Sing Unburied Sing: My Review

img_20180615_164428_9693032572016317455165.jpg

Sing, Unburied, Sing was written by Jesmyn Ward. It was the winner of the National Book Award in 2017. I heard of it from my favourite bookstore Shakespeare and Company, and as I was studying African-American literature for one of my classes last semester, I decided to pick it up. Not one second did I regret this decision. Although it took me quite some time to finish this book, it was definitely worth the read.

Title: Sing, Unburied, Sing
Author: Jesmyn Ward
Publication year: 2017
Genre: Contemporary
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

The story:

Jojo is thirteen. He lives with his grandparents and his drug addict mother Leonie. When he is not at school, he spends most of his time caring for his little sister Kayla. When his father Michael is set to be released from prison, his mother decides to take both of them on a trip to take him home, along with one of her friends. The trip also revives old memories about her brother Given’s death, as well as the time her father spend at Parchman, the same prison Michael was at.

My thoughts:

Sing, Unburied, Sing was a troubling and beautiful story. It is unique and well written. Ths plot is slow paced, and mainly follows the perspectives of Jojo and Leonie, alternating from one chapter to another, which shows the struggles that both of them are facing, both in their life in general – Leonie lost her brother, her mother is sick, her boyfriend is just getting released, while Jojo is growing up with a mother who doesn’t really take care of him – and on this trip in particular.

I read this book after reading some of Toni Morrison’s work, and found that it somehow had a similar atmosphere, with what of the ghostly presences faced by both Jojo and Leonie. Although unlike Beloved or The Bluest Eye, it does take place nowadays, it sometimes gives off the same kind of eerie feeling. Maybe it’s just because it’s something I am unfamiliar with, but I think it made this book quite powerful.

Overall, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a family story, that deals with love and coming of age, and also manages to tackle the issue of police brutality and racism in general on several occasions, which is yet another reason why I would recommend this book. It’s not an easy read, but it’s definitely worth the ride.

Advertisements

June Wrap Up

I can’t believe it’s July already, but the good news is, I presented my thesis and I am done with my studies, so hopefully I will have more free time to read!

Books I read this month:

Journal du dehors by Annie Ernaux ⭐⭐⭐/5
History is all you left me by Adam Silvera ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 (review)
George by Alex Gino ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (review)
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
King Kong Théorie by Nathalie Despentes ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Books I’m currently reading:

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
Se Perdre by Annie Ernaux
Break.Up by Joanna Walsh

George: My Review

Genre: Middle Grade Literature, Contemporary

Release: 2015

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads summary:

(Because I couldn’t sum it up any better)

BE WHO YOU ARE. When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.

George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part… because she’s a boy.

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte – but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

Thoughts:

This book had been on my TBR for quite some time, and I’m so glad I finally got to pick it up. I had heard many great things about it, and it didn’t disappoint. It really deserves all the praise, especially since it is talking about a really important topic, and sets the example for parents and families who might need to helps a trans child grow up. It’s just super beautiful and well written. It’s very well executed and SO IMPORTANT.

Let me start by saying that books narrated with the voice of a child (like Room) always leave a deep impact on me, and this one was exactly one of those. The story follows George, a little girl growing up with the body of a boy. No one knows it, and no one can see it, but she knows it: she’s a girl, and she has found the perfect opportunity to show it to the world, the school play where she wants to interpret the main character Charlotte, so perfecly that people will see she is a girl.

I thought it was a very beautiful premise. I really liked the relationship between George and her best friend Kelly, and also with her mother and brother. The book was full of sweet surprises. It was a quick read, and all the more so a book that should be read by everyone in my opinion. We need more books like this one!

The struggles and the discomforts George had to face through the book were well depicted, and she overcame them. It was a very sweet book, with supportive side characters, and I absolutely loved how full of hope the ending was. Definitely recommended!

June Nerdy Post Unboxing | Fierce Females

This month I received the Nerdy Post box again, and I filmed a little unboxing! I will unfortunately not receive it next month because I’m trying to save up money, but I really loved this one in the meantime!

Here’s a video for starters:

And here are some pictures I took!

img_20180621_173316_2413901687854498812863.jpg

I hope you enjoyed, and have a wonderful day!

History Is All You Left Me: My Review

After reading They Both Die At The End I felt like I needed to cry some more and picked up another Adam Silvera book, and I did indeed cry some more but it was absolutely worth it!

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Release: 2017

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Warning: This book deals with OCD and grief and it can be triggering in my humble opinion.

The story:

History is all you left me follows high school senior Griffin, after his ex boyfriend Theo died. We don’t know how at first, but what we do know is that Theo promised Griffin he would never die. Theo was not only his ex, he was his first love, his best friend, and the first person he came out to. But no one seems to understand his loss, except for Jackson, Theo’s new boyfriend, who he always refused to meet. The story navigates between past and present, following the first days of Theo and Griffin’s romance until their breakup and the present day, where Griffin has to deal with his grief and his OCD, as well as everything in between.

My opinion:

Before I say anything else, I just wanted to put it out there: although a bit triggering, I though the mental health representation was absolutely fantastic in this book.

Now. This book, oh boy. It was beautiful and heartbreaking and moving at the same time. I think I liked it even more than They Both Die At The End because we see a lot of character developement, when it comes to Griffin or Theo, and also Wade and Jackson. There is a lot of build up, and the elements slowly come together to make a beautiful puzzle of human beings.

This book is precious. It depicts its character in a very human way. Theo and Griffin both made mistakes at some point in their relationship, but they cared for each other from the beginning to the end. I liked the fact that it showed teenagers, who are still growing and learning how to live, how to deal with breakup and grief, and what to do with your life. I thought the book dealt with it in a very truthful way.

History Is All You Left Me is a slow burn, the more I read it, the more I liked it and was amazed by it.  It’s slow paced, extremely well-written, and beautiful. You simply have to read it.

May Wrap Up

So basically, May has been a terrible reading month for me. I was exhausted all the time, and I had to work on my Master’s thesis – which I still have to complete. I managed to read four books throughout the month, which is a low. But I’m still glad because all four of them had been on my TBR for a long time, so that’s still great progress!

I didn’t film a video this month because I didn’t have the time, I look terrible, and it’s not all that worth it, if it’s only for four books, so here are my ratings!

Books I read this month:

Book 2 in the Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante ⭐⭐⭐
The End of Eddy by Edouard Louis ⭐⭐⭐⭐
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare ⭐⭐⭐
They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (review)

Currently reading:

Histoiry is all you left me by Adam Silvera
Journal du dehors by Annie Ernaux
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Break.up by Joanna Walsh

They Both Die At The End: My Review

I heard so many great things about Adam Silvera and his books, but hadn’t read any of them yet before that. They Both Die At The End had actually been sitting in my kindle for quite some time, and I finally picked it up the the other day, as I was procrastinating in the library instead of working on a paper, or my thesis, or whatever I was supposed to do.

Genre: YA, Contemporary with a SciFi-ish twist

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Warning: Do not, I repeat, do not read this book in a public place. I tried reading it in the commute on my way to work, and I had to close it and hold back the tears.

Goodreads summary:

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today.

Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.

My opinion:

I absolutely LOVED the concept of this story. The whole Death Cast idea is brilliant and at least I knew I wouldn’t have a bad surprise at the end. I mean, I had been warned. Which doesn’t mean I didn’t cry on several occasions while reading this book, because I totally did.

To be honest, my biggest regret was that I felt it took too long for the story to really get started. I had to wait for the second half of the story to really be immersed into it.

Otherwise I really liked that we got a dual POV, following both Mateo and Rufus throughout the story. It was also interesting to get some other perspectives and see how stories could get intertwined. I think the whole book was really well executed. The characters were both realistic and endearing, and it was extremely moving.

We also have some solid friendships in this book, whether it’s Lidia or the Plutos. All we get is teenagers uplifiting one another, that’s strong, and that’s amazing. I want more characters like this, I want characters like these everywhere.

Overall, the book is quite a quite read, it’s well-written and very moving, it has a great concept and great characters, and I would definitely recommend it (with a box of tissues by your side).