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review 2018-11-05 17:06
Enjoyed, Didn't Love as Much as The Wedding Date
The Proposal - Jasmine Guillory

So here's the thing, I loved how this book started off. My face was a mask of horror and laughter at the beginning. I loved Carlos and Nik. The biggest thing for me was the pacing which is why I didn't give this more than four stars. I think things moved way too fast. Maybe if we had everything unfold over three months I could see it, but this was in essence all done and dusted I think in about four weeks. Also I wanted an epilogue like how we got with "The Wedding Date." The ending was a little too abrupt for me. Guillory hits all of the romance boxes though, loved all of the secondary characters, and she manages to make you want to move to LA. We get appearances from Drew and Alexa (yes!) and the third book better showcase their wedding. Or I want a novella showcasing their wedding! Seriously!

 

"The Proposal" has Nikole Paterson (Nik) at a Dodgers game with her boyfriend of five months Fisher. We get insight into how Nik sees Fisher (just someone to pass the time with) and is horrified when she realizes that he put up a proposal to her on the Jumbotron (spelling her name wrong) and is one knee in front of her asking her to marry him. Did I mention this is in front of hundreds of strangers and Fisher's friends? Yeah. Poor Nik. At that point I was firmly on her side. When Nik rightfully says no (seriously I would have dumped beer on his man-bun) Fisher calls her names and she is left alone with hundreds of people staring at her. She's also getting tweets, text messages, and emails, and just like that, Nik goes viral. 


When Carlos and his sister Angela who are also at the game realize that Nik is about to get ambushed by a television crew, they pretend to be long last friends and haul her out of there. And just like that, wet get our meet-cute. Also don't get mad at me, this is the book's synopsis. 


From there though I really liked what Guillory does. We have Nik who is stunned and horrified calling her ride or die friends to meet at their favorite bar. She invites Carlos and Angela to thank them and though Nik isn't looking for someone new, her two besties encourage her to have a rebound with Carlos. 

 

Carlos who is attracted to Nik has enough sense to start hitting on her after what she has been through, but likes texting her. Soon enough they are talking all the time and then we get some sparks!

 

I liked the character of Nik. She's African American and I liked that a few times Carlos steps in it (she lets it go) with him not thinking she really knows about LA and good Mexican food. I think he's deceived she's bougie due to her dating a white guy with a man bun (we all make mistakes).

 

I think her being a freelance writer was interesting, but I really wanted to hear more about how she is able to pitch stories and get paid. Based on some of the black female writers I follow on Twitter, being freelance sounds hard as hell and you often deal with people stealing you stories/articles and not properly crediting you. 

 

I also thought at times, it was weird how very little Nik's parents are involved in her life. We also know Nik has two parents, but they don't even call her to discuss her viral moment. I would have had my aunt calling me in two seconds because my cousins can't help but run their mouths.

 

I also liked Nik's vulnerability about her writing due to her boyfriend from before being a jerk about it and constantly putting her down about it. I think Guillory taps into something about being an African American woman and not confident in yourself because you are constantly being told by society how you are not good enough. When we get to her and Carlos's first love scene and she is overwhelmed by how he is worshiping her body in essence made my toes tingle. Nik has messed up beliefs about relationships and love, so she is happy to just be friends who has sex with Carlos.


Carlos is a whole lot of complicated. He seemed like a know it all in the first book. In this one, he is a little uncertain and is doing his best to be there for his mother, sister, cousin, and aunt after the unexpected death of his father. Carlos feels like his family must be number one at all times, so he is not looking to date. He ends up becoming friends with Nik and starts seeking her out to just talk to and cook for when he's had a bad day.

 

I liked how Nik gets Carlos to open up about his dad and pushes for him to throw his family a bone and go to the doctor to get a check-up.

 

The cooking scenes were sweet to me and I loved how much pleasure he got out of giving Nik food and her appreciation of it made him want to do it more and more.

 

I also loved Nik meeting Drew and Alexa and both women going later, how could those two nit-wits not tell us the other women was African American. I know that some people who are not black won't get it, but that's always a question I am probing for when I ask friends who is going to be at this party, event, etc. I am still shaking my head at being the only black person at my friend's wedding two years ago. Somehow the photographer still managed to not get me in a single picture. Side-eye. 

 

The secondary characters are great, and I loved seeing Drew and Alexa again. 

 

The writing was really good and I have to say that I liked how Guillory works in how women are harassed on social media into why Nik decides to go out and take a women's self defense course with her two friends, Dara and Courtney.


The flow was good, but the pacing was off for me while reading this. As I said above, the book takes place I think over a four week period. I wish that Guillory had broken it into a 2-3 month period. It would have made more sense. 


The setting of the book is LA and Guillory has given us a LA that sounds genuinely fun to live in (cupcake shops, favorite bars, and taquerias oh my!).


The ending as I said above was a bit abrupt. This is a romance book though, so there is going to be a happy ending. 

ETA: I didn't realize this would fit a book task! Yes! 

 

Kwanzaa (December 26 - January 1): Read a book set in Africa or the Caribbean OR by an African, Caribbean, or African-American author OR a book with a green, red, or black cover.

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review 2018-10-22 20:23
First Date by R.L Stine
First Date - R.L. Stine

Here we are again with body shaming, and shaming curly hair again as well (come on, what is so wrong with curly hair R.L Stine!?)

 

R.L Stine is huge with rape culture in his teen books. Yikes. I did not notice this when I read them as a preteen/teenager. It happens three times in this book. With the boys in the car, two guys in Chelsea's workplace and that scene with a drunk Sparks. (more details below) These are terrifying real-world situation that no person wants to be in. There is also an instance where they call another girl a tramp, so we've got slut shaming, too.

 


Body shaming:

The mom going "you're attractive... if you lost a bit of weight...and put on lipstick"

Um NO... you can call a person pretty, regardless of their body weight. That is a good way to mess your kid up. I can relate to having someone in the family always bringing up weight. It is really painful when the shaming comes from the last people who should ever shame you and can leave lasting damage.

I can also relate to having someone always trying to get me to put on makeup. "Oh hey, if you just put on a little makeup." or "Here, let me show you how to fix your hair." No, mom, you might mean well, but I'm fine the way I am, thanks. I'm an adult now, so I think I can figure out how I want to do my hair or if I want to wear makeup or not. (Spoiler, I don't 99% of the time!)

 

Don't do this. If you try to force someone to change their looks (by adding makeup..etc) when they don't want to, you are basically telling them they are not good enough the way they are.

Throughout the book, her weight and looks are mentioned. There is also a scene where she compares her lunch (a normal size lunch!) to Nina's lunch of yogurt and an apple, saying "Nina is going to think I'msoooo fat, but if I only eat what she has, I will be starving!"

(spoiler show)


Rape culture:

I'm not writing this word for word... but you get it.

Boy: How about a date?
Other boy: Plenty of room in here.
*boys laugh and make kissing sounds*
Boy: We're great. We're really great.
Other boy: Bet you're great, too.
Chelsea: Leave me alone!
Boy: Aww, that's not friendly?
Other boy: Don't you want to be friendly?
Chelsea: I'm warning you!
Boy: Aww, she's getting steamed
Other boy: That's not friendly!

This is rape culture. You know what these boys are doing and what they wanted to do to Chelsea, whether they would go through with anything or not is beside the point. It is disgusting that anyone would act like this.

Also, two guys do about the same thing to her when she is alone in her workplace.

Happens again later on when Sparks tells her to "be friendly" while he's basically chasing her around her workplace, saying and doing creepy things. He is also drunk.

(spoiler show)

 

Slut shaming:

Nina (The main character's oh-so-skinny friend) believes her boyfriend is going to leave her, because she sees him talking to another girl named Suki. Oh, the horrors! You know, he could have been asking help with homework, or Suki could be his friend, but no, jump straight to "he's cheating"

Nina says "Suki is such a huge tramp!" (I read another R.L Stine book that has Suki mentioned. She is kind of a stereotypical "hard rock bad girl" or maybe Goth (I can't remember) and acts/dresses differently and apparently has a reputation for sleeping around but it only feels this is so because of how Suki is stereotyped. In the other book, she is also treated the same way.)

(spoiler show)


I still love these books; yeah, I have a blind spot for them. I know they are outdated and problematic by today's standards. I'm reading them through nostalgia-colored glasses.

 

Afterthought: I just want to point out that the main character is mentioned as being "chubby" and the bad guy says she is "dark and chubby. Not real pretty but she's okay." The book talks about "fixing" her up by straightening her hair, wearing makeup and losing a few pounds.

 

These 80s & 90s teen books probably made a lot of people feel bad. Or if you were like me, you would just overlook the problematic stuff; it just went right over my head.

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text 2018-10-04 10:30
CBSE 10th Board Time Table 2019, Class X Date Sheet

The Central Board of Secondary Education, CBSE is looking forward to release 10th class exam routine in some days. Last week the board released a notification that the 10th class exams of vocational subjects will start in February 2019 and the exam of core academic subjects will be held in March month. The exact date of exams has not been released yet and it will be available soon after release of CBSE 10th Date Sheet 2019. The CBSE 10th Time Table 2019 will be available only on board’s official website I.e. cbse.nic.in. In this session, the board is looking to conduct the 10th class exams 15 days earlier than previous years. Usually the board start conducting exams from March 1st week but this year it will start the exams from 2nd half of March 2019. It releases Class 10th exam schedule in December/January month every year but this year we are expecting that the CBSE 10th Board Date Sheet 2019 will be available in October/November 2019. Students should prepare themselves for exams and visit official web portal of CBSE in routine.

The CBSE conducts exams of 10th class every year and a large numbers of students appear on various examination centers in all over India. They all want to pass the examination and get promoted to next level. They know the value of class 10 marks because the score obtained in this class will help them to get admission in further courses. As per latest updates, near about 30 lakhs students filled the 10th and 12th class examination and looking forward to appear in exam.     

CBSE 10th Board Time Table 2019 Download    

Visit official web portal of CBSE i.e. cbse.nic.in

Visit ‘Announcement’ section and search for CBSE 10th Exam Schedule 2019 link.

Click on the time table link after finding it.

The CBSE 10th Date Sheet 2019 will be in front of you on your device’s screen.

Download the time table and take a hard copy of it.

CBSE 10th Date Sheet 2019, Class X Exam Routine

Students who are pursuing class 10th from CBSE board will able to check CBSE 10th Board Date Sheet 2019 in October/November month of this year. The exam schedule will also be updated here for students who filled 10th examination forms from CBSE board. If you face any problem while checking CBSE 10th Time Table 2019 then please visit us at https://sarkariresult.app/

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text 2018-10-02 16:56
Further Into The Reveal [Unwrapped Blind Date!]

Some of you might have seen in previous posts me talking about a "Blind Date With A Book," and a video showing me unwrapping them. In this post, I will post pictures and more details about the banned books! Some I might have talked about before, some might also prove hard to find reasons it was banned.

 

 

Here is the group photo. Were you surprised by any of them? I am not surprised they all turned out to be classics or that several were school read in my time (probably still school reads today?)

 

 

 Of Mice and Men

Two migrant field workers in California on their plantation during the Great Depression—George Milton, an intelligent but uneducated man, and Lennie Small, a bulky, strong man but mentally disabled—are in Soledad on their way to another part of California.

 

Banned or Challenged:

1953 - Banned in Ireland

1974 - Indiana - Banned in Syracuse

1977

Pennsylvania - Banned in Oil City

South Carolina - Challenged in Greenville by the Fourth Province of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan

1979 - Michigan - Challenged but retained in Grand Blanc schools after being called "vulgar and blasphemous"

1980

New York - Challenged in Vernon-Verona-Sherill School District

Ohio - Challenged in Continental

1981 - Arizona - Challenged in Saint David

1982 - Indiana - Challenged in Tell City for "profanity and using God's name in vain"

1983 - Alabama - Banned from classroom use at Scottsboro Skyline HIgh School for profanity

1984 - Tennessee - The Knoxville School Board chairman vowed to have "filthy books" removed from Knoxville's public schools and picked this book as the first target for it's profanity

1987 - Kentucky - Reinstated at the Christian County school libraries and English classes after being challenged for being vulgar and offensive

1988

Illinois - Challenged at the Wheaton-Warrenville Middle school

Michigan - Challenged at the Barrien Springs High School for profanity

West Virginia - Challenged in the Marion County schools

 

The rest of the reasons can be found here

(spoiler show)

 

The Red Pony

The Red Pony is divided into four stories. Each story centers on a boy named Jody; the four together show him in a critical time of his childhood. In the first story, Jody is ten years old.

 

Banned or Challenged:

I had trouble finding out why other than what the paper says in the picture.

 

 

 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

On its surface, Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a straightforward story about a boy and a runaway slave floating down the Mississippi River. But underneath, the book—which was published in the U.S. on February 18, 1885—is a subversive confrontation of slavery and racism.

 

Banned or Challenged:

1885 - Massachusetts - Banned in Concord as "trash and suitable only for the slums."

1905 - New York - Excluded from the Brooklyn Public Library's children's colleciton because "Huck not only itched but scratched, and that he said sweat when he should have said perspiration."

1930 - Confiscated at the USSR border

1957 - New York - Dropped from New York City list of books recommended for senior and junior high schools partly for use of racial language

1969 - Florida - Removed from Miami-Dade Junior College required reading because it "creates an emotional block for black students that inhibits learning."

1976 - Illinois - Challenged for racism at the New Trier High School at Winnetka

1981 - Pennsylvania - Challenged for racism at the Tamament Junior High in Warrington.

 

The rest of the reasons can be found here

(spoiler show)

 

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

An imaginative and mischievous boy named Tom Sawyer lives with his Aunt Polly and his half-brother, Sid, in the Mississippi River town of St. Petersburg, Missouri. After playing hooky from school on Friday and dirtying his clothes in a fight, Tom is made to whitewash the fence as punishment on Saturday.

 

Banned or Challenged:

I had trouble finding more reasons, but it is probably clear that the reasons are similar to Huck Finn.

 

 

The Canterbury Tales

At the Tabard Inn, a tavern in Southwark, near London, the narrator joins a company of twenty-nine pilgrims. The pilgrims, like the narrator, are traveling to the shrine of the martyr Saint Thomas Becket in Canterbury. The narrator gives a descriptive account of twenty-seven of these pilgrims, including a Knight, Squire, Yeoman, Prioress, Monk, Friar, Merchant, Clerk, Man of Law, Franklin, Haberdasher, Carpenter, Weaver, Dyer, Tapestry-Weaver, Cook, Shipman, Physician, Wife, Parson, Plowman, Miller, Manciple, Reeve, Summoner, Pardoner, and Host.

 

Banned or Challenged:

I couldn't find much info other than language, sexual innuendo, critical of powerful constituencies (the church)

 

Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travels Summary. Gulliver embarks on four separate voyages in Gulliver's Travels. There is a storm before every journey. All the four voyages add new perspectives to Gulliver's life and also give him new opportunities for satirizing the ways of England.

 

Banned or Challenged:

 

 

A hard one to find a good source. Here is what I could dig up. "Gulliver's Travels" is a famous satirical novel by Jonathan Swift, but the work has also been banned for the displays of madness, the public urination, and other controversial topics. Here, we are transported to through the dystopian experiences of Lemuel Gulliver, as he sees giants, talking horses, cities in the sky, and much more. The book was originally censored because of the politically sensitive references Swift makes in his novel. "Gulliver's Travels" was also banned in Ireland for being "wicked and obscene." William Makepeace Thackeray said of the book that it was "horrible, shameful, blasphemous, filthy in word, filthy in thought."

 

Source

(spoiler show)

 

 

 

 

 Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night, or What You Will is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written around 1601–1602 as a Twelfth Night's entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. The play centres on the twins Viola and Sebastian, who are separated in a shipwreck.

 

Banned or Challenged:

 

Many of Shakespeare’s plays have fallen under suspicion, but in 1996, a school in New Hampshire removed this comedy because of the cross-dressing and the allusion to same-sex romance (which actually doesn’t happen in the narrative) — which they saw as breaking the school’s rule on “prohibition of alternative lifestyle instruction.”

(spoiler show)

 

 

Le Morte d' Arthur

Le Morte d'Arthur is the tale of King Arthur. It begins with the formation of the Knights of the Round Table and follows the rise of King Arthur and his tragic fall. The story begins with Uther Pendragon, the King of England who lusts after Igraine, who happens to be the wife of the Duke of Tintagil.

 

Banned or Challenged:

I had a hard time finding more reasons other than what the paper in the photo says.

 

 

The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye is set around the 1950s and is narrated by a young man named Holden Caulfield. Holden is not specific about his location while he's telling the story, but he makes it clear that he is undergoing treatment in a mental hospital or sanatorium.

 

Banned or Challenged:

 

 

1960 - Oklahoma - Teacher was fired in Tulsa from an 11th grade English position for assigning the book. Teacher appealed and was reinstated but the book was removed from the school

 

1963 - Ohio - Columbus parents asked the school board to ban the novel for being "anti-white" and "obscene." The school board refused.

 

1975 - Pennsylvania - Removed from reading list after parents complained about the language and content. The book was reinstated after the school board vote, orginally 5-4, was deemed illegal as they required a two-thirds vote in favor to remove a text.

 

1977 - New Jersey - Challenged and the board ruled the book could be read in an advanced placement class with parental permission.

 

1978 - Washington - Issaquah school removed it from their optional reading list

 

1979 - Michigan - Removed from the required reading list at Middleville.

 

1980 - Ohio - Removed from Jackson Milton school libraries in North Jackson

 

1982

 

Alabama - Removed from Anniston High School libraries and later reinstated

 

Manitoba, Canada - Removed from school libraries in Morris along with two other books as they violate committee's guidelines covering "excess vulgar language, sexual scenes, things  concerning moral issues, excessive violence, and anything dealing with the occult."

 

 

 

The rest of the reasons can be found here

(spoiler show)

 

 

 To Kill A Mockingbird

Scout Finch lives with her brother, Jem, and her father, Atticus, in Maycomb, Alabama, during the Great Depression. Scout spends her summers playing with Jem and their friend Dill, who visits his aunt in Maycomb each summer. The children become obsessed with Boo Radley, the reclusive neighbor rumored to have stabbed his own father in the leg with a pair of scissors.

 

Banned or Challenged:

 

 
2018

After a mother complained to the superintendent that her son was uncomfortable with the N-word, the novel was removed from the 8th-grade curriculum at Biloxi (MS) Public Schools in the middle of teaching it, without following policy. After national outcry, the book is available to be taught as an optional assignments with the written permission of a parent. At Hamilton (AZ) High School, parents expressed concern over a school assignment addressing the use of the N-word in the classic novel.

 

2017

Retained in the Accomack County (VA) Public Schools. A parent objected to racial slurs in the book. After being temporarily removed on Nov. 29, 2016, the book was reinstated on Dec. 6 by the school board.

 

2012

Banned or challenged for offensive language and racism.

 

2010

Removed from the St. Edmund Campion Secondary School classrooms in Brampton (Ontario, Canada) because a parent objected to language used in the novel, including the N-word.

 

The rest of the reasons can be found here.

(spoiler show)
 
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video 2018-10-01 19:37

The Reveal! Please excuse how awkward I am! Also I had some technical diffuculties at the end, so I am sorry that the video cuts off.

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