Laure Eve, The Graces Review

Author: Laure Eve

Title: The Graces

Synopsis: Everyone said the Graces were witches.

They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.

They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.

All I had to do was show them that person was me.

Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on? (Source: GoodReads)

Disclaimer: These are my opinions about this book, and I mean no harm to the author or the fans of this book.

I was originally drawn into this book, because at my local Barnes & Noble’s there was a recommendation card that said that it was a mix between Mean Girls and The Craft. I’m hear to tell you that was a blatant lie.

I would consider The Graces to be more of a Twilight/ Single White Female fanfiction. That idea sounds way cooler than the actual plot of this book.

But The Graces was just so…corny. I found myself rolling my eyes all the way through.

Not only was it corny but it was confusing. Like is her dad dead or is he missing? Are they witches or is she witch? And why the hell is she single white femaling this  family? I need answers!

It took me awhile to connect with the main character, River, and when I did I came to the conclusion that I didn’t like her. She was only friends with The Graces based off of looks alone. She said they were best friends, but if they were really best friends she would have been comfortable enough to open up to them. She wanted to know everything about the Grace family yet she didn’t offer up information about herself one time. And she was only friends with Summer (the youngest Grace) just to get to her brother.

But what really disturbed me about River is that she kept saying how much she wanted to be a Grace. At one point she even said that she was a Grace. No, sweetie. You’re a stalker.

Another thing that turned me off about The Graces, was how long it took to get to the climax. At some points I would think I was there and then I wouldn’t be and then I would think I was there again and I still wouldn’t be it. And then it finally did happen, and it fell flat. With how many hints and cliffhangers there were leading up to that point I expected it to be bigger, and it just wasn’t.

I wanted to like The Graces I really did. But it just wasn’t for me. I read on GoodReads that there is a second one and a part of me wants to read it just to see if it’s any better. Don’t know if I will or not, but if I do I will definitely post a review.

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13 Reasons Why I Love 13 Reasons Why

  1. Diversity

The whole cast was so diverse, and representative of different lifestyles. I was amazed that there was more than one black character and none of them were sidekicks to anyone.

2. The Actors

The whole cast did a phenomenal job. They acted so well that while I was watching the show, I genuinely hated them.  But then I had to realize that there just actors, but their characters were the worst. No joke.

3. Nice Pacing

There were only 13 episodes (for the 13 tapes), and they were all paced well. None of the episodes seemed rushed or too slow, but they were quite long, at an hour an episode them it gave them long enough to go into detail during each tape.

4. Drama. Drama. Drama.

My jaw was on the floor during every. single. episode. I never read the book, so I had no idea what was going to happen. But there was something new at every turn, when I thought it couldn’t get worse. It always did.

5. Character Development

Usually characters go from bad to good, but not in 13 Reasons Why. But the characters just got worse and worse, except Clay and Tony.  Every time a new character was introduced I looked at them with a side-eye because I just knew they were going to be the worst.

6. Left Me With Questions

The last episode left me wanting with so many questions. What happens next? Will there be justice for Hannah? How are they going to go on now that the tapes are done? When is season 2 coming out?

7. It Made Me Think

It made me think about how I treat people, and what I do when I see others being mistreated. It made me want to pay more attention to the people around me, my friends, my family, my classmates. I never want them to feel so alone, that they have to make a drastic decision like suicide. This show really makes you think about others.

8. It Showed Me Something

It showed me that Film/TV adaptations can actually be like the book. It showed me that when the right producers and writers and directors come together, they can do a book justice. I had given up hope on film/tv adaptations, because they’re never good enough for me. But 13 Reasons Why was phenomenal, and I’m excited to see what comes next for the series.

9. It Made Me Appreciate My Friends and Family

This show made me appreciate my friends and family so much more. I’m glad I have friends and family that love me and support me, and that’s always there for me when I need someone to talk to. Because there are people that aren’t so lucky.

10. Great Writing

Whoever wrote the script for this series did a great job, I have an immense respect for anyone who can keep the integrity of the original work.

11. Representation

I love that they included the LGBTQIA community into the high school narrative, because so many TV shows and movies try to count them out. But in reality there are gay people in high schools.

12. It’s Amazing

This show is amazing, and I would recommend it to everyone. It’s well-written, has great actors, and an amazing plot. It deserves all the great feedback it’s getting plus some.

 

13. And Last but Not Least….It’s Important

This topic is so important especially when there is a new story every day about kids killing themselves because of bullying. Girls and boys get raped everyday and get no justice. Kids are bullied and get no justice. These things happen and people turn a blind eye to it, because society is too uncomfortable to talk about it. But this show is starting the conversation, and hopefully this influences others to join the conversation. So we can get justice for the people who need it.

 

Phoebe Robinson, You Can’t Touch My Hair Review

Title: You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain

Author: Phoebe Robinson

Genre: Humor/Non-fiction

Synopsis: Phoebe Robinson offers a hilariously smart narrative on being a black woman. Filled with Phoebe’s life experiences and her struggles of being a black woman in comedy and of being deemed the “black friend.” Robinson’s, You Can’t Touch My Hair, breaks down the many struggles that black women, and just women in general, have to face in society in an honest and funny way. (Source: Me( Surprise!! I wrote this all by myself) )

I have never related to a book so much in my life. I may have said that about, Alida Nugent’s You Don’t Have to Like Me, but Phoebe Robinson took the thoughts write out of my brain and put them in a book.

For example my favorite chapter, How to Avoid Being the Black Friend, Robinson tells her experiences with being the black friend and what to look for to know that you are the “black friend.” As someone who has been the black friend my entire life, it’s nice to read that I’m not the only one who has had this experience. If I had a quarter for every time I sat in a classroom and I was the only black person in the class, I would have a hefty savings account.

Robinson hit all the points for me to give You Can’t Touch My Hair a 10 out of 10. Relatability, humor, a unique voice, and honesty. I want everyone I know to read this, even my white girlfriends who will never know what it’s like to have black hair or to be the black friend. But luckily for them Phoebe Robinson wrote a whole book about it, so they can learn.

I hope that Phoebe Robinson is able to write more books in the future, and that she can continue to produce amazing content for her podcasts.

You can find check out more of Phoebe Robinson in the links below:

Sabaa Tahir, An Ember In The Ashes Review

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Title: An Ember In The Ashes

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Series: Ember in The Ashes Series (Book #1)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Synopsis: Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself. Source: Sabaa Tahir

I love, love, loved this book. It’s been a minute since I’ve read a fantasy novel, I’m not even sure the name of the last fantasy book I read. But I couldn’t have picked a better book to jump back into the genre with.

Sabaa Tahir gave me everything I needed with An Ember In The Ashes.

It was action packed, touching, and it had just the right amount of romance. There was something going on from beginning to end. I was on the edge of my seat from the beginning. I didn’t want to put this book down, I couldn’t wait to see what was next.

I didn’t know how I was going to feel about the different point-of-views, but I found myself enjoying it. As far as characters go, I did not like Laia at first. I thought she was whiny and weak and annoying, but she grew on me. Throughout the book she got strong and she become more sure of herself, and I started to warm up to her.

Elias…ugh, I have such a soft spot for him. He grew so much throughout the book. I found him to be relatable, we’ve all had that moment where we had to make the decision to go against the things we were taught in order the person the we want be.

I loved this book from beginning to end, and I can’t wait until I can start A Torch In The Night. I want to thank the girl at Barnes & Noble who reccomended this series to me, she has no idea how much she has blessed my life.