Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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Genre: Young Adult

Themes: Social Injustice, Police Brutality, Identity, Discrimination, Racism

Rating: 5 stars

As I sat down to finally (!) start reading The Hate U Give, I already knew that in my hands I had a really important book. It follows African-American 16-year-old Starr Carter, whose life is massively changed after she witnesses the murder of her best friend… Khalil Harris is his name, and he was shot multiple times by a white police officer. The story goes on to explore the aftermath of Khalil’s death which offers a very real insight into police brutality. It also looks at the importance of using your voice to speak out on injustice, as well as the challenges that might come with it. Readers also get the chance to analyse the complexities that come with understanding your own identity in a world where you don’t feel like you fit in. The Hate U Give left me feeling both informed and heard… it was the story I needed to read, and Starr was the character I needed to meet.  Read more

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Book Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Book Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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Series: The Folk of the Air #1

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Themes: Family, Betrayal, Power 

Rating: 5 stars

Jude is only 7 when she witnesses the horrible murder of her parents. The perpetrator, a powerful faerie, decides to take Jude and her sisters away to the land of Elfhame which is where they end up living out their childhood days. 10 years on, we see that living as a human amongst the fey is difficult to say the least. Jude is treated like an outcast, especially by Prince Cardan and his cruel friends who are the source of a lot of grief. Tired of feeling like she’s “less,” Jude wants to obtain a position of power so that she will no longer feel vulnerable amongst the fey. This book unfolds that journey, a journey of secrecy, betrayal and the strive for power.

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Book Review: The Colour of Madness: Exploring BAME mental health in the UK

Book Review: The Colour of Madness: Exploring BAME mental health in the UK

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Genres: Anthology, Art

Themes: Racism, Culture, Mental Health

Rating: 5 stars 

“Two birds, both one and the same

One flies high over tree tops, wings spread caressing the clouds.

The other, caged with clipped wings, sings, weeping tears of joy at

the promise of its future.”

– Little Birds Hope by Caroline 

The Colour of Madness is an incredible anthology of poems, short stories, memoirs and artwork, created by 58 individuals from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. Together, they have provided an honest and unique portrayal of how BAME communities within the UK experience mental health. Read more

Book Review: A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

Book Review: A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

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Genres: Young Adult, Romance

Themes: Mental Health, Disability, Coming of Age

Rating: 5 stars 

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life. Mixed in with the fact that she has social anxiety and extreme shyness, it’s often been very hard for Steffi to talk to people. However, now she’s determined to go to university and study the course of her dreams but her parents are only happy to let her do so if she can prove that she’s ready- by talking more at school. Of course, Steffi is dreading the new academic year, especially as she hasn’t got her best friend, Tem by her side. But things change when Rhys joins her sixth form. Being deaf, he’s paired up with Steffi who knows a little bit of British Sign Language (BSL)… The two instantly become friends and soon, a sweet love story entails. Read more

Book Review: The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

Book Review: The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

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Genres: Poetry

Main themes: Love, Family, Culture, Self-Acceptance, Feminism

Rating: 4.5 stars

The Sun and Her Flowers is Rupi Kaur’s second collection of poems which portrays meaningful reflections and expressions of different life experiences. In my review of Milk and Honey, I talked about how despite enjoying Kaur’s poetry, it didn’t impact me in the way I had hoped it would. I’m so pleased that The Sun and Her Flowers was a different experience- throughout the whole book, I couldn’t stop thinking ‘wow… so this is what I’ve been waiting for.’

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Book Review: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Book Review: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

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Genres: Young Adult, Poetry

Main themes: Coming of Age, Cultural, Family, Love, Personal Growth

Rating: 5 stars

Xiomara has always held her tongue, stopped whatever thought or emotion inside of her from being known to those around her. Instead, Xiomara would express herself by writing and it’s through her poems that she finds a way to pour her heart out. These meaningful poems are Xiomara’s story; a challenging but inspiring journey of self-discovery that will touch your heart.

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