Black Girl in a Big Dress

In the past I've only used this blog to post about books, BUT I HAVE TO DO MY PART AND TELL THE WORLD ABOUT THIS NEW WEB SERIES. Th...

Black Girl in a Big Dress

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Black Girl in a Big Dress Poster

In the past I've only used this blog to post about books, BUT I HAVE TO DO MY PART AND TELL THE WORLD ABOUT THIS NEW WEB SERIES.

The other day I fell down a YouTube hole and tripped over a web show called Black Girl in a Big Dress. The show was created by Aydrea Walden, it's about an African American girl who who loves to cosplay play as if she's in the Victorian times, poofy blue dress and all. When Adrienne, our cosplayer, tries to bring the simplicity and romance of Victorian times into 2017 (at least I assume it's 2017) the chaos beings.

As black women (and all women of color) continue to demand equality in the job market, over our bodies, over our hair for goodness sake, it's important not to forget about the "little" things such as visual representation on book covers, and nerd culture. I know that as a lover of anime (which is hard enough in a family of sports fans) I've been terrified to go to an event in cosplay. It can be hard enough just walking through life as myself (I've had a coworker stick her hands into my natural hair as she pondered how I got it to look that way, not to mention all the comments on how "well spoken" I am... please stop being impressed by that), I don't need to be gawked at and whispered about in costume as well. Shows like this are empowering. They tell black women and girls that it's okay if you don't listen to Solange or watch Django Unchained. Be 100% true to yourself and everything else will fall into place...

Well, I think that's what the show tells us... We're only eight episodes in.

I'M READY!!!

Looking for more information on the show? Get it here!
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Review: The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Monday, November 6, 2017

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Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.

As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix.

But the end to it all looms closer every day.

Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix’s mother. Even though getting it—and going there—could erase Nix’s very existence.

For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters.

She could find herself, find her family, find her own fantastical ability, her own epic love.

Or she could disappear.
 


LIKED:

  • Nix is biracial. That's always going to be a positive on this blog!
  • This was an interesting take on a pirate story (although they don't call themselves pirates that's basically what they are).
  • Not only can this ship travel through time, it can also travel to places that don't technically exist outside of the mind of the person who dreamed it up and put it in map form. 
  • I did the audio book for this one and the voices and accents were on point.
  • I like that this book was a mix of fantasy, sci-fi, and historical fiction with a little bit of physics thrown in for good measure. 
  • I like how this book ended. I half wish there wasn't a sequel (and there is) but now that I know it exists, I'm read/ listen to it. 

NOT SO MUCH:

  • I will always be annoyed when two friends are in love and fight it for no good reason. That's the type of relationship that most of us would die for. STOP IT. IT'S DUMB AND UNNECESSARY. 
  • While I don't hate all love triangles, this one seems... also unnecessary. 


IN CONCLUSION:
Read this book. It's good, it's different, there are pirates, and a dash of LGBTQ. Give it some of your time, and I don't think you'll regret it. 

4 STARS
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Review: Soundless by Richelle Mead

Monday, October 16, 2017

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In a village without sound…

For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom. 

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.

One girl hears a call to action…

Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.

She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…


And unlocks a power that will save her people.

LIKED:
  • I didn't read this book, I listened to it, and the audio book reader was on point. I've always had an issue keeping up with names, particularly when books are set it other countries so I thought the book would be easier to follow if it was read to me, and I was right. 
  •  The book had a slow build, and while I get the feeling reading it might have been an issue for me, listening to that slow build was great.
  • I must say, I was unprepared for the... fantastical ending. It was nice. 
  • With out any spoilers, I enjoyed reading about what was discovered "in the towns". That's all I can say. 

NOT SO MUCH:

  • Although I liked the "fantastical" ending, I thought the discovery was a bit rushed. Even though the book was a good size, I would have been fine with an additional two or three chapters for a better and less forced explanation. 

IN CONCLUSION:
This is the type of book I would suggest to someone who is just beginning to discover Fantasy novels. What might feel boring and slightly unfulfilling to some, moves at just the right pace for others. As someone who is a bigger fan of Urban Fantasy than "Hardcore Fantasy", I was a fan of Soundless. 
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Review: Beast by Brie Spangler

Monday, October 2, 2017

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Tall, meaty, muscle-bound, and hairier than most throw rugs, Dylan doesn’t look like your average fifteen-year-old, so, naturally, high school has not been kind to him. To make matters worse, on the day his school bans hats (his preferred camouflage), Dylan goes up on his roof only to fall and wake up in the hospital with a broken leg—and a mandate to attend group therapy for self-harmers.

Dylan vows to say nothing and zones out at therapy—until he meets Jamie. She’s funny, smart, and so stunning, even his womanizing best friend, JP, would be jealous. She’s also the first person to ever call Dylan out on his self-pitying and superficiality. As Jamie’s humanity and wisdom begin to rub off on Dylan, they become more than just friends. But there is something Dylan doesn’t know about Jamie, something she shared with the group the day he wasn’t listening. Something that shouldn’t change a thing. She is who she’s always been—an amazing photographer and devoted friend, who also happens to be transgender. But will Dylan see it that way?


I'm a sucker for the concept of "it's what's on the inside that matters, not what's on the outside". This book is a modern day Beauty and the Beast. Dylan is huge and hairy AKA he's the big, hair, scary beast. Jamie is our Belle and she is trans. How freaking great is that!!

LIKED:
  • I love that Jamie was transgender. As a non-transgender person I can't speak as to how accurate Jamie was as a character the same way I might be able to with an African American character, but I loved her. She was tough, honest, straight forward, and she wasn't taking any crap from JP or Dylan. 
  • I liked the dynamic between JP and Dylan. It would have been easy for Brie Spangler to make Dylan the evil villain of his high school with his large muscle, but that wasn't quite what happened. JP was "that kid". He had money, he was popular, beloved by adults, people fought with each other to enter his orbit. He was also a bully, but instead of harassing kids himself, like any self respecting bully would, he sent Dylan to do it. The crazy thing was, Dylan hated being the enforcer of their duo. Like I said, and interesting dynamic. 
  • I like that this book didn't have a neat and tidy ending. As with real life, sometimes you don't know what the next day will bring. You don't know if you'll be able to forgive and forget, you don't know that your friendships will last, but you go to sleep, wake up the next day, and hope for the best.
  • Small spoiler..................................There is a moment when Dylan and Jamie end up naked and in bed. Sex can be hard enough as it is, even when you're an adult, but when you're a trans girl and you still have male genitalia I imagine it can be even more difficult. I really appreciate the way Bri Spangler didn't eliminate this slightly uncomfortable moment for Dylan from the book. That's all I say about it. Read it yourself.   
NOT SO MUCH:
  • My only issue with the book was with the mom. I didn't like her. She was a worrier as many parents are, but something about her felt fake and over done.
IN CONCLUSION:
Read this book. That's honestly all there is to say. 
 
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Review: Little and Lion

Monday, September 25, 2017

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When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn't sure if she'll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.

But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new...the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel's disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself--or worse.


I've been waiting for this book since the day it was announced on Twitter. I LOVE Brandy Colbert, I LOVED her first book Pointe and this book is just as amazing. Fun fact, when I worked at the West Haven Library in Connecticut years ago, Brandy Colbert did a Skype chat with my book club kids!! She was awesome.

LIKED:
  • The blended family. I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff. I love that Little and Lion called themselves brother and sister even though they didn't refer to each others parents as mom and dad. It gave their sibling bond some extra weight. 
  • I (personally) love to read books about black characters, where the fact that they're black doesn't outweigh the rest of the book. Suzette is black, she has dreads, she has a nose piercing, and she has a red headed brother. Race is obviously an important part of who she is, and there are racial issues in this book that are spoken about very candidly (the pool scene, you tell 'em Brandy), but Suzette being a black girl didn't dominate her personality, she liked museums, she was exploring her sexuality, caring for her brother, and accepting the fact that her parents sent her away at a time where she felt she needed to be home the most.
  • I think what I loved the most was that Suzette was a pretty emotional girl. When I say that I don't mean there were temper tantrums or buckets of tears, but she was allowed to be emotional and sometimes black girls and women aren't allowed that. There is a stereotype about the strong, black women, and while that it true, black women have had to be strong, capable people, they are also allowed the tear up when they see their home for the first time in five months, they're allowed to feel betrayed then some makes a "black joke" and none of their friends stick up for them, and they're allowed to feel confused by their own body and feelings. The world can send black women subliminal messages that we're not allowed those tears, or those tears aren't expect of us, but we're allowed to be strong, capable, and emotional, just like Suzette.
  • Emil. Enough said. 

NOT SO MUCH:
  • Yall, I'm going to be dead serious, I can't think of one darn thing about this book that I didn't like. 
  • I think I wish the cover was a picture of Little and Lion. I think there's something powerful about having black faces on the cover of books. I also have no idea how to do that and keep it from looking dumb soooo.... there's that.

IN CONCLUSION:
Just read the darn book, just freaking do it please. Thanks.

P.S. Brandy I really think you're amazing and if you ever read this and if you're ever in Connecticut I would love to have you speak to the kids here.

5 STARS
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Let Kids Read What They Want For Goodness Sake

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Okay, I'm so fed up I need to rant to the world. If you've read my super awkward About Me post, you'll know that I'm a librarian, I was a weird, sad little kid and now I'm trying to make the world a better place for other weird, sad little kids and misunderstood teenagers.

Every single day, I watch parents try to force "real books" on their kids. It's driving me CRAZY. What in the heck does that even mean. Dear grown ups (because it's not always the parents) let your kids read whatever the heck they want. The other day, there was a little girl, maybe 12, in the library with her grandma. Her grandma was trying to force this girl to read a bunch of books the girl didn't want to read. Grandma's getting snappy, the little girl is beginning to retreat on herself, and somehow I wind up smack dab in the middle of this. Then, the little girl surprises me and begins to pick up books that look interesting to her. They're pink, with the title is sparkly script, and there's typically some precocious blonde on the cover, but who cares, the girl was holding up books she was willing to read. What does grandma do? Can you guess? She stars yelling at the girl, telling her she needs to read "real" books. The crazy thing is, she didn't even mean non-fiction. Did she want the 12 year old to read The Odyssey???? I DON'T KNOW. It drove me so crazy, I sent the girl off to go look in another isle, and took the grandma over to non-fiction, hoping it would make her happy.

THEN, this lady has the nerve ask me if I like reading, and how she can get her granddaughter to read more. I lost my mind. I was the most unprofessional I had ever been. I watched this little girl hold up four age appropriate chapter books that she wanted to read, and her grandma verbally crushed her. I said something along the lines of, "You're not making any sense. That girl picked up four perfectly age appropriate books that she wanted to read and you wouldn't let her. There's no such thing as real books and fake books. Every book in the world has the potential to tech you something, even if it's just how to be a good person. If you continue to dictate what she reads, she'll hate reading forever. Leave her alone, and let her read what she wants." Then I actually walked away.

I have never been so angry in my life. Here's how it typically works world. If a kid only wants to read Magic Tree House, let them. There will come a day when they pick up an I Survived book. They're read all of those a million times. There will come a day when that kid wants to branch out and find something new that's full of adventure and the librarian will give them The False Prince, that kid will become interested in Historical Fiction, and then they'll become interested in History, and then they'll become a teacher and live happily ever after. And it all began with a kid reading The Magic Tree House 9,000 times.

Let kids read what they want for goodness sake. They have so little control over their lives, let them have this one thing.

*End rant*
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Blog Hop: Bloggiesta

Friday, September 1, 2017


This blog hop is hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer.

Question:
Do you participate in the Bloggiesta?


Answer:
I have no idea what that is, but I'm going to look into it ASAP because it sounds lovely!
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