I absolutely love this because it’s like Thorne is trying to use one of his old flirting tactics of picking up girls, but Cress doesn’t fall for it. She doesn’t even notice. And Thorne just laughs it off because he realizes it isn’t gonna work on her.

“The Hate U Give” and The Reviews I Hate.

***DISCLAIMER: I saw a lot of the reviews mentioned weeks ago, mostly during release week.***


So, first off, yay! THE HATE U GIVE is a #1 fucking New York Times Bestseller. I can’t be happier about this.

Originally posted by thecynicalcrayon

THE HATE U GIVE (aka THUG, if you’ve seen the hashtag on Twitter) by Angie Thomas is a truly revolutionary book. It’s introduced to the YA community and publishing industry that not only do diverse stories written by people of color and marginalized writers matter, but also that they are demanded by consumers. For years, agents, editors and publishing houses were saying that there was no market for books like THUG. Welp. As it turns out, that was just fake news! Anyway, THUG hitting the New York Times is a massive deal, and I think we’ll see more changes within the industry. At least, one can hope.

The point of this post though is to open up the discussion of how to talk about THUG without being problematic. And this is mostly aimed at white reviewers, bloggers, journalists, etc. I’ve read several reviews, blog posts, Tweets, and general articles about THUG that rubbed me the wrong way, and I’m just going to highlight some of those things here.

My thoughts are probably going to be scattered and this might have a zillion typos because I’ve not yet had coffee and it’s early for me, but just hang with me.

First off – let’s start with the title. THE HATE U GIVE. It comes from Tupac Shakur who had a tattoo and a life motto of: T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E. It stood for “The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody.” It’s a statement of what white society feeds into our youth (hatred, racism, and systems of oppression) and how it comes back around with long, devastating effects and stereotypes between white society and the black community. That’s why a lot of times when we see black and brown kids getting gunned down by racists, we’re always hearing that, “they were no angel. They were just a thug.” This is what Tupac was warning us about. 

The usage of the letter “U” and not “you” is AAVE. The letter “U” is deeply rooted in black culture, mostly through music. I’ve seen a lot of people (usually white reviewers) write “THE HATE YOU GIVE” and though a lot of people don’t get corrected, it’s still kind of a microaggression. If you find that annoying, it’s probably because you’ve internalized that your way of speaking is superior, thus, walking the lines of white supremacy. Ignoring the usage of the letter “U” is erasure of an intimate element to Angie Thomas’s novel and black culture. Please don’t intentionally correct the title to “THE HATE YOU GIVE.” That’s offensive.

Speaking of AAVE:

AAVE is African American Vernacular English. It’s a whole rule-bound dialect of English with very clear, defined grammar structures. THUG is full of AAVE, which is part of the reason I love it so much. If in your review, you mention something along the lines of “a language deficit” or “incorrect/ungrammatical” structures, that’s problematic logic. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t make it wrong. If you don’t understand what something means, please don’t hesitate to Google, if you can. It will save you.

However, Starr, the main character in THUG is constantly code-switching. Code-switching is when black people switch our behavior and language to certain navigate situations. It’s how we balance who we are with who we have to be at times. Starr lives in the hood, but goes to a very “preppy” school in the suburbs where she’s one of the only black kids in her class. She speaks and behaves differently around her friends than she does when she’s at school and around white folks because she absolutely has to. It’s a survival tactic. That’s a real thing that people have to do. So, stop calling it “inauthentic” and “unrealistic.”

Which brings me to…

Comparisons to novels by other black authors

It’s important not to box in black culture, especially when it comes to language. Yes, we code switch. Yes, we manipulate the English language. But black people are not a monolith. When you read books by black authors who write black characters don’t expect them to use AAVE in it and don’t expect them not to. We know standard English. A lot of us have degrees in English. In a lot of reviews by white reviewers, I’m seeing people compare THUG to ALL AMERICAN BOYS. Just stop it. Don’t. Do. This. You’re totally allowed to like one more than the other and whatever, but comparing the two, saying one is “more realistic” than the other because it fulfills whatever prejudiced views you have of black people and our experiences is pretty dang racist, if you didn’t know.

Lastly, for now because I may come back to this: #BlackLivesMatter

 

If you haven’t already, go pick up THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas. You won’t regret it. It’s amazing and beautiful and heartbreaking and real as fuck.

Originally posted by usedpimpa

Everything begins TODAY!

entertainmentweekly calls Everything, Everything by nicolayoon “fresh, moving” and Bustle.com raves it’s “vibrant, thrilling…bound to be an instant hit.” 

#EverythingEverythingBook

If you don’t want a man dead, don’t bludgeon him over the head repeatedly. 

Book Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik [5 stars]

This was the first book I read by Naomi Novik, and I just completely fell in love with her writing. As a fairytale retelling, Novik manages to capture the language and magic of the original story - the narrative strongly reminded me of some of the stories I’ve read by the Grimm Brothers - while still creating a book which is wholly unique. There is powerful world-building, and the magic and plot are beautifully woven together with vivid description into a compelling story. Uprooted is also surprisingly funny for a story so embedded in fantasy. The characters are clumsy, sarcastic and utterly charming, and you can’t help but fall in love with them. This book has romance, strong female friendships and adventure, and I cannot recommend reading it enough.

To everyone that pitched in on the Serpent’s Shadow cover- thank you! It took a lot of drafts and back and forth but the final cover can be seen on Amazon.com, where it’s  available for pre-order:

Give me the awessssome

And for the first time anywhere- Here’s the full, uncropped hardcover jacket art! Coming in October from the minds of Rick Riordan and Orpheus Collar, 160 pages of epic conclusiveness to a trilogy of graphic novels 5,000 years in the making :D

TITLE: Nemesis

AUTHOR: Brendan Reichs

RELEASE DATE: March 21, 2017

RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

SYNOPSIS: He killed me. He killed me not. He killed me.

It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.

Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him, though he does his best to hide the signs. But when the world around him begins to spiral toward panic and destruction, Noah discovers that people have been lying to him his whole life. Everything changes in an eye blink.

For the planet has a bigger problem. The Anvil, an enormous asteroid threatening all life on Earth, leaves little room for two troubled teens. Yet on her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, hoping not to die for the fifth time, Min has had enough. She vows to discover what is happening in Fire Lake and uncovers a lifetime of lies: a vast conspiracy involving the sixty-four students of her sophomore class, one that may be even more sinister than the murders.

MY REVIEW: What in the world just happened?!
This book was AH-Mazing! I can’t express enough how much I love this book. Written in duel point of views which I love and is one of my biggest preferences. It’s such a thriller you’ll find yourself wanting more even after you’ve finished the book.
First of all, the intro traps you, the summary itself.. and those few lines right before you start the first chapter..

THE SUN RISES. BUT NOT FOR ME.
I KNOW WHAT DAY IT IS.
WILL HE COME SOONER OR LATER?
I DON’T KNOW, BUT IT DOESN’T MATTER.
HE’LL COME.
AND WHEN HE DOES, I’LL DIE.

After I read the synopsis, I was like ‘Drop everything, must read this now!’ and that’s exactly what I did..
We meet Min a young introverted girl who lives a nightmare every two years.. she is murdered.. Why? She doesn’t know? Is it real? She doesn’t know.. What she does know is that the people around her are keeping secrets from her and she will do whatever it takes to know the truth, along with her best friend Tack.. (Whom I Love by the way) they embark on risky break ins to find out what really is going on in their small town..
They find out a lot more then they were hoping for..
There’s also Noah a quiet, rich kid who hangs out with the school jerks,, Noah and Min share something in common, he also lives through these nightmares.. of being murdered.. only to him they’re only nightmares.. dreams he wakes up from and makes nothing more of it.. it’s only until he has an encounter with Min that he realizes, he’s not alone, and there’s so much more to his story then he ever would have been able to find out if it wasn’t for Min.
There will be twists and turns with each turning page and you’ll love it, and just when you think you know what’s about to happen.. BOOM! Something unexpected..
I definitely recommend this read, check it out from your local library, borrow it from a friend, order it online.. do what you need to do to get your hands on this book!! ❤️Ellie RG

Let’s talk about the word “strong.”

I’ve always given this word major side-eye. I imagine it’s supposed to mean strongly developed, as opposed to female characters who are passive, dull, under-developed, or weakly portrayed. However, I’ve yet to see the term “strong male character” vs. “weak male character.” The only characters with the potential for weakness, somehow, are the women. Now…why is that? Who decided on this word?

Whether intended or not, the use of the word “strong” to describe a female character and the lack of “weak” to describe male characters has led authors/readers to identify strong female characters by those who are physically strong. Those who are simplymore masculine. YA fantasy is full to bursting with female warriors, female champions, female assassins, females who commit full-on terrible acts to earn the title “strong,” when, should that character have been male, we would probably exchange “strong” for “twisted” or “despicable.”

Don’t get me wrong–I love a good female warrior. I’m even seeing a shift toward girls who collect weapons as well as lipsticks, and they slay in every sense of the word. And this trend of villainous, evil queen origin stories: yessss.

However, let’s remember to call it like it is. Don’t call her “strong” when a better descriptor (because, let’s be real) would be “fucked up.” Don’t make us fuck up our girlsjust so they can have a seat at the “strong” table.

In fact, let’s abandon the word “strong” altogether.

Think of some popular YA male characters and brainstorm a list of adjectives to describe them. Did “strong” make it on to your list? (The closest word I got was “powerful,” speaking in terms of magic.) Now think of some popular YA female characters. Did “strong” make it there? It did for me. Several times. Why is that?

It’s not as if strong is a negative word, but I think the more we use it, the more we deviate from its intended meaning. I’m ready for female characters to simply be calledbrilliant, charming, evil, whimsical, vicious, hot-headed, brave. I’m ready for female characters who are allowed to be weak and vulnerable, despite it contradicting our favorite female character buzzword. I’m ready for everyone to stop putting this pressure on YA in particular to develop girls who must kick ass in order to be kickass.

Please let us and let our girls be.

I Have 3 Questions For You!🙌🏼

1. What’s your favorite Book?📚
My Favorite Book is ‘Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone’ because it began my greatest Love❤️

2. What is your favorite Movie?🎬
My Favorite Movie that I can watch over and over include any of the Disney Princess Movies..
Beauty & the Beast🌹
The Little Mermaid🐚
Tangled🌸
Pocahontas🍂
Snow White🍎
Cinderella💎
Brave🗡

3. What’s your favorite show?📺
My Favorite TV show of ALL TIME is..
F.R.I.E.N.D.S!☕️😍

EllieRG❤️
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Adelina Amouteru

“The only way to clamp down on my energy is to erase my emotions, and so I fold them each away, one by one. My sorrow turns to anger, then to ice-cold fury. My soul curls in one itself in defense. I am gone. I am truly gone.

I am not sorry.” 

Marie Lu, The Young Elites

@marielubooks

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Fan-made covers I did for Jenny Han’s “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” series. I can’t wait for the AFLJ’s release!

🍦 @jennyhan