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text 2018-12-01 20:49
My November 2018
Harry Potter und die Heiligtümer des Todes - J.K. Rowling,Klaus Fritz
Power Women - Geniale Ideen mutiger Frauen: Was würden sie dir raten? - Andreas Jäger
Paheli: Spiel um alles oder nichts - Karuna Riazi,Maximilian Meinzold,Cornelia Panzacchi
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender - Leslye Walton
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas
milk and honey - rupi kaur
Harry Potter und die Heiligtümer des Todes - 5 stars
Power Women - Geniale Ideen mutiger Frauen: Was würden sie dir raten? - 5 stars
Paheli: Spiel um alles oder nichts - 3.5 stars
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender - 5 stars
The Hate U Give - 5 stars
milk and honey - 5 stars

 

Favorite book(s) of the month: Harry Potter (duh!), The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, The Hate U Give

 

Books started this month but haven't finished yet: Ohne Spur, Die Rote Königin, Wahrheit gegen Wahrheit, In Rache entflammt

 

This month has been my favorite reading month. I'm super happy with the amount of books I have read and I'm even happier with the quality of the books. I loved every single one I have read, not all of them are going to stick with me forever but there were some really beautiful reads in there.

 
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-11-27 14:28
The Hate U Give!!!
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

HOT DAMN THIS BOOK.

T H I S   B O O K.

 

Summary: "What's the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be?"

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

 

This is one of those hyped books that IS SO WORTH THE HYPE. Not going to lie, I was a bit intimitated by the hype, cause this could have gone into a terrible direction. But it didn't. I truly loved this book.

 

The writing is amazing. I seriously love how this story is written, the setting, everything. It deals with a very hot topic and it dealt with it the right way. I loved how exhausting this book was, I loved that I went all the emotions. One minute I was crying my eyes out, the next I couldn't stop laughing.

 

The characters were amazing, the felt so real. They were flawed and just amazing. I loved Starr's growth throughout the whole book. I just love this girl so damn much. And the whole family dynamic?! Yes please. Seriously, I loved everyone in that family, I loved how they fought, how they got on each others nerves, and how they always had each others backs. I JUST LOVE THEM ALL SO DAMN MUCH.

 

I just now finished this a bit ago and I already want to reread it. The story itself is frustrating, cause once, JUST ONCE, I want and need justice. But the way the story is told, the characters (of course there are a few people that I hate with a burning passion, but still), the family dynamic, the friendships, the community. It's perfect.

 
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review 2018-07-09 10:59
5/5: "The Hate U Give", Angie Thomas
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

Starr alternates between the predominantly Caucasian school where she learns and the poor black neighbourhood where she lives. By the age of sixteen, she’s seen two of her friends shot and killed in front of her.

On a very warm Sunday morning, I was 33 pages into this book. I’d finished its 400+ pages by that evening. It’s a story that grabs hold of you and screams that you listen and more importantly, that you listen well.

It is the 21st century, right? I’m just checking, because the neighbourhood Starr lives in doesn’t seem to think so. The predominantly minority population feels itself as oppressed as 19th century slaves, and who can blame them? They take care of themselves, because it seems the rest of the city where they live won’t. Law is enforced by neighbours working together and gang members patrolling the streets.

The people who should be protecting them – the police – are distant and disinterested and just as likely to shoot them as a random drive by killer. (There’s also a wider debate here, I thought, about arming police officers. If the police officer had a Taser, we’d having a twitching teenager, not a dead one).

You get a feel for the world Starr lives in within a few pages of the book starting. She’s at a party when there’s the sound of gunshots. She doesn’t wonder what the noise is; she doesn’t stop to investigate. She and everyone else runs for their life. In those few paragraphs, you see what life is like for Starr and her friends. How used to it they are, how much they expect it. There’s a tragedy here, growing up so hard and fast in a place where you should feel safe. Starr is able to identify a handgun without any hesitation at the age of sixteen.

This is a story of living between narrow spaces. The neighbourhood exists between being labelled a ghetto and gang wars. Starr walks the space between her Caucasian friends and her black family, of wanting to stay silent and be safe or speak up and be a target. Her father walks the space between wanting to help the neighbourhood and making a better life for his kids.

There are walls here as well. One that jumped out at me was late in the story: Starr’s white boyfriend is putting up with some good natured jokes from her black friends. But when he wants to ask a question about black life, a wall immediately goes up for a paragraph or two. You can feel the here comes the racism vibe without it being spoken. But how else are we to learn if we don’t ask questions?

Starr also puts up walls between herself and her boyfriend and school friends. She walks differently, talks differently and behaves differently around them. The only way the black girl feels as though she can be accepted is if she doesn’t act black.

I’m five hundred words into this review and I haven’t got to the best part of the story yet. Starr’s extended family is absolutely awesome. You know they would kill for each other and die for each other without hesitation. No matter what happens, the family is the strongest and most enduring thing, the spine the book is built on.

I want to sit in their kitchen and listen to them argue and love each other and hate each other and all the other things good families are supposed to do. And I want some of that red velvet cake.

And you know that love and support stretches out across the street and the neighbourhood and is reflected and magnified back to them. Starr lives in a ghetto, but that doesn’t mean the ghetto isn’t a family and a strength that she knows is there for her and everyone else.

Everyone in the story is so well developed, I read most of this book in terror that some of them wouldn’t make it out alive. I was expecting gunshots and screeching tires every page. I got a glimpse of how Starr must live all the time, and my respect for her and her family and neighbours went up to eleven.

I have a few minor gripes, but they are very minor: The subplot with Mav and the Kings seemed to wrap up too quickly and neatly, and there seemed to be some author intrusions, especially in the above quoted example of Chris asking a question. But damn. This is Angie Thomas’s first book. There’s a humour and warmth and characterisation here of a twenty year veteran.

Consider me a fan.

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review 2018-06-29 12:05
The Hate U Give
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

This is one of those books I don’t feel the need to review in depth. Many have already done so, and if I forget parts of this book because I didn’t write my impressions down, I will happily read it again. And tell everyone else to read it.

 

Seriously. Go read it.

 

Then go see the movie when it comes out. I don’t know if Australian theaters will run it, so I may need to live vicariously through you Statesiders until I can get it on Blu-Ray.

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review 2018-06-09 01:21
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

Re-read remarks

I re-read this because I am teaching this. My first review stands, but let me add something. Like many teachers, I noticed what my students are doing when I walk into a classroom. Usually, it's everyone looking at thier cell phones. But yesterday, I walked in and most of the class was reading this book, and most of the class is ahead of where they need to be. That's something special. Thank you, Angie Thomas.

Older Review
It’s Obsidian Blue’s fault I read this book now. It is. I was, still am, advocating this for my book club, but it wouldn’t be until the end of the year because we are booked till October.

Yeah so, but after Blue wrote a glowing review, I knew I had to read because if Blue really loves something, it means that I will really love it.

Yeah, so, all those reviews about how this is the book of the year, how this is the book that everyone should read this year, all those reviews are right.

Starr is from the “ghetto” but because her parents want the best for her and her brothers, so she and her brothers attend a fancy prep school about 45-60 minutes away. In her home neighborhood, she is known basically as her father’s daughter who works at his store.

She is two people prep school Starr and neighborhood Starr.

And then what happens to often happens. A friend is shot by a police officer. An unarmed friend is shot by a white police officer. Starr’s worlds collide in ways that are expected and not so much.

Look, I’m white so what Starr experiences is something I never experienced and never will experience. Yes, all teens have that dichotomy, but there is a vast different between the standard two persona teen and two personas for simple survival sake, so my view of reality is different, but this book feels real. I have taught Starr’s parents. My friend teaches Starr’s classmates.

The amount of detail in this engrossing read is great. It is Starr’s growing knowledge about those around here, in all her places – not only her classmates but her family and friends as well. There is the case of Maya, Kenya, and Chris – who quite frankly comes across as a wonderful. Starr’s father is a former gang member, but her uncle is a detective. There is the conflict of a desire or need for a better and/or safer life and to do right by your birth place. There is a good bit about cycles and the need to break them, about being trapped in a place where every choice is bad.

And it is to Thomas’ credit that fairy tale ending isn’t there, at least not wholly (you could argue that a certain facet of a fairy tale ending is present). The ending feels real, Starr’s voice is real, there is not a false step here at all.

The book isn’t anti-police – after all there is Starr’s uncle. Additionally, it isn’t racist against white people. There’s not only Chris, but his parents (not central characters but their part in the end works), there are also several white friends of Starr who are her friends. The question of her boyfriend at the end of the book isn’t so much questioning as teasing (honestly, it happens all the time).

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