Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Book: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆  ☆ 

We are discussing this highly hyped and buzzed book for book club this week. Everyone is a little nervous I think. It's a hot and emotional topic. I have no idea if we are all on the same page or not! (Lol, same page... )

Anyway, this story is about our girl who in the opening pages of the book witnesses her friend getting killed by the cop that pulled them over. Killed for no reason. There was no threat and nothing that happened that should have made the cop nervous.

But now it's her word against his. Which, as we all know, are not good odds.

And so then we get immersed into this girl's life and all the not so fun things she has to deal with. How she is torn between her "black" life and her "white"life. (Not that she is even a little white, but that she goes to a white school and has to act like a different person there... or thinks she has to.) How her family is not your normal typical family. How she has to deal with the fear of the gang leader causing constant problems. How she is in love with a white dude, who has just as hard a time being accepted by her family has a black dude might  in a white family.

So, she struggles to get the courage to testify against the cop, which she does and of course... he gets let off. (I guess that could be a spoiler, but I'm pretty sure we all know what this book is about!) And then the riots start.

It's pretty scary actually. And the family is very affected. So sad all the crap they have to go through. But I love the relationship between her parents. One of my favorite things of the book actually, and it shows how these kids who deal with all this scary stuff, how they get through it somehow. With the support of great family and neighbors.

Bottom line it's a book written to address the black lives matter movement. And it does so in a pretty good eye opening way without being overly in your face. There were times when I felt like I was getting sat down and lectured to, or taught a lesson. But I guess for the most part I was okay with that.

I still do wish I would have gotten to know the boy better... I needed to be more connected to him to feel the pain of this incident more. The girl was hard for me to get to know too, I don't know why. But she grew on me.

So I enjoyed the book for the most part. The language was harsh. The subject hard. The story good. The writing just okay. The characters borderline. The buzz was huge and now I'm glad I know what it was all about!




Sunday, June 10, 2018

Currently: Blah Mostly



Listening: To absolutely nothing right now and the silence it killing me. I need to be listening to the new BTS album. Or some of the songs I've added to the playlist this week. Or Up10tion's songs so I can be totally familiar with the ALL before the concert. Or at least my ballad playlist for this lovely Sunday afternoon. Something! Please!

Watching: We went to see Solo the other day. I enjoyed it! Yes. Again, lots of throwbacks to the original, but that's to be expected I think. I will have a real review sometime this week hopefully. I finished the latest drama several days ago and am trying to hold back starting another until I read for a bit. It's hard. It's like saying, I finished a book, but I'm not going to start another one for a few days. Like, who says that! LOL!


Reading: I finished the book club book for the month: The Hate U Give. Look for that review this week too. It was good, but hard to digest. I don't know if I'm going to be able to articulate my thoughts. Anyway, I started a fluffy-ish one right away after finishing it.... The Geography of You and Me. 


Blogging: I made a list and I have a ton of things to blog about! I'm trying to catch up slowly but surely. And hopefully as I catch up, I will continue to have a list of things to blog about!

YouTubing: I was just looking at past "Currently" posts and one from this time last year said " about to reach the 10,000 subscriber mark!" And now, one year later I can say... "About to reach the 20,000 subscriber mark!" Seriously though. It sounds awesome, but I feel like we can do even better. When I see other channels exactly like ours with 200,000 subs... or even 1 million subs, then 20,000 seems like small beans. Sigh. Then again, I don't really want the headache that can come with a channel that's actually popular. So, there's that too.
Up10tion!


Looking forward to: Our first Kpop concert of the year! UP10TION!! It's coming up in about 2 and half weeks and I'm so excited I might die of butterfly overload. We'll be flying to San Jose, and it will not only be the concert and also meeting the band, having them sign the CD and getting pictures taken and all sorts of stuff. Can't wait!

Asking: Why is my lawn dead already? And why didn't the carrots pop up even despite the fact that I gave them beautiful dirt to grow in???? WHY????

What's up with you all these days?


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Gifs Galore

Awhile back I figured out how to make gifs on my phone, which when you watch cool dance videos a lot, it can be very very addictive.
















Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Reading Recap Catch Up: February through May 2018






Okay fine. I had plans to keep up my monthly reading recap but suddenly it's June I haven't done one since January!? What the heck. So I'm catching up, not because I think you're all dying to know what I read, but so I can, you know, make a list. And be snarky a little too.

February Books Read

In February, we had a thing for Kazakhstan.


Lucky in Love by Kasie West: She wins the lottery and everything changes. Not for the better.
You May Already Be a Winner by Ann Dee Ellis: She lives with her mom in a trailer park and takes care of her sister instead of going to school.
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell: He finds a dragon and trains him! LOL!
Mustaches for Maddie by Chad Morris: She has to deal with several brain surgeries.
Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West: She wants to experience life better so she makes a list of things to do!

March Books Read

The Magical Monkey King: Mischief in Heaven by Ji-li Jiang:  A monkey learns magic which doesn't help with his tendencies to get into trouble.
Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea by Sungju Lee: True story of a boy who lives on the streets in North Korea to survive.
Celebrity Superhero by Jennie Bennett: Her childhood friend ends up being her kpop idol crush. WHO KNEW??
The Princess and the Beggar: A Korean Folktale by Anne Sibley O'Brien: The princess gets banned to the forest and falls in love with the beggar who was banned there years before.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman: An older dude gets especially ornery when new neighbors move in.
Older Brother, Younger Brother: A Korean Folktale by Nina Jaffe: This story is all about karma.

April Books Read
Got to see the granddaughter in April!!

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery: Anne with an E gets adapted by Marilla and Matthew and the adventures begin!

May Books Read



A Totally Awkward Love Story by Tom Ellen: WE NEED TO HAVE SEX BEFORE WE GRADUATE OR WE WILL DIE!!
#fangirlproblems by Jennie Bennett: What if your idol kpop idol crush actually loves you back???!!!
Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi: Juliette is having issues getting going on leading the... whatever this new country is called. I forgot.
The Dam Keeper by Robert Kondo: The little pig has to make sure the toxic fog doesn't get into the town.
Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch: She goes to Italy to live with her dad that she doesn't know and also learns what happened with her mom there the summer before she was born.

Favorites from this big list: A Man Called Ove, Every Falling Star. Anne of Green Gables, Love and Gelato.

Plans for the summer:  Read as much as I can. Keep up with book club books. That's it. That's my plan. :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Great American Read!



This program is just what I need to get excited about books again!!!

So at the library were I work, they started to promote a program where they planned to kick off a series that they will be doing with the other library in our area. All in conjunction with the series on PBS called The Great American Read. My interest was instantly piqued.

The goal of this is to choose America's favorite book. Not best book. Not most meaningful book. Just plain old FAVORITE book.

They (PBS) surveyed people from all across the country and from all walks of life and came up with a list of 100 books. It's a very diverse list and the only parameter is that the book be fiction.

So the kick of show on PBS highlighted all these this 100 books, and now all summer it's our mission to read the books and vote for our favorite!

Anyway, it was so fun for me to watch this and see famous people, celebrities, authors and etc talking up their favorites. So much fun!

Then we went to our library's kick off program and some of our local people talked about their favorite books. It makes me want to read ALL THE BOOKS again!

(I took the test and have actually read 61 or so books on this list... but there's a bunch I want to try!)

But I truly don't need to read more books to figure out what I'm voting for!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak




Yeah, it's not going to win. But I love that it's on the list. "It's an honor just to be nominated!" There are lots of other books on the list that I love and the fun thing is you can vote for all of them. So, it's not as painful as you might think!

In the fall there will be more shows on PBS and more programs at the libraries to reveal what book is the final winner and American's favorite book. Watch for it!

Anyway, if you haven't watched the show, you should and see if it makes you remember (if you need remembering) what you love about books!





Thursday, May 31, 2018

Kdrama Review: Radio Romance

Drama: Radio Romance

Genre: Romantic comedy
Starring: Yoon Doo-joon and Kim So-hyun, with Yoon Park and Yura.
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤

I wanted to watch this one because of all the buzz that Kim So Hyun is all grown up now and doing an adult roll (not sure if this is her first one, but still... all grown up) She is the one that played the young girl in Moon Embracing the Sun and got RAVE reviews back then. The people love her.

But it also introduced me to a new guy to love, Yoon Doo Joon who is in the kpop group Beast now known as Highlight. He plays such a sour faced dude that it was hard to imagine him as an idol singer and dancer, but yep. He is!

This is the story of a girl who is working as a writer at a struggling radio station. When of their DJ's quits she is commissioned to bring in a famous leading drama dude as their new DJ. He wants no part if it, but somehow, he is intrigued anyway and since she refuses to give up, he relents and comes to be part of this show.

So of course, as we go along, we learn that they actually have some ties to the past together. And so it's fun to watch that be revealed. It's also fun to see this sour faced emo actor (the actor plays an actor, remember) start to loosen up and relax and become human. Of course, that's my favorite part.

That being said, this drama was just okay for me in the end. Not near as gripping a story as most dramas are. Cute and fun, but not near as powerful as most are.

Here's a trailer:





 And a song sung by some NCT boys. :)

 

 And of course you need to see Doo Joon in action: (he's in the long blue coat, the darker blue one)

 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Book Review: Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Book: Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Genre: YA contemporary
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 

What a fun summery book! I loved it. It's about a girl whose mom dies in the beginning and she gets sent to live with her dad in Italy, at least for the summer, maybe for longer. Problem is, she didn't even know this dad existed until her mom was dying and saying to her....how about you go and live with this dude!

He lives in Florence, in an American WWII cemetery where he runs the place. This creeps Lina out at first, but it grows on her. She meets a boy one day when she is out running and... he grows on her too.

In fact, she actually enlists his help in solving the mystery behind her mom and dad. Like what really happened and why did they never keep in touch all these years?

Lina gets a journal that her mom left behind which is an account of the summer she meet her dad and between that and doing some digging on their own, they piece together the story.

So in fact, it's the story of both Lina dealing with her mom's death and learning about her dad, and the story of her mom and what happened that summer many years ago. So there's some heavy subjects, but they are handled well and lightly. If that makes sense.

It's so fun to have been to theses cities (both Florence and Rome) and to be able to picture everything that's being talked about. They truly are awesome romantic cities where awesome love can blossom!


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