• YA Contemporary Book Review

    Bad Romance

    Warnings: Gaslighting My Thoughts Bad Romance is a heartbreaking story about relationship abuse and self-loathing, and one of the most accurate portrayals that I’ve ever read. The book is exceptionally well-written, with developed characters that talked and acted like typical teenagers. It shows how trouble at home can drive a young woman into the arms an abuser, trapped in a relationship because of dependency. One of the things that worked really well for this novel is that it starts from the beginning when Grace met Gavin and how they fell in love. Too often with stories about abusive relationships the story takes place when things are already bad and nearing…

  • Book Review

    Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

    Warnings: Racism, Violence, Domestic Abuse My Thoughts For those that don’t already know who Trevor Noah is, he is a comedian from South Africa that is now the current host of The Daily Show, taking the place of Jon Stewart when he retired. Trevor is an accomplished polyglot, speaking 9 languages fluently and has some fluency in several more. In much of his comedy, he talks about his difficulties with racial identity having been born during apartheid to an African mother and a Swiss father. Apartheid was a system of institutionalized segregation in South Africa that lasted from the 1940s to the 1990s. The book is bursting at the seams…

  • Book Review

    The Grave Tender

    Warnings: Violence My Thoughts The Grave Tender is a haunting and beautifully woven southern gothic about a broken family and the love that binds them together. The story starts slow as the story introduces Hadley, her friends, family, and their small town which on the surface seems idyllic. It’s the sort of town where everyone knows each other over generations, but the smiling town hides many secrets. What I loved most about this book was how it dealt with matters of appearance. It’s easy to point fingers and blame those that look the most guilty, who are the most eccentric. It’s the folly of letting appearances dictate our perception of…

  • YA Contemporary Book Review

    A Step from Heaven

    My Review: A Step from Heaven is not an easy book to address. It follows the life of Young Ju Park and her family; they are Korean immigrants pursuing the American dream. The book takes place over a wide span of time from the age of four to graduating high school. The story focuses not on the everyday events of the narrator, but instead on the major events that impacted her and her family as they struggle to acclimate to American culture. It is a classic immigrant story that is deeply heartfelt and inspirational, but it’s also a story about motherhood, and the sacrifices that parents make for their children…

  • Book Review

    The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine

    Warnings: Sexual Assault, Rape, Child Abuse, Violence Against Women and Children My Thoughts I didn’t know a thing about Somaly Mam or her NGO, AEFSIP (Acting for Women in Distressing Situations) when I picked up this little book at the library. Human trafficking has been a well-known issue in Southeast Asia that is still prevalent today despite humanitarian efforts. It is a horrible industry that continues to grow and affects even my home country, the Philippines. This memoir details Somaly’s upbringing as an aboriginal girl in the years following the end of the Khmer Rouge. Mam was abandoned and eventually picked up by an abuser that sells her. The book…

  • Manhwa Review,  Webcomic Review

    Killing Stalking

    My Thoughts This manhwa was like a car that was driving wildly out of control toward tragedy and I felt like a bystander that couldn’t look away. Killing Stalking is perhaps one of the best psychological horror-thriller series I have ever read that is really plotted well. The plot moves at a startling pace, like an engine on full throttle up to the very end and it is an incredibly thrilling ride. The main trio of characters⁠—Yoon Bum, Oh Sangwoo, and Yang Seungbae⁠—are all complex characters with strong moral grey areas in their personalities. I really enjoyed seeing each of these characters clash and unravel as the story goes deeper…