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review 2018-11-30 16:22
A realistic portrayal of rape culture and so much more...
The Nowhere Girls - Amy Reed

๏ ๏ ๏  Book Blurb ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 

Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.
Who are the Nowhere Girls?
They’re every girl. But they start with just three:
Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.
Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.
Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may, in fact, be an android.
When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at the school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.
Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.

 

 

๏ ๏ ๏  My Review ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 

The Nowhere girls started off feeling very YA with emphasis on the Y.  It also had its instances that felt very preachy with its WWJD (what would Jesus do) moments...and I don't do religion all that well.  But it quickly became more than that, it takes the very serious subject matter of rape and gives you an uplifting tale of what you can do to make a difference...to make a stand...when you set your mind and heart on doing so.  It takes the feeling of hopelessness that Asking For It gave me and turned it into something hopeful.  With an exceptionally diverse cast of characters, that totally rocked, this book crept up on me and made me love it.

 

 

๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 

4.5STARS - GRADE=A-

 


๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏
 
Plot⇝ 4.5/5
Main Characters⇝ 4/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 4/5
The Feels⇝ 5/5
Pacing⇝ 4.5/5
Addictiveness⇝ 4/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 5/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 4.3/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 5/5
Originality⇝ 5/5
Ending⇝ 5/5 Cliffhanger⇝ Nope.
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝ It's okay...
Narration⇝ ☆4☆ for Rebekkah Ross, she wasn't too bad, she did have slightly different voices for each of the three main characters, but I still think it would have been better with three narrators.
Setting⇝ Prescott, Oregon
Source⇝ Audiobook (Library)
๏ ๏ ๏
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text 2018-10-21 17:11
PM's Halloween Bingo - Summary of Goals

Well. Not only has the Halloween Bingo been fun, it has really advanced this year's reading goals! For the game, I at least started and "finished" (with reviews) 32 books: 20 audios, 3 ebooks, and 9 bound books. Of those, I DNF'd 5 (one with the intention of going back to try again later), but completely read 27 (25 squares +2 wild cards).

 

Goals:

  • 13 books knocked off my 2018 TBR mountain
  • 10 previously unread books from my physical bookshelves*
  • 1 book from my "remembering dad" project
  • 2 Book Riot's "We Need Diverse Books"
  • 2 Banned books
  • 0 Nancy Drew
  • 0 Public Library physical books

 

Not bad for 7 weeks of reading! I do need to step up my borrowing of physical books from my public library - I borrow plenty of digital media, but I know the library depends on borrowing stats to maintain its funding. 

 

*One book from my physical bookshelf doesn't count as read/completed, because I pulled it down, looked at it closely, and decided to just put it in my donation box unread because I didn't really want to read it. It was a freebie that I picked up somewhere, years ago, and had been cluttering up my bookshelves since. It counts to my bookshelf TBR project because it's an unread book removed from my shelf. I'm only letting myself buy 1 new book for every 2 I take off my bookshelf in an effort to keep myself from being buried in books. 

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review 2018-09-24 16:51
Confusing Characters & Timelines
The opposite house. - Helen Oyeyemi

I was left with mostly confusion about this one. I think that Oyeyemi is a good writer, but since the timelines kept jumping around with Maja's remembrances I could never be sure of things. Towards the end of the book things got more simplified with Maja focusing on her pregnancy, her relationship with Aaron, and her poisoned one with her friend Amy Eleni. The book just abruptly ends leaving you with a severe case of what just happened. At least it left me with that.

 

I loved hearing about the African Cuban experience in Cuba as well as in London after Maja's family immigrates to Britain. However, Oyeyemi breaks up Maja's narrative by also including her mother's involvement with Santeria and also an Orisha named Yemaya Saramagua (an Orisha is a minor God in Santeria and Nigeria).  house” between Cuba and Lagos. Orishas are the human form of the spirits (called Irunmoles) sent by Olorun. The Irunmọlẹ are meant to guide creation and particularly humanity on how to live and succeed on Earth Ayé. I spent most of the book confused anytime we left Maja for glimpses/looks at Yemaya Saramangua. I also spent a lot of time with Google and Wikipedia looking things up. 

 

I realized after doing some research that Yemaya I think is also known as Yemoja who is an Orisha and the mother of all Orishas, having given birth to the 14 Yoruba gods and goddesses. She is often syncretized with either Our Lady of Regla in the Afro-Cuban or seen as various other Virgin Mary figures of the Catholic Church. Yemoja is motherly and strongly protective, and cares deeply for all her children, comforting them and cleansing them of sorrow. She is said to be able to cure infertility in women, and cowrie shells represent her wealth. So I can see why this is the Orisha that ping pongs between chapters of us readers following Maja through her first pregnancy. 

 

I didn't really care for Maja though. She was a confusing character and I don't really know what she wanted. Throughout the book she talks of her son and having ownership of him more than the father of the baby. However, at times she doesn't seem to be interested in things related to her pregnancy (eating well or visiting the doctor). She seems fixated on returning to Cuba and I just don't know what she was looking to find there. I am not an immigrant, so I am sure that I am missing something from this book that others would be able to get a fix on. To me it just seemed her character was confused from beginning to end. And I honestly couldn't get a fix on other characters. 


Maja's brother Tomas who is known throughout as the London baby (since he was not born in Cuba like Maja was) reads as half a person in this book. Tomas is not seen as Cuban since he is African and he is not seen as African since he is also Cuban. Tomas is not home sick for Cuba like Maja proclaims to be, but just wants to be somewhere that he belongs.  


Maja's relationship with Aaron was also confusing. We know that Aaron is white, but was born and raised in Ghana. So he feels as if he can explain what it is to be black to Maja's father at times or take exception for not really getting what it is to be black/Ghanian. Just by the color of his skin, Aaron is privileged and doesn't really get it. We see this again and again throughout the book. Especially when he mentors three of Amy Eleni's students. I don't get her attraction to him since she doesn't seem to like him much.

 

Maja's messed up friendship with Amy Eleni was confusing to me too. Amy Eleni was not a good friend. She talks about Maja's pregnancy like it's not happening or seems to hope she miscarries at times. Amy Eleni has been friends with Maja since they were young, but her mother (Maja's) hasn't trusted her since she is white. And Amy Eleni also seems to have feelings for Maja that she is ignoring. 

 

The writing was lyrical and beautiful. I just wish I could get a good sense of rhythm will reading. I think the chapters alternating from Maja and back again after a look at Yemaya Saramagua didn't really work for me at all. I started to skim most of Yemaya's chapters after a while since I kept having to look up words or people named. 

 

The ending of the book was abrupt with us not knowing what Maja is going to do next. 

 

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text 2018-09-23 20:51
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The opposite house. - Helen Oyeyemi

I am so confused. I feel like I’m missing a book or pages. Maja’s insistence to go back to Cuba while pregnant is baffling to me. Also her friendship with Amy Eleni was disturbing. I just spent most of this book feeling confused.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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text 2018-09-23 18:34
Reading progress update: I've read 39%.
The opposite house. - Helen Oyeyemi

I am so confused. The book keeps jumping around and you get introduced to new characters than circle back to older ones.

 

At least I finally figured out the main character’s name is Maja.

 

Shes grown up now and singing in a band. I do like her talking about being a black Cuban and the other black people she meets who don’t fit what most people think of when describing Cubans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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