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review 2017-07-24 23:51
All American Boys
All American Boys - Brendan Kiely,Jason Reynolds

All American Boys follows two young men - one African American, one Caucasian - after an incident of racist police brutality.  Rashad, who is innocent, is beaten severely enough to be hospitalized by a White police officer who claimed he was stealing a bag of chips from a convenient store.  Quinn observes the incident and then struggles with whether to let people know that he was there.

 

Set in a generic small city or large town named Springfield, the story could be taking place anywhere in today’s America.  I’ve been hearing about this book from teacher and librarian bloggers since its release in 2015 and thought it would be a good fit for the optional 4th of July Booklikes-opoly Americana book selection.

 

Co-authored by African American author Jason Reynolds and Caucasian author Brendan Keily, All American Boys could qualify as an #OwnVoices book.  However, I feel like All American Boys was written more as a parable to explain to Caucasian readers why this topic is important than as a book for African American readers to see themselves.  While I found the book compelling, at times All American Boy almost crosses the line to polemic and the moralizing is a bit too blatant to these adult eyes.

 

In the end, All American Boys is a timely memorial to Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Tarika Wilson, Keith Childress and the countless other young African Americans who are disproportionately dying at the hands of police. Despite my quibbles, All American Boys admirably serves as a potential avenue to start the conversation with young adults about this complex topic.

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text 2017-07-22 13:37
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
Northern Star - Ethan Day,Jason Frazier

A new one from Jason Frazier - Finally!

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text 2017-07-20 18:36
Some Graphic Novels
Wonder Woman Vol. 2: Year One (Rebirth) - Greg Rucka
The Unworthy Thor Vol. 1 - Olivier Coipe... The Unworthy Thor Vol. 1 - Olivier Coipel (illustrator) Jason Aaron (author)
Moonshine Volume 1 - Brian Azzarello Moonshine Volume 1 - Brian Azzarello

Which won't scan dammit.

 

Wonder Woman Year one which I really enjoyed. A great origin story with only occasional weird angles that look like the artist is trying to upskirt or stare down the boobs

 

Then I read Unworthy Thor, he's just being an angsty teen. Seriously, he needs to adult up.

 

Then I read Moonshine Vol 1, not my kind of art style and I have no urge to read more.

 

Entertaining few reads, they go so quickly. I read the Wonder Woman twice.  I do want to read more in this series

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review 2017-07-12 02:32
#Audiobook Review: Buns by Alice Clayton
Buns - Alice Clayton,Jason Carpenter,Louise Elizabeth Rorabacher

Clara lives for her job, going all around the world, rebranding and restoring resorts to their former glory. Her latest job is in the Catskills at the Bryant Mountain House. She excited to tackle the project, but the owner’s son, soon to be sole manager, Archie, fights Clara at every turn. Luckily she’s near her two besties, who have settled in nearby Bailey Falls.

 

Archie’s life is the Bryant Mountain House, and ever since his wife passed from cancer, he doesn’t do anything but ensure this regal resort runs smoothly. So when an outsider comes in and not only starts making all sorts of changes, but ignites feelings that he’s not experienced since his wife, he can’t help but butt heads with the gorgeous, vivacious Clara. Now he must decide if making changes is the only way to survive in modern times.

 

The third book in Ms. Clayton’s utterly delightful Hudson Valley series, Buns takes readers on a journey of friendship, romance, and love. Both Clara and Archie have strong reasons not to trust or get involved, so when they start to have the feels for one another, it’s conflicting, sweet, and sexy all at once. Despite (or maybe because of) their constant bickering, Archie and Clara are soooooo hot together. They both want the forbidden sexual fruit. Their constant tango of attraction and stepping back rivets the sexual tension to such incredible heights. Each feels something more than attraction and lust, and it scares them both.

 

Yet once they give in and start a secret affair, they still hold so much back. It truly hurt my heart to listen to Clara refuse to open up, choosing to keep her guard firmly in place, even when Archie tries his best to coax her out. Their romance is genuine and the connections strong, but it’s two-steps-forward-one-step-back until they finally realize what each wants out of life. Jobs and the hotel are important, but so is friendship and love.

 

Elizabeth Louise’s performance is solid and highly enjoyable. I’ve not listened to her work before, but she sounds very familiar. She’s easy to listen to, reminding me a lot of Amanda Ronconi, but without the southern twang. The familiar feel allows me to connect to Clara quickly. Ms. Louise has a solid range for both male and female roles. However, there are a few times when Clara is speaking to herself, and it was hard to tell if she was actually speaking out loud or if it was a private dialogue in her head. As with the previous two titles, there is a short epilogue from the male point of view, and narrated by a male. I don’t really feel there is a need to change to a new narrator for one small section, but Mr. Carpenter does an adequate job with his short role.

 

Buns is a wonderful, feel-great story with a slow burn romance and through-the-roof sexual tension that explodes. The pacing is perfect, taking the pair from annoyed partnership to friendship to lovers. I enjoyed nearly every moment of the book, and I sincerely hope Ms. Clayton continues to share stories from Bailey Falls.

 

My Rating: A

Narration: A 

Jason Carpenter epilogue: B+

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text 2017-07-11 15:31
Reading progress update: I've read 0 out of 384 pages.
Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics - Jason Porath

Gathering together a diverse set of some famous, some infamous, some forgotten, and some virtually unknown figures from history and myth, from all over the globe, this book presents the female role models we never knew we needed. Yes, there are are a few princesses, but there are also pirates, spies, journalists, activists, concubines, empresses, ninjas, pilots, samurais, mathematicians, sword-slingers, and warlords too.

 

I got my used copy of Rejected Princesses today in the mail and I´m looking forward to learn something new about some kick-ass ladies. And the dedication is adorable:

 

"Dedicated to my mother, the strongest woman the world. You carved a space for yourself out of a world that offers strong women no quarter. Then, out of everything you could have been, you choose to be my mom. I hope I can live up to you."

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