Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

e-ARC, 368 pages
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Published by: HarperTeen
Read from: March 18, 2018
Source: Edelweiss (I received a copy of this book from the Edelweiss and the Publisher in exchange for a just and honest review. This did nothing to influence my review.
For fans of:  Verse, Diverse Reads, #OwnVoices, Poetry, Contemporary, Body Image, Debut Author, Realistic Fiction, YA

     A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.
     Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.
     But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.
     So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.
     Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.


     If you know me, you know I am NOT the biggest fans of novels in verse. In fact, I do my best to stay away from them! (Hence the reason I can count on two hands how many I've reviewed on the blog haha) But then sometimes a book like The Poet X comes along and makes me want to change my mind about them.....
"When your body takes up more room than your voice you are always the target of well-aimed rumors, which is why I let my knuckles talk for me."
     A girl and her mother see differently on something very important: her mother's religion. Her mother wants to keep her hidden away and quiet, but Xiomara has so much to say that she can't keep it contained. She discovers slam poetry and a whole new escape plan opens up for her.
"This is the typical hood school, and not too long ago it was considered one of the worst in the city: gang fights in the morning and drug deals in the classroom. It's not like that anymore, but one thing I know fir sure is that reputations last longer than the time it takes ti make them."
     Although I'm not a fan of novels in verse, the storytelling and writing style in this one was phenomenal. I'm always amazed when I can get a complete story just by reading a book of poems. I know that doesn't make much sense, but it seems as if it should be so much harder to put together a story without making it seem choppy when you write it in poem style. And Acevedo did just that.
"Just because your father's present doesn't mean he isn't absent."
     I also really loved Xiormara's character. She was a strong female character that I was glad to read about during Women's History Month. She didn't take crap from anyone and I loved how she was able to beat up anyone, no matter who they were. It made me feel empowered just from reading her story. Lastly, I really loved that Acevedo made her curvy and beautiful. It's not something that we see enough in books.
"Sometimes the best way to love someone is to let them go."
     I also really liked the real life aspect of religion. It made me a bit uncomfortable because I'm Catholic and alot of those things that came up in her life, once came up in mine. It felt like I was reading about my own life at some points. It was a little different because she's Dominican, but lawd if some things didn't line up. Her mom was the equivalent to my grandmother, and I could feel her agreeing with her from Heaven lol I hope teens (and anyone else who reads this) all feel a connection like this when they read it!
"Not every fight can be fought with gloves, Xiomara."
     I'm someone who still doesn't care for many novels in verse, but novels like this one and Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds are determined to make me change my mind about them. Finding more like these two would most definitely make me have a change of heart and read more.
Overall, I give this

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

WoW: Charlie Hernandez & the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo

This bookish meme tells the blogosphere what we're waiting patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) for! It's hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine!

Charlie Hernández and the League of Shadows

     The Lightning Thief meets the Story Thieves series in this middle grade fantasy inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America.
     Charlie Hernández has always been proud of his Latin American heritage. He loves the culture, the art, and especially the myths. Thanks to his abuela’s stories, Charlie possesses an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the monsters and ghouls who have spent the last five hundred years haunting the imaginations of children all across the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Central and South America. And even though his grandmother sometimes hinted that the tales might be more than mere myth, Charlie’s always been a pragmatist. Even barely out of diapers, he knew the stories were just make-believe—nothing more than intricately woven fables meant to keep little kids from misbehaving.
     But when Charlie begins to experience freaky bodily manifestations—ones all too similar to those described by his grandma in his favorite legend—he is suddenly swept up in a world where the mythical beings he’s spent his entire life hearing about seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Hispanic folklore and into his life. And even stranger, they seem to know more about him than he knows about himself.
     Soon, Charlie finds himself in the middle of an ancient battle between La Liga, a secret society of legendary mythological beings sworn to protect the Land of the Living, and La Mano Negra (a.k.a. the Black Hand), a cabal of evil spirits determined to rule mankind. With only the help of his lifelong crush, Violet Rey, and his grandmother’s stories to guide him, Charlie must navigate a world where monsters and brujas rule and things he couldn’t possibly imagine go bump in the night. That is, if he has any hope of discovering what’s happening to him and saving his missing parents (oh, and maybe even the world).
     No pressure, muchacho.

Expected Publication: October 23, 2018
Published By: Aladdin

Why I'm Waiting: The Lightning Thief name drop and then there's the fact that it's mythology from a culture that I haven't seen many MG/YA books about. I'm super excited to learn more about these myths, these characters, and this authors! 

What are you waiting on this week?
Will you be waiting on this with me? 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Top Ten (Or Thirteen) Books on my Spring TBR!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish and is now run by Jana at That Artsy Reader GirlEach week she will post a new Top Ten list . Everyone is welcome to join. 

This week's topic is:
Top Ten  Thirteen Books on my Spring TBR!

I always do these season ones based on the books that come out during that season! So, this time these are the books that come out during March, April, and May that I'm most excited for! 

Tyler Johnson Was HereEmergency Contact
Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava Quartet, #1)Starry Eyes
Dread Nation (Dread Nation, #1)Leah on the Offbeat
Ash PrincessSky in the Deep
Legendary (Caraval, #2)Listen to Your Heart
LIFEL1K3Anger Is a Gift
Furyborn (Empirium, #1)

What books coming out are you excited about this spring? 

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

e-ARC, 308 pages
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Published by: Simon Pulse
Read from: March 14-18, 2018
Source: Edelweiss (I received a copy of this book from the Edelweiss and the Publisher in exchange for a just and honest review. This did nothing to influence my review.) 
For fans of:  Paranormal, Romance, Witches, Magic, Ghosts, Pretty Covers, Magical Realism, 

     Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…
     Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.
     Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.
     Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.
     Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.
     But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.


      I have to admit, when I saw this book, I only wanted to read it becasue of the cover. I'm not usually one who likes books about withces, but I stuck my neck out and gave it a chance. It turned out to completely different than I expected and I really enjoyed it. 
"Everyone believes they're immune. Until they're not."
pg. 43
     Sparrow, Oregon has been cursed for over 200 years by the legend of the Swan sisters. Every summer they come back on the notes of a song and steal the bodies of three girls and then drown boys as the summer goes on. But this year is different. Penny meets Bo and suddenly secrets from everyone start to come out. But who can trust who? And will you really risk it? 
"It's as predictable as the tide and the moon. It ebbs and flows. Death comes and goes."
pg. 68
     The world building in this was superb y'all. I really felt like I was on the beach, in the parties, in the lighthouse, and more. Maybe it's because I from a place with a beach and I can recognize these things, but I really felt pulled into Ernshaw's story and really felt like I was in Sparrow. 
"Love is an enchantress- devious and wild. It sneaks up behind you, soft and gentle and quiet, just before it slits your throat."
pg. 177
     Come to think of it, the world-building was probably the reason I didn't mind that this was about witches. Ernshaw does a great job of providing details about the back-story as well as giving the details of how the sisters survive. You may not get the information all at once, but that's what makes the story. 
"Apparently, love is the worst kind of maddness."
pg. 200
          The only complaint I had about this story was the plot. In many places it dragged, but I decided to stick with it because I was still intrigued. But once it got to the plot twist, the story sped up and I didn't want to put it down. Granted the plot twist is after 200 pages and many of you who read it will have some suspicion, but it will still throw you for a loop. 
"If only love were so easily conjured, there wouldn't be so many broken hearts..."
pg. 236
     Lastly, this book was so well written I found myself highlighting so many different phrases and words. Ernshaw has a beautiful writing style that pulled me into Sparrow and kept me there until the very end. From the descriptions of the characters to the description of the places surrounding them and even the cats, I loved reading her words. 
"She belongs where the land meets the sea"
pg. 308
     I wasn't supposed to like so much of this book based on my past interests. But this book surprised me so much. I loved so much about it and really didn't have any issues with it. Although the plot could have moved a bit faster, I do appreciate the way in which she told the story. Thank you Ernshaw for creating such a magical story that made me want to open my mind to other books about magic and witches.
Overall, I give this

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Stacking the Shelves #260 & the Weekly Wrap-Up!

This bookish meme tells the blogosphere what all we borrowed, bought, and received for review. It's hosted over at Tynga's Reviews.

From the Publishers: 
The Way You Make Me FeelA Blade So Black
Sky in the Deep

From the Library: 
The WifeThe Traitor's Game (The Traitor's Game, #1)Say You'll Remember Me

I stayed away from McGarry's newest because I thought it was part of a series. And then I found out it wasn't and now I NEED it. 

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)

The Weekly Wrap-Up!

Wednesday 03/14/18: Waiting on Wednesday: The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
Friday 03/16/18: Book Blogger Hop: Flashback Friday
 Saturday 03/17/18:  Book to Movie Review: Love, Simon

Me on Instagram

I bookpushed Children of Blood and Bone to my mom and I have been asking her every five minutes what part is she on smh 

Saturday night living <3

What went on at your blog this week?