Book Chat: Thoughts on Asian Representation & Why it Matters

Hi, guys! I hope you all have been having a lovely summer so far. As it winds to a close with the fall equinox rapidly approaching, August has brought to us a wealth of Asian stories. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han are two very different, very unique stories starring narratives of Asian main characters and both have been released as movies in the same weekend. There have been a series of Tweets recently about why Asian stories don’t matter, and that is plain hurtful. I can’t even begin to explain what I’m feeling because everything is so tightly wound together. So here’s my piece on WHY THEY DO MATTER. BECAUSE ALL REPRESENTATION MATTERS.

With the heady rush to see and support both of these masterful creations, it’s important to stop and think about why these movies (and books) mean so much to the Asian-American community.

While Crazy Rich Asians certainly isn’t exclusively a story about only Asian-Americans (the only Asian-Am character is Rachel Chu), it still stands as a great feat because it stars an all Asian-American cast, the first in 25 years. Why did it take so long for America to produce a movie like this again? The fight for representation reaches to all people of color, and that includes Asian people and culture. This should be done in a respectful manner, not done by white people who think they have an idea of what Asian people would like. And that is something that has happened for far too long. This story follows Asian families and tells an Asian story. It centers around the vast diversity within the Asian community and includes many nuances that are hard to grasp if you’re not born and raised in it.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was originally only a YA contemporary novel written by Jenny Han. It was the first time I clearly remember seeing an Asian girl on a book cover. It was published in 2015. At that point I was already 16 years old. For me to have lived as long as I did without seeing someone who looked like me on something as simple as a book cover is mind blowing. What about all of the people who lived longer without this kind of simple representation? Think of all of the covers with white people on it. There are gobs of them. I want to emphasize that this isn’t terrible, but it’s something to consider when our nation quite frankly is not all white. It has never been solely white people.

TATBILB is not a story about a girl and her Asian-ness. And not every story featuring a person of color has to be that kind of teaching moment. It shouldn’t have to be. People of color shouldn’t have to explain themselves and who they are to be accepted as people. We want to see people who look like us doing things that we do. We go to school, go to work, fall in love, fall out of love, get angry, get into arguments, make amends. We live as normally as anyone else. When this kind of story is missing, it is saying that they are less important than others. It takes away the unique struggles that we face as people of color because of our skin. Not every person of color faces the same challenges either. What matters is that these problems we face get acknowledged. We have been silenced and told our stories don’t matter for so long. We can no longer stand for this. People of color need to raise each other up. Everyone wants a piece of the equality pie, and fighting each other is counterproductive and hypocritical.


That’s all I’ve got for now, folks. Thanks for reading this piece!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Advertisements
Posted in Bloggers, Book Chat, Sophie

Book Chat: Anticipated March Releases

Hi there! I know this is coming a bit late for an anticipated releases post, but I do want to talk about all of the amazing books coming out this month. So many came out on March 6, and unfortunately I haven’t been able to get them all. :/

However, I will get to them eventually! I have a few that I’m really excited to read here with me, and some that I’ve already read that you definitely need to keep your eye on.

March 6

March 13

March 20

March 27

Wow, that’s a lot of books. I didn’t realize it until I typed it all out. A few books I want to highlight are The Astonishing Color of After and The Final Six. I got the chance to read those early, and they were amazing. I fell in love with the writing of both authors. Astonishing is full of lyrical, haunting magical realism. The Final Six is a high stakes sci-fi novel that I couldn’t put down!

What’s something you’re looking forward to this month? Have you read any good March releases yet? Tell me in the comments below!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Hi, guys!! I read this way back in February, but to this day I still love it so much. Maybe this calls for a re-read… Anywho, I cannot wait to finally write my thoughts down about this book. MY HEART WAS JUST A LITTLE BIT BROKEN AFTER IT NO BIG DEAL HAHAHAHA *tear*

Title: Seven Days of You

Seven Days of You

Author: Cecilia Vinesse

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Release date: March 7, 2017

Sophia has seven days left in Tokyo before she moves back to the States. Seven days to say good-bye to the electric city, her wild best friend, and the boy she’s harbored a semi-secret crush on for years. Seven perfect days…until Jamie Foster-Collins moves back to Japan and ruins everything.

Jamie and Sophia have a history of heartbreak, and the last thing Sophia wants is for him to steal her leaving thunder with his stupid arriving thunder. Yet as the week counts down, the relationships she thought were stable begin to explode around her. And Jamie is the one who helps her pick up the pieces. Sophia is forced to admit she may have misjudged Jamie, but can their seven short days of Tokyo adventures end in anything but good-bye?

**************************************

I had a lot of feelings about this book when I finished it — and when I was reading it. Here are some things I said on my Goodreads account:

WHAT IS THIS LIFE?!?!? THIS BOOK. I’M CRYING RIGHT NOW OH MY GOD.

Okay, well this is a beautiful story about beginnings and endings and everything that comes with both. It’s lovely to see everything play out (even though it’s ripping me apart right now) and I can’t help but feel the bittersweetness of the entire situation. More thoughts to come with a full review!

So maybe some tears were shed. Just because I get really invested in characters doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing! It was poignant and fresh and I loved the setting!

Maybe it’s because her name was Sophia, but I loved her. I could picture her in Tokyo savoring her last few days there, and dragging her feet to leave. I couldn’t imagine that kind of move. I moved houses within the same city and that was hard.

The characters are what made this book amazing for me. I loved their development and their quirkiness. Mika was hilarious and the *perfect* (but flawed) best friend. David was the brooding-but-lovable guy friend. Honestly, their trio reminded me of my trio of friends I had at the time. When Jamie enters the scene, it was fun to see their dynamic change and shift around him. They seem like great people to be friends with overall.

I wish I had more details that helped me get around Tokyo a bit better. A map on the end pages would have been so fun! I did like the small details that Vinesse added about it, but there could have been a few more to make it more immersive.

I really wanted to finish this book, but also I wanted more than seven days. I wanted a year. Or more. Really, anything more that Cecilia would give me I would read. I want to know what happens after. PLEASE TELL ME THERE’S A COMPANION NOVEL OR SEQUEL IN THE WORKS I’M DYING OVER HERE.

I also got to meet this lovely creator of the novel and do an interview for Justine Magazine. Here is the link to our chat!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Book Review: Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse

Book Chat: Reading Slumps

Hello! Hope you’re having a great week thus far. I’ve got a short week this week at school, so I have a lot of time to read! (Well, and do other things like see Beauty and the Beast with my friend and watch more Glee.)

Today I wanted to talk to you about reading slumps. We’ve all been there. You’ve just finished a phenomenal book and you’re still living in the wonderful world that just ended (or didn’t if it’s a series unless it was the last book in that one). Alas, all good things must come to an end at some point. Yet, you want to go back in time and start reading that book for the first time again. I have felt that way with many books (The Upside of Unrequited being the latest probably).

As a book blogger, being in a reading slump is the worst. I need to read so I can review and stay up to date with all of the buzz! So what do I do to fight this? Here are a few of my tried and true tricks.

1) Read a contemporary. I love contemporaries because they’re light and fluffy. Many of them have strong underlying messages in them too, and I love them even more for that. It’s nice to take a dip into the “real” world and see someone go through something that you have (or haven’t) and sympathize with their plight. Also, I love how fast they usually go. Some of my go-to contemporaries are To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny HanThe Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, anything by Sarah Dessen, and the latest contemporary that I bought.

2) Re-read my favorites. I don’t know how you people expect me to have just one favorite book. I have some all-time favorites (To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Shug by Jenny Han, You Were Here by Cori McCarthy to name a *few*). Re-reading a favorite book is an awesome solution because it’s revisiting a world that you’ve come to love. I always find that there are details that I missed the first time around and it’s fun to find all of the new things about the book that I love.

3) Start reading multiple different books. This one isn’t for everyone! I know it’s tough to read more than one book at a time for a lot of people, but if I’m feeling a slump come on I start a bunch of different books. Chances are one is going to grab me and suck me in. After I finish that one I have all of the other ones that I started that I can come back to. I slowly make my way through my books this way. (I have so much that I have to read vs. ones that I want to read in addition to this that it’s necessary to read more than one book at a time.) If the book that you picked up isn’t working for you then you can try one that you already started and come back to it later! This is how I finish so many books around the same time. It’s pretty effective when you have a huge tbr stack.

I hope my tips have helped! Are there any tried and true ways that you use to get out of a slump? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy reading,

Sophie

Welcome to the club my friend! We’ve been waiting for you. I, myself, am a proud book addict and absolutely love hanging out in all places bookish. You may have recognized yourself whilst reading my last post on this (Book Chat: Help! Am I a Book Addict?). If you do, then welcome; if you didn’t, then I hope you can use these to better understand your friends who are.

Step one: Acknowledging you have a problem

Congratulations! This is sometimes the hardest part – saying you’re addicted to books makes it a real thing instead of something you can hide away in between the pages. There is a certain level of liberation you’ll feel after seeing this in yourself and admitting to it. That by any means doesn’t mean you’re yet done with it! You still have urges to sit in between the shelves of books, cancel plans last minute because you’re “sick,” and read all the time.

Step two: Finding ways to cope

Now I’m not saying that being a book addict is necessarily a bad thing! It only is kind of bad when it gets in the way of things like laundry and dishes. It’s gross to eat off of plates crusty with last week’s pasta sauce. It’s nice to eat something that’s out of your fridge and not a restaurant. The best way to manage your time is to read while doing other things. Ride a bus? Read on your commute. Cooking dinner? Doing the dishes? Listen to an audiobook. There are so many ways to consume literature and I promise there are great ways to do so.

Step three: Find a support group a.k.a. a book club

Book clubs are the ultimate support group for book lovers. There are people here that can sympathize with you when you’re feeling those feels, especially when you read those gut wrenching books. Here you’re going to find people with different perspectives that will let you see your reading in a new light.

Step four: Read

Seriously, why should you stop reading? Reading is one of, if not the best way to explore new worlds. Books give you a new perspective on the world and develops empathy within you. They make you think and feel and it truly brings the world (and more) to you in the span of a few hundred pages.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Book Chat: So You’re a Book Addict – What Now?

Posted in Bloggers, Book Chat, Sophie

Book Chat: Help! Am I a Book Addict?

Hi, happy Wednesday! I hope you’re all having a wonderful week. I didn’t have school Monday, and since then I have been screwed up on what day of the week it is. I can’t complain too much – it’s an okay problem to have in the scheme of things.

Today I’ll be discussing the very serious topic of Book Addiction. Are you a book addict? What are the signs and symptoms of this disease?

What is a book addiction?

A book addiction is defined as a disease of literary lovers who cannot stop consuming the written word (spoken or read). These people eat, sleep, and dream of worlds known only to them and their books. Often times you will find these people cooped up in the corner of the room at a party with a book in their lap quietly ignoring the people while they escape into a different world. Be careful when approaching a book addict when they are reading. There is an array of reactions you may receive when taking them by surprise varying from a cold shoulder to an angry outburst.

Symptoms:

  • Bags under the eye
  • Sleep deprivation (due to reading through the night)
  • Increased coffee/tea/hot chocolate consumption
  • Carrying +1 book around with you anywhere (even if you know when you won’t have time to sit and read)
  • Intense craving to stay in a read your book
  • Cancelling plans because you’re “sick”
  • Telling friends and family you’re “going to sleep” when in actuality you’ll be reading for the next hour or so
  • Frequenting a bookstore, library, or any other source of literature
    • Visits may include getting another book to read after the one you’ve decided to read next
  • Finding solace in the shelves
    • Or simply by being surrounded by books
  • Looking at the stack of books you have and deciding you simply must get another because you need it
  • Obsessively checking the release date of a book
  • Repeatedly refreshing your browser to check if your book mail got left in the mail

Though this list of symptoms is certainly not complete, these are some behaviors of book addicts. You may have been reading this list and thinking – I do [insert behavior here]! Have no fear, I am a book addict too. I have come to embrace my addiction. Stay tuned next week for the next installment!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Bloggers, Book Chat, Sophie

Book Chat: (Un)Comprehensive January and February Book Haul

Hi, happy hump day! I wasn’t really sure what to talk about today, but I realized I haven’t talked about what books I’ve recently acquired. To my parents who may or may not be reading this, I want you to know I didn’t buy a lot of these, they were free. Let me repeat that, they were free.

Now that that’s out of the way, I do want to clarify my sources. I want to take a minute to thank my lovely editor at Justine Magazine for sending me many a packages of books. They are so wonderful and I can’t wait to read and review them for you! Thank you also to Megan Beatie for sending me multiple copies of various books. Each one I’ve read so far I have fallen in love with. They never disappoint! I also work at a local bookstore, where ARCs are plenty and I never have to go far to satisfy my addiction.

(Side note: Maiya once told the entire band and the parents that I’m the resident book hoarder. Probably was one of my proudest moments as a book nerd.)

ANYWAY I’ve recently come into many, many books. Here’s a *short* list of what I can remember:

ARCs

Finished Hardcovers

If you’re interested in learning more about any of the books listed here I’ve included the Goodreads link so just click the title! Okay I’m gonna stop here because that’s all I can remember. Also I think my parents would kill me. If my books don’t do it first. Brb while my shelves crush me…

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Hi guys! I’m Beth from The Books Are Everywhere and Tea Pusheen. Today I’m going to be listing 5 of my favourite books published in 2016!

25467698

Goodreads | Amazon

I can’t believe I read this book nearly a year ago now, but it still sticks very strongly in my memory!

25679559

Goodreads | Amazon

You Were Here was my favourite book of 2016. Yes, it came out on top! I adored this book so much!

23272028

Goodreads | Amazon

I read this book with Sophie early last year and we both loved it! Such a unique read.

25663637

Goodreads | Amazon

I read this book in a couple of days while I was in Wales last summer and I absolutely loved it! Such an emotional ride but one of my favourite of the year.

28686840

Goodreads | Amazon

This book was very close to getting my top stop! I loved this book so much, but it’s definitely a strong second.

Thanks for reading!

Which 2016 books did you love?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

| Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | YouTube |


Book Chat: 5 Favourite Books Published in 2016

Posted in Bloggers, Sophie

General Update: My Bookish Life pt. 30

Good day there, friends! It’s a lovely Sunday here in Michigan – nice and sunny, with a crisp air to it. I love fall! I’m a day late again, but things have been crazy so just bear with me until I can get things straightened out.

This week

Me and my date

It was Homecoming week! Our school’s theme was decades, and my class got assigned the 80s. There were fun spirit days, and the game was pretty fun. I didn’t participate in many of the spirit days, but I did try to go all out for Blue and Gold day, which are our school colors. Our football team lost, but that was kind of expected. (They aren’t very good.) Our band had a guy nominated for Homecoming

The whole gang

King, but unfortunately he didn’t win it. I was pretty disappointed because we could pull a big chunk of the vote as a band.

 

Yesterday was the dance, and it was by far one of the best school dances that I’ve been to. Let’s be clear, I like getting dressed up for the dance, but going to it is never usually my favorite part. However, this time I had a blast (even though the DJ was horrible). My friends and I partied hard, and my date/boyfriend was wonderful. All in all, it was a great last Homecoming for me.

I finished a book this week, too! If you’re friends with me on Goodreads, you’ll know that I just read Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. I’ve been reading it for my Feminist Literature class, which I’m loving so far. I loved Bad Feminist, and though I don’t think I’ll write a full review on it, I do believe it’s something that everyone should consider reading.

Today

So far I’ve only really just gone out to breakfast with my sister and her husband and done homework. I worked, and now I get to relax for the rest of the afternoon. I did also have the chance to take some book photos for the Instagram, which you should definitely check out (see the side widgets).

This coming week

It’s another busy week this week! I really need to focus on my college applications so I won’t be extremely active. Please forgive and understand that those are the focal point of my life right now.

Happy reading!

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Bloggers, Bookish News, Sophie

Bookish News: 26 September 2016

Hello hello! Welcome to the last week of September! This week we’re welcoming a great number of good books and I can’t wait to share them with you.

This week’s releases:

I don’t have any time to add the rest of my news for today, but I’ll have it up soon (probably tomorrow if I get the chance to write).

Happy reading! 

Sophie 😄