• 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

    Sisters’ Entrance

    Warnings: Violence, Racism, Islamophobia, Trauma My Thoughts I’ve struggled to gather my thoughts on this collection, I was just so blown away and overwhelmed by the emotions elicited by this book. The poetry collected here comes from a very personal place for the author, who is a Sudanese refugee that survived the war and genocide in Darfur. Some poems were heavy and spoke of her traumatic experiences such as in People Like Us and The Bride. Others, like Why I Haven’t Told You Yet, were more light-hearted but still carry a strong message. All of these poems pulled together shape the author, her family, her experiences, and her outlook on…

  • Poetry Book Review

    Helium

    My Review: Goodness gracious Helium was such a breath of fresh air. Francisco writes with a voice that is down to earth and full of so much truth about life today in America. I greatly enjoyed this collection, it was free verse but many of the poems were still littered with beautiful metaphors and allegories. After every poem I finished, I appreciated the medium so much more. The author pulls no punches when discussing contemporary issues such as in The Heart and the Fist, which is about toxic masculinity and violence; or Adrenaline Rush, a poem about police brutality. Many of the poems from this collection have been performed live…

  • Book Review // Memoir

    All Boys Aren’t Blue

    Warnings: Homophobia, Transphobia, Sex, Sexual Assault, Molestation My Thoughts All Boys Aren’t Blue is a powerful memoir about one young man’s reckoning with his identity as a queer black man. The book explores the intersection of race and sexuality and the difficulty of finding one’s identity in a society that systematically oppresses people that fall outside of what is considered “normal.” It is open, honest, and deeply personal, I found myself tearing up many times while reading. “Navigating in a space that questions your humanity isn’t really living at all. It’s existing. We all deserve more than just the ability to exist.” I wish that I had a book like…

  • Book Review

    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

    My Thoughts What blows my mind about this book is how incredibly readable and accessible it is, considering the fact that it was written over a century ago. Frederick Douglass was a fugitive slave and a prominent leader of the abolitionist movement. While in captivity, Douglass worked hard to teach himself how to read and write, viewing literacy and education as his means to freedom. “Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will… Men may not get all they pay for in this world, but they must certainly pay for all they get.” The narrative discusses Douglass’s experiences as both a plantation slave and a personal…

  • YA Romance Book Review

    Smash It!

    Warnings: Sex, Discussions of Sex My Thoughts Drama nerds rejoice for the year of fuck it! Smash It! is all about a shy girl that decides to take a page out of Shonda Rimes “year of yes” to start overcoming her shyness. Liv feels that she has always been on the sidelines next to her two rockstar friends, Eli and Dré. She is hopelessly in love with Eli and fears taking the leap, feeling that she’s the uncool girl that nobody notices. But owning oneself is not as easy as it sounds, and everything becomes more complicated when other people and feelings are involved. I loved the main characters and…