Blog of the Month- Twin Reads

It’s the end of April, and that means a new Blog of the month! I skipped last month, because I hadn’t found any new blogs that I liked. But this month I’ve been reading Twin Reads, and I’ve really enjoyed their posts.

Twin Reads is ran by twin sisters Meg and Leah Bruce, and they post YA fiction reviews, hauls, and book tags.  They currently attend Belmont University in Nashville, TN, so we’re basically neighbors. (Photo Source: Twin Reads)

I’ve been following them for a while, but they hadn’t been posting very much. But this month they have been posting some great content. Recently they posted a list of new YA summer releases, but one of my favorite post of the month was their April Book Haul. It’s something about a good haul that I just love (I’m a bookaholic).

Seeing other book bloggers being consistent and producing great content for their readers always makes me want to work harder. I can’t wait to read more from Meg and Leah in the future. I’ll have their Instagram link down below, and check out their blog for some great reviews.

Follow them

Instagram: @twin_reads

Twitter: @twin_reads

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:

Veronica Roth, Carve The Mark Review

 

Author: Veronica Roth

Title: Carve The Mark

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)

Synopsis:
Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is the son of a farmer and an oracle from the frozen nation-planet of Thuvhe. Protected by his unusual currentgift, Akos is generous in spirit, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get this brother out alive — no matter what the cost.
The Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, and the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. Will they help each other to survive, or will they destroy one another?
Carve the Mark is Veronica Roth’s stunning portrayal of the power of friendship — and love — in a galaxy filled with unexpected gifts. (Source: GoodReads)

Before I start this review I just want to say that I like Veronica Roth and I loved the Divergent series (still haven’t seen any of the movies), but I cannot and will not base my opinions of Carve The Mark on the simple fact that it was written by Veronica Roth.

Now that I have gotten that out of the way, when I first started Carve The Mark; I did not like it. It didn’t grab me, I thought it was slow, and something about it didn’t flow right to me. I also had a problem with the self-harm aspect.

When the Shotet, the people from the enemy lands, kill someone they mark their kills by cutting themselves, hence the title Carve the Mark. Even though I have never struggled with self-harm myself, I know that there are plenty of people that have and I would never want anyone to be triggered by that.

But once I got passed the beginning, thankfully they don’t have to “carve the mark” too many times, I did begin to like the book. Specifically, the character interaction. The story alternates perspectives between Cyra and Akos, and the scenes between Cyra and Akos were my absolute favorites. I have to admit I am a sucker for romance, I can’t help it’s just so sweet.

I also liked all of the action in it, it was enough but not too much. There were twist and turns, and romance, and space. I mean what more could you want, romance and space, I’m hooked.

There were a lot of unanswered questions, so I’m thinking there’s going to be a second book. I hope there’s going to be a second book, because after that ending I need answers. But I pray that it comes to a natural end, and it doesn’t get dragged out into a long series. Because that would be extremely disappointing.

For anyone that starts reading this and wants to stop I suggest pushing through because it does get better. I will be checking out any additions to this series that Veronica Roth may come out with.

After this I’m going to be taking a little break from fantasy novels and will be diving into nonfiction for my next review with Alida Nugent’s, You Don’t Have to Like Me. I’m excited to begin reading this, and I can’t wait to get back to you guys with a review.

 

Reading Playlist

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Like most I love listening to music while I read. I like to listen to soft music that will just fade into the background, while I’m getting into a story.  Music really helps set the tone of a story for me. Sometimes I’ll even go as far as making books their own special playlist, kind of like their own soundtrack. But when I don’t feel like putting in the extra effort, I stick with the songs that are listed below.

 

Sara Benincasa, D.C. Trip Review

 

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Title: D.C. Trip

Author: Sara Benincasa

Genre: YA/Fiction

Publisher: Adaptive Studios

Synopsis: Alicia Deats is a new teacher chaperoning her very first high school trip to Washington DC, and nothing could be more terrifying than a class full of horny, backstabbing, boundary-pushing teenagers under her watch. To make matters worse, she embarrassed herself with her co-chaperone Bryan Kenner with one too many margaritas and an ill-placed vomiting incident at last year’s teacher mixer and is hoping this trip can be a fresh start for them. Alicia believes in positive reinforcement and trust to keep her students out of trouble, but best friend high school sophomores Gertie, Sivan, and Rachel have a different idea: they plan to take full advantage of the un-parented freedom that a trip to DC offers. Source: Goodreads

I loved this book so much, it is easily one of the best books that I’ve read this year (even though the year just started). I finished D.C. Trip within a few days, I just could not put it down,

This book was hilarious, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard while reading before. I found myself struggling to hold it together in the library while I was reading this. From the mischievous girls to the naïve teacher who was struggling to get her crush to like her. Benincasa’s humor shined through this novel.

D.C. Trip was not only hilarious, but it was also really relatable. The conversations between Gertie, Sivan, and Rachel reminded me a lot of my friends and I. I even related to Alicia Deats even though I’m not a teacher, but we’ve all had a crush on someone that we didn’t think like us back

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This book was pure gold, and I would recommend it to anyone. I just finished it, and I’m already thinking about reading it again. I had never heard of Sara Benincasa before this, but I will definitely be checking out more of her work. I’d also never heard of Adaptive Studios, but when I went into Barnes & Noble the other day I noticed that the had their own display. After reading the backs of some them. I think I might pick up a few the next time I go book shopping.

I can’t wait to see what else Sara Benincasa does, and read more of her work.

 

Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game Review

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Series: Ender’s Quintet Series

Genre: Science Fiction

Synopsis: Andrew “Ender” Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs in a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life. The only way to find out is to throw Ender into ever harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when it begins. He will grow up fast. Source: Barnes & Noble

Let me get started by saying, I am not a SCI-Fi fan, I would prefer not to read about aliens or about people fighting aliens. But surprisingly enough that is exactly what Ender’s Game is about, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Ender’s Game tells the story of Ender Wiggin, he was taken too battle school when he was six years old to learn how to fight “The Buggers” who are coming to destroy the rest of the human race, they don’t know when they’re coming but the school just knows they are coming. So throughout the book you see Ender grow up and become a better fighter, but you also see him start to turn into this empty shell of a person.

From the beginning you know that Ender is different, and so do all of the other characters. Ender is deadly , if I was a character in this book, I would try my hardest to keep Ender on my good side. Because he is a scary little boy, Card did a really good job of putting you inside of Ender’s head and showing you all the dark thoughts that are in there.

This book changed my mind about Sci-Fi novels, there are five books in the series, but I’m still unsure if I want to read the rest of them because I really liked the way Ender’s Game ended.

Ender’s Game was adapted into a movie in 2013, which I thought was really good despite a few plot holes, but it’s definitely not as bad as other movies that have adapted into books. I would suggest reading the book before watching the movie.

I would give this book a solid 7/10. I’m giving it a 7, because I liked it enough where I could finish the book and not have a lot of complaints, but I didn’t love it enough to rush and read the rest of the series.

Until next time,

Jay