Showing posts with label ya. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ya. 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.


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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

Friday, 30 November 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Get You Safely Home




'"I am a Malfoy, and Malfoys do not get drunk. We enjoy alternatives to sobriety."'



(Gentle reminder, dearest nerdlets, that getting drunk is not the smartest thing ever, and is best avoided.)




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OK, so Draco's stinking drunk after a good/bad night out, depending on your interpretation, and Ron and Harry end up making sure that he gets home safe.

Because Ron and Harry are clearly good friends/colleagues (on account of they're all growed up now and have jobs.)

Also Harry maybe has a thing for a certain blonde Slytherin.

(But, you'll be happy to know, he acts the perfect gentleman.)


Friday, 26 October 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Highjinks





'Chang snorted, “Are you trying to be breezy, Draco?”


“I am breezy, Chang.” Draco said, slumping even further back in his chair to prove his point. “Totally breez-”

It was then that Draco fell off his chair.'




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More shenanigans to finish off our month of Harry-Potter-themed fanfiction!

Because October is for Harry Potter. *Nods sagely*

I didn't have long to throw this post together, so apologies if it's a little shorter than usual!


Friday, 19 October 2018

Friday Fics Fix - The Brightest Stars





'Music was something all stars were familiar with, they sang their hymns and ballads among each other. Human music, on the other hand, was so much more versatile, and Sirius loved listening to all of the genres that they offered.'




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Week 3 of Harry Potter October fanfiction-y-ness! 😁

Week 1 had Drarry, and so did last week's offering.




This week, though, we're stepping away from Harry Potter himself.

Away from Draco too.

And all the kids who went to Hogwarts at the same time as Harry.



Friday, 12 October 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Awkward Flirting In An Alternate Universe







'Harry wasn’t entirely sure where he was, or why, but walking into a condemned building just for it to transform into one of the raunchiest-looking clubs Harry had had the misfortune of entering wasn’t a good sign.'




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Week 2 of our Harry Potter-themed fanfiction fest my nerdlets!


Because October = Harry Potter.

I don't make the rules!!!!* 

I just abide by them!!!!!*



Friday, 5 October 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Just Desserts






'"Are you sure you're interested only in the tart?" Ron asks lightly, to which Harry simply pretends he has no idea what he's talking about.'




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It's October! And October means Harry Potter fanfiction here on Dora Reads! 😊

This week's fic is from my new favourite sub-genre of 'fics where Ron is determined to make Drarry happen, because they're both irritating him with their goddamn mutual pining.'

(Fangirling notes: Drarry is a romantical and/or sexual relationship between Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter.)



Sunday, 23 September 2018

#BannedBooksWeek: Nerd Church - F**k It, Let's Talk Censorship (Ft. Thirteen Reasons Why)





Warning: this post discusses suicide, suicidal thoughts, mental health problems, sexual harassment, and censorship.

Links may also discuss these topics.




(Did you notice I self-censored in the title of this post? I can't bring myself to swear without *'s because in a traditional Welsh household, the only one allowed to swear is your mam. Lol.)





Banned Books Week banner with megaphone and book: 'Banning books silences stories speak out! Banned Books Week September 23-29, 2018 www.bannedbooksweek.org'
Via Banned Books Week






Banned Books Week is back! (23-29 Sept 2018)



And, darling nerdlets, I'm here once again to ask all the goddamn awkward questions!

Cos that's kinda what this week is about!





Friday, 14 September 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Draco In A Bow




'“Okay, so look, so, Harry's birthday, yeah? Is soon. And the thing is, he's sort of... well, he doesn't need much. In general. And in... not general he can buy anything he fancies himself. So I kind of don't know what to get him. Except... I know that he fancies you...”'




fics fix title image with purple background and white lightning bolt shape





It's my birthday tomorrow (15th Sep)!

And as such, I'm totally picking a birthday-themed Drarry fic this week. Because birthday.

Yes, this is total Mindless Self Indulgence.


Friday, 17 August 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Draco the Writer. Harry the Reader.





           
'“You keep writing books about Harry!”

Every rational thought left Draco as dread filled his stomach. There was no way that Weasley had figured it out.'




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There are some things that you just don't know you need in your life...

...like Draco Malfoy writing novels about how much he yearns for Harry Potter, but nobody getting that that's what he's writing about.

...And then Ron being the only one to figure it out and no-one believing him.


Friday, 27 July 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Deeper Than You'd Think






'As always, it was completely Potter’s fault. How was Draco’s brain supposed to work properly, given these circumstances?'






You know when you start a fic like, 'oh this is gonna be cutesy with maybe a bit of angst and sexy thrown in'?




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And then 9 chapters later you're a f**king mess of feels because it was secretly about the deep sh** the whole time?!?!

...that.

(So many fanfic readers know what I'm talking about right now, and the noobs are like 'That'll never happen to me!' - oh contraire, dearest noobish nerdlets, it most certainly f**king will.

Because fanfiction likes to warp your soul and f**k with your brain.

#TrueStory. #GottaLoveItThough.)




(Fangirling notes: Feels are intense and hard to describe feelings/emotions)




Friday, 6 July 2018

Friday Fics Fix - The Future Is Weird (Ft. Harry Potter)








'The tall Death Eater was wearing a shirt that said, 'Hermione Has Forgotten How To Dance,' so Hermione dipped his face in mud.'





fics fix title image with purple background and white lightning bolt shape






OK, so this week's fic is a little bit different.

It's def. on the strange side, but there's a reason for that!

And all will be revealed *mysterious hand motions*

(I don't know what mysterious hand motions are either, just go with it.)




Friday, 25 May 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Harry and Draco and a Fic I Love For Reasons Unknown









'They began to acknowledge one another in the halls, not in a way that anybody else took any degree of notice to, but as their silence slowly became louder to one another they spoke in hushed whispers in empty corridors and alcoves and in the back of the library.'









I don't know why I like this week's fic.

There's just... something about this fic. I don't know why.

There's not much of a plot. The prose is over-dramatic and over-flowery in places. And I have no idea what's going on with the characterisation.







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Sorry, that's not much of a ringing endorsement is it?

Maybe I'm not explaining it right. Cos this fic totally rocks.

Why? Well, because... because... I have no f**king clue. It's somehow amazing though.


Friday, 27 April 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Severely Severus

I know, I know, Severus Snape is kind of a divisive figure in the online bookish community, and with fans in general.




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Lotsa people love him - he's a hero, a tragic figure, a hopeless romantic.

Lotsa people hate him - he's a bully, a sneak, an obsessive and petty man.




Thursday, 15 March 2018

Comics Wrap-Up - And The Silence Is So Deafening, It's Like Picking at a Sore

comics wrap-up title image with manga-style woman handing a flower to her girl-like shadow





I'm super-tired this week, so if I'm spouting nonsense and/or using verbiage and syntax usually found only in 19th Century novels (a weird habit I have sometimes when I'm tired,) then that's why! πŸ˜…



Friday, 9 March 2018

Friday Fics Fix - On Witches and B**ches

Yesterday was International Women's Day, so why don't we get feminist for this week's Fics Fix?




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Too often, we dislike female characters - not least because their authors and/or creators make them unlikable.


Friday, 9 February 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Dumbledore is Gay. Dumbledore is Gay. Dumbledore. Is. Gay. Deal With It.

You may or may not know that the chance has once again been lost to allow the Harry Potter universe's Albus Dumbledore to BE gay on-screen.





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Why is that important when J K Rowling has already said (over ten years ago,) that Prof. Dumbledore is a gay dude? Because word-of-God/author is not the same as on-screen canonisation (official-ness.) It comes across as queer-baiting. At best.





Friday, 2 February 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Everyone From Harry Potter Has Mental Health Problems, M'k?

You want some Harry Potter fanfiction discussing mental health problems? (Of course you do, is that even a question?!)*




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This fic could be heavy sh** for some people, so be CAREFUL when reading my nerdlets.



Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Review Time! - Goodnight, Boy by Nikki Sheehan

Goodnight boy title image with book stack and purple border






heart flourish






Title: Goodnight, Boy

Author: Nikki Sheehan

Genre: Kids (Middle Grade/MG,) Young Adult*, Contemporary**

*YA crossover appeal

**ish


Amazon: UK - USA















Friday, 26 January 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Why So Sirius?

(Apologies for the title-pun. Couldn't resist πŸ˜…)


If there's one fandom that always goes above and beyond, it's the Potterheads.






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Yes, those fans of Harry Potter can always be counted on to take even the smallest of details from the books and run with them - to the extent that there are now fully-established fandoms within the fandom.

(Is that like fandom-ception or something?! So much meta.)

Quick warning: this post may contain some very mild Harry Potter spoilers.