Book Review: The Hate U Give + Discussion

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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Synopsis:

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. who nod


~ SPOILER ALERT ~


This review will be very different from most because I feel obligated to go into detail about certain things and really talk about the importance of this novel. I’m going to break down certain topics in the book with hopes of providing some prospective and starting a discussion.


I’m going to go ahead and jump into the story –  Khalil didn’t have to die. He should not have died. He was unarmed and he wasn’t a threat. Sure, he was kind of being an asshole but he had a right to know why he was being pulled over. The crazy thing is that he died because he wanted to make sure that Starr was okay. That’s it. Even if officer 119 did think that Khalil was reaching for a gun, one shot was enough to stop him from doing whatever he was doing. Were the other two shots necessary? No. The only acceptable answer to that question, is no.

There was also no reason for 119 to hold his gun on Starr. She’s already distraught because she watched her best friend die, why make it worse?

Even when Starr is in the police station, you can see the issue within law enforcement. They weren’t asking for the truth. They were asking leading questions to try to get Starr to say what they wanted to hear.

Then of course the media has to point out that he may have been a drug dealer because then who cares if he’s dead right? They may have been able to find that out but they had no idea why he was doing it or that he actually wanted out but, more on that later.

Hailey is the epitome of white feminism and why it’s a problem. You can’t talk about uplifting women but then turn around and say racist shit as if women of color don’t count. Being friends with people of color doesn’t exempt you from being racist. You don’t get a pass. She was also way more concerned with her image than with the fact that she had actually said racist things on multiple occasions. Her apology to Starr was bullshit. You can’t say “I’m sorry you feel hurt” and think it’s okay. You have to be sorry for causing that pain. It’s pretty simple really.

I’m not at all surprised that 119 wasn’t indicted. Young Adult fiction is essentially supposed to mirror reality and well….we know how this goes down in real life.

I know I haven’t gone into much detail with the rest of the characters but I’m going to skip that part. For now I want to break down a few things that I think are important to mention when discussing this book.

Code Switching/AAVE

Aside from the fact that this book provides and incredibly important message, I connected with Starr in more ways than one. I know what it’s like to live in one place and be one person while going to school in a totally different environment and feeling that it’s necessary to create a second version of yourself.

Let me explain now that it has nothing to do with shame of who you are, where you come from, or anything like that. It’s the fact that when you’re around a bunch of rich white kids you know that 1. They’ve likely never spent an extended amount of time around people of color 2. The exception to #1 is typically a maid or housekeeper and 3. They will look at you as the representation and voice of everyone else who looks like you. Sure, this won’t be the case for all of them, but it is for the majority.

On the flip side of that, because Starr goes to a PWI (predominantly white institution) her friends from Garden Heights think she’s stuck up, looks down on them or think she “isn’t black enough.” This is also relatable for me and when all of Starr’s friends are finally in one place, she explains it perfectly,

“I can use some slang, but not too much slang, some attitude, but not too much attitude, so I’m not a “sassy black girl.” I have to watch what I say and how I say it, but I can’t sound ‘white.'” 

One of the things that piss me off about this are that being sassy is not a trait that solely black girls have, we’re just the only ones constantly being judged for it. It’s also a stereotype that is so embedded in our society that many people attach it to black women even when it doesn’t fit.

The other thing is the idea of “sounding white.” I was told this often as a child and essentially all it means is that I speak what is considered “proper” English. What pisses me off about it is that by telling me that I sound white you assumed that because I’m Black I’m uneducated and/or use slang all the time. It’s also another example of white people being considered the norm or what people are “supposed” to be.

A lot of people are unaware of the fact that African American Vernacular English aka AAVE or Ebonics is linguistically considered a language. This is where words like “ain’t” originated from. The language itself originated as a result of slavery and the fact that slaves were prevented from learning to read, write or be educated at all for the most part as well as a blend of different African cultures coming together in America at that time. Many people use AAVE and have absolutely no idea of the history behind it. I get that it may not be a well known fact but I kind of feel like this is one more example (there are tons) of how Black people/culture has contributed to society but isn’t credited for it.

Interracial Dating

This is sometimes a tricky topic to explain. You will often hear someone say that choosing not to date someone due to their race is racist……well it is….but there’s also more behind that. Hopefully at this point you’re familiar with the concept of race as a social construct created by white people and therefore it cannot be used against them (if you have no idea what the hell I’m talking about then message me and we’ll chat). This situation is kind of like that because when old school parents of color don’t want their children dating white people it’s because they don’t want their children dating their oppressor. For many parents, it also raises the question of if their child is internally battling racism. Has the affect of a fucked up society that constantly makes white people the norm caused their child to dislike their own skin and those of people who look like them?

Another reason is because a lot of white people fetishize people of color which, quite frankly, is disgusting. I hate when white people date members of a marginalized group but then continue to perpetuate stereotypes and slurs against them. This is a clear sign of disrespect and again, no parent would want their child in that situation.

This is why Starr starts struggling with the idea of dating Chris. As she said, he may not have pulled the trigger but a man that looks like him killed her best friend, simply because he looked like her.

I also thought about this a lot when Chris was mad at Starr for not telling him that she was the witness in Khalil’s case. First and foremost, how selfish do you have to be to take someone else’s trauma and try to make it about you? Second, he most likely will never be in that situation, so while Starr can tell him all about it, he will never understand. It makes me sick when white people want to date people of color while constantly turning a blind eye to the issues that they face. Just like with Hailey, dating a person of color does not mean you can’t be racist.

Poverty

For some reason, many people still don’t seem to understand how exactly poverty works. It has nothing to do with laziness or anything close to it and more often is a result of a fucked up system designed to prevent the people at the bottom from moving upward. Quite frankly you need to understand that everything won’t always end up like The Pursuit of Happiness. Even then, his situation got a lot worse before it started to get better. None of it happened overnight

Look up the affects that gentrification and food deserts have had on certain communities. Pay attention to the requirements that have to be met for government assistance and how short a time people actually need it for. Looking up the facts will (hopefully) help get rid of your biases and understand how the system actually works.

Drugs

Why would anyone ever become a drug dealer? How could Khalil sell drugs if he hated them so much? Valid question. But this quote explains it all.

“Drugs come from somewhere, and they’re destroying our community. You got folks like Brenda, who think they need them to survive. The Brendas can’t get jobs unless they’re clean, and they can’t pay for rehab unless they got jobs. When the Khalils get arrested for selling drugs, they either spend most of their life in prison, another billion dollar industry, or they have a hard time getting a real job and probably start selling drugs again. That’s the hate they’re giving us….a system designed against us.”

I don’t know for sure but I highly doubt that a lot of people are like, “when I grow up I want to be a drug dealer. Yeah!” I just don’t think that happens to often. It’s one of those things that is unfortunate but very easy to fall into and there is always a reason for it. Khalil hated drugs because he saw first hand what they could do to someone. Drugs are the very reason that his relationship with his mother is strained. However, his grandmother is the next best thing that he has to a mother. She’s dying, she needs treatment, and Khalil and his little brother need to eat. Yes, he absolutely could get a job at a fast food place or retail but do you know how much chemo costs? A lot. Too much for someone with some minimum wage job to pay.

The Black Panthers

A lot of people tend to have issues with The Black Panthers and quite frankly I’ve never heard a valid complaint.

For anyone who doesn’t know (or willingly chooses to listen to bullshit) The Black Panthers are not a hate group and you cannot compare them to the KKK. The Black Panthers were a militant self-defense group that was started in response to police brutality in 1966 (Yes, militant. But only in self defense). It’s not The Black Panthers who were going around burning houses and churches and lynching people but apparently most of America has blocked out those memories.

The goal of the Panthers was clear and is stated in the book multiple times throughout:

“We want freedom. We want the power to determine the destiny of our black and oppressed communities….We want an immediate end to police brutality and the murder of black people, other people of color, and oppressed people….” 

Were The Black Panthers saints? Absolutely not. Do I agree with all of their choices? No. But no matter how you spin it, they weren’t a hate group like the KKK. It’s also important to note that The Black Panthers were dissolved in 1982 while the KKK is still alive and well. Go figure.

Black Lives Matter

This is probably the most important topic of the book because it’s essentially the inspiration for it. Many people (who aren’t Black) complain about Black Lives Matter because they feel excluded. If you happen to feel that way – especially if you’re white – then I suggest you pay special attention to the rest of this section.

Black Lives Matter was started as a result of cops killing Black people and not being charged for it. It’s not like it was just a one time thing, it happened over and over and still nothing was being done about it. Many of these deaths were caught on tape, many of the victims were unarmed and not a threat, yet somehow their killers walked free. There was no justice and we are still (rightfully) angry.

A lot of people feel the need to respond to this phrase with “All Lives Matter” but the thing is, we never denied that. Never did we say that it was only the lives of Black people that were important. The reason that we have to say this at all is because history has always told us that we don’t. Somehow people also seem to forget that Black lives have to be included in “all” so do you really care about everyone or do you just want to silence us?

Another response to this movement has been “Blue Lives Matter” in support of law enforcement officers. I hate this phrase because again, no one started saying it until we started to say that our lives mattered.

To be clear, I don’t disagree with the statement that the lives of law enforcement officers is important. But it’s like this:

Hailey: What’s wrong with saying his life matters too?

Starr: His life always matters more….that’s the problem!

Sure, law enforcement puts their lives on the line everyday, but they also took an oath to “serve and protect.”

Are they fulfilling that oath?

Starr asked a very good question,

“You think the cops want Khalil to have justice?” 

Did they? Based on the way that the investigation was handled, the answer to that question is no.

I can’t be the only one who has wondered why officers are trained to shoot first and ask questions later. Why is it that they always shoot to kill instead of just to eliminate the possibility of a threat? Aren’t they also given tasers? Why isn’t that the first resort?

Here’s the thing, an unarmed Black person is killed by a police officer (a lot of times for no valid reason) and the media will try to dig up whatever they can to frame them as a criminal. Even if they can’t find anything, people will still try to justify their death. Say that they deserved it. That they should have done something differently. Even if they do everything that the officer tells them, it’s caught on video and the victim still dies, then everyone kinda just says oh well. Like it’s not a big deal. They weren’t white or famous so what does it matter right?

The deaths at the hands of police officers has stirred up a lot of emotion. It’s lead to some rioting but also to some very peaceful protests. Unfortunately, the peaceful protests are almost always overshadowed by riots. It says something when peaceful protests in honor of unarmed Black civilians causes police officers to show up in riot gear but Nazis marching with torches in Charlottesville is just… free speech.

It seems as if people have a hard time understanding why the Black community has become so vocal, but it’s really not a hard concept to grasp. We’re tired and we refuse to take anymore shit. It’s about civil rights. About justice. About ending oppression and racism. And as Starr says:

 It’s also about Oscar.

Aiyana.

Trayvon.

Rekia.

Michael.

Eric.

Tamir.

John.

Ezell.

Sandra.

Freddie.

Alton.

Philando.

It’s even about that little boy in 1955 who nobody recognized at first – Emmett.

The messed-up part? There are so many more

This is why we say Black Lives Matter and if after all this you still “can’t see it” then you are a part of the problem.


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Summer Spotlight Series: Ariel

Hi all,

This next blogger is someone I’ve known for quite some time and I was so glad that she agreed to be a part of this series. Today I am introducing you to Ariel @ Writing Radiation!
Post Hair Donation - Natural


Let’s start with an introduction: Tell a little bit about yourself.

I wanted to start by saying this is a great idea & I’m happy you’ve received such a positive response already.  As I said before, I do look forward to reading about all the interesting people you’re interviewing!  I hope to see some new blogs to follow.  🙂

Oh dear!  The first question & it’s already hard!  It’s like the “About Me” section in a social media site, y’know?

My name is Ariel.  I’m 34 years old & I’ve lived in NJ, USA for my whole life.  I have been “blessed” with a bunch of different chronic health issues, which leave my professional & social life, but, when I was more able-bodied, I studied English with a Concentration in Creative Writing, graduated Magna Cum Laude, & worked as a web content writer.  I also had a poem published in a modest review called “The Melancholy Dane.”

On the fun side, I love reading, writing (but not arithmetic; I’m terrible at math), singing karaoke, super hero movies, being sarcastic & self-deprecating, tattoos, hiking through the Reservations in the spring, & making craft-y projects like jewelry & bookmarks.  You can never have enough bookmarks.

Could you tell me more about your blog and how you got started?

Oh man.  I feel awful, but I can’t remember whose blog it was that first encouraged me to start reading WordPress more frequently until it eventually overtook my Facebook addiction.  However, I saw a link to someone’s blog – it might’ve been yours, Carla’s, or B’s, I honestly can’t say! – & made a blog so I could get notified of new posts from these 3 amazing women & others soon followed.  For the longest time, I did mostly reading.  Then I started coming up with ideas, although I tend to psych myself out of writing them out.

Still, I’ve had some lovely responses & met some wonderful people from reading, commenting, & (rarely) posting.

If I tried to peg my blog to a niche, I think I’d fail miserably.  I guess, in that way, I’m lucky that I haven’t posted too much on any one particular topic (aside from political positions I support like feminism) – I still have a lot of room in which to grow.

Are you currently reading anything good? (Or have you recently)

Oh man, I’ve been reading a lot of good (intense, but good) books lately.

It took 2 years, but I finally finished The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.  It’s a really neat edition, leather-bound, gilded-edge pages, with a ribbon bookmark, which has a similar format to the original Folio.

Then, my brain needed a break (I’m still trying to make sure I read the sonnets correctly by checking my notes against SparkNotes; many misunderstandings!), so I read a book on stretching.  I’m still trying to incorporate it into my daily life & exercise routines!

Now, I’m working on a book I bought when I was taking a Shakespeare course in college.  It’s all about the historical, political, religious, & other aspects of daily life that influenced Shakespeare’s plays, plus a whole section on approaching the works critically.  I really should have read that before I attacked the tough reading!

Wow congrats! I think my friend Bria has the same edition or something similar of his complete works. She LOVES Shakespeare so she really enjoyed it.

Not gonna lie, I’ve only read Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar..

You mentioned that you like super hero movies, do you have a favorite?

It was a pretty inexpensive edition, despite looking super fancy, from, I think, Barnes & Noble.  It’s a hard read, but it has so many phrases still used today – plus some great insults!

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with only reading one, two, or even none of Shakespeare’s plays.  A lot of people were forced in high school &, therefore, find it torture to try again.  I think all students deserve those “Shakespeare translations” along-side the original text.  It would make the work so much more enjoyable!

Plus, it would show them all the sexual innuendos & dirty jokes.

Oh boy.  It’s a tough call.  I like Marvel over D.C., normally.  D.C. has tried to come out with some good works, & it shows.  Unfortunately, they’ve also done a whole bunch of re-boots & cross-overs that just don’t live up to the Marvel quality.  Still, I liked Wonder Woman & that’s D.C.

I can’t pick a favorite, but I can narrow it down to my top 3.  Wait, no, I lied; top 4.  In no particular order, my favorite superhero movies:

Wonder Woman – It was great seeing a female character as the focus of a superhero movie.  It was also interesting seeing how her culture, which raised her to be unapologetic, strong, & not seen as the “inferior” gender, clashed with the “two” gender society of the mid-1900’s.

Black Panther – The mix of technology & African culture, the attention to details, the SASS!  I was never bored watching this movie.

Thor: Ragnarok – Another movie that I thought avoided the “dragging” that plagues a lot of superhero movies.

Deadpool – Stupid, raunchy, curse-laden, unapologetic; it was stupid fun that poked fun at itself.  It was also funny to hear how some parents tried to bring their young children to the movie, thinking, “Hey, it’s Marvel, my kids love Marvel, they’ll love this movie,” then got all pissed at the staff when they ignored the R-rating & found it offensive.

Huh – all but Thor were “firsts” in the superhero universe.  The first female main character, the first African/African-American cast, & the first R-rated Marvel movie.  I may have to ding Thor from the list!

I’m not going to lie I fell asleep during Wonder Woman but I am going to watch it within the next couple of weeks. It does really seem like DC isn’t as good as Marvel though. I’m catching up my Marvel movies and they are pretty much all good or at least interesting. I’m up to Ant Man at the moment. (We started this interview a little while ago so now I’m at Doctor Strange!)

You said you like tattoos, do you have any?

Parts of origin story movies always drag, so I don’t blame you for falling asleep during Wonder Woman.  Then again, I wouldn’t judge a person who fell asleep during any movie, because that’s just silliness.

Ant Man was pretty good!  It wasn’t a character with whom I was familiar, I like the guy who plays Ant-Man (I can’t remember actors/singers/authors’ names to save my life lol), & I thought it was a pretty good watch.  I’m interested in seeing Ant-Man & the Wasp when it’s released, but I feel like I need to re-watch Ant-Man first.

I have 4 tattoos currently.  Technically, I guess I could say 5, because one was done separately from the original art for separate reasons.  Yeah, there’s a story behind each one.

I got my first tattoo when I was 17.  My Dad signed for me to get it & even came with me to the appointment, but sat in the waiting room while it was done.  He said he was going to get one that day, but “chickened out”  (that’s what I say to tease him; truthfully, he wants to be buried in a Jewish cemetery next to my Mom).

I have a mermaid’s silhouette, on the ocean, in front of a sunset, on my stomach.  This one was my first & it was completely silly – I show the tattoo when people hear my name.  The response, 80-90% of the time, is “Oh, your name is Ariel?  Like the Little Mermaid!”  I say, “My name is Ariel.  This is a little mermaid.”  I think it’s funny, but I’m weird!

Next was a rose on my calf in memory of my Mom.  She loved roses.  I wanted it on my ankle, but my cousin, with whom I was visiting in New Orleans, was freaking that it was going to hurt, so I conceded to moving it away from the bone.  It didn’t hurt at all.

Third was the theater/comedy & tragedy masks, in rainbow colors, on my upper arm.  Life is funny, life is sad, life is colorful.  Also, I identify as pansexual & an LGBTQIA+ ally, who did stage crew work in high school.  So, multiple meanings.

Fourth was the word “Foxy” where the Y’s tail is a fox’s tail.  There wasn’t a lot of thought behind that one – I was young & stupid (yeah, I was in my early 20’s, so that’s not a valid excuse LOL).

Fifth was placed in a semi-circle above the theater masks & it’s a tight script saying “Io sono coraggioso,” which means “I am brave” in Italian.  My friend got the same words, but in French, on the same day.  We’ve both been through an immense amount of stuff in our lives, but we’ve stood by one another & called each other on our B.S.

I do want to get one more (at least; it’s an addiction):  I want a quotation from Albert Camus’s “The Plague,” which I want between my shoulder-blades in a scroll: “What interests me, is living & dying for what one loves.”  I kinda want a devil laughing & an angel crying on either shoulder, holding the scroll, but that would cost too much money.  Money that I could spend on books, crafting supplies, or pads & pens.  LOL

I watched Ant-Man and then went to see Ant-Man and the Wasp. I thought they were both pretty good! I can finally watch Civil War!!

Oh wow that’s really cool! Did any of them hurt??

I’m always looking for good book recs, have you found any books (or heard of any) that have good LGBTQIAP+ representation?

Aw, darn!  I haven’t seen Ant-Man & The Wasp yet.  Nor have I seen Jurassic World, which sorta feels like an “I gotta see it movie,” even though I think the franchise is a little over-done.  Still, it was part of my childhood & I do think Chris Pratt was a really good addition to the movies.  He’s funny.

Honestly, the first tattoo – the mermaid on my stomach – hurt like the dickens!   I didn’t know it then, but there are tons of nerve endings around your belly-button.  Also, the artist might have been on drugs while she was doing the tattoo (I heard about it from my friends afterwards, so it’s total hearsay; this was in a legitimate shop too).

Another funny story about tattoo artists, the woman doing my tragedy & comedy masks didn’t tell me it was her first tattoo until she was done.  I was tired, yawning, & she was panicking that I was in pain.  LOL

Oh dear.  I hate to admit it, but no, I haven’t read any good LGBTQIAP+ books.  I encourage recommendations, though!

I’ve really loved all the interviews you’ve posted thus far.  It makes it clear that I need to post more – I think it would make your job much easier if you had any basis on which to ask about the writing I (don’t) do.

Jurassic World was also pretty good! 

Do you have any ideas floating around for what you want to write about on your blog?

Man, I’m missing all sorts of good movies right now.  LOL

I’m currently working on a post-Shakespeare book review.  Honestly, I could pop it out in a few minutes if I applied myself, but I tend to be a chronic multi-tasker.  Nothing gets done, at least in a timely fashion, when doing it that way.  Recently, I’ve started thinking about giving myself a time – anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour – where I commit to writing.

That review aside – plus trying to put together thoughts for a Shakespeare review (I took copious notes while reading so I could pick up on some of the themes, plus I’m now reading a book explaining a lot current events affecting Shakespeare’s writing & critical approaches to his work) – I’ve got a Word document full of ideas.  I’m also a chronic list-maker.  It has 15 or so ideas, plus notes.

The top of the list, right now, is how to combat negative or overly critical thinking.  I’m hoping tackling the subject will help me address my own issues with it!

Have you started writing up that piece? Also, how is the new book coming along?

I started working on it, in the sense that I have a title & maybe a sentence written down.  I also pulled a lot of great information from the Stress Management class I took through my gym.

Then, I’ll admit, I got distracted.  My sister “put me to work” making bookmarks & jewelry for the adoption agency from which she fosters cats.  We’re hoping they can sell them & raise money to support their fostering/adoption program.

I finished one book since putting Shakespeare to bed.  It was an anatomy book on stretching, which offered some really novel stretches about which I hadn’t thought.  Plus, the pictures showed me exactly where a stretch targeted, which I found super helpful.

Now I’m reading An Oxford Guide to Shakespeare.  I just reached the critical approaches to reading Shakespeare & I find it exhilarating.  I know that I’m a very weird person.  LOL

Okay, now that you’ve told us about it we will be looking out for that post! (Accountability buddies)! Ariel! Time for a check in, how’s it coming?

Do you have a favorite book (or maybe top 3)

Thank you for holding me accountable!  I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

That’s the toughest question I’ve ever been asked.  That, & my favorite movie… & my favorite music.  I’m terrible at choosing, & I find myself a bit of a “Renaissance” media consumer.

I really do love Shakespeare (I embrace my nerdiness), because there are so many different ways to interpret the text.  Add to that the option of viewing it on stage, as he crafted it for, & the interpretations only increase.

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen is a constant favorite too.  I love the clashing of opposite personalities, the craft of the writing, & the numerous adaptations for TV & movies.  I gotta say, “Pride, Prejudice, & Zombies” was a great movie (I haven’t read the book yet, though).  This is another book, in my opinion, that I could spend a lifetime interpreting.  Well, maybe not a lifetime.  Maybe a decade.

My third favorite would have to be the Game of Thrones books.  I have to put them all as a favorite “book,” because choosing one would be too difficult.  I find George R.R. Martin’s ability to craft a world & system of government that is so unique, so engaging, & so familiar while still being distinct, is outstanding.  He ends each chapter with a “cliff-hanger,” before going to another character’s story in the next chapter.  This drives readers to keep going because “I have to find out what happens next.”  It was a tough call between Harry Potter, for many of the exact same reasons, & Game of Thrones.  I only chose the latter because I read it more recently than Harry Potter.

I find my favorites, the former two being top contenders at all times, change frequently because I’m always reading.  I think that’s how it should be – our minds should be open to changing & we should always been absorbing new material that gives us the opportunity to change our minds.

In all honesty, I am a little interested in reading GoT but I tried to read A Knight Of Seven Kingdoms and it put me in a reading slump.

Well since you mentioned it….what’s your favorite movie? 

In all honesty, I had no idea there was a A Knight of Seven Kingdoms until you mentioned it!! I’m a little peeved, having looked it up on Amazon after I read your email, that Mr. R.R. Martin is working on prequels, but hasn’t written book 7 yet!

OMG, that’s just wrong to ask that question!  Um.  Dear Lord.  Let me check my external hard-drive (which I had to buy, in 5 Terabytes, to hold all my Kindle books & movies LOL) – I really love stupid action movies, as my love of Marvel flicks probably shows, so “RED” is up there in my favorites.  I used to love “Pirates of the Caribbean,” but, after people revealed Johnny Depp is a terrible human being, I don’t watch any of them anymore.

But, if I had to pick one movie I could watch over & over, I’d cop out & say, Eddie Izzard’s stand-up DVD, “Dressed to Kill.”  Move over Dirtbag Depp – I got a new man to drool over.  It doesn’t hurt that he’s hilarious & looks spectacular in heels.

Ooh that’s annoying. I guess he knows fans will be there no matter what lol so he’s just drawing it out

Hahaha I know! But I had to do it Ariel, I had to! I also used to love Johnny Depp, but no more!

We’ve hit our tenth question so that means that was the last one. I think I’ve tortured you enough lol

Thanks a million for doing this!

Yeah.  George R.R. Martin’s a bit of a jerk like that.  Maybe he wants to have the show progress further on HBO so people don’t know what’s going to happen?  Or maybe the books being made into a show affected his plan for his storyline; I don’t know.  All I know is I think he’s a bit of a jerk for not coming out with the next book yet!

I get it.  I brought up the subject of movies, so it really was my fault.  & I agree – Johnny Depp can go suck eggs.

I enjoyed every moment of this “torture.”  Thanks so much for including me & for doing this interview series!  I’ve loved the other bloggers you’ve interviewed so far!


Be sure to check out Ariel’s blog and if you want to get in touch with her reach out in the comments!

 

 

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Summer Spotlight Series: Saily

Hey y’all,

Time for another really fun interview. If you don’t follow this blogger already, then I promise you’ll want to change that by the time you finish reading our chat. Today I have the honor of introducing you to Saily @ Reading Turtle Duck!

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Let’s start with an introduction: Tell me a little bit about yourself

My name is Saily (say-lee) , I live in the Miami area. I’m 22 years old and soon to be university graduate. I am Cuban and I am an immigrant which has undoubtedly shaped the way I see the world.

I started my blog in 2016 on a whim because I wanted to join the online book community in any way I could. I had been following online reviews, instagram or bookstagram, and some of booktube. Half a year in I started a bookstagram which I’ve discussed on my blog (spoiler, it’s not easy lol). I started by reading and reviewing YA books almost exclusively but in recent years I’ve been actively looking for books outside that genre and books specifically about or by Cuban Americans, but also Latin American in general. More than anything my interests have spread out to just about everything, except fantasy (sorry).

Other things:

  • I have a dog
  • Instagram: @readingturtleduck
  • I wear glasses
  • Currently Reading: How to Leave Hialeah by Jeanine Capo Crucet

May I ask why you don’t like fantasy?

Also, congrats on almost finishing uni! What are you studying?

I guess I should be more specific. I don’t like fantasy series, I find that task very daunting because you have to understand the world building, the rules, and then get into the actual story that may go on for several books. I don’t mind it as much if it’s just one book or short story like Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (well until recently at least lol). However, I do admit there are exceptions but they are few and far in between (Harry Potter, Twilight, and ACOTAR last year).

I’m studying English literature.

Are you saying that you no longer like Carry On? Why is that?

Are you hoping to be an English teacher with your degree?

No I still enjoy Carry On and like I said there are exceptions and Carry On happens to be one of those now.

And no I don’t want to be an English teacher. Maybe college professor but that’s a big MAYBE and you need a masters at least to be considered for that job.

Ahh gotcha!

Earlier you mentioned looking for books written by and about Cuban Americans/Latin Americans. Have you found any that you would recommend to others who are also looking for that representation?

I read The Cat King of Havana and thought it was very accurate in it’s depiction of the “modern” Cuba but the author is American, which is very ironic. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros Mexican American author. I also really enjoyed some of the stories in a speculative short story fiction anthology by Latinx authors from that collection “Monstro” by Junot Diaz, “Caridad” by Alex Hernandez, and “The Drain” by (I don’t remember authors name).

I have a lot more in my TBR pile that I’m excited to get to.

I would also recommend Jane the Virgin for great Latino representation on TV, but that’s not book related.

I still feel like I’m in the beginning stages of this so I’ll admit I haven’t read that many, but it also feels like there’s not that many to begin with.

Do you have any tips for bloggers of color or other marginalized identities who struggle to find good representation of themselves in media?

The best tip I can give them is to explore outside of the box. By this I mean if you always go to the same places to find new books to read or watch, find a new way, explore new ways because eventually you’ll find someone doing it right. I would also suggest to support the authors and people who are doing it right and tell other people about it too. As a Latina, it feels like there’s not much to find in the U.S. but there is plenty to find in Latin America, some of which is translated to English for those non Spanish speaking Latinos. So go straight to the origin if you can because you’d be surprised what you find. If something’s not right say it’s not right because otherwise how would people know it’s wrong? I think representation is getting better, I really do because I see more and more people celebrating diversity. I also want to say that I’m no expert, but this is what’s worked for me, a lot of googling.

Thank you for the advice that you’ve given on finding and supporting authors of color. (I had to make that quote because it is just too good)

You mentioned that your blog was started to review (mostly) YA books, do you have any YA favorites?

This very long response, because how could I choose just one? Rainbow Rowell’s books are also great whether they are YA or not. One of the things that I absolutely love about Rowell’s characters is that when she describes them, they look like real people. By this I mean she doesn’t have the stereotypical hot protagonists with the perfect slim or strong figure, perfect hair, and beautiful light eyes. She helped me realize that it is possible to have normal looking people as protagonists and have a successful book, it’s just that most YA authors for whatever reason don’t choose to do that.

Fangirl touched me the most because my personality and the way I think is a lot like the main character Cath. I can say the same thing about Auden from Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen.

One of my recent favorites from YA contemporary been has Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow was amazing for it’s brutally honest depiction of mental health and recovery, in this case self mutilation aka cutting. Although I’ve never cut myself intentionally, I found the recovery process so similar to my own severe anxiety episodes in the past. It shows that recovery is a long process and that’s okay to relapse as long as you always pick yourself up and strive to do better.

Then there’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han which I like for completely different reasons. For one, it’s fluffy and cute in a genre ruled by dark stories whether it’s contemporary, fantasy, or dystopian. It’s also unapologetically “girly” with a Korean American girl as it’s protagonist. And the most refreshing aspect of this trilogy is the family dynamics and I absolutely LOVE that the Covey-Song family is as close knit as they are, because if someone were to read YA, they’ll end up asking themselves one of three question 1) Why are the parents so horrible? 2) Where are the parents? or 3) Why are all the parents dead?

The Illuminae Files trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is also really good because it’s action packed space saga and the books are beautifully crafted in a new and original way I haven’t seen before.

While my blog was mostly YA especially in the beginning, I do feel that my interests have shifted and now it’s made up of lot of other genres.

Hahaha there’s always more than one favorite 🙂

Before we get more into your favorites from other genres, how do you feel about To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before becoming a Netlfix movie?

Maybe I’m biased but I love that they are turning the series into a movie (hopefully moviesssss) but like all film adaptations I worry they won’t get things right. It’s difficult to translate it from book to movie but from what I have seen so far from trailers, they’ve done a great job, I just hope the movies not only do well but capture the same feelings / essence of the books. I hope they don’t change much to make it appealing to audiences. I’m also very happy that for once they’re not white washing the characters. I also have more trust in Netflix shows and movies then I do in big  studio movie, so that helps too.

That seems to the general reaction from fans of the books (I haven’t read them) I hope it lives up to everyone’s expectations.

What genres do you enjoy the most outside of YA?

I can’t pinpoint one exact genre to be honest. Lately I’ve been dipping my feet in a lot of things most of it has been new adult, adult fiction, science fiction, and dystopian novels. Out of those my favorites would have to be science fiction and dystopian because of the imagination that goes into world building and somehow they still manage to make it about our own world.

World building is important! 

Do you have and sci-fi and dystopian faves?

George Orwell hands down has written some of my favorite dystopian books with both 1984 and Animal Farm. That might sound cliche but they are classics for a reason.

As for science fiction, “The Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang was incredible (so is the movie, Arrival). Also, Octavia Butler is another author whose books I’m just getting into and absolutely loving them. Her short story collection is fantastic and every story is so wonderfully weird and amazing. Her book Kindred is another work of art melding genres to create such an impactful story about slavery from a modern standpoint. I’m definitely hoping to read more of her novels in the near future.

I absolutely agree! I read them both in middle school and recently bought them to reread!

I have been seeing Octavia Butler around a lot lately and I’m definitely interested in her work so thank you, I will be adding her to my TBR.

Do you have any go to or favorite authors?

That might be my fault lol I’ve been fangirling about her lately.

When I consider a favorite author I have to have

  1. Read the majority of their books
  2. Liked more than half of what I’ve read
  3. Series don’t count because I see all the books as one giant story. (therefore Rowling doesn’t count)

Rainbow Rowell hasn’t disappointed me yet so I buy her books blindly. Colleen Hoover is another one I love albeit with some guilt because as much as I do enjoy her books, I sometimes find them problematic. Octavia Butler is definitely going on that list as soon as I read more of her books to confirm that she needs to be on this list.

Bryn Greenwood’s novel All the Ugly and Wonderful Things but I haven’t read anything else by this author.

Those are good qualifications for favorite author, I think it’s pretty fair not to include a series in that decision.

I’m just starting to get in to Colleen Hoover, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far!

We’ve reached the end of our interview. Thank you again for agreeing to be a part of this, I really loved chatting with you 🙂


If you want to get to know Saily more and keep up with what she’s reading, follow her on Instagram and Goodreads!

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Guest Feature #6|Meet the Blogger: Laura, of The Book Corps!

Check out this awesome interview with Laura @ TheBookCorps! If you enjoyed her Summer Spotlight interview, you’ll love this one too! 🙂

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Hey you, thank you for taking time out to read this post because today on the blog you get to meet a blogger! First and foremost welcome to my Guest Feature Series! It’s super exciting doing this, I may not be *a huge blogger* but I do have a presence in the online community, well because of the love many of you give to me daily. and I intend to make use of it by also giving back the love to the community, by shining the light on as many bloggers as I can, because most of us deserve it and also you know make a stand on marginalization—fighting for what’s right. 

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Summer Spotlight Series: Mel

Hi all,

Time for our next blogger! I had a great time interviewing Mel @ A Cosy Reader ! She is super fun and I seriously recommend that you all give her blog a follow and get to know her.


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Let’s start with an introduction: Tell me a little bit about yourself!

Oh man general about me’s are so hard I never know what to say! 😛

I’m Mel, a 20-something year old and I’ve lived in Sydney, Australia my whole life (except for a year I spent in Dublin, and I returned from there with my current partner haha).

I’ve always loved reading, my aunt is an author and my mum is an avid reader too so they’ve kept my spark fore reading alive through my childhood and into adulthood! Genre wise I mostly enjoy contemporary fiction (adult and YA), dystopian, light sci-fi, but I’ll happily pick up anything that comes really highly recommended even if it’s outside my normal genre

Outside of reading, I like to crochet, hike/bushwalk, hang out with my boy and our cat, play boardgames and card games, and I’ve also played Ultimate Frisbee for the last 8 years (and represented Aus in 2013 for it :-P)

Can you tell me more about your blog and how/why you started it?

I started my blog about 2 months after joining the bookstagram community as a way to be able to write longer reviews and connect with more readers.

For over a year now I’ve also been posting a “coffee and a book” round up on my personal Instagram of books I read during the month, and friends had started asking for actual reviews so this is a way for me to do that too!

My blog so far is mostly a space for reviews, but I’ve also started a Top 3 Thursday meme for book related lists (e.g. top recommendations, or top 3 characters I’d be roomies with!), and I’m hoping to expand to more bookish chat rather than just reviews as I start to make more connections in the blogging world (and maybe when work quiets down so I can plan properly! Haha)

How did you end up joining bookstagram, and how has that experience been so far?

I joined bookstagram after one of my workmates discovered it and made an account. We had previously shared our love of books and after she was on it for about a month I decided to take the jump and join in too! I still love the community and it has definitely kept my reading inspiration alive and kicking, and pushed me to read a lot more than I had been in years previous (which was partly why I joined!).

Unfortunately all this ‘algorithm’ nonsense that Instagram/Facebook are doing has decreased engagement a bit for myself and I think everyone else in the community, which is a bit of a bummer because it means I don’t get to talk to as many people about books and all things bookish. Overall though, I’m still enjoying being part of the community and finding connections and conversations about books where I can!

I totally agree. The algorithm thing is awful! I’m not sure who’s idea that was but it really makes me hate using instagram.

What inspired you to create Top 3 Thursday?

Argh I know right! Instagram strugglessss haha

I wanted to start blogging more regularly (rather than every 1 or 2 weeks when I had a review in my head), so I started Top 3 Thursday as a way of forcing myself to do that.

I had a look at other blogging memes out there and while I loved the premise of a lot of them, I found that for me they were either lists that were too long (Top 10 lists would, for me, by a top 3-5 and then just fillers I could think of) or things that I didn’t really have the ability to answer (e.g. Waiting on Wednesday…I find it hard to get through my ever growing TBR so I don’t eagerly anticipate anything much on a weekly basis! haha).

I’m lucky enough to have a few bloggers who regulary join in with me on T3T, and a bunch more who join in occassionally when it’s a slow blogging week or they really like the topic. I’d love to see more people joining in though 😉 haha

I actually may join you! I love the concept but like you said 10 is a lot and I could never think of enough. 3 is definitely more manageable for me!

This is sort of a strange question but how do you compile your TBR? (Do you take recommendations? Do you look for new releases or specific authors? Do you read them in any particular order?)

There is no method to my TBR madness, I’m afraid!

I have a never ending list (which I’m sure most readers do!) So usually when I finish a book, I see what I’m in the mood to read next.

That said, anything I’ve borrowed from friends, or received from publishers for review, usually jump to the top of the list 🙂

About how long is your TBR?

Oh my goodness…according to goodreads it’s sitting at 46, but we all know that’s a filthy lie. I have piles of books sitting on my shelves that went straight from store/publisher/giveaway to TBR without even having glanced at my goodreads “Want to Read” list along the way. Maybe I should update that!

At a guess I’d say I’m closer to the 70-80 mark but that is just too overwhelming to think about! *laughs nervously*

Hahaha that’s definitely not accurate lol. I have like a “Master TBR” typed up on my computer that I use to form my yearly TBR and it’s 15 pages. I feel like that’s excessive but I constantly get recommendations so I write ALL of it down!

You mentioned earlier that you started a “coffee and a book” feature on instagram. Do you have a favorite blend or brand of coffee? And how do you drink yours? (Black, with flavored creamer, milk, etc)

I’m an Aussie so we don’t really do filter/percolator coffee as much here.

My order is usually a skim Mocha  However, I’m a tea drinker at heart, I have about 3-4 cups of tea a day, but only one coffee every day or two.

So how do you make your coffee? (This originally was just for my own curiosity but if you’re American, it’s sort of a fun fact!)

What kind of tea do you like? I’m new to the loose leaf tea game but now I understand what I’ve been missing.

Haha that’s okay!

We have a coffee machine (a home version of a cafe one), so it has a built in grinder that grinds the beans, then you put that in a different part which extracts through the water, then you steam the milk with the steam wand seperately 😀

I’m a black-tea kina gal, so any breakfast teas, chai teas, earl grey etc. are my game (with milk and 1/2 a sugar :P). So many people who know me know I love tea, but often get my herbal teas when I’m abit more picky about!! Haha

Oh nice, that sounds amazing!

I love black tea, all for the breakfast teas. For some reason I don’t like chai and I think its so weird because I love all of the spices in it and the way it smells. I guess I just don’t like the flavor combination of all of those things together..I dont know.

Did you set a reading goal on Goodreads?

Ooh maybe just they way they all blend??

I did set a Goodreads goal! I originally set it at 40 for the year (I read 30 books last year before joining bookstagram). BUT I’m currently sitting at 28 books read for the year so I increased my Goodreads goal to 45 on the weekend 🙂

I’m looking forward to trying to beat it!

28! That’s great, Mel! Are there any books that you are REALLY looking forward to reading this year? Maybe one you keep saying you’ll read or that is being released later this year?

Hmm, that’s a hard one! Like choosing a favourite child!  I was recently loaned Illuminae so I’m excited to read that and see what all the hype is about 🙂

Same! But I’m waiting for the last one to be released in paperback so that I can have all of them!

Mel, we have reached the end of our interview and I just want to say thank you again for doing this. Anything else that you’d like to add about yourself or your blog?

Thanks so much Rae!

Nothing else really, just that I love chatting books so pop by and say hi!!

I can’t wait to read all the other interviews you’ve done, this was so fun so thank you thank you again for running it ️:)


Want to learn more about Mel? In addition to her blog you can also check out her Etsy shop and Instagram!

 

 

 

 

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Summer Spotlight Series: Latanya

Hey friends,

Time to introduce our 10th blogger in the Summer Spotlight Series. She’s so amazingly down to earth and fun to talk to. I really hope y’all enjoy getting to know Latanya @ Rhapsody in Hue as much as I did!


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Let’s start with an introduction.

My name is Latanya Ivey a.k.a. Crafty Scribbles. I am a teacher by day. Writer and blogger by night. An avid reader as the mood strikes, which is daily. I currently live in Los Angeles, but I enjoy traveling. I dislike staying in the same place. I have to move. I’m a mommy and wife, which gives me home court support advantage. They are my built-in cheerleaders.

Great! Can you tell me a little more about your blog? (How you came up with the name, how long ago you started and why).

Yes! My blog’s titled “Rhapsody in Hue: Writing with a Melanin Twist”. I named it so because of a perspective lack from people of color in the blogging and vlogging world. We read books. We write books, too. But, our voices aren’t as numerous on the Internet apparently. The name’s also a play on Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”, which I love.

I started a year ago, and my blog’s gone through identity changes. I used to write just book reviews. But, I decided to also post my writing process, travels, and whatever pops into my head. I wanted more content diversity.

I agree that when it comes to bloggers of color we are few and far between. Since you’ve started blogging have you found any bloggers of color that you like? What would you say to other bloggers of color who are also searching for that representation?

I enjoy reading your thoughts on topics influencing or shaping our society. In addition, I do follow Nerds of Color. They run the gamut from all people of color and I love their insight on diversity and how media and pop culture still need to walk the walk.

As for searching for rep, be the rep we need. Throw your voice in the ring and swing! The world’s better with your voice shouting through rafters with glee.

That is very good advice 🙂

You mentioned that you’re a teacher. What do you teach?

I teach and love high school English. I could not ask for more.

Do you think that being an English teacher has an affect on what you read outside of the classroom?

Certainly! I’m more critical, ha. If a sentence doesn’t work for me, I’ll fuss. If the plot holes glare, I’ll fuss. I’m less likely to not find flaws. But, I laugh at the possibilities.

Also, I find myself open to book discussions because it’s part of my profession. “Oh you read that book? Let’s discuss.” Some welcome discussions. Others don’t. Pretty much, I see the same behavior as I would in class, lol.

What are some of your favorite books?

Ooh! Asking me about favorite books equates to asking me about my favorite son (Hint: I can’t choose). Some books I love, however, include Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, Toni Morrison’s “Sula”, and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson. Gripping stories snatch my attention. So, it’s easier for me to say gripping stories deserve my favoritism than a single book.

Oy vey! That question gave me hives.

Hahaha I tried to be fair and ask for multiple instead of one. I know people are really against that question!

Have you watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie? Or the TV movie for Their Eyes Were Watching God? If so, what did you think?

Yes! I watched both versions (American and Swedish) movies, and I like them both. Of course, I’ve seen Halle Berry’s rendition of Janie. She gave a good performance of Ms. Crawford’s trials and joys, including her love for Tea Cake. She surprised me.

Have you seen these programs? If not, please do so. They’re worth your time.

I have seen Their Eyes Were Watching God. I’m a “read before watching” person and I haven’t picked up The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo yet.

Since you’re also a writer, do you write the same genres that you read or do you branch out?

I love thrillers, so I’m writing one, lol. Favorite reading genres definitely sneak into your writing without fail. I would like to branch into YA, particularly with a black girl as the MC once I’m finished my current work in progress.

So, yes. What I read mirrors what I write. The only genres I tend not to march toward are science fiction, westerns, war novels, and classics that are not modern classics (e.g. 1920s on). Don’t expect me to write them, lol. If I do, it’s a retelling that I’d spin on its head.

Yes to more Black girls in YA!!!!! I really need to get to The Hate U Give since their making it a movie! Have you read it?

Also, do your children like to read too? When I was younger my mom and I read Twilight together lol

Yes, I’ve read “The Hate U Give”. Other great titles to read include “The Belles”, “Dread Nation”, and “Piecing Me Together”.

My children adore reading. I taught them its beauty from day one and one wants to be an author when he grows up.

Yes! I also want to read The Belles, but I can’t read a series until it’s complete. I can’t stand waiting for the next release.

Awe that’s great! And exciting! Maybe you and your son can write a book together one day 🙂

What has been your biggest takeaway from joining the bookish blogging community so far?

Blogging is not easy, but it helps one’s writing. Doing so keeps my engine running, even during the “What Am I Going to Write Phase?”

Keep going no matter how tiring it gets. Someone’s listening!

That is great advice! 

We’ve come to the end of the interview! Are there any last details that you would like to add about yourself or your blog?

I’m writing my first novel, tentatively titled Porcelain and cannot wait to see it published. In addition, my blog “Rhapsody in Hue: Writing with a Melanin Twist”(www.craftyscribblescom.com) is a hodge podge of writing, books reviews/discussions, travel, and soul food (food, LGBTQA issues/topics, and discussions related around people of color). I anticipate good things to come with my blog and invite curious readers to travel with me on this journey.

This interview’s been fun. Thank you for the opportunity!

Congrats! Please keep me updated on publishing! One last thing, can you give us the synopsis of your novel?!

Kyra Donoghue-Rees owns a cafe with the love of her life, Daisy, and while she has the nontypical mother-daughter relationship with her mother, she thought she created the right “normal” until someone returned to chip away at her self-inflicted veneer. He’s determined to help shake the concept of normalcy until she accepts.

Some things are too precious to hold tight to…

Sounds really interesting! Thank you again for doing this, I really appreciate it!


If you would like to connect with Latanya, I highly recommend that you follow her blog. You can also follow her on Twitter!

 

 

 

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Summer Spotlight Series: Ashley

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Hi everyone,

Time to meet out next blogger! I had a lot of fun chatting with Ashley @ Inside My Minds!

 

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Let’s start with an introduction: Tell me a little bit about yourself!

A little bit about myself,  I really don’t like talking about myself.   I’m a Bostonian, so wicked is part of my everyday vocabulary.  I love books, and I have always had such a strong dislike for the question “what got you into reading?”  I have such a strong dislike for this question because I’ve always been a reader and for me, it was never one book that got me into reading.  I listen to music a lot when I’m reading and doing homework it helps me block things out.  The first book that I saw myself properly represented in is A List of Cages by Robin Roe.  I also think that representation is so important and that everyone deserves to see themselves in books.

Can you tell me about your blog? How did you get started, how did you come up with the name of it etc.

My blog started out as an online diary, where I could post just random stuff and I felt that my different areas of interest were a different part of my mind so that’s how I decided on the name Inside My Minds.  In 2015 my blog evolved into a more bookish blog but I kept the name the same so I could still have the creative freedom to post random stuff if I wanted to post it, but it’s predominantly bookish.

You mentioned finding representation in A List of Cages. I have never read that book so could you tell me a little more about it?

It has ADHD/Learning disability representation, the best I’ve seen in a book.

Representation is incredibly important, and I’m always looking for recommendations. Have you been able to find any other books that offer that representation properly?

I haven’t yet.

Neither have I. I’ve added A List of Cages to my TBR though, it sounds really good.

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire but I’m almost done with it.

Do you use a TBR list to help you decide what to read next or do you just go with whatever catches your eye?

I pretty much go by what I feel like reading. The only time I really make TBRs is for readathons that have reading challenges because it makes it easier than trying to figure it out as I go. I’m taking a children’s and young adult literature summer class and I have to read 12 books from 12 different categories for the class and I made a TBR for the class to make it easier for myself. I’m studying the children’s literature portion so I made a TBR of children’s books that fit each category.

That class sounds really cool! Would you mind telling me some of the categories and which books you chose for them?

I actually have a TBR post on my blog with the full list which can be found here.

I love some of these: Tuck EverlastingWhere the Sidewalk Ends and Coraline are some of my favorites! – (you just gave me inspiration for a new post!)

Are any of the books on the list ones that you’ve read before?

I’ve read all the ones in black font before as I own those ones. The ones in blue font are ones that I’m getting from the library. So far for the class, I’ve read the two picture books, Where the Sidewalk Ends and Coraline: The Graphic Novel.

Cool! I didn’t even know there was a graphic novel for Coraline, I did like the movie though.

What has been your favorite part of being a member of the bookish blogging community so far?

The interaction is definitely my favorite. I could care less about the followers and likes on posts, it’s the comments that are the most important.

Agreed! What advice would you give to bloggers who are just starting out?

Don’t follow back every blogger that follows you, don’t expect a blogger to follow you back because you followed them and don’t leave links to your blog in the comments section, it looks desperate. Only leave links to posts like Top 5 Wednesday if the blogger asks for them.

Omg yes! I hate when someone leaves a comment on my blog and they only do it to try to force me to follow them. So annoying.

We’ve reached the end of our interview. Thank you again for participating, I really appreciate it.

Your welcome!  Thank you for doing this, it’s just a great thing that you’re doing.


Make sure you check out Ashley’s post about children’s literature and if you’re interested in connect with her you can email her at ashley.viator88@gmail.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

 

Posted in Summer Spotlight Series | 2 Comments