quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


Visual Inspiration - The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Pictures/Art/Photographs all help me see the books I'm reading.  Often, while I'm online, I stumble upon images that remind me of the book.  These visuals add layers to the stories, and can be used to offer hints to the plot.  So I've decided to put out "Visual Inspirations" in order to spark readers' interests in those books that I love.  Please feel free to join in; hopefully you'll get some new books to read in the process!

If you're a believer in science and in fate, then this book is definitely for you! So without further ado, I give you inspiration this week from:

I went a little different with this one, and did more of a fancasting!  

In my head I totally see the fierce Amandla Stenburg as Natasha (coincidentally, she WILL star in the film adaptation of Nicola's first book Everything, Everything.  I clearly have awesome taste).  She is independent and stands up for what she believes in, which translates to her acting as well.

Then I found the adorable Yeo Jin Goo who is a popular Korean actor.  So while perhaps not going to be cast in an American produced film depending on his skill in English (which can be taught so let's not discriminate here) based on what I've seen of his acting, he is a very emotional actor and would be perfect for Daniel!

Do you all do this, cast actors into the roles of your favorite characters?  And if so, what are some of your fanon favorites you've casted?  Sometimes I can picture people right away, and other times I have to do a little Googling to find the right actor for the role.  But one thing I definitely try and do is pick an actor that is as close to the physical book description as possible.  I think this is especially important with casting for books that have POC characters.  White washing something when there are so many great POC actors is insulting, and pops me completely out of the story.

This book pulled me immediately.  Told from alternating view points with narrator sections mingled in, the voice of these characters is immediate, fresh and real.  I felt invested from the very first page (or in my case, audio cd), and I didn't want to let these characters go at the end.  I have officially, unabashedly, fallen in love with Nicola Yoon and plan to devour her first book, Everything, Everything, immediately!

If you liked this, keep an eye out for more posts and check out my other Visual Inspirations!


Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices edited by Mitali Perkins [Review]

Title: Open Mic: riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices
Editors(s): Mitali Perkins
Contributors: David Yoo, Gene Yuen Lang, Cherry Cheva, Debbie Rigaud, Varian Johnson, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, G. Neri, Francisco X. Stork, and Naomi Shihab Nye
Edition: Audio, 2 hours 50 minutes/3 discs
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Source: Library
Buy: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Book Depository

Using humor as the common denominator, a multicultural cast of YA authors steps up to the mic to share stories touching on race.

Listen in as ten YA authors -- some familiar, some new -- use their own brand of humor to share their stories about growing up between cultures. Henry Choi Lee discovers that pretending to be a tai chi master or a sought-after wiz at math wins him friends for a while -- until it comically backfires. A biracial girl is amused when her dad clears seats for his family on a crowded subway in under a minute flat, simply by sitting quietly in between two uptight white women. Edited by acclaimed author and speaker Mitali Perkins, this collection of fiction and nonfiction uses a mix of styles as diverse as their authors, from laugh-out-loud funny to wry, ironic, or poignant, in prose, poetry, and comic form.
My Opinion

I am making a pledge this year to read more diverse books, and participate in the 2017 Diverse Reads Book Challenge, so I started it off right by getting a hold of the audiobook of this gem of a collection.  Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices edited by Mitali Perkins has the perfect mix of humor, a little heartache, and a whole lot of strength, capturing the reality of experiences of people trapped between cultures.

There is a mix of fiction and nonfiction; a mix of prose, verse, and graphic within the pages.  But while each entry may be different, the underlaying purpose rings true.  As Perkins writes in her introduction, the purpose is to "...to break down barriers and draw us together across borders.”  And this collection succeeds.  From the romantic, in Cherry Cheva's "Talent Show" to the empowering, in Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich's "Confessions of a Black Geek; from half-way across the world, in G. Neri's "Under Berlin", to one's own house, in Francisco X. Stork's "Brotherly Love" and everything in between the autobiographical feeling of being trapped between two cultures, and the journey to fight against racism and the expectations of each culture is clear.

The audiobook was excellently done, with multiple voice actors doing the readings (a majority of whom are POC as far as I could figure out).  This made it much easier to differentiate between each entry right away, and also brought great character to the stories.  I love that Mitali Perkins narrated her own story, which is about her life.  It gave it just something special to hear her telling her story of being a boy-crazy Indian-American teenager trying to figure out how to "score some points" (read it to find out more!!!!).

I would love to see a Volume 2 come out in 2017, especially with the climate of America the way it is currently.  Diverse books containing stories from the very people represented in them is necessary and so impactful.  Each of these authors are amazing contributors to both the Young Adult and Middle Grade genres, but put them all together and is it amazing!  A great addition to the #ownvoices movement (published ahead of its time) and a necessary book that helps bridge the gap in our country, shining a light on racism and multicultural issues through humor.

Final Rating


Interview with Mitali Perkins


Reading Challenges and Me

This year I am only doing ONE reading challenge, and that is the: 

I am doing this one in particular because in 2017 I need to do better as a consumer of books.  

Because I can read even more broadly, 

Because I can take the time to highlight books from diverse genres, cultures, and authors.  

Because I can make sure that the books I read are lifting up communities and accurately reflecting the culture and people within said community. 

Because I can lend my voice to the loud cry to publishers of "These are the books we WANT AND NEED!"  

Because I want to make sure that I showcase books that can reflect all of my readers, not just the white, cisgender, straight ones.  

Because I need to recognize when my favorite books/authors are problematic and why.

Because I want to create a safe space for discovery.  

And because above all I want to learn and grow because I know I'm not near knowledgeable enough.

As an "ally" it's time for me to really start putting my money where my mouth is as much as possible.

With all that said, instead of holding myself to a list of specific books that I cement right now, I will update this post with books I hope to read AND books that I do read, along with the review when finished, so I can keep it as flexible as possible.

I want to be able to discover new books and not feel beholden to a book I might not enjoy.

1. Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices edited by Mitali Perkins - Multiple POC, #ownvoices, ethnic diversity, intersectionality
          Review - 5/5 Stars
2. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon - African American POC, Asian POC, #ownvoices, ethnic diversity, deportation
          Review - 5/5 Stars 
3. Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older - Latinx POC, ethnic diversity, #ownvoices, mythology, LGBT
          Review - 5/5 Stars
4. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven - Mental health (Bi-polar), suicide
          Review - 
5. Love & First Sight by Josh Sundquist - Disability (blindness), ethnic diversity
          Review - 4/5 Stars
6. Because of the Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez - Grief, abuse, ethnic diversity
          Review - 
7. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon - Indian American POC, #ownvoices, family expectations, ethnic diversity
          Review - 

North of Happy by Adi Alsaid - Latinx POC , #ownvoices
A Crack in the Sea by H.M. Bouwman - Folktale, intersectionality
The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui - Memoir, Asian POC, #ownvoices 
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi - South Asian mythology , #ownvoices
Mirage by Tracy Clark - African American POC, mental illness
Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz - Asian POC, #ownvoices, deportation
This Is the Part Where You Laugh by Peter Brown Hoffmeister - Socioeconomic status, drug abuse
We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson - LGBT, #ownvoices, suicide
Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen - Ethnic diversity, intersectionality, women's rights
The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury - Fairytale retelling, Middle Eastern POC
When We Collided by Emery Lord - Mental illness
This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp - Ethnic diversity, intersectionality, 
The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds - African American POC, #ownvoices, 
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo - LGBT, #ownvoices, trans issues
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera - Latinx POC, GLBT, #ownvoices, suicide
Sula's Voyage by Catherine Torres - Asian POC, mythology, #ownvoices
The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten - Mental illness
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley - Mental illness, LGBT
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon - African American POC, #ownvoices, disability
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst - LGBT, bisexual
Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom - Disability (blindness)
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy - LGBT, bisexual, ethnic diversity

So there's my hopeful list.  I'm really excited and encourage all of you to join in too!

The ladies have a great resource list, Diverse Reads 2017 Reading List, that you can check out for recommendations.  Also Naz, over at Read Diverse Books, is holding a reading/reviewing challenge that is also focusing on diverse books (obviously).  So you can hit two challenges with one book AND celebrate diversity in reading!!!

Happy reading everyone!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...