Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Month In Review(s) - December 2018



In order to fully boot 2018's a** out the back door, there's still a little business to attend to - in this case, December's wrap-up.



December title image against a snowy background


Except for Christmas (which is always amazing - I love Christmas,) December sucked.


Friday, 28 December 2018

Review Time! - Piecing Me Together by RenΓ©e Watson





Piecing Me Together title image with multi-coloured jigsaw-piece background



Author: RenΓ©e Watson

Genre: Young Adult (with New Adult crossover appeal,) Contemporary Fiction

Amazon: UK - USA







A Few Starting Notes:





I received a free digital review copy of this book via NetGalley. This is a fair and honest review.




This is where I once again point out that I’m a) Welsh and b) White. 

So my perspective of Black American life is obviously limited.

This book is like the forgotten sister of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – it covers a lot of the same ground, and was released in the US in 2017 (2018 here in the good ol’ UK.)

But it’s also a very different book to THUG, and is in no way a lesser take on the topics it handles.

This book is also Black American #OwnVoices.





The Premise:


Jade lives and grew up in a poor neighbourhood, where most of her neighbours are also Black people, and feels kinda out of place in her prestigious (and predominantly White) private school.

When she’s passed over for an opportunity she’s earned, and, seemingly instead of this opportunity, given a place on a scheme for under-privileged Black girls, Woman to Woman, she’s understandably pi**ed.

Add in a confusing friendship with a White girl who doesn’t seem to get the challenges Jade faces because of her race, and local police brutality against Black teenagers, and Jade’s really starting to feel out of place… well, everywhere.






The Best Bits:



This book is amazing.

The characters are so strong – both in the sense of their vividness, and generally as people.

Jade herself is complex and relatable.

Her frustrations as she battles to find her place in the world, and battles against the discrimination she faces, shines through the writing in a way that makes you honestly feel for her (and also wanna slap a few people on her behalf.)



dividing line


But that doesn’t mean that the side-characters are one-dimensional – they’re not.

All of them seem to have a sense of being their own person, with their own motivations.

And, what is maybe unusual for YA, we also get complex adult characters, including Jade’s mentor on the Woman to Woman programme, Maxine.

Maxine is, in so many ways, just as lost as Jade – she just doesn’t think that she is.


dividing line


The interactions between Jade and Maxine provide not only a medium for both characters to learn and grow as people, but also opportunity for the author to explore other themes.

Maxine’s family is considerably better-off, financially, than Jade’s, and that brings in a tonne of tricksy questions about the intersections and divisions of race and poverty and/or social class.

Elements of this book also reminded me a lot of Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera – a New Adult novel that deals with intersectional identities, and coming to terms with how the world sees you.


dividing line

Piecing Me Together weaves these strands together with awesome skill and maturity, while still not losing a tone that (in my humble, admittedly non-teenage, opinion,) is still bang-on for its YA audience.






Not So Great Bits:




This book isn’t for fans of quick, action-packed, plots. This is character-driven.

That’s obviously not a bad thing in and of itself, but a lot of people don’t get on with books which are more character-driven, and I get that.

(If you do decide to take the plunge though, it is an awesome book.)

dividing line


It’s also not a fast read – I think maybe because there’s so much hard subject matter and layers here, that you have some stuff to think about!

With it being a YA and everything, the fact that it is quite a slow read (I’m a fast reader and it took me a while,) is probably worth noting.

Also, maybe not one for when you’re tired and looking for something light!

Content Warnings:




This book does deal with some difficult topics, so be careful dearest nerdlets!

- racism
- systemic racism
- police brutality against black teenagers
- poverty
- elitism
- body-shaming
- low self-esteem/self-worth
- body image issues
- victim-blaming and gaslighting






#OwnVoices Views:



Check out this #OwnVoices review @ The Black Lit Queen.

Let me know if you’ve written an #OwnVoices review you’d like me to link to!







The Verdict:



This is one of those eye-opening books that everyone should read if they get the chance. 

It’s also far too underrated – let’s change that, shall we? πŸ˜‰






















Do you think there's room in YA for complex, character-driven books?
Do you think that sometimes books can be over-shadowed by other books dealing with similar topics?
Talk to me! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’¬







You can follow me on Twitter @CeeDoraReads, on Dora Reads @ BlogLovin, and on Google+. For more ways to support me, check out the Support Me page



Related Reading:





Please remember to comment and share! 😊










Last updated: 17th Jan 2019

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Really Mini-Reviews - Escorting the Escort by Lyss Em and Babyvamp by Lyssa Dering





Really Mini-Reviews title image with inset title images for Escorting the Escort and Babyvamp, and icon of books in bottom corner



You want some awesome M/M New Adult romance novellas?

Of course ya do!

Today I've got reviews of Escorting the Escort by Lyss Em and Babyvamp by Lyssa Dering - which are both written by the same author, just under different names.

They explore orientations beyond just Gay or Straight, and are pretty damned awesome t'boot!




Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Month in Review(s) - September 2018






Ohmygod September.

September was a f**king rollercoaster. The type where you throw up a lot.




September title image with purple and pink leaves on an autumn forest background
(I'm actually kind of quietly impressed with this graphic that I threw together in like, 15 minutes! Lol.)





On the good side:

It was my birthday! Woop!

(If you wanna give me a present, you can get me a coffee here! If not, I still love ya! 😊)


Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Month in Review(s) - August 2018




August... August can shut the f**k up.



August hand-drawn calendar and sunglasses



Sorry if that was a little aggressive! But my Nanny is back in hospital again and... this time scares me even more than the last two times.

Which isn't August's fault, y'know, as a month.

But it isn't anyone else's fault either.

And sometimes it helps to have something to anthropomorphise your fear and anger at - y'know, aside from Parkinson's Disease itself.



Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Review Time! - Learning Curves by Ceillie Simkiss





Learning Curves title image on note paper with decorative hearts







Title: Learning Curves



Author: Ceillie Simkiss

Genre:

New Adult, Novella, Contemporary Fiction, LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Asexual, Panromantic,) Romance (F/F)

Release Date: 17th August 2018


Amazon: UK - USA



Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Month in Review(s) - July 2018





Where did July go?!

Like... I know sometimes time goes quick, but really?!





July title image with funky grape and banana shapes






I think it's the heat.

I spent most of the month slouching around the house, trying to cool down, and being a generally not-nice person to be around.

Me + heat = grump monster! Lol.




Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Mini-Review! - The Girls by Emma Cline



(Warning: this post discusses and refers to serious topics such as rape and child abuse. Please be careful my nerdlets.)





The Girls title image with girl standing in a field with flowers overlaid







Title: The Girls



Author: Emma Cline

Genre:

Adult Fiction*, Historical Fiction*, Crime*, LGBTQ+ (M/F, F/F)*✢ 

*(ish - it's a really difficult book to define tbh!)

✢ The LGBTQ+ and F/F rep isn't great (neither is a lot of the M/F tbh,) see main review.



Amazon: UK - USA



Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Review Time! (Graphic Novel Edition!) - BLACK, Vol 1






BLACK Volume 1 title image with black and white striped background










Title: BLACK, Vol 1

Author: Kwanza Osajyefo

Contributors/Art:

Jamal Igle, Khary Randolph, Tim Smith III, Steven Walker, Robin Riggs, Sarah Stern, Dave Sharpe, Sarah Litt, Patricia Daguisan, Derwen Roberson

Genre: Graphic Novel, Sci-Fi (Superhero)

Series: BLACK #1-6

Amazon: UK - USA





Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Month in Review(s) - April 2018






April... ha, so, what's May lookin' like? πŸ˜…







Girl in red coat holding black umbrella with the word 'April' written in the corner







April happened. I lived through it *starts singing I'm still standing by Elton John and doing an incredibly embarrassing dance.*

My grandmother is still in hospital - she went in at the beginning of March - but she's definitely improving. We're basically waiting for a social care package in place so that she can go home, because there's no way my 88-year-old grandfather can take care of her.

And on the last day of April my laptop - which had been hanging on on a wing and a prayer, granted - gave up the ghost.







On the plus side, I reached over 3k Twitter followers in April! I love you guys, really! XD




Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Month in Review(s) - March 2018

March. Ah, March.



Daffodils




March, for yours truly, was one of those months with too much trouble, and too little time to deal with it.

There was some good, incredible, awesome stuff - like a Fall Out Boy concert last week (completely awesome!) and hitting 200k page-views on Dora Reads (I LOVE YOU MY NERDLETS!!!) - but there was also a lot of stress, worry, Anxiety, etc.

There's a lot of personal stuff going on atm, including my grandmother being in hospital since the beginning of the month - and thanks so much for your support my dearest nerdlets! You rock, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate it!




Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Month in Review(s) - February 2018

You remember, in January, when I said I was getting the hang of the whole life-balance deal-y?






February calendar in pink with the 14th circled, and love hearts in the corner reading 'love you' and 'kiss me'





Yeah... well, regular service has resumed. My life is back to Milo-Murphy's-Law-levels of randomness.

If you haven't seen Milo Murphy's Law, this is what I'm talking about:

(Warning: flashing images)











...I relate so hard it scares me.





Typical example: I had a scratch on my hand. Not unusual?


It was from the cat. Still not that odd?

It was because the cat was squirming, trying to stop me, from stopping him, from climbing into my big brother's sling (which he was wearing at the time,) which he has because he broke his arm roller-skating.

This is my life.




Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Mini-Review! - An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

An Untamed State title image with bird flying outside bird cage in a vintage style with purple and brown tones; 'Book Review @ dorareads.co.uk' is written in the bottom-right corner




heart flourish decoration









Title: An Untamed State


Author: Roxane Gay



Amazon: UK - USA















Verdict:


This book is an open wound.

It is raw. It is powerful. And, somehow, it finds a way to be beautiful.





Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Month in Review(s) - January 2018

January felt like a month which put a rocket to my secret* blogging powers.





woman reading, sitting on a big '2018'






I don't know why, but I actually really liked the posts I wrote this month! And I'm (finally) beginning to get a handle on the whole 'juggling work, life, blogging, and miscellaneous other stuff' thing.

That said, I've probably just jinxed myself for the year ahead. My life tends to resemble an episode of Milo Murphy's Law sometimes πŸ˜…