Sixteen year-old Starr Carter wears a mask daily: one in her poor, black neighborhood and one in the rich and predominately white neighborhood where she attends an elite school. But, for unbeknownst to those around her, masks tire and tighten with each passing day. The balance between managing the tightness and fatigue comes to a head after witnessing the shooting death of her friend, Khalil, by the hands of a police officer during a traffic stop.
Once his death makes headline news, she battles assumptions from those ignorant of who Khalil was as a person. Everybody has an opinion – some good, some bad, others clueless. As those opinions come to a head, Starr wonders just how long she’s willing to walk the tightrope others desire her to teeter.
My soul’s on fire.
Two Saturdays ago, I attended the Los Angeles Festival of Books, a massive celebration of books, along with food, music, art, and shopping. There you can buy books, listen to panels, and run into your favorite authors.
Yeah. It happens. In order: Lilliam Rivera (The Education of Margot Sanchez); Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming; Another Brooklyn); Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist; Difficult Woman).
Yes, book nerds fangirl too and yes, sometimes we acquire cotton mouth when our favorite authors near.
Happy. Happy. Joy. Joy.
Crafty Scribbles Jr. entered a local art competition, along with other teens from high schools in his school district. He drew a composition by the name “Cattle Man” I’m so proud of him.
Happy Mommy indeed!
If you’re ever in Pasadena, CA, please check out a fabulous bookstore by the name Vroman’s. It’s a landmark , right on Colorado Blvd. Best part (other than the incredible selection of books and bookish items) is that it’s an independent shop. Two floors of almost every book you can imagine, along with knick-knacks (e.g. bookmarks, t-shirts, mugs). If you are a book nerd like me and have no problem killing 2+ hours in a Hogwarts for book dragons, hit this shop now.
Make sure you bring money (You cannot escape walking empty-headed) and comfortable shoes.
Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch – two delicious items one can get in Italy. While I’ve enjoyed both in Venice, this story takes place in Florence.
1. Quick pacing
2. A character that’s pretty likable. She’s not dim-witted (though at times she was rather unobservant). Her confusion throughout her short and empathetic journey. She’s grieving her mother – a woman with secrets and facets unbeknownst to her daughter. While she loves her mother, she sometimes feels as though she never knew her.
Do not worry. My mug of tea sits beside me as I type this review. Jenny Han’s novel, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before invokes frustration and side-eyes from other planets. I promise to keep my feelings civil, even when the book urges me to forget civility.
We live in society pushing various books, songs, and movies as “must-have moments”, despite a myriads of said items swathed in mediocrity. Average is the popular kids’ table, while exceptional lingers in the bathroom until the lunch bell. May I push this book onto the popular kids with its cute cover and engrossing book blurb? Yes, I may, given that neither fit in the actual book’s plot, dialogue and characters.
How do I sum this story?
Small wonder tells a story about writing three love letters in middle school back in the day (She’s a high school student) to three or four crushes and how they’re mailed to them years later. She convinces us to stick around for seventy-two – yes, seventy-two chapters of lethargic drama and emotionless dilemmas.
Hence, the Small Wonder reference. Okay, I’m aging myself. But, I have 1980s and 1990s references out of the wazoo. Bear with me. They compel me to use them.
Currently, happily losing money at Vroman’s Bookstore, famed Pasadena independent mega-house of infinite knowledge. My poor credit card doesn’t expect a thing. Happy Indie Bookstore Day