Little Creeping Things: A Review

Little Creeping Things by Chelsea Ichaso

My Rating: 4 stars!

Cover Rating: 5/10 the doll is a huge part of the story and it’s creepy, but I think they could have done a better job. To me it’s just a typical “spooky” cover and it’s nice, but it doesn’t wow me or draw me in very much on its own.

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Publish Date: June 2nd, 2020

Number of Pages: 352

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

A compulsively readable debut with a narrator who can’t be trusted, perfect for fans of Natasha Preston. She never meant to hurt anyone…

When she was a child, Cassidy Pratt accidentally started a fire that killed her neighbor. At least, that’s what she’s been told. She can’t remember anything from that day. She’s pretty sure she didn’t mean to do it. She’s a victim too. But her town’s bullies, particularly the cruel and beautiful Melody Davenport, have never let her live it down. In Melody’s eyes, Cassidy is a murderer and always will be.

And then Melody goes missing, and Cassidy think she may have information about what happened. She knows she should go to the cops, but…she recently joked about how much she’d like to get rid of Melody. She even planned out the perfect way to do it. And then she gets a chilling text from an unknown number: I’m so glad we’re in this together.

Now it’s up to Cassidy to figure out what’s really going on, before the truth behind Melody’s disappearance sets the whole town ablaze.”

Opening Sentence: “ “Kill it, Cass!” Tina Robbins yells over the pulsing music.”

Musings:

I enjoyed this book. Parts of it were slow and it took a while for me to be super into it, but I liked it all the same. It was a fun read.

What I enjoyed:

The creepy descriptions. One of the creepiest parts of the book are how the main character Cassidy sees things sometimes. People turn into dolls with big blue eyes in her mind and it’s an unsettling part that peppers throughout the novel.

The twists. I should have expected, but did not expect the ending. The signs were there and I got distracted and ended up delightfully surprised at the end. Made the book more interesting.

The paranoia. I liked how mistrustful Cassidy was. It did make things interesting and with someone threatening her it kept me on edge a bit.

All in all

I enjoyed Little Creeping things. It’s a fun little thriller that gets better as it goes and it’s a fun read.

About the author

Chelsea Ichaso writes twisty thrillers for young adults, including LITTLE CREEPING THINGS (Sourcebooks Fire, 2020). A former high school English teacher, she currently resides in southern California with her husband and children. When she’s not reading or writing, Chelsea can be found on the soccer field.

Chelsea is represented by Kristy Hunter of The Knight Agency.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Monstress Volume 3: A Review

Monstress Volume 3 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

My Rating: 5 stars!!!

Cover Rating: 10/10 of course! The cover art for all of these are perfection! I love them! They make my jaw drop to the floor in awe!

Publisher: Image Comics

Publish Date: September 11th, 2018

Number of Pages: 168

Received: Amazon purchase

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis: Maika has spent most of her life learning how to fight, but how will she fare when the only way to save her life…is to make friends?

Opening Sentence: “Maika.” “Shut up, Tuya.”

Musings:

Every single review I write for another volume in this series is full of pure joy. That’s what reading Monstress is for me pure joy.

I am absolutely obsessed with each of these comics as I read them. Every single one is wonderful! The art absolutely incredible. The story amazing!

What I Loved:

Every single thing! At times it’s funny and at times it’s so intense I want to eat it all up. It is always beautiful! The story is amazing. The interludes of history are amazing! It’s all so amazing!

Professor Tam Tam! My heart every-time I get a history lesson from the adorable Professor Tam Tam! It overflows with joy even with the darkness of the history. The contrast of adorable and dark is something I can’t get enough of.

The epicness of this volume! There was a battle I couldn’t get enough of. It took me in and entranced me completely. It was phenomenal in every way.

The subtle betrayal aspect mixed with a bigger betrayal! I think I often get so into the art with these volumes that I don’t ever talk much about the story itself which is phenomenal! But the way the themes weave together so beautifully was wonderful! I’m so obsessed with these volumes.

I connect and care for all the characters! I love everyone that’s in this book. Good or evil they are so gloriously written and I just love everyone here. So damn good!

The cat race in general. I adore cats in general, but this hard-edge cat race is amazing in every way. They aren’t to be messed with. I can obsess about the cuteness all I want, but they are incredibly callous at times and they fight for their own whatever the cost. I have a huge sense of respect for them.

All in all:

I adore this series in every way. Each and every volume is incredible. I’ll never get enough of it.

About the Author 

New York Times bestselling and award-winning writer Marjorie Liu is best known for her fiction and comic books. She teaches comic book writing at MIT, and she leads a class on Popular Fiction at the Voices of Our Nation (VONA) workshop.

Ms. Liu was born in Philadelphia, and has lived in numerous cities in the Midwest, as well as Beijing and Shanghai. Prior to writing full-time, she was a lawyer. She currently resides in Boston.

About the Artist 

Sana Takeda is based in Japan and is best known in the United States for working with Marjorie Liu, most recently on their hit fantasy series MONSTRESS.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

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Glass Town Wars: A Review

Glass Town Wars by Celia Rees

My Rating: 2 stars

Cover Rating: 8/10 really love this cover. It is the reason I picked this book up. It’s honestly really beautiful in a weird way to me.

Publisher: Pushkin Press

Publish Date: September 8th, 2020

Number of Pages: 320

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

“The thrilling adventure story based on the writings of the Brontë children, by the bestselling author of Witch Child

When Tom is in a coma, his friend Milo decides that he can be a guinea pig for a new gaming device – a device that will take him to a troubled world where he meets the the warrior-like Augusta who is fighting to save her kingdom from takeover by her rival. With Tom at her side, she finds extra courage. Slowly but surely, Tom starts to leave his life in London behind as the two of them become ever more embroiled in a world of chaos and tension that encompasses the past, the present and the future.

But life in London won’t let Tom go so easily. His friends and family gather around him to try and bring him back – as does a girl from school he barely knows, who comes each day to his bedside to read to him from her favourite book, Wuthering Heights.

In this wonderful speculative fiction Celia Rees has created a meta-fictional world that will delight readers. This epic story, with Rees’s trademark strong female character and romance at its heart, is a compelling action-driven adventure with delightful twists and turns that thrill and surprise right up to the last page.”

Opening Sentence: “notHing is stRaigHtfoRWaRd. Nothing is as it seems… As in life, so in dreams.”

Musings:

So I didn’t like this book. I tried to enjoy it, but it isn’t the story that it says it is. It’s weird, but not the weird I fall in love with. It took a lot of old tropes and meshed it together to try and come up with a real story that seemed more of a ghost of something that many have written so much better before.

I’m not writing this in my usual format because I literally didn’t like anything about this book. Some of it was ok. Vaguely. But, even then I don’t remember a single name but Tom, and he was the only character I only vaguely liked, but even him I had problems with.

This apparently was supposed to be set in a video game world, but none of it felt like an actual video game. It felt like it was written by someone who knows nothing about them and didn’t even pick one up to get a feel for what it’s like. Even narrative driven video games aren’t like this.

I felt like she should’ve written a western themed novel and just left it at that, but she decided to bring it into another “game” completely negating pretty much everything about The Glass town narrative and to throw in some zombies? It felt sloppy. It was confusing and honestly I don’t even know what kind of story this even was?

It certainly wasn’t a love story despite Tom getting with another girl character. There was no real connection there. Literally the only thing was that Tom is from modern times and understands modern ideas and believes in the girls right to chose her partner instead of being arranged to marry. Other then that I did not see any other connection. It came off as very flatly written.

The only reason I didn’t give this book a one star is that I didn’t hate it and it’s bad but I’m mostly just indifferent about it. Anyway, I read it cause I’d heard nothing about it and now that my curiosity has been curbed I am happy to move on from it.

About the Author

Celia Rees has written over twenty novels and has become a leading writer for Young Adults with an international reputation. She says, ‘I like to write what teenagers like to read’.

She has written in different genre, from gritty realism, ghost stories and horror before focusing on historical fiction with the publication of Witch Child, its sequel, Sorceress, going on to Pirates!, Sovay and The Fool’s Girl.

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!

The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea: A Review

The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10

Publisher: Candlewick press

Publish Date: May 5th, 2020

Number of Pages: 368 pages

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

In a world divided by colonialism and threaded with magic, a desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial lady find a connection on the high seas.

The pirate Florian, born Flora, has always done whatever it takes to survive—including sailing under false flag on the Dove as a marauder, thief, and worse. Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, a highborn Imperial daughter, is on board as well—accompanied by her own casket. But Evelyn’s one-way voyage to an arranged marriage in the Floating Islands is interrupted when the captain and crew show their true colors and enslave their wealthy passengers. 

Both Florian and Evelyn have lived their lives by the rules, and whims, of others. But when they fall in love, they decide to take fate into their own hands—no matter the cost.

Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s sweeping fantasy debut, full of stolen memories, illicit mermaid’s blood, double agents, and haunting mythical creatures conjures an extraordinary cast of characters and the unforgettable story of a couple striving to stay together in the face of myriad forces wishing to control their identities and destinies.”

Opening Sentence: “Long after the sun had set, when the passengers were nestled neatly in their cabins, the crew gathered on the deck of the Dove.”

Musings:

I greatly enjoyed this book. I loved so much of it. The structure, the characters, the magic! It was so well-constructed.

What I loved:

The discussion of gender. Flora is both Flora and Florian. Flora the girl who struggled alongside her brother Alfie to survive and Florian the boy who becomes a pirate of his own right. As far as I could tell reading Flora embraces both and I really loved seeing that in this novel. Also, The Pirate Supreme is non-binary and such a badass. They are also straight up called The Pirate Supreme and every-time their mentioned it’s full of badassery and I love them! I just liked that it’s there and that I’m seeing it so much more now then before. It makes me happy to see.

The way the story broke into parts. I loved the structure of this book. I rarely fall in love with pure structure, but this book does it so well. Each section was clearly defined and told the narrative well. It just fit neatly in a way I really appreciated.

Flora and Evelyn together. These two my lord! I love them together. They have this amazing bond that starts from Evelyn wanting to share books and stories with Florian and teach him how to read. To fighting together and loving each other later on not just as Florian but flora. This made my heart so happy. Especially, the ending which I refuse to spoil. It’s too good!

Rake. At first I wasn’t sure if I even liked Rake, but as the story went on I realized how much of a strong character he was. He’s one of the good guys as difficult as it is to be good in the circumstances of the novel.

The magic. I love a good magic system and I swear a magic system that uses stories to create magic is so beautiful. I loved the many stories the witch told in this book. I’m obsessed with it. It was amazing.

The mermaids. I loved how mermaids were portrayed in this book. I love what they eat. I love how Evelyn connected to the mermaid she wanted to save and saw how wrong it was for the sailors to take mermaid blood for their own. It was so cool. I don’t want to spoil the awesomeness of it.

All in All:

If you want to read a magical swashbuckling romance that is beautifully queer and just amazing in every way pick up The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea. I loved every moment of it. So amazingly written.

About the Author:

Maggie Tokuda-Hall is the author of the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal winning picture book, Also an Octopus, illustrated by Benji Davies, and the young adult novel The Mermaid, The Witch and The Sea.

She lives in Oakland, California with her husband, son, and objectively perfect dog.

She has a BA in Studio Art from Scripps College, and an MFA in Writing from University of San Francisco. 

She is represented by Jennifer Laughran of Andrea Brown Lit.

You can follow her on Twitter, @emteehall
Or on Instagram @maggietokudahall

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!

What Unbreakable Looks Like: Blog Tour/ Review

What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin

TW: Sexual Abuse, Rape, Sex Trafficking, Abuse, Drug Addiction, grooming.

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 7/10 it’s a really great cover! The poppy on the front represents Lex’s name while she was being Trafficked. The cover i think also shows the strength of character Lex has. It’s really great for this book!

Publisher: St. Martins Press

Publish Date: June 23rd, 2020

Number of Pages: 336 pages

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis: “Raw, unflinching, and authentic, Kate McLaughlin’s thoughtful What Unbreakable Looks Like carefully crafts a story exposing the vulnerability of underage trafficked girls and what it takes to begin the process of healing from sexual trauma.”–Christa Desir, author, advocate, and founding member of The Voices and Faces Project

Lex was taken–trafficked–and now she’s Poppy. Kept in a hotel with other girls, her old life is a distant memory. But when the girls are rescued, she doesn’t quite know how to be Lex again. 

After she moves in with her aunt and uncle, for the first time in a long time, she knows what it is to feel truly safe. Except, she doesn’t trust it. Doesn’t trust her new home. Doesn’t trust her new friend. Doesn’t trust her new life. Instead she trusts what she shouldn’t because that’s what feels right. She doesn’t deserve good things. 

But when she is sexually assaulted by her so-called boyfriend and his friends, Lex is forced to reckon with what happened to her and that just because she is used to it, doesn’t mean it is okay. She’s thrust into the limelight and realizes she has the power to help others. But first she’ll have to confront the monsters of her past with the help of her family, friends, and a new love.

Kate McLaughlin’s What Unbreakable Looks Like is a gritty, ultimately hopeful novel about human trafficking through the lens of a girl who has escaped the life and learned to trust, not only others, but in herself.”

Opening Sentence: “Clean sheets. That’s what I’m dreaming about when something wakes me up.”

Musings:

First of all I am honored to have read a book like this one. It’s a hard hitter and I was in tears at so many points and yet it tells a truth of what goes on far too often. Yet, reading through it I never once feel like Lex is truly a victim. She comes out after everything standing tall and starts to figure out the kind of person she wants to grow up to be. Yet, the truth is she was given away to endure countless times of pure assaults to her person. What she went through. What so many young teens go through is an atrocity so foul I could never imagine what being in their shoes would be like. Reading through this book you can tell how much love went into it. How much research and care to write not only a story of a teen going through one of the worst things anyone could go through, but to also make it a story of hope.

I was in tears at the acknowledgments. Where Kate talks about the girl she’d spoken with who had gone through human Trafficking. Even re-reading it just now gets me teary eyed. No human being should have to go through this. Yet, I love that there is no brokenness to be found there. It truly is ‘What Unbreakable Looks Like’.

What I Loved:

The Friendship. Lex finds herself two amazing friends who support her and love her for all that she is. They don’t shy away from what she went through and they stand by her through it. They stay by her side and fight with her (and not just for her) to keep her safe and to lift her up.

The puppy! The part of the book that made me cry the most was when Lex gets a little Pitbull puppy. It’s one of the sweetest most hopeful moments and yet Lex feeling like she didn’t know if she deserved the love that that little one gave her broke my heart.

Lex’s Aunt. Lex’s aunt is such a wonderful soul. She fights for Lex and loves her truly for who she is. She’s gentle approaching her and talks with her openly. She is the kind of woman I think every child deserves to have in their lives. As their relationship grew closer it made my heart soar.

It’s difficult to read at times. With all the hope and the soaring highs this book has it is not without the dark parts. Knowing with detail at times some of the things she went through. How she was groomed. The drugs given to numb them out and keep them complacent. The awful condition the girls lived in. The pain inflicted upon them. Then the truth that many are killed and will never make it out. In a lot of ways this book is as educational as it is difficult. So much I didn’t realize about human trafficking. The weight of it is something no human being should bear. Let alone teens and children.

All in all:

This book is a must read. It’s unflinching and full of love and yet shows what true darkness looks like. The writing of which was handled with grace and with so much love. It is a book I will never forget.

About the Author

KATE McLAUGHLIN likes people, so much so that she spends her days making up her own. She likes writing about characters who are bent, but not broken – people who find their internal strength through friends, strife and sometimes humor. When she’s not writing, she likes studying people, both real and fictional. She also likes playing board games with friends, talking and discovering new music. A proud Nova Scotian, she’ll gladly tell you all about the highest tides in the world, the magical creation known as a donair, and people who have sofas in their kitchens. Currently, she lives in Connecticut with her husband and four cats. What Unbreakable Looks Like is her debut novel.

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!

Standing With the Trans Community

This has been a month of learning. A month of listening and gathering and it is something I will continue to be doing throughout the rest of my life.

It’s now becoming common knowledge that J.K. Rowling is transphobic. Her words have caused immense harm for the trans community. Her works both under J.K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith further her ideals against Trans people. It’s disgusting and I cannot support her.

Trans rights are a human rights issue. They matter. They are beautiful, valid, and incredible human beings. And not only does narratives that Jk Rowling/Robert Galbraith promotes hurt trans lives, but non-binary lives too.

The narrative of trans people being predatory is despicable and plane out false. It is that fear that makes people think it’s ok to kill and commit violence against trans people and it needs to be stopped. I also feel the need to say that as in the terms of young people being tricked into being trans. Which again is a disgusting narrative that is not ok.

I ask every single person reading this to educated yourselves. Listen, learn, and amplify trans voices. Take the money you’d use to buy one of Rowling’s/Galbraith’s books and put it towards supporting the trans community. Buy books by trans authors. Donate to the Trevor Project.

Trans people deserve to be loved. To be accepted as the men and women that they are. Non-Binary people deserve to be loved and accepted for the wonderful human beings that they are.

Check your twitter. Do you follow Jk Rowling and/or Robert Galbraith… unfollow them and follow instead trans authors like Akwaeke Emezi, Aiden Thomas, and non-binary author Anna-Marie McLemore. Support the voices of those who have been targeted by hate. Lift them up. Show them support. Show them that your space is a safe space for them.

This isn’t the time for silence. It is the time for change. To stand up for human rights and equality for all.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!

Monstress Volume 2: A Review

Monstress Volume 2 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

My Rating: 5 Stars!!!

Cover Rating: 10/10 these covers are always stunningly beautiful. True works of art like the comics inside are.

Publisher: Image comics

Publish Date: July 5th, 2017

Number of Pages: 152 pages

Received: Purchased off Amazon

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis: The Eisner-nominated MONSTRESS is back! Maika, Kippa, and Ren journey to Thyria in search of answers to her past… and discover a new, terrible, threat. Collects MONSTRESS #7-12

Opening Sentence: “ “Miss? I woke up last night, and you were gone.””

Musings:

I cannot say enough how much I love these comics!!!! They are so goooood!!! I could never hype them up enough. Sometimes the best things you can barely talk about cause you mind is shouting continually everyone must read this thing!!! It’s so goooood!!! Over and over. These comics are top notch in every way.

What I Loved:

THE ART!!! I will never not be obsessed with this art. I finish one of these comics and immediately want to go back and obsess over how god damn gorgeous it is. It’s glorious. Sana Takeda is a queen!

It’s dark. The story itself has this continued sense of foreboding and urgency with horrific tones throughout. I love for it. Even the adorable cat history parts always have grim stories and grim imagery it’s perfection.

The Hispanic influences. It’s the little touches too of mixing in Hispanic culture. Specifically the use of Spanish words and acknowledging that background context that Maika has in this unique fantasy world is beautiful I love to see it!

How invested I get. You can’t read this without wanting to know more or caring for these characters. It’s dripping with mystery and curiosity. Both at the larger world level and at the individual motivation and wants level. Every single facet of the story itself is interesting.

It’s so gorgeous! The writing is so good! The art is a *chefs kiss*. Both writing and art are so nuanced and work together seamlessly to propel the story forward. I LOVE IT!

All in all:

I don’t want to spoil this I just want everyone to read it for themselves. It’s soooo good!

About the Author

New York Times bestselling and award-winning writer Marjorie Liu is best known for her fiction and comic books. She teaches comic book writing at MIT, and she leads a class on Popular Fiction at the Voices of Our Nation (VONA) workshop.

Ms. Liu was born in Philadelphia, and has lived in numerous cities in the Midwest, as well as Beijing and Shanghai. Prior to writing full-time, she was a lawyer. She currently resides in Boston.

About the Artist

Sana Takeda is based in Japan and is best known in the United States for working with Marjorie Liu, most recently on their hit fantasy series MONSTRESS.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

Some BLM resources:

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!

I’m Ok With Being Uncomfortable

I have learned so much in the past few days about myself, about racism, about what it means to be Anti-racist and what it means to be white and have that kind of privilege in America. Black lives matter. That’s a truth that no one can argue. They matter. They deserve so much more then this country has ever been able to give them and justice needs to be served.

I had made a statement on a twitter thread that received backlash. I was discussing wanting peace and did not understand the privilege I had in saying that. Didn’t understand the negative impact I had saying that under a thread full of hurting and oppressed Black people that are tired of people like me saying they should be peaceful. Getting back lash of that kind is something I’ve never experienced. Yet, thinking on it I realized I was wrong and started to look around and understand the reasons why and what I should be doing and who I should be telling to be peaceful. To tell white people to stop inciting violence by killing Black people for being Black. To tell police officers to stop using excessive force. To tell our government that the way this whole system is built is a knee on Black people’s necks every single day.

Realizing that I have biases and ideals that are part of the problem were eye opening to me. At the end of the day I believe in equality. I believe everyone should have equal opportunity. Seeing the protests and the actions of police and hearing the presidents awful rhetoric opened my eyes to see that this system isn’t going to get better by being complacent. There needs to be change and to start I needed to face a hard truth. That as much as I desire and want to be good and to have everyone have the right to live good and joyful lives with equal opportunity that I needed to take a closer look at my biases and the places where I am part of the problem. To continue to look and learn and educate myself, because my complacency that has helped no one. I need to do the work. To be uncomfortable. To embrace the discomfort and change.

In the past few days I’ve consumed so much information from Black people on twitter and looking at resources to start my journey to help dismantle racism. Starting with me. Starting with the miscro-transgressions I commit without even realizing it. I am ok with being uncomfortable. This is something I could easily turn away from and forget all about and nothing would change, but it’s damn time for change. Black people deserve better. They deserve better from our government. They deserve better from police. They deserve better from white people whose whole society was built on Black peoples backs. They deserve better from me.

I am angry. I am angry at the police who are using mace on children and kicking pregnant women’s bellies and purposefully inciting violence and not listening to the cries for peace. I am angry that every single day there’s another Black man killed by police officer when they’re compliant and unarmed and even if they weren’t completely compliant cause god damn having an officer in your face is terrifying.

I am demanding better from myself. Demanding that I stop pretending that I am free from racist ideals. I am not. But, I will make damn sure that I do better. Because the injustice is too much. The injustice can never be righted, but I want to be part of that amazing group of people that works to make it better for future generations.

That means that I am going to do the wrong thing sometimes and I have to face that. I have to listen when someone from the Black person tells me that there’s something wrong with the way I’m expressing my advocacy and ideas. Enough is enough.

Fuck racism!

BLACK LIVES MATTER!

It’s time for change. Injustice has been perpetuated for far too long.

Thank you all for reading!

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign!

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

Ya Books by Black Authors that need to be read!

There are so many wonderful and incredible books written by black authors that deserve to be read and spread like wildfire.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

“Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orleans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orleans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite, the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orleans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land.
But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie, that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision. 

With the future of Orleans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide: save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles, or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.”

This book is AMAZING! It’s horrifying and so good. I loved every moment of it. Highly recommend this book.

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

American Street is an evocative and powerful coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Everything, Everything; Bone Gap; and All American Boys.

In this stunning debut novel, Pushcart-nominated author Ibi Zoboi draws on her own experience as a young Haitian immigrant, infusing this lyrical exploration of America with magical realism and vodouculture. 

On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life. 

But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. 

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?”

I have this book on my shelves and I can’t wait to dive into it! It sounds like a beautiful piece of writing that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Girls team up to overthrow the kingdom in this unique and powerful retelling of Cinderella from a stunning new voice that’s perfect for fans of A Curse So Dark and Lonely.

It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again. 

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .

This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.”

This book isn’t out yet, but I have a galley for it I will be reading in June. From the moment I saw it I knew I had to read it. It sounds absolutely amazing and I already know I will be recommending this one for ages.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

“Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill.

But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral . . . for all the wrong reasons. 

Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. But with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri doesn’t just want to make it—she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.  

Insightful, unflinching, and full of heart, On the Come Up is an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free.”

This book sounds sooo good! All of Angie’s books should be read in classrooms everywhere. By now most know and love The Hate You Give, so I thought mentioning one of her other timely and powerful books would be great here.

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

“Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela.

The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. 

Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free. 

Plus don’t miss Elizabeth Acevedo’s Clap When You Land!”

A young mother trying her best to make it during difficult circumstances and pursue her dreams. This book sounds like it’ll be a beautiful and hopeful novel.

The Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

“Debut author Justin A. Reynolds delivers a hilarious and heartfelt novel about the choices we make, the people we choose, and the moments that make a life worth reliving. Perfect for fans of Nicola Yoon and John Green.

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. 

But then Kate dies. And their story should end there.

Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind.

Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do to save the people he loves.”

I love the premise of this book. It sounds like it will be a heart-wrenching read.

I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest

“When Chloe Pierce’s mom forbids her to apply for a spot at the dance conservatory of her dreams, she devises a secret plan to drive two hundred miles to the nearest audition. But Chloe hits her first speed bump when her annoying neighbor Eli insists upon hitching a ride, threatening to tell Chloe’s mom if she leaves him and his smelly dog, Geezer, behind. So now Chloe’s chasing her ballet dreams down the east coast—two unwanted (but kinda cute) passengers in her car, butterflies in her stomach, and a really dope playlist on repeat.

Filled with roadside hijinks, heart-stirring romance, and a few broken rules, Kristina Forest’s I Wanna Be Where You Are is a YA debut perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon.”

An adorable sounding rom com about a ballerina on the road to an audition. Too cute sounding not to pick up!

Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles

“Del has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten. And now, during their junior year, she’s finally available. So when Kiera volunteers for an opportunity at their church, Del’s right behind her. Though he quickly realizes he’s inadvertently signed up for a Purity Pledge.

His dad thinks his wires are crossed, and his best friend, Qwan, doesn’t believe any girl is worth the long game. But Del’s not about to lose his dream girl, and that’s where fellow pledger Jameer comes in. He can put in the good word. In exchange, Del just has to get answers to the Pledgers’ questions…about sex ed.

With other boys circling Kiera like sharks, Del needs to make his move fast. But as he plots and plans, he neglects to ask the most important question: What does Kiera want? He can’t think about that too much, though, because once he gets the girl, it’ll all sort itself out. Right?”

This book sounds so funny and sweet and I’d love to pick it up! Plus the cover is beautiful. Looks amazing!

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Watching: Self Made

Just a few days ago me and my family sat down together to watch the amazingness that is Self Made. It’s funny, smart, full of A+ characters and incredible acting and I adored every moment of it.

The show follows a woman named Madame C.J. Walker and her pursuit in a buzzing enterprise of her own making. Based on the real life woman. It tells of her journey to success and being the first female millionaire in the United States.

This show is phenomenal! Me, my mom, and my sister we’re laughing and having a blast with it. Octavia like always was a blessing to watch! Her acting is always impeccable and everything I’ve watched with her in it has been pure gold. She sure did shine in Self Made. What a powerful and incredible woman she is. Her character was strong, determined, and whole in herself. She moved forward and empowered so many women to make something more of themselves. It was so incredible.

By far my favorite character was A’lelia Walker. Her free spirited and joyful nature was a delight to watch! Plus, her reaction to having good reason to divorce her husband had me cackling. It was sooo good.

I loved her relationship with Esther it was so cute and so much fun! They have this genuine connection you can feel and there was a freedom in it that Leia could have never found in her husband.

Another great character Addie who was at odds with Madame C.J. Walker the whole of the story is pretty much the reason for the Walker’s success. As Madame Walker stole Addie’s hair care recipes for herself. Addie’s personality was a bit manipulative at times, but also I understood her too. I both liked and didn’t like her. Having a grey character like her was really interesting.

All in all this show is something that is an absolute must watch. I can’t praise it enough. It was amazing beginning to end!

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!