Own Voices

In honor of Black History month, this own voices feature includes the reviews I have done since I turned my blog into a book review blog. Two of these are Bo CLub picks that will elicit conversations. The third  is truly recommend as a beautiful piece of literature

The Deep

solomonr-deepusThe Deep is the result of work by many voices. The book written by Rivers Solomon is inspired by the work of clipping. which was inspired by yet someone else’s work. Because editor Navah Wolfe saw a beautiful vision, this multifaceted art project exists.
Yetu is the historian. She holds the memory of the Wajinru, merfolk who evolved from the African slave women who were thrown overboard pregnant. Once a year, Yetu shares these memories, the pain with her tribe; this is The Remembrance. Yet she doesn’t exist outside these memories and this year Yetu makes a choice that will change her own life and the lives of her people. Continue reading…

 

I’m Not Dying With You Tonight

I read I’m Not Dying with You Tonight as part of The Big Library Read. This global bookIm-Not-Dying-With-You-Tonight-e1564125646558 club ensures anyone who wants to read the book club titles can though the digital library for a certain period of time.
This novel is an interesting collaboration; the women, one black and one white worked together to spin a narrative to encourage discussion about race, police action and our perception of the world.
It’s just another Friday night for Lena. She’ll hit the school football game and then meet up with her older boyfriend. For Campbell, this night is a terror already. She’s been in town for six weeks and made no friends and is working at the football concession stand with a bunch of people who aren’t helping. When a fight breaks out, racial relations across the town spiral out of control and these two girls from very different backgrounds must manage to make it out together. Continue reading…

 

The Hate U Give

f043712f-4655-4c8a-b60f-fca1e4c6ca9fThe Hate U Give is ripped from the headlines and showcases the actual lives of African Americans and the issues they face.
Starr straddles two worlds: the first is the poor area of town filled with minorities and drug dealers. The second is the rich world of a white private school that Starr attends. She has to balance being in both cultures while keeping her lives separate. That all comes crashing down when she sees her black childhood friend gunned down by the police. Starr must find her voice and learn that she is more than just either side of her personality. Continue reading…

Book Club Review: The Hate U Give

My friends and I participate in a book club with our inaugural book being The Hate U Give. I will be including reviews of the books that we read. These will be mingled with the new book reviews on the site.

The Hate U Give is ripped from the headlines and showcases the actual lives of African Americans and the issues they face.
Starr straddles two worlds: the first is the poor area of town filled with minorities and drug dealers. The second is the rich world of white private school that Starr attends. She has to balance being in both cultures while keeping her lives separate. That all comes crashing down when she sees her black childhood friend gunned down by the police. Starr must find her voice and learn that she is more than just either side of her personality.
I was surprised how close to the central conflict the story stayed. I had expected a sweeping story to set precedent about how this event affected the world and such. But the author skillfully stays with Starr and her family. This is her (and Khalil’s) story. Seeing how it impacted the family and those around them is something that most media representations don’t show. It was enlightening to read about how these events effect on the local community level.
f043712f-4655-4c8a-b60f-fca1e4c6ca9fAngie Thomas has her characters walking a complex line which allows for growth for the character and identification for the reader. Not one person is just one-sided and the majority of the characters show the complexity of true life. This allows anyone reading to identify and appreciate the story. I was able to identify with growing up poor around those with money. This empathy made me even more invested in Starr past the explosive predicaments she
I could never imagine being in that situation and bridging that gap allowed myself (and, I am, sure other races) to start to see more humanism in these characters and these events.
I did have some issues with a few things (such as propagating stereotypes of others when the author is trying to fight those against African Americans), but overall the writing brought you into Starr’s world, let you see through the characters’ eyes and understand their feelings.
I came away from this book with so many question, emotions, and desires to advocate. I suggest everyone one read this book and see a side to an ongoing issue that some many don’t think about. I look forward to seeing what our discussion in book club brings.