A great story of indomitable will and never giving up. Viola is diagnosed with photosensitivity-meaning she is allergic to the sun. Including ALL UVA And UVB rays. This Includes her phone and laptop screens as well. This would destroy any teenage girl. It especially one who wants to be a foreign news correspondent AND who just met a boy who looks like Thor. While it was pretty slow at times this is definitely one of my top books of 2018. It shows true resilience, creativity, and vulnerability.
Just finished this beauty of a book, WHEN THE BEAT DROPS by Anna Hecker is about Mira, a jazz nerd who can’t afford to go to music camp where she will prepare for a super important audition to get into music school. Instead she spends her summer attending warehouse parties and raves with her sister who is home from college (who is hiding way more than Mira can imagine). Over the summer, Mira learns about DJing and enters a world she would have never imagined. She learns about love, drugs, friendship, loss,family and herself. 🖤 At times it felt like a cautionary tale about drug use but the writing in this book is BEAUTIFUL. Anna Hecker makes you SEE the music when you can’t hear it. Overall, an absolutely beautiful book that I’m so grateful to have read.
Honestly, this book was SO much more than I expected! I had heard about it through the librarian grapevine and read reviews, but for some reason kept it at the back of my TBR saying "I'll read it eventually." Y'all. This book needs a new cover because the one it has makes it feel immature and honestly middle-grade-esque but AMERICAN PANDA is GREAT! As a hispanic-American woman, I related to the main character, Mei, with the pressure to make your family proud, to be obedient, and to find a husband and have babies to secure your family name. BUT we know how I love a good ol' rebellion, ;) but AMERICAN PANDA isn't about the rebellion. It is about a Taiwanese-American girl, Mei, who LOVES dance, but her family has decided that is attending MIT to become a doctor while her mother chooses a husband for her. And while Mae tries SO hard to obey her family, she finally learns what I have been preaching for the past few years: you can't put a price a YOUR happiness and you have to do what is right for YOU.
AMERICAN PANDA is about so much more than just a girl struggling with her identity and with her parents; it is about finding yourself and challenging traditions that are done just for traditions sake. It is about women standing up for themselves. It is about spouses having a say in the way that their children are raised, and those children being happy and being given the opportunity to choose and fight for their dreams and being allowed to fail.
This book was everything. I loved every second of it. Thank you, Gloria Chao. I hope that not only other Asian Americans can relate to this book and find comfort in knowing that they are not alone, but also EVERYONE who wants to break away from family traditions and gender ideologies.
Clara Shin lives with her dad in L.A and is the class clown. She likes to "stay in the shallow end" of feelings and make jokes of everything, but when she and the class president, Rose, get into a fight at prom and almost burn down the school cafeteria, she is forced to work with Rose in her dad's food truck all summer. As the two work together, Clara learns about having to face your feelings and what real friendship and relationships are like.
I loved every second of this book, so much so that I couldn't put it down and finished it in a little under a day. Clara is very real and relatable, her journey from class clown to actual person was easy to follow. I'd love to see a spinoff or novela about her dad and his realtionships being a single dad or her mom's adventures as a social media influencer.
The Way You Make Me Feel is another book that I will be reviewing and booktalking in a Junior Library Guild webcast next month!
My first book sketchnote in a LOONNGG time! THE LOVE LETTERS OF ABELARD AND LILY is a super sweet romance between a boy on the autism spectrum and a girl with ADHD. I LOVED it so much that I finished it in a day! I also really liked that it was set in Austin so I could actually picture where events were taking place! I used the Apple Pencil and the Doodle Art app, which is why there’s an awkward border on the left. 😂😂. I’ll be booktalking this book and a few others in a Junior Library Guild webinar next month-check back for details!