Book & Movie Reviews, Reviews

#FightLikeAGirl What would you do to achieve your dreams?: A #BookReview of #Furia by #YamileSaiedMendez

๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ง๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ. – r.h. sinย 

๐…๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ Readers,ย ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ญ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ ๐š โ€Young Adult Novel” ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ?

I recently received a digital ARC of Furia by Yamile Saied Mรฉndezย ย fromย @Netgalley, and was blown away!ย 

Furia is the story of Camila Hassan, a soccer prodigy that lives in Rosario, Argentina. As the only daughter of a misogynistic father, Camila is forced to hide her dreams of playing soccer from her parents, who hope she will become a doctor or marry rich to help them escape poverty.

Mรฉndezโ€™s #OwnVoices bookย is everything I could ever want in a YA Novel. This author tackles feminism, the fragile male ego, domestic and mental abuse, and what life can be like for women and abandoned children in a violent and impoverished country in the Global South. And, not to mention, Mรฉndezโ€™s book has a “friends to lovers” romance, a sports plotline, and involves social commentary on what it means to be a woman in a culture that runs on machismo.

Earning the nickname, โ€œLa Furia,โ€ from admirers for her prowess on the soccer field, Camila is sure that she can help save her family if given a chance. When her childhood friend, Diego, comes home from playing pro-soccer overseas, she is forced to choose between her desire to be independent and play the sport she loves or yield to her family and Diegoโ€™s wishes for her. 

Mรฉndez navigates multiple plot lines and character development with finesse and manages to ask the bigger question of what happens in society if women are not protected and allowed to live full lives? This book has a little something for all readers.

๐๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ž, ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž-๐จ๐ซ๐๐ž๐ซ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐œ๐จ๐ฉ๐ฒ! ๐ˆ๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐จ๐ง ๐“๐ฎ๐ž๐ฌ๐๐š๐ฒ, ๐’๐ž๐ฉ๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐ž๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ“!

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Book & Movie Reviews, Reviews

What is the cost of a Black Life? – #BookReview of #PunchingTheAir by #IbiZoboi & #DrYusefSalaam

โ€œ๐˜ˆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ, ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฒ๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ. ๐˜ˆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ด, ๐˜ช๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ, ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ต, ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜บ; ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ท๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ถ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฉ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ.โ€ โ€• ๐˜‘๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜‰๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ

๐…๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ Readers, ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฆ๐š๐ค๐ž๐ฌ ๐š ๐›๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ?

Over the last month, I had the chance to read Punching The Air by Ibi Zoboi and Dr. Yusef Salaam thanks to the kindness of Harper Collins and Karina @AFirePages.  As an avid Ibi Zoboi fan and an admirer of the tenacity of the Exonerated Five, getting an ARC of this book was one of the highlights of my year.

Zoboi and Dr. Yusef Salaam book follows the story of Amal, a sixteen-year-old Black artist, who is convicted of a crime of aggravated assault against a White boy. But, Amal’s real crime stems from being born Black.

According to the Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research โ€œthe U.S. currently houses the worldโ€™s largest prison population,โ€ with Blacks having a conviction rate thatโ€™s โ€œfive times higherโ€ than their White counterparts. And, thanks to the Supreme Court decision in United States v. Booker in 2005, which gave judges more discretion over sentencing and imposing harsher or more lenient sentences than the U.S. Sentencing Commissions guidelines called for, judges have now found it easier to punish BIPOC men, like Amal.

Thus, when readers see Amal claiming his innocence in court and being convicted to a harsh sentence at a young age, it hurts. As a minority reader, you will more than likely not only remember Dr. Yusef and the Exonerated Fiveโ€™s case, but probably can also relate to Amalโ€™s plight because you remember the a loved one or friend whoโ€™s also experienced harsh sentencing and lost years behind bars.

What I enjoyed most about this #OwnVoice novel in verse is that it is not only raw and real, but it feels honest. Amal is a character that I saw my brother, cousins, and nephews in. He is a boy who has high hopes, but gets painted as a monster by society instead of embraced for his art and potential.

The White educators and lawyers in his life masquerade as these Anti-racist figures and do-gooders, but when their feet are held to the fire, they act in their own self-interest.

Zoboi and Dr. Salaamโ€™s book is an essential read, and I hope that you also pick it up and read it alongside Just Mercy by Bryan and The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. 

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Book & Movie Reviews, Reviews

Come On In, America is Waiting!: The Immigrant & America, A #BookReview #BlogTour

โ€œNo one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.โ€ 
โ€• Warsan Shire, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth

According to the Migration Policy Institute, as of 2018, there are roughly more than 44.7 immigrants residing in the United States to date. Immigrants make up 13.7% of the American population and have helped build up every imaginable industry in America from the government (e.g., Can you say, โ€œFounding Fathers?โ€) to technology and science, to our food industry.

Yet, this group is frequently under attack and lauded as โ€œleechesโ€ on American resources even while they are recruited to keep America running smoothly by doing tasks that others wonโ€™t or canโ€™t do. This is often done for little to no pay. With the current administration’s smear campaign against immigration, itโ€™s refreshing to read stories by authors with firsthand experience of the true labor that goes into immigrating in the anthology, Come On In.

The anthology was edited by Adi Alsaid and is comprised of fourteen authors who hail from a variety of global backgrounds ranging from Fiji to Ecuador. I loved this anthology because each author shows that it takes courage and tenacity to leave the world you once knew behind to embrace a new life.

Likewise, each author has their own unique voice and tells their story from different vantage points of immigrating to America. For instance, some writers speak of the pain that comes with confronting TSA when you arrive in America and ICE if you are unfortunate enough to be deported. Other authors in the anthology tell of being told that theyโ€™re moving, but their older siblings are being left behind because they werenโ€™t approved for a visa. Still, in other stories, the author presents first-generation American born children who struggle with building an identity in-between the proverbial hyphen of their parentsโ€™ native land and the American country they grew up in.

All these stories that Alsaid has edited together show that the immigrant experience, like everything else, cannot be told in a single story. Even within the same family, the story and oneโ€™s outlook on being an immigrant can vary.

This anthology is an excellent initial resource for anyone who has questions about what it is like for people who make the journey to leave their homelands and move to a new country. The stories in this collection will force readers to face their assumptions about who immigrants are.

If you go into this collection with an open mind, the stories will force you to look deeper into the question of why people choose to leave their homes, and if there even is a choice for some people. Likewise, for readers who love good storytelling, this anthology is perfect because of the nuanced viewpoints presented in the collection.

Thank you to Hear Our Voices Book Tours for granting me an e-galley of this anthology and allowing me to be a part of the promo tour! Check their site for more stops on the tour!

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