Book Review: You Bring The Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

51Gvuj5N3tL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Hopeful. Inspiring. Promising. I didn’t expect that I will be attached to You Bring The Distant Near considering that this book is under YA Contemporary category. Three Generation of women imprinted a powerful lesson in my heart, my mind, and my soul. You Bring The Distant Near had more impact than I expected. It talks about diversity, racism, immigrants, culture, friendship, family, and love. Almost everything was discussed in the book and I find it difficult to believe that Mitali Perkins written the book so well and gave us an amazing novel that had a louder voice.

This book made me feel, made me questions about my beliefs, cultures, and traditions. It speaks so much purity, truth, and rawness of the society. It handles little intricate details of different sensitive subjects that could emphasize in the book. That’s one fo the reasons why I love this book. And it empowers women, women has a louder voice in this book. As a male, I think it is really good to have a woman on your side with a strong personality.

Actually, I really have a hard time reading it from the first page because I was unfamiliar with some words and I couldn’t get through but it didn’t hinder my reading and I ended up reading the book in one day. Let’s put it as the same as how a person having a hard time to believe something he wasn’t used to believing because of cultural differences. What we could be doing here in Southeast Asia could haven’t been practicing in Western countries. That’s another point! Mitali Perkins talked about diversity on his book and how it shows in her book that people have different beliefs and we have to be knowledgeable to understand each other. It could lead to misunderstanding and misunderstanding leads to unfortunate events.

There’s a line that I couldn’t forget in the book but I’m not sure if it was the same but it sounds something like this, how could you respect them if they didn’t respect you? This line? It made an impact on my being. Because it was once my line when I had a hard time last year and it exudes so much philosophy and truth. I believe that no matter what your age is, no matter what your accomplishments in your life, whatever gender you have been classified into, whatever your religion is or your beliefs or where you came from or your nationality, or even a father and a son. Everyone needs respect. If you are an elderly and you think highly of yourself, I think, you better think twice. Why? Because no matter what your status in society, we all deserve respect and you should respect everyone. This is not about authority, this is about respect as a person, not as someone who has a sovereign.

OKAY, ENOUGH OF MY OWN PRINCIPLES. I’m also pointing out the writing style because it is so easy to read. I never had a hard time and it feels like I’m devouring the book  — or did I just devoured it? Tara and Sonia, the two lovely daughters are amazing and lovable. They may be siblings but they shows two completely opposite personalities and it is quite interesting to see their characters along the way and I think, Mitali Perkins gave justice on their developing characters. What stood out to me is their mother’s personality. I loathed her in almost half of the book because she’s a control freak whom I don’t understand where she is coming from. I believe because she has a strong belief regarding on their Indian Culture that has been affected by their immigration on London and now being influenced by American culture. I respect that and totally understand that but how could she control her daughters and give lesser freedom? Their dad is the exact opposite of their mom and the one thing that really touches my heart because I never thought that their Dad would be this understanding and passionate. He loves his family so much and I can see it on his personality while reading the book. I assure you, you’ll love their father too.

Living in different traditions, adapting in a different environment, adjusting to a new social circle. I really find it hard for the characters because even if I were in their position, I would definitely get tired at some point. I appreciate their driving force to live the life they wanted. What amazing about this novel is it stays original, authentic and natural. I love how it was composed and written as good and I never read something like this before. It also talks a lot about perspective in life. For being an immigrant, for being who you are, for being both of among the two, for being black, and for choosing what makes you happy.

You Bring The Distant Near is a satisfactory and compelling read. I really enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. I took a liking to this book because it just has a little amount of everything – little amount of life that really makes what a person is. Diversity, from culture shock to culture difference to culture adaptations, racism, acceptance, and loving are just a few to mention that you could find in the book and it way more outstanding if you read the whole book because it really speaks for everyone. I hope, I just hope that You Bring The Distant Near is one of the first novels that speaks to their readers and made the world a happier place.

I would like to end my book review with a quote from the book that I shouldn’t be posting because it wasn’t yet a finished copy but because I love it, here you go:

“Novels change hearts, though. And minds.”

MY RATINGS: 5 STARS!


4-up on 9-18-13 at 12.18 PM #5 (compiled)Mitali Perkins (mitaliperkins.com) has written ten novels for young readers, including Rickshaw Girl (chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the top 100 books for children in the past 100 years) and Bamboo People (an American Library Association’s Top Ten Novels for Young Adults) Her newest novel, Tiger Boy, won the Charlotte Huck Honor Award and the South Asia Book Award. She has been honored as a “Most Engaging Author” by independent booksellers across the country and selected as a “Literary Light for Children” by the Associates of the Boston Public Library. Mitali was born in Kolkata, India before immigrating to the Bay Area with her family. She has lived in Bangladesh, India, England, Thailand, Mexico, Cameroon, and Ghana, studied at Stanford and U.C. Berkeley, and currently resides in the East Bay where she is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Saint Mary’s College of California.

Book Review: Thornhill by Pam Smy

28107168Intriguing. Dark. Mysterious. Empowering. Thornhill is a book that I didn’t expect it to be. It is escalated in two timelines. One from the present which is narrated through illustrations and the other one is from the past which is introduced as a journal or a diary. I was delighted that I got to read this kind of book because this is my first time reaching out in one of the genres that I refused to read since I’m not really a fan of creepy things when it comes in a novel. However, Thornhill is pretty interesting when it tells a story about past and present alternatively and discusses the profound activity of mental violence, which I presume bullying.

It was a compelling book because the way the author arrange the sequence and the journal chapters intrigues me more that I could imagine and the illustrations! I couldn’t believe that the author, herself, do the illustrations and that was magnificent! Writing your own book and making your own illustrations is simply amazing. 

Thornhill, indeed, crept me out of the illustrations and I really think it was given justice accordingly and I love it. I never read a book like this and that twist in the ending. Yeah, I don’t want to spoil you, guys but that twist made me look up to the book and think, “How did the author think of it?” and I didn’t see it coming. It was a brave choice to plot a story like that and I would like to applause the author for executing it well on the book. 

Thornhill is to look out for, I’ve never read something like this. It offers more than you’ve seen and if you would ask me if I would recommend this to middle-grade students? Definitely! I would like their minds to work, I want them to think, to wonder, to conspire and above all to feel the emotions of the book. It could be scary at some point but I really hope that they will receive as much lessons from the story while it’s unfolding the mystery.

MY RATINGS: 4.5 STARS!


Pam Smy PhotoThis month’s Featured Illustrator is Pam Smy. Senior Lecturer of the Illustration Course for the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University, Pam is an amazingly evocative illustrator in her own right, and as a writer is about to release her first novel. Tomorrow (11th March) she’s running the SCBWI Masterclass workshop Building Words for Your Character at The House of Illustration near King’s Cross in London. 

Blogger Spotlight: Tine’s Reviews

I met Christine who owns the Tine’s Review on Twitter and as active she can get, we got to know each other and became friends by then. By far, she’s one of the amazing people I’ve met online. Get to know her on this Blogger Spotlight!


PERSONAL LIFE

1. What book introduces you to fiction novels? Can you name 5 of your favorite books or series?

I remembered that my aunt used to give me High School Musical books and that is the first books/series that I ever read.

What?! My favorite books? Wait. Let me think because there’s so many wonderful books that I’ve read.

  • The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin
  • Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
  • Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
  • Italian Adventures Series by Gaia Amman
  • Quiet by Susan Cain

2. How did you start to like reading as a habit? Do you have any other habits aside from reading novels?

When I finished reading the Divergent I was like “OMG I want to read more” so that made me to be a bookworm. MY other habits are watching a TV Show, watching MR. Kate in YouTube, and reading some articles. (That’s my life of no social life 😝)

3. If you are going to date someone, fictional or not, dead or alive, who would it be and why? What are the things that you are going to do on your date?

Don’t tell my boyfriend shhhh. It is Xan from the Curse of the Sphinx by Raye Wagner. Since he is a demigod, we will talk about god and goddess, our own life, dance, and stare at him. *squeal*

4. Name some of your favorite authors and give them a brief description of why are they your favorites. (I know that this question will be difficult, feel free to answer as many as you want!)

Sophia Amoruso because after I finished reading her book, I am so inspired by her journey especially as an introvert. Sometimes, I overthink that maybe I will not be a successful person because of my introversion. She’s my ultimately favorite author..

5. If you are going to give advice to your 10-year-old self, what would it be?

I don’t have any advice for my 10-year-old self though I know that throughout the years I made mistakes and the memories are painful yet amazing, I’ll never be this kind of person who I am today – who still trying to figure out things. Actually, I’m a late bloomer. HAHA.

BLOGGING LIFE

1. What made you start to do book blogging?

I wanted to share my opinions on the books that I’ve read because most of my friends IRL don’t read books. So it was a safe space for me to talk about books.

2. What was the most difficult part of book blogging?

a.) When the book review requests are overflowing and I don’t know when I can start reading them.

b.) Reading Slump and Writing Slump, I’m too guilty about this and sometimes it makes me crazy.

3. Interacting with people from different places, virtually, how did you gather so many followers? If you have one thing to thanks to your followers, what would it be?

I think because I talked to them and they will follow me back. 😝 I’m grateful to have them because I made friendships virtually. 😊

4. What do you think is the disadvantage of bloggers?

When one blogger gets attacked by her/his review of the book.

5. Mention some Book Blogging Friends that you would love to see in person!

Everyone in the Filipino Bookish Community. 😊

BOOKISH LIFE

1. Name some favorite book of yours according to your genre preferences.

Non-Fiction – anything about introverts and women who are successful in their life.

Mystery/Psychological Thriller – Stephen King

YA Contemporary – Gayle Forman

2. How do you pick the books that you are going to read next?

I follow what my heart desires. I don’t usually have the list of what to read next. 😝

3. SHOW US YOUR BOOKSHELF! Describe it.

I don’t have any bookshelf since I have few books like 30+ so that’s why I haven’t acquire bookshelf and most of the time I read on my e-reader. HAHA.

4. What are the books and authors that influence you as a reader?

Divergent Trilogy made my eyes open to the problems in the society.

5. What is your one ultimate favorite quote from a book and why?

“No emotion was pure because everything was mixed up with fear and hatred.” – 1984 by George Orwell.

“Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.” – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

and

“You create the world, blink by blink. It is entirely yours to discover and yours to create.”  – #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso.

Actually, I have so many favorite quotes from the book but these 3 are the ones that I love the most.


Thank you so much, Christine! I have fun reading your answers! I hope you do well on the blogging and bookish community!

Interview with Justin Wetch

1. What made you pursue being a poetry writer? I know that you talk this on the last part of your book but when is the time that you decided to be the writer and published a series of poems?

Aside from what I wrote at the end of the book, I had compiled my poetry into a book just for the fun of it about a year and a half before the publication date of Bending The Universe. From there it was revision and editing and writing new poems until it felt done enough to publish.

2. If you are going to date someone, fictional or not, who would it be and why?

I am dating a lovely woman named Halie Hoffman; she is my muse and the light of my life. She inspired the poem “To Love Is To Live”; it was only after falling in love with her that my pessimistic perspective of love began to reverse.

3. Name some authors that influence you for being you today.

Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Water Isaacson, Orson Scott Card, Kenneth Oppel, Douglas Adams, Kurt Vonnegut, Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath.

4. What was the hardest part of writing Behind the Universe?

The hardest part of writing Bending The Universe was in trusting that these things I had written would be of any meaning to anyone besides myself.

5. If you are going to give advice to your 10-year old self, what would it be?

I would tell my ten-year-old self to try harder at math because I was never much good at it.

6. How does poetry change your life?

Poetry is an important form of self-expression and therapy for me. It’s a way to get out my ideas in a way that people will actually care about and also a way to challenge society’s views on things.

7. Random: Top 5 favorite foods!

Meat Pizza, Bacon Cheeseburger, Paninis, Spaghetti, and chicken nuggets.

8. Tell us a story from your childhood that you think the readers would love to know about you! 

One time I broke open a magic 8 ball because I wanted to see how it would tell the fortunes but I just ended up making a huge mess all over the place.

9. Give the best love advice that you could give!

Don’t love someone for how they make you feel, love them for who they are as a person.

10. What is your favorite quote or phrase from Behind the Universe and explain why did you choose it. 

“Love brings the best of highs and also the worst of hangovers” because it is the most quoted line in the book.


unnamedJustin Wetch is an artist, poet, photographer, musician, pretentious egomaniac, and messy-haired fool from Palmer, Alaska. He published this book at the age of 19 while a freshman at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He enjoys artistic endeavors and connecting with people. Justin grew up in Palmer, Alaska where he discovered a love of the arts by appreciating the beauty of Alaska through photography. Justin ultimately hopes to create films.

Blogger Spotlight: Jay G

Today, among my bookworm friends, another BookTuber is rising! Jay G is definitely The Awkward Bookworm! Go check her book tube and you’ll see awkward she is! I’m sorry, Jay! I do love your videos though and stay awkward because it really fits your cute and lovely face. Did I just compliment you? You are pretty, still!

PERSONAL LIFE

1. What book introduces you to fiction novels? Can you name your top five picks?

The House of Night series by P.C and Kristin Cast definitely got me into reading fiction novels! They were the first books I ever really loved and read non-stop. My top 5 favourite books would definitely be Vinyl/Radio by Sophia Elaine Hanson, Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas, Heartless by Marissa Meyer, Night Film by Marissa Pessel and Identical by Ellen Hopkins!

2. Tell us one story that hinted you that time that you love reading as much as you love it today.

I realized I loved reading when I was around 7 or 8 years old. Every night my Mom would have my brother and I come into her room and read Rohl Dahl books with her while we all cuddled in bed in order to practice reading. My favourite was definitely The Witches! Every night we would take turns reading a chapter to each other. I looked forward to it every night!

3. If you are going to date someone, fictional or not, dead or alive, who would it be and why? What are the things that you are going to do on your date?

I would totally date Jest from Heartless by Marissa Meyer… He is one dreamy guy and who doesn’t love a man confident enough to wear tights 😉 I would ask him to take me to one of The Mad Hatters tea parties!

4. Name some of your favorite authors and give them a brief description of why they are your favorites. 

I think my all-time favourite author would have to be Marissa Meyer. She is the author of The Lunar Chronicles as well as Heartless. I love her writing style and her world building is always so well done. I also love every single one of her characters.

Sophia Elaine Hanson would also be one of my all-time favourites! She wrote the Vinyl Trilogy as well as a short poetry collection called Hummingbird. Her books are full of diversity and loveable characters and her writing flows so smoothly. Honestly, I just find her books addicting!

5. If you are going to give advice to your 10-year-old self, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Stop trying to be someone you’re not and EMBRACE YOUR AWKWARD!

BLOGGING LIFE

1. What made you start to do book blogging? What push you to do it?

I had been watching booktube channels for about 3 months and I realized that it seemed like something I would find entertaining so I decided to give it a try! I’d always loved reading and none of my friends in real life read so I couldn’t talk to most of them about any of the books I had been reading. I figured I would take to the internet to find others who loved reading and discussing books as much as me!

2. What was the most difficult part of book blogging?

I would have to say motivation is the most difficult part for me. Some days I just don’t feel like making new videos or trying to come up with new content other booktubers haven’t already created.

3. What do you think is your best contribution yet in the community of authors, readers and book bloggers?

I’m pretty proud of my original tag video (The Birth Stone Book Tag) on Youtube! You should all totally check it out 😉

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjb4w4dS94w)

4. When life happens, how do you get back on track on book blogging?

I have a pretty consistent schedule of uploading (every Monday/Wednesday/Friday) so I always try to pre-film my videos for the upcoming week. I also have a lot of “back up” videos I can upload if I’m unable to film videos for the week, that way I’m always able to put something up no matter what is happening in my life.

5. Mention some Book Blogging Friends that you would love to see in person!

Sophia Elaine Hanson of course! Dylan from Dylanthereader5! Sierra Abrahms (author of The Color Project)! Molly from MagicalMolly!

BOOKISH LIFE

1. One thing you are grateful for, for belonging in the bookish community.

I’m so greatful for all the amazing people I have been given the opportunity to get to know through booktube! I’ve made some amazing friends through this community and I love them all to pieces!

2. How do you pick the books that you are going to read next?

I mostly just  pick the next book over on my shelf that I haven’t read… I don’t really have a system to be honest!

3. SHOW US YOUR BOOKSHELF!

This is my “main” bookshelf… but I also have 3 others… Plus A LOT of books shoved under my bed because I can out of room… OOPS!

4. Any advice to those who are planning to establish their own book blog but couldn’t?

Just go for it! It might seem scary at first, but trust me, it’s so worth it!

5. What is your one ultimate favorite quote from a book and why?

“Life is an awful, ugly place to not have a best friend.”
― Sarah DessenSomeone Like You

I don’t know where I would be without my best friend. She is always there when I need her, no matter how far away we are from each other.


It is great to know more about you, Jay! Continue what you are doing and you’ll do fine and opportunities will rise! Thank you for being on my blog and answering my questions! Stay positive!

Book Review: Roar by Cora Carmack

29939048Stunning. Brilliant. Magnificent. I have no words beyond masterpiece to describe Roar by Cora Carmack. It is so beautifully written that I fell in love with the writing style. The world building is too great not to notice and I am definitely want to be in the world that Cora Carmack crafted and build for us. Magically-wise, I was so hooked that I couldn’t believe that the author gave us another fantasy book that covers up the elements of nature in a newly, refreshing grasp of magic and you wouldn’t think that she made an another YA Fantasy look out for.

What amazed me, really, is that the protagonist, Aurora Pavan is not the usual damsel in distress that has to be saved by her prince charming and they lived happily ever after. Aurora is one of the amazing book girlfriend (Yes! I’m also proud to say the first one among the others!) that I’ve encounter, fictionally, that could stand up on her own and prove herself, worthy. I was fascinated that Cora Carmack executed the story very well from how jealous Aurora was to how confident she is. Aurora is bold, clever, surprisingly shy and awkward. Readers would love her personality, her character and how she stands up on her own and don’t give up.

Aurora left what she have in the kingdom to write her own future. While on the journey of finding knowledge, she came across with people she never knew that will have a role in life. There’s Duke, Jinx, Bait, Sly, Ran, and of course, Locke. It is an appraisal that Cora Carmack balances the action, adventure, and the romance! Speaking of romance, I could definitely, honestly say that I’m going down with my ship and I’m such a trash because how could I not ship Aurora with Locke? Even, I could feel the chemistry, the intensity, the wanting, the interest of each other. I mean, where will it take me? I’m just loving it so much that I was laughing and smiling crazily while reading a certain part of the book. Oh, you don’t, Cora Carmack! You’re one witty author. I’m definitely reading more of your works and I’m glad this is my first one of yours and I loved it freakingly!

I would also like to commend that the friendship on this novel is so outstanding. I love how the Duke’s group interacts with Aurora and how they teach her that trust is one of the things that she should learn slowly and it is not that bad to accept them. Also, Cora Carmack shows us that trusting easily and gaining trust are both fragile decisions when making a spontaneous decision but not all spontaneous are bad and sometimes they can also be good. We could definitely see how Aurora or Roar rather, became a new person, a new character of her own path – the character development is so good that I keep on reading and wanting more. I am so looking forward to her improvement all way through.

It fascinates me how Cora Carmack thinks the concept of the magic system of this book because this is the first time in two years that I felt something so good that I don’t want to put down. That, simple as elements but has huge difference from different books and I know how hard it was to conceptualize when it comes to fantasy because there are so much fantasy books out there and Cora Carmack not just gave us something to remember but something we could cherish and definitely love both at the same time. An adventure that we should look forward to!

Roar by Cora Carmack is definitely one of the books that I wouldn’t forget as a fantasy trash lover and this wouldn’t be the only book that I would be reading from her. Obviously, this book touches my heart, whole-heartedly, and this is going to be on the list of my Hall of Books because it deserves a spot! This book teaches us life could be cruel but trusting the right person and making wrong decisions and learning from them, eventually making right decisions will make you a stronger person. It taught me to believe in myself more because who else will believe more than yourself? You. Trusting could be difficult but as our own journey goes by we will know with far greater amount of experiences whom we should dealt with. She also implied that friendship is important to go by, you wouldn’t be where you are now if it wasn’t for the help of the people you’ve been with. Cora Carmack didn’t just gave us any novel, not just only a fantasy book, she implied knowledge on her readers and teaches us values along the way. It is truly mesmerizing. Remarkable even. And with that, I’m ending this book review to you. I hope you grab this book and give this a shot because you might be missing half of your life!

MY RATINGS: 5 STARS!


6535659Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Losing It series.

Book Review: Bending The Universe by Justin Wetch

Poweful. Diverse. Raw. Explosive. Bending the Universe is a collection poetry consisting of five parts that divided into society, love, life, personal and nature categories that readers, or so over, poetic readers will love the alternating mixture of feelings that Justin Wetch delivers with his poems. I really wasn’t expecting when I checked the book out and the only thought that I have when I read the summary on Goodreads is that the cover designer, whoever made and illustrate that, gave justice to the design of the cover of the book. Moreover, choosing the font style is equally fascinating too. It gave me the vibes of a beautiful website in print. Taking place the outside appearance of the book, I would totally say that it makes people curious and attractive. I definitely fall in love with the cover.

Meet the author and the book!

unnamed

Let’s talk about the poems inside the literature. In my opinion, the first poems are the ones who gave justice or at least the one that sets the standard of expectations along the others. I was thrilled to say that my expectations are exceeded. It was beautifully and intelligently crafted. I got so hooked. I’ve never encounter a poem that really talks about society, specifically, and it was so good that I’ve had to finish everything in one sitting. I mean, most poems are originated in the feelings and the most feelings that you could root for is from love but this is something new. It is diverse and it spoke the truth of the society. It talks about the dictatorship of the society, it tells you what to do and it simply, outstand my well-being.

While reading the poetries, I thought that Bending the Universe is a lyrical poetry that really speaks truthfully in the heart and surprisingly, I could imagine it being performed as a spoken word poetry. It has a meaning and everyone who will be reading this will find what I am talking about. And that’s just not it, the love category drives me a little bit crazy because, page by page, the emotions and feelings are changing. I don’t know if I should feel joyous or sad or lonely or achingly – in the end, I just choose to break. It’s kind of good and the writing style is rhythmical. This also goes for Life and Personal category. They both strikingly magnificently well-written.

And the last one is nature, this one is my personal favorite. I don’t know. As I go on reading this part, I could literally imagine in my head what was happening and that last poem! One of the poems that I’ve ever read that has really made an impact on me.

Bending the Universe may look like an ordinary collection of poetry to you but I’m telling you this as early as now that this book can change how you perceive in life – your mindset, opinions, and even personality may change – because I believe that this book does not aim just to share the adventure of the author or his personal feelings but also to make people stand up for what is right and for what they believe in, to see the mistakes in majority and change the way of life. This is how I see this poetry book. Honest and Beautiful.

MY RATINGS: 5 STARS!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Justin Wetch is an artist, poet, photographer, musician, pretentious egomaniac, and messy-haired fool from Palmer, Alaska. He published this book at the age of 19 while a freshman at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He enjoys artistic endeavors and connecting with people. Justin grew up in Palmer, Alaska where he discovered a love of the arts by appreciating the beauty of Alaska through photography. Justin ultimately hopes to create films.