Discussion: The Hate U Give

Welcome back to book club, delving into the issues in The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Sorry this post is late. Finding time to record it was tricky. Still figuring out how to fit stuff in around all of my parenting duties. Actually, there are two audio clips for this discussion because my baby started crying halfway through my first recording and I couldn’t figure out how to edit the two clips together. Ha! Anyway, take a listen below and make sure to leave your comments. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

Part 1
Part 2

 

Reminder that June’s book is The Outsiders by SE Hinton. Can’t wait to chat about it!

Also, you can find previous book club posts here, here is a copy of The Corner by David Simon, and here is that Radiolab podcast I mentioned (part 1, part 2).

Discussion: The Hate U Give

Book Club Returns: The Hate U Give

Now that I have settled in to motherhood a little bit, it is high time to bring back the Young Adulters Book Club! I am really looking forward to taking a deep dive into books again and discussing them with all you fine book club members.

So without further ado, I give you our May book selection:

From Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Given the current state of the world and the issues that are receiving tons of attention, this should be a timely and important read. I can’t wait to talk about it!

Also, it is a popular book so if you need to put a hold on it at your local library, do it sooner rather than later. I will post the discussion at the end of May. Happy reading. 🙂

PS. Find the other book club posts here.

Book Club Returns: The Hate U Give

November Book Discussion: Bone Gap

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Oh man, you guys, I think this is my favorite book that we have read for this book club. There were just so many things to love about it: themes of inner vs outer beauty, male and female power, magical realism, beautiful prose, fabulous characters. Really, I could go on and on. Do you get the point that I loved Bone Gap?!

So here we go, diving into the November discussion. This is my second last audio discussion before the baby comes! Crazy pants. Hope you guys enjoy it. Remember to leave your comments below and check back to see what other readers thought!

Quick summary:

  • themes of external vs internal beauty
    • all the men who think Roza owes them something because she is beautiful and get upset when she doesn’t want them
    • Finn’s prosopagnosia and how it relates to his relationship with Petey
      • Isn’t that what love is, seeing things that others can’t?
    • how Sean respects her wishes and that automatically puts him on a different level than the other men she has encountered before
  • all the ways in which people leave: Didi, Hugh, Petey’s dad, Roza
  • Finn and Sean’s relationship
  • the magical realism elements were limited but pretty seamless, except for the random horse riding through weird, magical worlds, which I thought was a bit strange
  • the beautiful, beautiful prose that created such a rich and wonderful atmosphere and setting

(Remember, December’s book selection is If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo. You can find the other Young Adulters Book Club posts here.)

November Book Discussion: Bone Gap

October Book Discussion: The Knife of Never Letting Go

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Happy Halloween! Let’s jump right into it, shall we? Without further ado, the October book discussion for The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. (It starts off a little awkward, like I’ve never done this before, haha.)

I think this one has the potential to be fairly divisive, and I am really interested to hear what you guys thought about it. Don’t forget to check the box that will send you an email when other people post here, so that we can respond to each other!

Also, remember that November’s book is Bone Gap by Laura Ruby. Do you have your copy yet?

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October Book Discussion: The Knife of Never Letting Go

Two Book Selections and an Announcement

Announcement

As some of you know, I am currently pregnant with my first child. I am due December 21, and as such, am expecting a very busy Christmas season. For that reason, I have decided to make the last two book selections of the year myself, so that I can be as prepared as possible with discussion posts for each before I have my baby and my world gets turned upside down and inside out. 🙂 As well, I am going to be including a list of books that sound interesting that you may want to look into for the first few months of next year; I don’t know when I will be coming back with the book club. I am hoping for April, but I make no promises! As always, feel free to share your book recommendations with each other and I hope that you guys enjoy our last three selections of 2016!

book selections

Reminder, October’s book is The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. Added bonus of announcing November and December’s books rather than voting on them means that I can take a little bit of extra time to read Knife. Confession: I haven’t even picked it up yet. Whoops. It has been a busy month!

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November’s book will be Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, which completely enchanted me with this summary on the Barnes & Noble blog:

Bone Gap is a dense, weird, magical realistic fairy tale about a girl whose beauty makes her a target, and a boy whose sight works differently from everyone else’s. It’s about the dangers and delights of seeing and being seen. It alternates between the contemporary small town where teenaged Finn has been raised by his stoic older brother, Sean, since their mom skipped town, and the enchanted hinterland where Sean’s girlfriend, Roza, is being held by a terrifying figure out of fairy tales. Enigmatic Roza washed up on the boys’ property after some mysterious trauma, and both fell in love with her in their own way. When she’s kidnapped by the man she was running from, Finn is the only witness, and his inability to save her haunts him. With the help of a bee-eyed girl and his slow discovery of his own strengths, he sets out to bring Rosa home.

I mean, come on. They had me at “dense, weird, magical realistic fairy tale.”

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December’s book is If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo, which tackles some thorny and deeply relevant issues.

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.

hiatus recommendations

As for books that you might want to check out during the hiatus, I have ten here for you. It was very hard to keep it at ten. But my psychology education tells me that more choices is bad and leads to decision paralysis and less enjoyment when a decision is made, so ten it is.

  1. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
  2. The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
  3. American Girls by Alison Umminger
  4. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (This is the first book in the Raven Cycle series and this series is my favorite series EVER and I am therefore terrified to recommend it to you guys. Basically, if you don’t like it, I don’t want to know.)
  5. I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
  6. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
  7. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
  8. And I Darken by Kiersten White
  9. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  10. The Diviners by Libba Bray

BONUS: If you want to start a really great series, I recommend the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor.

Happy reading!

Two Book Selections and an Announcement

October Book Selection: The Knife of Never Letting Go

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I was going to make you guys read another horror/supernatural thriller novel for October – tis the season – but then I was reminded that not everyone likes that stuff as much as I do, so I decided to keep those for myself and go a different route. (I do have some great seasonally appropriate recommendations, though, if you are interested!) We actually ended up with a four-way tie in this month’s poll; I recruited Bryan to be the tie-breaker. He chose The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, which I am quite excited about as it has been on my list (the one in my head) for ages. Admittedly, I was really excited about all the options, so it would have been impossible to disappoint me!

From Goodreads:

Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

That summary doesn’t even begin to touch on the elements of gender politics that have seen the book compared to The Handmaid’s Tale (!!!) and that I am salivating to delve into. This should be another meaty read with lots to discuss, and I can’t wait to get into it! I hope you guys are excited, too. Happy reading. 🙂

PS. Find the rest of the Young Adulters Book Club posts here.

October Book Selection: The Knife of Never Letting Go

September Book Selection: Dumplin’

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Coming in with a full 75% of the vote, September’s selection is Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy. I am so excited for this one, guys! I have been reading a lot of books lately about body positivity and fat positivity and this is just supposed to be an incredible read. (PS. Read “Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls” by Jes Baker if you haven’t already. It’s a (non-fiction) revelation.)

From Goodreads:

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

***

As always, feel free to post any thoughts you have while reading on this post, and if you want to get caught up on our past discussions, go here.

September Book Selection: Dumplin’

August Book Discussion: The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

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All right, guys, time for another variation of the discussion! Let’s dive in to The Girl Who Fell From the Sky. This month, I invited Carlia to come along and chat with me about our book, and we had a lively discussion about characters and theme and symbols within the book. It is longer than last month’s, clocking in at just about 30 minutes, and I have to apologize that Carlia’s side of the conversation is not as loud as it could be; I was recording our Skype conversation using my phone. If anyone has any suggestions on how to do this in a more efficient and quality way, please let me know!

Otherwise, enjoy. 🙂

Please leave your comments below! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this complex, layered book.

Oh, and click here to vote for September’s book. (Wait, September?! Time is flying, guys. I am almost in my third trimester!)

August Book Discussion: The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

August Book Selection: The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

The votes are in and our book selection for August is The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow. This should be an interesting read, with, I’m sure, some difficult situations and themes. Can’t wait to dive in! Have you picked up your copy yet?

Synopsis from Goodreads:

This debut novel tells the story of Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I. who becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy. With her strict African American grandmother as her new guardian, Rachel moves to a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring mixed attention her way. Growing up in the 1980s, she learns to swallow her overwhelming grief and confronts her identity as a biracial young woman in a world that wants to see her as either black or white. In the tradition of Jamaica Kincaid’sAnnie John and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, here is a portrait of a young girl – and society’s ideas of race, class, and beauty.

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Feel free to share your thoughts here while reading. 🙂

(Find the rest of the Young Adulters Book Club posts here.)

August Book Selection: The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

July Book Discussion: Nimona

Yay, this is the first time that we are going to try out the new format! Be gentle, I don’t have much (haha, any) experience with this kind of thing, so forgive the weird long pauses (I was trying really hard not to say “um” and “er” a whole lot!). I would love to hear what you think about the new format (love it? hate it? ambivalent about it?), if you have any suggestions for making it better, or if you want to scrap it completely. And of course, most importantly, what did you think of Nimona?! Comment below! <3

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Summary of points covered in audio discussion:

  • A simplistic concept with on-the-nose character names (Goldenloin and Blackheart, seriously?) led to a surprisingly layered story about morality.
  • Blackheart’s morality is generally reserved for heroes like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Clark Kent; our first hint that he was going to be our actual hero, not Goldenloin or the Institute and in contrast to Nimona’s apparent love of destruction.
  • In my opinion, Nimona wasn’t just a monster. She wouldn’t have loved Blackheart if she was. She was being the monster that she had been made into.
  • Class issues were brought up several times in the story but it felt heavy-handed and unnecessary to me because it never really went anywhere.
  • Gloreth = girl power, rah rah!
  • I find fight scenes in comics so hard to follow. 🙁
  • Goldenloin and Blackheart just set aside their years of fighting and were totally fine? Hmm.
  • OH! And I forgot to mention one thing completely! Thoughts on whether or not the girl at the end was ACTUALLY Nimona or if Blackheart just wanted it to be?

See the rest of the Young Adulters Book Club posts here.

Vote for August’s book selection here.

July Book Discussion: Nimona