• 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 // Memoir

    Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning

    Warnings: Drug Use, Racism, Violence, Discussions of Sexual Assault My Thoughts This book is quite simply incredible. It was so true to my experiences as an Asian American woman; I laughed during some parts, cried at others, felt enraged and melancholy all at once. It is a timely book to read now with the widespread hate crimes against Asians that has been raging in the United States after the COVID-19 pandemic. Hong presents a series of personal and political essays that detail the impact that racial perceptions of Asians and Asian culture have on various areas of the author’s life as a Korean American woman. I appreciated that the author…

  • YA Contemporary Book Review

    The Place Between Breaths

    My Review: The Place Between Breaths is an emotionally raw story about mental illness and the ways that it can weigh heavily on our lives. Schizophrenia is a serious illness wherein those that have it experience severe delusions. Its causes are unknown and require lifelong treatment to keep symptoms under control. The plot for this novel is difficult to pin down and there are a lot of questionable holes in the plot that won’t be wrapped up nicely, which was oddly fitting given the subject matter. The research and lab portion of the book had potential but it was left largely unexplored. Everything about Gnentium and the schizophrenia research was…

  • Book Review

    If They Come for Us

    My Thoughts My goodness, what an astounding collection of poetry! I was absolutely dazzled by this debut collection and I’m honestly ashamed that I was granted a review copy and did not get to read it sooner. Asghar speaks to a generation of Asian American women with a great deal of understanding and empathy. There were several times where a poem hit close to home, particularly in the sections about needing to cover up one’s race and religion, or of the shame that comes with losing one’s native language. “You speak a language until you don’t. Until you only recognize it between your auntie’s lips. Your father was fluent in…