5 YA Books By Black Authors You NEED // police brutality, West African magic, LGBTQ+ contemporaries, and more

Hey friends!

It’s been quite a few days since I’ve last posted here, which is disappointing me. (yes, disappointing me– the same person who made the decision to procrastinate on my blog posts.)

The last post I wrote was a quite angry rant dedicated to any of my lovely “All Lives Matter” readers who I hope I pissed off.

This time, though, I want to write something a little bit more actionable beyond just thoughts (although thoughts are incredibly powerful). That’s why I wanted to share five amazing books by Black authors that I’ve read and loved.

In these troubling times, it’s crucial that we support Black-owned businesses and, as a part of the bookish community, I want to use my small platform to raise awareness of these phenomenal reads. Also, almost all of these books written by Black women authors, and the only non-woman author is nonbinary.

Before I get into these recommendations, I wanted to add that I am not a #ownvoices reviewer when it comes to books by Black authors. Please support Black book-content creators and take their word when it comes to accurate/harmful representation in books! However, as far as I know, most of these books are well-liked and do not have any “controversies” regarding representation. Feel free to correct me so I can add a disclaimer in my post!

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1. “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas

Continue reading “5 YA Books By Black Authors You NEED // police brutality, West African magic, LGBTQ+ contemporaries, and more”

Why it’s #BlackLivesMatter, NOT #AllLivesMatter

*TW: police brutality, racism*

i can’t explain how dejected i feel right now-

PSA: i am not black and in no way am i trying to say that i understand how it feels to live this nightmare. however, i am a poc and i also fear for my life, although to a lesser extent because i have privilege- the criminal justice system doesn’t hate me as much as they hate my black brothers and sisters and siblings.

For everyone who doesn’t live in the USA or just doesn’t have an idea what I might be talking about, the USA has had a stream of racist hate crimes and police brutality over the last month or so.

It makes me really angry to see that people DENY that this is police brutality, that this is racism- it literally is.

In late March, Ahmaud Arbery was out jogging (mind you, he was holding a TV, but he was just out in his neighborhood) when two white men (who were later identified to be white supremacists) shot. him.

Guess what? THERE WAS A VIDEO. But no action was taken. 

Those men weren’t even freaking arrested. A month later, the video was leaked onto social media and it went viral. The hashtags #JusticeForAhmaud and #RunWithMaud became trending and the local police department FINALLY took action and arrested these two men.

THEY WERE GOING TO GET AWAY WITH IT.

THEY. WERE. GOING. TO. GET. AWAY. WITH. MURDER.

Then a few weeks ago, Breonna Taylor and her husband were sleeping in their apartment at 1:00 AM like any normal person would do.

Breonna was a healthcare worker, and she worked on the frontlines with COVID patients. She saved lives.

The police knocked down their door at 1 AM (because they suspected her boyfriend committed a crime that he didn’t, actually- the suspects lived 10 miles away!) and, well, Breonna’s boyfriend was obviously worried that they were being robbed.

He fired one (1) shot, and the police proceeded to unload over twenty shots at them. Eight hit Breonna.

She died on the spot. Her boyfriend was charged with attempted murder. The cops were not charged at all.

Okay, okay, but maybe this one wasn’t a hate crime, right?

A few days ago, a video surfaced of George Floyd, a Black man, laying on the road with a white police officer’s knee at his throat. For ten minutes, the police officer slowly suffocated him until he died at a hospital soon after.

He could be heard saying “I can’t breathe“. Maybe you’ve seen the hashtags #JusticeForGeorge and #ICan’tBreathe on Twitter and Insta.

Maybe you’ve also seen #BlackLivesMatter. The sudden spike of posts under this hashtag has also warranted a spike in the amount of #AllLivesMatter posts.

I’m here to tell you something important: if you say ‘All Lives Matter’ , you’re unintentionally being racist.

First: this doesn’t mean that you’re a racist. A few years ago, a teacher talked to us about Black Lives Matter and I remember thinking, annoyed, don’t brown lives matter too? ALL lives matter, why specifically black people?

I’ve realized, though, that the problem with All Lives Matter is not the words- yes, all lives obviously matter, we all know that– it’s the connotation and the line of thinking that goes behind these words.

In our criminal justice system, in our country, in our society, in our WORLD, Black lives matter less.

The system has placed Black lives below white lives and even other people of color’s lives.

I’m Asian, I’m brown-skinned, but in my community, there is anti-Blackness. I have seen it first-hand. I have had to unlearn my own biases (and I’m still doing it).

In the media, headlines about Black people are thought to be ‘less important’ and shoved to the backseat. Job applications with names that “sound Black” (e.g. DeShawn or Precious) are often thrown out without a glance. Black people just walking makes white women steer clear and grab their children close. White people with Confederate flags (reminder for my intl friends: that was the South in the Civil War. They supported slavery) are protected by the police while peaceful Black protestors are sprayed with tear gas.

The Black Lives Matter movement just wants Black lives to matter just as much as white lives.

By saying “All Lives Matter”, you’re drawing attention away from the movement which is actively trying to fight for equity regardless of skin color. You’re literally taking away from the anti-racist movement.

In other words, you’re (accidentally) helping the racists.

But it’s okay, making mistakes is okay. Learning from them is awesome! Just understand that the BLM movement is saying that in the status quo, Black Lives do not matter to America- they are undervalued. The goal is for Black lives to matter just as much as others’ lives.

Here’s an example:

Imagine that three patients have been admitted to the hospital. Patient One has a cold. Patient Two has a broken arm. And Patient Three has lost blood and needs life support ASAP.

Who needs the most immediate care?

Patient Three, who is suffering the most, of course.

The All Lives Matter movement is basically saying that you should treat them all as if they are equal wounds. As if the person dying is suffering the same as the person with the cold.

Now, this is a simple analysis in which Person One is White America, Person Two is other POCs like me, and Person Three is Black America.

Obviously, Person Three needs support now. They are at a DISADVANTAGE.

That’s how Black America feels.

Now, another part of the All Lives Matter movement are just people who are plain racist. But a HUGE portion is people like me-two-years-ago, who just didn’t understand why All Lives Matter is not the right saying to make a difference.

And then there’s those fragile white people, especially, who badly want to be oppressed.

(also a little like me-two-years-ago. so I guess mostly white ppl but also random uneducated POC)

Of course, the majority of white people do not feel like that, but there are some people who are literally desperate to be ‘oppressed’.

~bUt OnE tiME a bLaCk pErSon wAs MeAn To mE~

I just want everyone who is reading this to stop. 

Look away from the screen and breathe, deeply.

Mourn for Ahmaud, mourn for Breonna, mourn for George, and mourn for all the Black people who lost their lives as a result of racism.

We remember you, and we will not stop fighting for you.

– Aditi ✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿

Olympic Games Readathon TBR!

Hey, y’all!

I’m so excited to announce that I’m joining my first ever readathon!

This readathon, the Olympic Games readathon, is hosted by some booktubers: Ishi, Ally, Nicole, and Sasha. I linked Ishi’s channel! Here’s the announcement video, too.

If you want to participate, go to the video and learn more! Here’s a quick run-down of the readathon:

Basically, you choose a cabin (Poseidon, Apollo, etc.) and complete the reading prompts to get points. You can also choose to complete the optional prompts to get more points for your cabin!

I’m hoping to complete ALL of these prompts so I have a few book options for each prompt!

Also, this is based on the Percy Jackson books which is the only reason I joined.

I’m going to be in Team Aphrodite just because I like the prompts the best (otherwise, believe me, I would NOT be in this cabin XD).

Also, I’m trying to get in a lot of Pride reads too since this readathon goes through June so lots of these will be aimed at that 🙂

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COLLAB: Sophie recommends|reading ‘The Raven Cycle’ & watching ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’

Hey loves!

I’m so excited to be posting this collaboration that has been in the works for around two months now!

In late March, Sophie and I started talking about a possible collab and we came up with the coolest idea ever 😉

Both of us recommended a favorite TV series and a favorite book series to the other. Then we both had to read and watch the other person’s recommendations and see how we liked it!

Both of us are posting our reactions to the other person’s recommendations. We’re also posting why we recommended the TV series and book series we chose for the other person!

Sophie @ Me and Ink is definitely one of my favorite bloggers of all time because not only does she produce AMAZING bookish content (like, seriously) but she also has one of the sweetest personalities in this niche. I was so excited to collab with her and it turned out awesome! Check out her post here.

Now, let’s get on with the post!

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What I Recommended To Sophie:

I recommended the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and Avatar: The Last Airbender to Sophie!

AVATAR:
 
I recommended Avatar: The Last Airbender to Sophie because it’s probably my favorite TV show of all time! The characters are incredibly well-written, the worldbuilding is fantastic, the animation and music are beautiful, and everything about it is nostalgic and wholesome. I also think that Sophie will enjoy it because lots of our tastes are similar in books, so she might like this as well!
PERCY JACKSON:
 
Rick Riordan is my favorite author, and this is the series where it all started. The characters are amazing, the ships are my favorite of all time (and that’s saying something, given that I ship a lot of characters) and the narrator, Percy, is hilarious. It’s a pretty popular series and it brings me back to my childhood every time I read it. Also, we’re getting a TV series soon, so I really wanted Sophie to read it so we could rave about it together! 

What Sophie Recommended To Me:

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE:

I recommended this show because I love sitcoms, and this is one of the best. I genuinely find it hilarious, like even after I’ve seen the episode ten times I’m still laughing. Plus, the characters are just as wonderful as the comedy. They display a variety of traits and they have a beautiful found family with lots of healthy relationships. What’s not to love??

THE RAVEN BOYS:

The Raven Boys: This is definitely a unique series, please don’t ever ask me to describe the plot or genre. But the reason I fell in love with it was because of the lyrical writing. There is always something new to discover within the words, whether some new symbolism or foreshadowing. Secondly, I love the characters. There is something very real about them, and they are all so different but bonded by their love for each other. The series is definitely a journey, one I’ve always loved being a part of.


My Review of ‘The Raven Cycle’:

WOW. This series completely blew me away! I loved each book so much. Here’s what I rated the books:

The Raven Boys (#1): ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Dream Thieves (#2): ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (#3): ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Raven King (#4): ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Dream Thieves was only a four-star read probably because I started the first part of it and waited a whole week before reading the rest 😂

WHAT I LOVED ABOUT THE RAVEN CYCLE:

  • the writing: magical, eery, thrumming (honestly the best way I can describe it)
  • the characters are THE BEST (gansey is my boy)
  • the plot is amazing! it keeps you on your toes!

I would just like to put a disclaimer that the beginnings of all the books are a liiiittle bit slow but if you push through it, the books are on a whole new level!

I’m so excited that I found a new favorite set of books too so this was a total success for sure! 🙂

MY FAVORITE DETAILS:

  • any time we got to see the women of 300 Fox Way was awesome
  • the fact that despite being a super confusing mix of genres, it’s! so! good! (it’s sort of paranormal and fantasy-ish sorta?) as someone who normally doesn’t like paranormal, you can take it from me that it’s great nevertheless 🙂
  • sargensey!! the angst !! i can’t take it!
  • maura + calla + persephone is THE power trio and you cannot make me believe that any of these characters are straight tbh
  • Mr. Gray! I love his character lots!
  • piper greenmantle. she really lived up to her name tbh. if piper mclean were evil, she’d approve.

My Thoughts On ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’:

Wow. I thought that I’d never love a series as much as Avatar and while I’m still right (hehe) I loved Brooklyn Nine-Nine much more than I expected to! It’s a sitcom in a police station and I adored the characters from the beginning.

THE CHARACTERS:

Y’all, the characters are great! We have Jake, who’s a great detective but is also kind of a total goofball (<3 ❤ <3) and Amy, the smart, organized detective who he’s always arguing with (<3 <3). And then we have Captain Holt, the new captain who’s strict and completely unlike their old cap, and Sarge, a totally rad role model and dad. Rosa, who’s a badass and completely awesome, and Gina, who’s always complimenting herself and is also hilarious. And, of course, Charles! He’s Jake’s best friend and partner in crime (well, jk, they’re cops. haha). Then there’s Hitchcock and Scully (I ship them lmao).

Also, Peralta-Santiago for the win!!

MY FAVORITE EPISODES in no particular order:

  • Basically all the Halloween Heist episodes, especially the first one and ‘HallowVeen’!
  • ‘Jake and Amy’, Season 5, Episode 22- it was just a rollercoaster the whole while!
  • Any episode with Doug Judy 😉
  • ‘Game Night’ or ‘Show Me Going’, both of which involve Rosa and the precinct
  • “The Box”!! Honestly, the criminal in this episode was played by an awesome actor even though he’s a guest star 😂

OTHER:

B99 has covered some serious issues, too. It had an episode relating to sexism in the workplace and the #MeToo movement (but it was handled really well IMO) and an episode where Terry gets stopped because he’s a black man. 

Despite that, B99 is a comedic show above all else and it’s a really really fun watch!

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That’s a wrap! This collaboration with Sophie was super fun and I’m really glad we did it. I found two new amazing series- both of which are now favorites 🙂 Go read Sophie’s post here, because she’s going to be sharing her thoughts on reading Percy Jackson and watching Avatar: The Last Airbender for the first time!

Have you read The Raven Cycle and watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine? What are your thoughts on them?

xoxoadiforadi1

TAG WEEK: Liebster Award

Hey friends!

Today is Day 5 of Tag Week and I’m not sure if there will be a day six and seven yet so let’s see 😉

Now I’d like to thank Lais @ The Bookish Skies very much for tagging me- she’s an awesome blogger, her content is unapologetically diverse (both with representation and types of posts) and her entire blog is such a safe, dreamy place for me. I admire her and her blog so, so much, and everyone should go follow her right now because she deserves it!

The rules are pretty much to answer these eleven questions and tag some other bloggers to do it too 🙂 Continue reading “TAG WEEK: Liebster Award”

TAG WEEK: Awesome Blogger Award

hey loves! x

how are y’all doing? welcome to day four of tag week!!

today I’m doing the awesome blogger award, and it’s fitting that I was tagged by the VERY awesome Emma!! thank you Emma, love you!

let’s get on with the post 😉

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Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you (thank you, Emma!!!)
  • Credit the creator- Maggie @ Dreaming Of Guatemala
  • Tag this post with #AwesomeBlogger Award
  • Answer all the questions given to you
  • Nominate some people
  • Write 10 questions for them to answer

⭐What is your favorite Disney movie?⭐

Ooh, we’re starting off with a tough one! I love so many Disney movies, but I’ll list my top five because I’m indecisive: Mulan, Moana, Princess and the Frog, and Aladdin. I can’t choose a fifth-place- I’m stuck between Frozen I and The Lion King but I think I’ll go with Lion King.

⭐Do you have a least favorite book character?⭐

Hmm, I really hate Snape (here’s a great Pin that explains why, please please read it if you even reMOTELY sympathize with Snape) but I’m going to give a new answer. This is probably cheating but I’m going to choose Edward from Twilight. It’s cheating because, well, I’ve never read the books.

i’m going to be attacked by twilight fans aren’t i oh god

He’s just disgusting and a stalker and rapey and *shudders*. I watched the first three movies with El- I think we both hate him XD.

⭐Bedtime- a reasonable hour or some early hour of the morning?⭐

I’m proud to say I actually (usually) go to sleep before midnight haha. Weird, right? I try to go to bed a reasonable hour. Because of quarantine- school starts at 10 AM, I wake up at 8- I’ve pushed that time back to get-ready-for-bed-at-11-PM.

⭐Fluffy blankets or heaps of cushions?⭐

Um, what sort of question even is this?! XD just kidding- not. Definitely fluffy blankets. My feet are ALWAYS cold (I mean it when I saw ‘always’. My brother hates me for putting it on them) so blankets are the way to go 😉

⭐Do you still have any plush toys? ( I do, it’s a whale and his name is Ghoeqphfe, pronounced ‘Jeff’)⭐

OF COURSE I DO! To be fair, my brother is still nine so obviously I have more than if I didn’t have a little sibling, but I kid you not, we own DOZENS of stuffed toys. Just the ones in my room- Polly (the polar bear, so original), Lavender (an owl), Cookie (a dog), Cherry Lime (a frog with sentimental value), and there are many others.

Also, Emma’s such a mood all the time. Ghoeqphfe is the best name for a whale XD

⭐Do you enjoy DIY and arts + crafts activities⭐

Do I enjoy them?

Yes.

Am I any good at them?

Well… that wasn’t the question so you can guess for yourself 😉 I had an obsessive phrase a summer or two ago when I had to do EVERY single DIY there ever was. My room was such a mess, smh.

⭐How do you plan your blog posts?⭐

Hahaha, you PLAN your blog posts?!?? Such a nerd.

I don’t plan them, like a cool person.

(B99 reference!)

But actually, I sometimes do! This one is planned for a week ahead because of Tag Week. I don’t have much of a method- I just type them? And schedule them? The only conscious decisions I make are scheduling them for at least several days after the previous post and trying to vary what posts I curate. For example, I try not to do multiple reviews back to back (haha, I never do reviews anymore) and I don’t post two tags at once.

Unless, of course, it’s tag week.

As you can see, we like breaking our own rules around here.

⭐Christmas or Halloween?⭐

Halloween for sure! I don’t celebrate Christmas (not just bc I’m not Christian but bc my family specifically doesn’t do much) and it’s a festive-but-boring time because it’s just like every other day, except everyone’s having fun.

Halloween though? I GORGE MYSELF ON CANDY. Also, I get to Trick-Or-Treat with friends so why wouldn’t I like that??

⭐Mugs or Candles?⭐

I’m going to have to go with mugs. As aesthetic as candles are, I actually use mugs, and they can also be aesthetic too.

⭐Do you like the How To Train Your Dragon franchise?⭐

I do! I remember watching HTTYD3 in theatres when it came out and being so nostalgic.

I Tag:

Anyone who wants to do it! I’m not going to tag anyone for the rest of the week just because I know how it feels to be overwhelmed with tags (shh… let’s pretend I didn’t run away from my tags and awards for ten months…)

My Questions:

  • what’s your favorite fictional ship? as in, relationship from a tv show or book.
  • current favorite color? (can be for your current mood this hour, today, this week, this month, honestly whatever makes the most sense to you)
  • opinion on fast fashion vs slow fashion?
  • last 5-star book you read?
  • favorite blog post you’ve read in the past few days? link, please!
  • how often do you wash your hair?
  • have you ever thought about going vegan or vegetarian?
  • favorite ice cream flavor?
  • audiobooks or ebooks?
  • when was the last time you looked around and felt grateful to live in your neighborhood and why did you feel like that?
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I hope you guys enjoyed this! Feel free to do this tag- y’all are amazing 🙂

Do you enjoy Disney movies? Do you have tips to plan your blog posts? Night owl or early bird or in between?

xoxoadiforadi1