American Street by Ibi Zoboi

30256109On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.

But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

 

Review

TW: Violence, Drug Abuse, Cursing, Misognistc/Racial Slurs, some girl hate

Own Voices: Yes

Favorite Quote:

But then I realize that everyone is climbing their own mountain here in America. They are tall and mighty and they live in the hearts and everyday lives of the people.

And I am not a pebble in the valley. 

I am a mountain

I was extremely hesitant going into this book. Since it’s release, I’ve been both requesting and deleting American Street from my Overdrive because I’ve heard pretty mixed reviews. On Goodreads there’s people praising the book but on Booktube, a lot of people gave this a low rating.

So finally, I read Amercian Street and I was suprised to find myself enjoying it more than I thought I would.

Our main character, Fabiola aka Fab had such beautiful, authentic voice. I love how she stayed true to herself and her Haitian culture throughout the book. It was interesting seeing her how she navigates the life of American customs but also never forgetting her own Haitian traditions. It was refreshing to see a character that wasn’t “feisty, sarcastic” but who also wasn’t weak and bland. I just adored Fab and her willingness to do anything for her loved ones, especially her mother who was detained in the airport.

Then we get to Fab’s cousins aka “Three Bs,” Chantal, Pri and Donna. They bring Fab under their wing and try to make her the 4th B.

  • I do wish Pri (the brawn) had better character development though. I would have loved to read more about her since she was probably the most riveting out of the three. She also likes girls!
  • Chantal (the brains) is also an amazing woman. She seemed like the “mom” out of the three Bs and used logic and common sense when it comes to situations.
  • Donna (the beauty) fell flat to me. It seemed like her character was mostly built by her boyfriend, Drey.

What I liked about the relationship between all of them is that it wasn’t some sort of Mean Girls situation where Fab loses herself within the group/tries to fit in. Fab still calls out on their shit and even if they do make fun of Fab’s way of life, she still holds their ground.

In addition with Fab’s mother being gone and navigating the American life, she has to deal with Donna’s abusive boyfriend, Drey, who is on thin ice with law enforcement, Fab’s aunt desiring her sister was with her rather than Fab herself and Fab developing a relationship with Drey’s bestfriend, Kasim. There’s so many plots and themes in the story but for some reason, I feel like Zoboi made it work.  I loved how this was a family heavy and some mystery with only a dab of romance.

The “girl hate” didn’t really bother me as much as I thought it would because I see these situations happen, especially when I was in middle school (though Fab is in high school). I feel like there really wasn’t a whole lot of girl hate anyways.

We also get a mini chapter for all the side characters which I really enjoyed. You are able to be in their heads and discover their justifications of all the decisions these characters make. We get to read about their backgrounds and know why they hold certain beliefs. I thought this really added to the overall story.

Some people say that they didn’t like how Fab’s mother was written out of the story. I’m actually confused on what they mean because her mother plays a crucial part of the book. Literally everything Fab does is because of her mom. If Fab’s mom was written out of the story, the ending would have never happened because there would be no conflict. Fab devised plans in order to have her mom released and freeing her mom was her number one priority. I think Zoboi was trying to convey what people would do for the ones they love, even if it’s possibly betraying another love one.  The grey area conflicts really sold this book for me.

American Street made me think about a lot of things such as police brutality classism, drug abuse, etc. I also have been thinking a lot of America’s immigration system due to the current political climate and how I had to debate about sanctuary cities recently. When the other was detained, it made me angry that they force to separate a mother and a daughter for no life threatening reasons. If this quote doesn’t make you think I don’t know what will.

So trying to come to America from the wrong country is a crime?  

Overall, I think this one is worth the read.

What did you think about American Street?

Goodreads| Twitter| Instagram (non-bookish)

blog sig

 

 

 

 

SUMMER READING BOOK BUCKET LIST

I’ taking two classes for the summer but I’m still going to try to kick summer’s ass when it comes to reading. I hope I can read all these books from the months of May (last week)-August (last week).

Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan (and honestly all of his other non-Percy Jackson books)

Image result for heroes of olympus seriesI read the first book 2 summers ago and I still want to continue with this series. It’s time to fully finish all of his books during the summer because I love how witty and corny his books are.  Maybe I’ll do a week of Riordan or something like that.

 

Every single book Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has published

Image result for chimamanda ngozi adichie booksI read The Thing Around Your Neck and We Should All Be Feminists  and I absolutely loved both books. I now want to read every single book that Adichie has published and I’m going to try to do it during the summer. Such a beautiful author with beautiful books.

 

 

The Bloodlines Series by Richelle Mead

Image result for bloodlines series booksThese covers can honestly choke. Anyways, I read the first three books and never continued with the rest. I love this world (despite how incredibly cheesy these books are) and I really want complete the series. And yikes, I forgot most of the characters names but I’m sure everything will come back to me once I jump back to this world.

 

 

Shade Of Magic Series by V.E. Schwab

Image result for shades of magic seriesI haven’t started this series at all. However, I won a big ass sign framed book poster in a giveaway so I think it’s time to give these books a shot. And I know nothing about these books but I heard pretty good things about them!

 

STANDALONES GALORE

30724132Queens of Geek31447601173333193025610928243032

Catch up on Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter World

Image result for The Dark Artifices seriesI still need to read the Bane Chronicles, Shadow Hunter Academy and start the DA series. A lot to catch up on lmao.

 

 

 

 

There’s a crap load more but these are the ones I really need to read. Let’s hope for a productive summer!

blog sig

 

The Unpopular Opinions Book Tag 2.0

I’ve been giving a lot of two stars to books as of lately so I’m just gonna cleanse my hate. I wasn’t tag so oops.

A POPULAR BOOK OR BOOK SERIES THAT YOU DIDN’T LIKE

Alright so I read books 1-2 and I actually enjoyed myself reading these. Chaol was my everImage result for throne of glass seriesything and I was looking forward to Heir of Fire. Hell, I bought the book at Barnes and Noble and that shit was expensive. But when I read like the first quarter I was B.O.R.E.D. Then I tried reading the Assassin’s Blade and I was like “why does this exist?” I took a break and then like 3 years later I still never continued, I got rid of the books, and I don’t miss it because I heard the author shits on all the OG characters so nope I’m good. I didn’t really like anybody but Chaol anyway :/ Also, the author’s rep isn’t that good anymore too so yup bye.

25701463I had very high hopes for this one but was extremely disappointed. The main character loved girl hate way too much and was petty for no reason.

 

 

 

A POPULAR BOOK OR BOOK SERIES THAT EVERYONE ELSE SEEMS TO HATE BUT YOU LOVE.

26025580This has under a 3.5 star rating on Goodreads and I’m not sure why. Do I give Gillian Flynn too much credit for her work? Perhaps. But I loved this little short story. I read it super fast and I was wrong about the plot twist. I love how GF makes fun of the paranormal genre in this book. I would recommend but I feel like I’m the minority in this one yikes

 

A Love Triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with (warn people for spoilers) OR an OTP that you don’t like.

13597723I can shit on this series for days. The love triangle in this is soooooooooo dumb. I hated the main character, I hated both of the guys, both sides were full on insta love. I usually don’t mind love triangles and insta love but god damn this was all trash.

 

 

POPULAR AUTHOR THAT YOU CAN’T SEEM TO GET INTO.

Sarah J Maas and John Green (old answer but still true)

A Genre You Hardly Reach For

This always changes. I feel like I haven’t been reading a lot of fantasy or at least any good fantasy. I also don’t read a lot of historical fiction. I wanna change that though so any recs for fantasy and historical fiction would be nice!

A POPULAR BOOK TROPE THAT YOU’RE TIRED OF SEEING

I have so many okay okay. The Ineffective/Horrible Therapist like bye. We should not be promoting that thank you very much. Also, Love Cures Mental Illness. Gee why am I majoring in Psych if mental illness already has a fucking cure. Also, I still hate the whole characters withholding information crap to protect other characters. SO unnecessary. I basically hate all the black tropes {my post here}.

A POPULAR SERIES THAT YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN READING.

Image result for a court of thorns and roses seriesMy friends in the real world keeps telling me to read this but I’m like NOO THIS DOESN’T INTEREST ME LEAVE ME ALONE YOU CAN READ AND LOVE THIS AND I’M GLAD YOU DO BUT STOP FORCING THIS SHIT ON ME THANK YOU

 

TAG YOU’RE IT…YEAH YOU!

blog sig

The BEST Netflix Original Shows|A Somewhat Biased List

Alright, I am a huge TV watcher.  I’ve watched a lot of Netflix Originals and I’ve determined these are the best (well, I guess in my opinion but I’m pretty sure I’m right)

Chewing Gum

Image result for chewing gum tv show gifs

Okay if you were going to only watch one show on this list, Chewing Gum is the show to binge. It’s a show about Tracy wanting to have sex and her just discovering the world around her. Hilarious dialogue, POC characters, British Slang, Social Commentary,  Sex Positive, what else is not to like? Episodes are only about 30 min long and there’s 6 episodes per season so you can finish this whole series a day. The only downside is that iT’S ONLY 2 SEASONS AND I WANT MORE. This show is Netflix’s hidden gem and it’s honestly a must-watch. AND it’s written by the main character herself so BONUS.

BOJACK HORSEMAN

Image result for bojack horseman gifs

When you first see this show, you may think that it’s some type of typical adult comedy. This follows a 90s sitcom star, Bojack Horseman and how he tries to navigate his life as a “wash-up” actor. However, this show is so much more than that. This show turns dark in later episodes and is all about existential themes. Some people give up on the show because our main character is unlikable. I mean, he’s arrogant, pessimistic, disappoints almost every character, makes horrible decisions. Some people stop watching because it gets to “depressing.” I personally think this show is stunning. At times, I want to shake Bojack but other times I want to hug him. THE LAST TWO EPISODES OF THE LATEST SEASON OH GOD. TW: Alcohol/drug abuse, depression

Stranger Things

Image result for stranger things gifs

I am not the biggest fan of science fiction (apart from star wars), but man this show is beautiful. This is about a boy who becomes missing and the boy’s friends finds this girl who can perform telekinesis. The friends uses the girl, in hopes to figure of where their friend might be. There’s also a lot of strange shit going on in the entire town. Stranger Things is gripping and I would recommend to anybody who wants to get into sci-fi.

Dear White People

Image result for dear white people gifs netflix

Alright, before yall start to judge, watch the show. This is a satire about BOTH black and white people. The show explores social commentary, millennialism, racism in universities, segregation and more. I recommend this to everyone and anyone. This is also a reminder that black face is unacceptable and I don’t know why this is still a thing like wtf February this year was an honest shit show. TW: Racism, homophobia

Orange is the New Black

Image result for orange is the new black gif

This was the first Netflix Original I watched and fell in love with. Okay, I’m going to tell you something though: the main character, Piper is the absolute worst and she does not get any better in later seasons. Also, counseling in this show is a fucking joke.  However, if you watched this show for it’s amazing characters, then you will fall in love with it. There’s a diverse cast: WOC and A LOT of LGBTQ. You will fall in love them all and in each episode there’s flashbacks of an woman’s story and how she got sent to prison. The show explores the corrupt criminal system, private prisons, the treatment of these women, etc. The last season made me so angry omfg. Also, the main writer of the show is  a  woman soooooooooooo, yes please. TW: Racism, homophobia, sexism, rape/sexual assault, drug/alcohol abuse, suicide

Honorable mentions: Luke Cage,

Shows I need to watch: The Get Down (the episodes are so long), Sense 8

Once I watch those shows, I will most likely update this:)

Mostly Short Books Because I’m a Lazy Ladybug|April Wrap Up

13 books (let’s ignore the fact that most of these are short stories/novellas/graphic novels/books under 300 pages).

Capture.PNGmore.PNG

 

GENERAL

Favorite Book: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Least Favorite Book: #GirlBoss

New Authors Read: All of them were knew to me except Becky Albertalli and Brian K. Vaughn

New Authors I want to continue reading: Seanan McGuire

READING CHALLENGES

Number of “Diverse” Books Read: 9

Number of #OwnVoices Read: 5 (I think)

WHAT TYPES OF BOOKS DID I READ

Number of Kids/Middle Grade: 1

Number of YA: 7

Number of Adult/Lit Fiction: 0

Number of Classics: 0

Number of Short Stories/Novellas: 2

Number of Short Story Collections: 0

Number of Realistic Fiction Stories: 6

Number of Fantasy/Paranormal/Science Fiction: 3

Number of Mystery/Thrillers: 1

Number of Nonfiction: 2

Number of Graphic Novels/comics:4

Number of “Other Books” (Historical, etc): Nada

Book REVIEWS

The Hate U Give|Openly Straight| You’re Welcome Universe|Upside|

Mini Reviews

Important books

TV/Movie Reviews

If You Watched 13 Reasons Why

New Shows Watched:

  • 13 Reasons Why: 2/5 (basically the same problems I had with the book but amplified)
  • Chewing Gum: 5/5 (new favorite of all time)
  • Dear White People: 4.5/5 (really good yes beautiful)
  • Jane The Virgin: 2/5 (too formulaic for me) DNF
  • Girlboss: 2.5/5 (Sophia is honestly horrible and Annie deserves better aka me)

Goals For Upcoming Month

  • read

Well that’s it! How was your reading/blogging month?

BOOK HAUL|I’ve read some of these already oops

Whoop whoop here are the books I’ve bought since like January.

47390137-63ED-4828-BDFE-C5B05C4AC01B.jpg

 

The Sun is Also the Star by Nicola Yoon:  Unread. Features a Jamican immigrant and the other MC is Korean-American.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli: Read and loved already! My review can be found here. Fat MC with Anxiety, diverse side characters

Asking For It by Louise O’Neill: Unread. This book is about rape culture in Ireland.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour: Unread A story about grief. Slight f/f romance I believe

Ask A Queer by Lindsay King-Miller: Currently Reading Basically what the title says!

#GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruse: Read A woman with no college degree and became a successful clothing business owner. Was ehh about it.

Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: Read and amazing and please read. m/m cute romance and diverse side characters

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor: Honestly, not a clue but I know it’s sci-fi with POC characters!

Have you read any of these? Let me know down below!