Series: –
Genre: LGBT+ literature; Contemporary
Pages: 329
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I feel like LGBT books are the best thing in Contemporary genre. Or at least, the only ones I like in that genre (still wouldn’t pass a good lgbt+ fantasy series, like Captive Prince). E.g. “I Wish You All The Best” by Mason Deaver, a wonderful and simple in a good way book of LGBT youth on the other side of kind and understanding parents.

About the Book: Ben’s life ended the same evening they found enough courage to come out to their parents: Ben’s nonbinary. Meaning they don’t fall under male or female gender categories in a world where ever colors seem to invoke associations with genders. So, as ignorant people do, Ben’s parents kicked their child out onto the street in the night. Having no place to go, they contacted their long lost sister, who ran from home with no goodbyes the first chance she found. Ben is thus forced to start a new life, full of anxiety, panic, a constant need to come out and again, and again, therapy, and too many apologies. But hey, new life is new hope too, right?

My Opinion: The book is very light and simple, which makes this topic more approachable to people who don’t yet fully grasp of how can you NOT be a set standard. And due to Mason Deaver being nonbinary too, you can be sure you’re getting information straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak (who coined this saying and why the hell?). To add to that, it shows a different world a, sadly, more realistic world than that of “Love, Simon” whose parents accepted him instantly. But it’s not as dark as it sounds anyway, and I promise, the ending is wonderful.

5 out of 5 from me, and I wish Ben all the best too. And all of you, out there. Stay safe until you can shine, and once you can shine: blind all the haters with your light.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Contemporary Books, LGBTQ+ Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | “On the Come Up” by Angie Thomas

on the come up angie thomas cover the hate u giveAuthor: Angie Thomas
Title: On The Come Up
Series: –
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 464
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I loved “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas, so there was no doubt I’ll pick up “On The Come Up” too, as soon as I could get my hands on it. Which isn’t very soon, but hey, not too late yet. The book was absolutely brilliant too.

About: Bri’s life was never easy. A black girl in a pretend-progressive school she witnessed her share of racial profiling, singling out and punishing the kids of color on daily basis, while white kids got away with a lot without even a comment. At home there’s other kinds of problems. Like, her shoes falling apart, gas getting turned off, late rent, constant shortage of everything. Her father was shot, her brother, with all of his education, moved back with his mother and works as a pizza maker to help them meet the ends, and their mother has barely gotten out of a drug slum which she fell into grieving. All Bri wants is to make it, become as great a rap star as her father was, greater even, so she can help everyone out, stop the struggles, get her loved ones off streets, hell, get new shoes… But we all know that path to success is rarely paved with roses. And so, one day she’s singled out, she’s the black girl who didn’t cooperate. She’s on the ground, cuffed. And every phone is pointed at her.

Mine: If you compare American white authors written YA parents, and those of an author of color… I think most of us in Europe will see our parents in the latter ones. There’s this strong love and caring, without the cliche nonsense where a parent is either too understanding, too dumbly kind, or too great of an opposition against their child. Bri’s mother did all she could, sacrificed all she had, and gave her children everything. She lived and survived for them through the worst of it. But it didn’t mean she can now read their thoughts or understand everything, and approve of everything. They spoke, like adults, like child and mother, and they figured things out. You know, the way real world works or tries to work. On top of that, the plot is so amazingly well written, with every side-story so well woven into it, that for once I was just happy to read natural, organic conversations and events. Everyone was their own person, with none of those lines where you read it, you read a response to it, and you just know author wrote all of that just so this character could say this thing. And, I know I’ve spoken in length about it now, but seriously, this is such a good book about real struggles, real poverty, real stressful guilt that you honestly need something when you’ve got nothing… I loved it.

This is a quality read. Especially if you like rap rhymes, oh boy these are nice! Just like The Hate U Give, this one too gets 5 out of 5, and I am sure going to read whatever’s next for Angie Thomas.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Contemporary Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

diversity | “Queens of Geek” by Jen Wilde

1Author: Jen Wilde
Title: Queens of Geek
Series: –
Genre: LGBT Literature, Contemporary
Pages: 262
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

We’ve all ran into that “different” title at some point in our lives. And often I feel like girls likely run into it more often. For I always knew plenty who loved to read, play video games. And yet, they were self-described, and described by others as “not your usual girl“, so, different. This is a book about them, and how it’s all normal.

About: Taylor lives with a form of autism, severe anxiety, and absolutely constant nervousness. It were the YA book series that got her through school. And so, it is thanks to them that she pulls together all of her courage and determination, and accepts an invitation to SupaCon, provided to her by her good friend vlogger-actress, Charlie. Charlie has a panel there, and hopes to not meet her toxic ex while Taylor will be out hunting her favorite author. Both of them hope for the best, expect the worst, and have absolutely no clue of how their lives will soon shift.

Mine: They had me at “Felicia Day“. I enjoy books that normalize the different. Because that’s the thing, it’s not different, you’re just told you have to fit a mold all your damn life, and that’s just a big fat lie. You’re not different, you’re you. And sure, you’re unique, and that’s bloody great, but there’s no reason to put all the girls and boys who like what they “should” (according to general society, possibly their parents) like, into one herd, as if they’re somehow below us, “weirdos“. Even if they think so of you. Which they also, shouldn’t. This book is a great example of how it is, should be, could be, and should absolutely not be.

I’ve read this book and caught myself wondering whom am I going to gift this book too. I like books like that, with a good message in them. It’s idealized to a teeth-rotting sweetness, and the writing isn’t top notch either. But hey, 5 out of 5 for sheer message it passes.

 

Categories: 5-5, Books: LGBT, Contemporary Books, F/F Literature, LGBTQ+ Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

diversity | “The Immortalists” by Chloe Benjamin

1Author: Chloe Benjamin
Title: The Immortalists
Series: –
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Pages: 346
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I picked this book up for diversity due to Gold family being Jewish. In my surroundings, and the books I tend to read, religion either goes unnoticed, doesn’t exist, or is the same old one (or the branch of it). But there was more than just that, lucky for me.

About: A rumor of a mysterious psychic woman who tells very accurate fortunes reaches the four Gold children. They cannot resist the human temptation to just get to know things. Will I be happy? When will I die?

Years pass, and each one of them carries inside their date of death. Some shared it, others preferred it to remain a secret. But each one lived dreading, hoping. Hoping that the day will come, and that it will pass.

Mine: So, as I said, this book is more diverse than I expected. Other than a lot of different characters surrounding the main four, one of the main four was a gay guy. In the times when AIDS was called “the gay cancer“, due to mostly affecting the homosexuals, and no one really knowing neither what it was, how it was spread, or any means to prevent it. The main characters in general were pretty interesting, each one very unique, with fairly strong personalities. But that’s all you get. They’re strong in their convictions, still doesn’t mean they won’t do as their told, even if it goes against them. There’s jobs, there’s family statuses, there’s doing what you have to do. While waiting for the date of death to come, with hopes it’ll pass you by even just one day. In the meantime, with all the unnecessary details flooding us, I sat there wishing to know more of the true magic that apparently exists here, or have time to react to such great things as an adult child finding their parent. But you can’t, because there’s no room, and no time, and seams are covered with just useless observations of too tight t-shirts, juicers, photographs.

I wish these were four separate books of four siblings growing up knowing when they’ll die. But instead we have too short stories in too long of a book. I can only give it a 3 out of 5, for while it was good, it wasn’t there yet.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Contemporary Books | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

FantasticLand by Mike Bockoven

2.jpgAuthor: Mike Bockoven
Title: FantasticLand
Series: –
Genre: Horror, Contemporary
Pages: 272
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I kinda like getting away from series by finding myself a stand-alone, searching only by genre. This time I found “FantasticLand” by Mike Bockoven. The blurb said it was like modern time Lord of the Flies, and I did like that book, so…

About: Nobody was prepared for hurricane Sadie. Even if they thought they were prepared. Even if they really were prepared. There’s just something that snaps once the power is gone, the connection is gone, the ever watching eye of the world is gone, and nobody’s there to hold you accountable. FantasticLand was prepared. Most of the people got evacuated too, using up every damn vehicle anyone could possibly find. Only a few handfuls of unlucky ones got stranded behind, with volunteer staff. It was estimated they’d spend mostly a week there. But it didn’t take a week for things to go bad. Nor did it take a week for them to get saved. Due to preparedness of the Amusement Park, it wasn’t anywhere near priority. As choppers passed overhead, heading to what was deemed more important, it took a violent man to make two less strong to huddle together, for strength is in numbers. As help was applied elsewhere, a group standing by the water supplies decided they won’t share it unless they could gain from it. And so, while no one looked, tribes formed, and began a slaughter, for the game just changed: this is your chance to bash a head in, this is your chance to survive.

Mine: The story is written as collection of re-tellings by survivors. Some tell stories of those who didn’t make it out. Others justify their own actions. And then there are those who think they did great. Or did nothing wrong, even. But as you read you understand you’d like to meet that girl who thought she’s chopping a person’s head off because they would’ve killed her just as little as you’d like to meet the obvious fresh-made sociopath. Not to mention maniacs who bloomed and embraced it, finding souls just as damaged as they are to walk out of there with. It’s a terrifyingly realistic book.

Be sure you can read of serial killers, maniacs, cannibals, and alike before you take this book, because when I say it feels real, I mean it. I give it a 5 out of 5, because it has transcended Lord of the Flies.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kevin Kwan – Rich People Problems | Crazy Rich Asians 3

1Ah. It’s been a long time, fam, since the last time I’ve read a third book in the series, not realizing there’s the first and the second before it. But here I am, in the Age of Goodreads, with “Rich People Problems” by Kevin Kwan (Crazy Rich Asians 3; ISBN 0385542232; 398p.; Goodreads), third book in the series, or trilogy, I don’t even know. Must say, it was pretty good. Not the best of the best, and neither the funniest in the genre or, well, in general. But it was amusing, and I think I will read the other two too.

Shang-Young clan is a mighty and wide family, with each child and grandchild on one path to greatness or another. Some married as class demands, and are now as good as royalty, sporting pretty ridiculous titles, and demanding to be treated with full protocol. Others pursued love. While in rare cases it didn’t bring much money, most were still happy. With more commonly the children of these love marriages being bitter about not being anyone of importance, virtually nobodies, in the thick cream of Singaporean somebodies. And of course, there are those who had falling outs with the family, society, or just chose too extreme a lifestyle to be part of anything Shang-Young related. All up until they all ended up united by the deathbed of their beloved mother and grandmother, Su Yi. After a heart failure, this might truly be the last time for them to be with her, and possibly – make it up to her, and get into that lavish will…

Su Yi has a chance to set her records straight, now that the sudden heart failure has rendered her sort of free, and with majority of the family – at hand. Thus, behind the backs of loving and/or greedy children and grandchildren, she pulls at her strings. With the help of the loyal servants, whose faith is in her hands too, she intends to give blessings where blessings are due, forgiveness where such is needed, and her own apologies, in hopes to see the most loved ones return to the flock. After all, it is those latter ones she needs to entrust with her biggest secrets, and she has plenty of those. Granny Su Yi will make peace, and make them make peace too!

It’s an amusing read. The main, or rather the general story is pretty plain, and average at best, but the exaggerated stuff was fun. The whole famous rich bloggers from Singapore, the half-white children, the dresses with gold plating, sabotage of enemies, and the terrible need to hide any possible lack in every possible sense. The ridiculousness of these people was what drove this book for me. So I can happily give it a 4 out of 5, and, I guess I’ll read the other two too.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Funny! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Diversity: Angie Thomas – The Hate U Give

32613366Holy damn. No, but really. Why didn’t I get this book sooner? “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas (ISBN 1406372153; 438p; Goodreads) puts a crown on my this year’s reads. It’s definitely the best contemporary book I have ever read. I wish there was more, but what could top this?

Starr already had a pretty complicated life. Attending a school where she and a couple more students were the only black people around, she felt pressure acting more like the people around her did, to avoid the whole “black girl from the hood” stereotype getting attached. At home she hurried to shake that all off, to not seem lame, because, really! Add regular teenage problems to that, and there you have it. But all that falls to dust in one night. Her life, and the life of her whole community fall apart as her childhood friend get brutally murdered with several shots to the back by a police officer. He stopped them for no real reason, got irritated over the smallest things, dragged Khaleel out of the car, and as he bent to ask terrified Starr if she’s okay – he shot him in the back. Over, and over, and over.

“Thug”, “dealer”, “gangbanger” are all epithets Khaleel’s name get changed with. Even the seemingly most sympathetic people are more affected by the officer’s father slobbering over the television of what a hard time his son is having over this “human mistake”, as if Khaleel was less. After all, Khaleel was indeed a dealer, so he would’ve died anyway, one gangbanger less, right? But Starr knows the truth behind the name, she knows the boy behind the titles, and slowly, being pushed by anger and injustices, even if discouraged by threats officers make on her, she speaks up. After all, she has the support of her family, and her wonderfully united community. And so the story of protests turned to riots turned to war zone begin.

I can’t begin telling you how good, and how important this book is. At time I’d forget I’m reading fiction, for it seems it’d be enough to change a title, change a name, and you’d recognize the people. I hope to someone this book will be an eye-opener. I can only give it 5 out of 5, and recommend.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Friday: Diversity | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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