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?

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The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli| yes, yes and yes

30653853Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

I feel like there has already been a lot of great reviews surrounding this book but I will still put in my two cents.

REVIEW

I loved this book. Becky Albertalli has a way of constructing these relatable hilarious characters. I found myself saying, “yes, this character is me” to basically all the characters.

Like Molly, I was also a fat teenager. Strangely, it felt like I was reading my own autobiography because Molly’s thoughts were basically the same thoughts I had. Like Molly, I felt slightly jealous of the other girls who were getting in relationships, I noticed most of them had under size 7 bodies. I felt jealous for the so-called “sluts” because they were getting laid and they had rock hard bodies and I thought there were some type of correlation between the two. I felt guilty for thinking this throughout high school and I honestly thought something was completely wrong with me.

Some people have critiqued this book for such “another self-conscious fat girl who wants a boyfriend” and frankly I find that hilarious.  I’m going to give an example:

” Because chubby girls don’t get boyfriends, and they definitely don’t have sex. Not in movies–not really–unless it’s supposed to be a joke. And I don’t want to be a joke.”

This line may see this line as an “woe is me” type of thing but I see this as a commentary of the lack of authentic positive body representation in media/entertainment. That’s just me and some may interpret such differently

Anyways, I liked how this book was the journey of Molly trying to find confidence in her own skin. However, I also liked how it’s expressed that confidence isn’t something that’s easily handed to people and it takes time. By the end of the book, Molly doesn’t become some overly cocky woman who can take on the world. She still has her insecurities and she embraces them  and I think that’s something anybody can learn from.

Molly’s twin sister, Cassie, was also a delight. She’s a lesbian, outspoken and deeply cares for her sister. I loved her relationship with Molly and it almost felt like it was sort of their story rather than just Molly’s so that was just fucking awesome. I also just admired how how she outspoken on patriarchy and LGBTQIA+ issues and generally was just a kickass character.

“Um, let’s just start with the implication that becoming a woman has anything to do with whether or not you’ve had sex”

The relationship between Molly and Reid was adorable as shit. My favorite character relationship trope is when both characters are extremely awkward, especially when it’s first love. Frankly, first love relationships are awkward as hell and I’m glad that was portrayed in the book. I hate when books make first love like both characters know exactly what they are doing but both Molly and Reid are like “what are we supposed to do?” “I don’t know, honestly.” Like yes! It’s authentic cute dialogue that makes me squeal in delight (I never squeal but this relationship did)! And ohhh the fan art can we please. Check out this fan art because yes.

Before making my rating, I was thinking about the ending and the overall message that it might send to some readers. The whole “fat girls finds love and now she has confidence” trope. I thought about this and even considered lowering my rating. However thinking about it more, I don’t think it even presents that trope.

Usually when we see this trope in books, we have these classic lines:

“he can have all the girls in the world but he chose me”

“he likes me for me”

“he doesn’t care that I’m fat, he likes me for who I am”

I can honestly go on all day but these phrases never present themselves (at least I’m aware of, hopefully I’m accurate lmao). I honestly don’t think the main love interest, Reid even mentions her body is any way (even the other love interest, Will). Yeah, the main character is nervous about sex when because of her wait but I honestly shared those same struggles in high school too. So for those reasons I simply don’t see it. However, I do understand those who do and more if you are a fellow fat girl.

Becky also somewhat addressed this issue on her twitter here if you guys are curious.

At the end of the day, I see a book where a girl finds first love.

I applaud the healthy conversations about sex and importance of birth control. Anything that I sex positive earns an A+ from me.

Now, this doesn’t account for my rating but I think it’s good to note that this is an #ownvoices book when it comes to Molly’s underrepresented body type, her anxiety and her being Jewish. Molly and Cassie also has two moms (one of them being Jewish and the other being black),  Cassie’s girlfriend, Mina is Korean-American and pansexual, and  Reid the love interest is also Jewish. There’s a shit ton more such as POC and LGBTQIA+ wise but you get the picture.

Although the diversity aspect didn’t account for my star rating, I did take .5 away due to the fact that I wished more character arcs were explored such as the dynamics of Molly’s parents, Cassie’s girlfriend Mina, their Jewish religion, etc. I am going to give credit to the wonderful character development of Cassie though.

I wished this was published when I was in high school. This could have possibly helped me get through some tough times.

Great book by a beautiful author, would recommend.

 

You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner| Sorry, but the universe never thanked you.

25701463When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the  Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.

Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.

Review

You’re Welcome Universe left me feeling indifferent and slightly annoyed.

It was unbelievably difficult for me to get through this book. For some reason, it felt like I was reading a 500 page novel when in reality, this falls under 300 pages. This wasn’t a horrible per say and I’ll start with the positives just to prove that.

Although this isn’t OwnVoices, you can tell as the reader that the author did a lot of research on the d/Deaf culture. In her author’s note (something I’m going to make an effort to start doing to all the books I read for now on), Gardner explains how she had d/Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and interpreter sensitivity readers that helped with making this story authentic. Also, there is review, a person who is part of the d/deaf/hard-of-haring community, here that pretty sums up all what the book did right when it came to the representation.

It’s good to note that Julia is Indian and has two moms who are also Deaf!

Another good aspect of this book was the plot. The main character gets into this graffiti war with this mysterious person and it was fun to see their “artsy” interactions with one another. If you are an artist, you would definitely appreciate this book. However, I don’t advise others to tag personal property since 1. it’s illegal, and 2. it’s hella rude towards the property you are tagging, unless they deserve it.

There’s also a really somewhat great female friendship (Julia and “Yoga Pants”). Although there is very light romance (I honestly wouldn’t have called it a romance), this friendship took center stage. I like how “Yoga Pants” became such a loyal ally and even though she says some questionable things, she’s still eager to learn about d/Deaf culture. Although, I feel like I can’t really say the same about Julia because I felt she was terrible to “Yoga Pants” at times but I’ll save that for later. “Yoga Pants” definitely carried the friendship and made me appreciate it, even if Julia was a complete a-hole at times.

Despite these three solid points, this book unfortunately fell for me.

Julia. Oh Julia. As the story progresses, I start to hate Julia more and more. I think she was the reason why it took me so incredibly long to finish this story. She was astonishing rude and petty all the time for no apparent reason. She did something in the book out of “revenge” and it was frankly one of the most disgusting things I have ever read! Yet, she barely received any repercussions for her actions. Then she was also extremely pissed at her friend “Yoga Pants” for not really a good reason and as the reader, it was hard for me to read because she talked about her so negatively. I wanted to scream “WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THIS IS SUCH A WASTE.” Julia also doesn’t have a care in the world for those around her, she constantly lies and there’s a bunch of girl hate/slut shaming that served no purpose.

Even though this was only under 300 pages, it could have honestly been a lot shorter. There were a lot of unnecessary rambles and over explanation of the art, not about the art itself but rather how she makes the art. I ended up skimming some of the paragraphs because it grew rather boring.

Also, the way that eating disorders was explored in the book left me a little uneasy. How everything was handled was kind of irresponsible and it sort of fell in the “love heals all illnesses” trope.

You’re Welcome, Universe is a book if you’re looking for pretty good d/Deaf representation and a solid plot. However, if you think you can’t stand being in a point of view of a self-absorbed teenager, then perhaps read something else.

 

 

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg {Review}

16100972Rafe is a normal teenager from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He’s won skiing prizes. He likes to write.

And, oh yeah, he’s gay. He’s been out since 8th grade, and he isn’t teased, and he goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that’s important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. To have it be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time.

So when he transfers to an all-boys’ boarding school in New England, he decides to keep his sexuality a secret — not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate break down. He meets a teacher who challenges him to write his story. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben . . . who doesn’t even know that love is possible.

This witty, smart, coming-out-again story will appeal to gay and straight kids alike as they watch Rafe navigate feeling different, fitting in, and what it means to be himself.

CURRENT GIVEAWAY —–> HERE

-Review-

We were dancers and drummers and standers and jugglers, and there was nothing anyone needed to accept or tolerate. We celebrated.

This was such an amazing read. I know my star rating doesn’t reflect my feelings but this was truly astounding.

Rafe was such a lovely cute but oh-so frustrating character to follow. Rafe leaves his old like to go to this all boy prep school and tries to abandon his label as the “gay kid.” Labels suck,  there’s a reason why I love the quote “labels are for jars and not for people.” I was 100 percent behind Rafe when it comes to this philosophy.

But… oh Rafe you simple fluffy cupcake. I love you, I truly do but you were so not smart about everything. It was so difficult to read through this book because when it comes to lying, especially in a possible relationship, nothing can end well. Despite this fact, I actually still enjoyed reading his voice and seeing how he justifies certain decisions in his mind.

What really did it for me was the side characters. I love Toby and his wild self (even though he sometimes say the wrong thing at the wrong time). I loved Rafe’s best friend Claire and despite some of the things she says in the beginning, she always has Rafe’s back. Rafe’s parents are honestly the best and probably one of the most supporting parents in YA history. They are a tad over the top but you can tell they truly love their son and would never ask or want him to change.

And of course, the love interest, Ben. I wanted to shake Ben and tell him so many times that “YOU AND RAFE ARE DESTINED TO BE TOGETHER” It’s so obvious it honestly hurts my little heart. Ben is that typical philosophical always got something  wise to say type of guy but I surprisingly still loved him. Ben and Rafe’s relationship was so darn adorkable and was so well developed.

I LOVED how the book explored the difference between tolerance and acceptance. My views on these two words changed me completely and if you read this, you will change too. The book also dives into the topics of listening and self-confidence. Definitely made me think.

Despite these amazing elements of the story, I’m going to have to say some not so positive things about this book. One thing I hated was how we had to read about Rafe play sports with his jock buddies. It was just so descriptive and long and frankly sooo boring. I feel like that’s a personal preference but I felt like there could have been a better or more engaging way to describe these sporty scenes.

Also, even though I loved the relationship between Rafe and Ben, it’s ultimately built on lies. So many times, I wanted to scream at Rafe because so much drama could have been easily avoided if Rafe just spoke during certain situations. RAFE I LOVE YOU BUT PLEASE JUST STOP OVERTHINKING EVERYTHING. I was just so vexed about the situation.

I will tell you that this book is incredibly diverse. We have a gay Jewish main character, POC representation for mental illness and other LGBTQIA+ side characters.  I heard the next book is even better on representation and I look forward to reading about more people. This book is also OWN VOICES so it’s even better!

Openly Straight was a great novel about being proud of who you are and this certainly made me proud to be who I am.

Reading this, I hope you too will love yourself.

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Mini Reviews| Aristotle and Simon!

I don’t write a review for every book I read for a couple of reasons. Some of those reasons being that I don’t have the time, the book is too short to review, sequel to a series so I don’t want to spoil, read too long ago to even do a full review or perhaps I just don’t want to spend an ample amount of time constructing one. 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, #1)Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by  Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Published: Febuary 21 2012 by Simon & Schuster

Page Count: 359

Rating: ★★★

Summary: Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

Review: I read this on audio book solely on the purpose that Lin Manuel Miranda would be narrating the story. I enjoyed the story, the family dynamics, etc. Although I did enjoy reading these aspects of the novel, I couldn’t connect with it and therefore the story was meh to me. I didn’t like Ari too much and I kind of felt he was rude to Dante at times. I know the title says “Aristotle and Dante” but I wish the family conflict was more fleshed out rather than just in mere mentions because that was something I was looking forward to. I felt like this was supposed to be an emotional read (sad? happy?  happy-sad?) but I felt deadpanned. I actually read this in the beginning of February and I don’t remember much of it, so unfortunately for me, it wasn’t memorable. I do remember loving the story while listening to it but after I was done, I was like “oh okay next?” Though, LMM did a great job on the narration!

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Published: April 7 2015 by Balzer + Bray

Page Count:320

Rating:★★★★★

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Review: THIS. Oh gosh, this may have been the reason why I docked a star from the above review. I also read this on audiobook which was awesome but may have been a mistake since I was grinning and giggling to my classes and people probably thought I was on something. I loved the romance between Simon and Blue SO MUCH. Honestly, it takes a lot for me to get on board with a romance but Simon and Blue from the second email exchange got me hooked.  They just made me extremely happy. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda explores identity, acceptance, fear and friendship all in a realistic matter. The story talks about homophobia and racism in the south and the struggles of expressing oneself. At times, I hated characters, then loved them, then hated them again and it was all so confusing but amazing. This was HILARIOUS. I want to buy the book so that I can annotate and underline all my favorite quotes. The writing was no pretentious which I’m glad because I’m tired reading quirky books with pompous ass writing. Not every book needs to be John Green. Also, being in Simon’s head was such a treat but sometimes frustrating because using context clues, the audience knows who Blue is but Simon doesn’t. I kept wanting to scream OPEN YOUR EYES. Overall if you want to read something honest, cute and inspiring, I HIGHLY recommend this.

Read any of these books? Leave your thoughts down below!

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Top 4 Black Tropes I’m Tired of Seeing

Hey all,

When reading other perspectives, it’s sometimes difficult to spot harmful stereotypes. Hell, I’m not perfect, I’ve too fallen victim of celebrating books, TV, etc that features annoying racist tropes.

I think it’s important for people to know the difference between culture and stereotypes and so here’s the top 4 black tropes I’m tired of seeing in books. 

**And I would like to note that this is in my personal experience as a black woman.**

 

Token Black Friend

Image result for token black friend

Have you read a book that features a white main character who has that sassy/comic relief black friend? Or are they the black friend that rises above all the negative stereotypes and becomes the Oreo of the group (white on the inside black on the outside)? Folks, that’s your token black friend. I’ve been one, I’ve seen them on TV,  I read them in books. It’s annoying and I’m begging for this trope to finally end.

The White Savior

Image result for examples of the white savior blind side

Probably my favorite. Are you reading in a white perspective that helps a black person rise up against adversity  No black (POC in general) don’t want White people’s help. It’s not beautiful, it’s not inspiring. It implies that Black people are incapable of succeeding without a white savior. Also, there can be POC heroes too. Shocker!

The Strong Black Woman 

Image result for strong black woman trope

Oh, this is my most hated one for a number of reasons. I know that the trope name should be a compliment towards black woman but it’s actually the opposite. People (non-black people) who believe that black woman are supposed to be this “strong independent black woman who needs no man” *snaps fingers in z formation* actually makes it seem that black woman doesn’t go through depression, anxiety, etc. It makes it seem like black woman are supposed to be strong 27/7 and that if we show a hint of weakness, we are no longer “black.” Throughout my whole life, I felt like I had to hide my mental illness due to society’s image of the strong black woman (whoops getting a little ahead of myself). I’m a big advocate on POC and mental health so this trope is my biggest pet peeve.

Using Coffee to describe Black Skin

Image result for black people and coffee

Get your venti iced skinny mocha macchiato, sugar-free syrup, extra shot, light ice, no whip ass out of here please.

What other culture stereotypes are you tired of seeing ? List them down below!

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Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaiporta and Dhonielle Clayton|BHM 2017 {review}

18710209Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette’s desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.

 

 

Man, I don’t know.

This book was kind of all over the place. Everyone in this book was just, so, mean. With the petty pranks, the jealousy, the backstabbing, the cheating and everything else it was just shocking. BUT, I can’t lie, I actually enjoyed this story. It’s full of completely unlikable characters, complex characters actually.

We are in three perspectives, Gigi, Bette and June and they all basically compete for a big roll in the upcoming dance shows. Throughout the story, there’s vicious pranks, name calling, dating but there’s some pretty serious problems each of the main characters go through.

Gigi: One of the only black girls in their ballet group (whoops, I forgot if she’s the only black girl in the school or level). She’s sweet, caring bur has a serious heart condition that no one knows about. She’s often the victim of bullying because she’s one of the best dancers and also because she’s black.

Bette: Probably the most malicious one of all. Right from the start, she loses her star role and her boyfriend, curtsy of Gigi.  In result, she begins to torment the poor girl and becomes a tad bit obsessive and will do anything to get back her spotlight and her on/off again boyfriend. Although not said explicitly, she has a prescription drug problem.

June: She’s half Korean and Half Caucasian. She has become Gigi’s understudy for the most part but also seems to be a loner, despite Gigi’s attempts to befriend her. However, she does seem to have trouble staying in her lane and often snoops around.  June has a lot of baggage, including being on the brink of an eating disorder.

As you can see, these characters far from being 2 dimensional. There’s also other character such as Alex( Gigi’s boyfriend and Bette’s ex), Will (carries heavy guilt) Henri(all about the drama). Like the main 3, these characters also have a compelling role in the story.

The book also explores the themes of the pressures of competition and parents. Pressure can really deteriorate a person, limb from limb and it was interesting to see. Racism is also discuss and how POC struggle to rise above in the ballet industry. Eating disorders and drugs became a reoccurring themes.  There were just a lot of depth in the story in general, making me never bored

But man, these characters were ruthless. Like, they did a lot of stuff that were over the line. I absolutely hated Bette. It went to the point where it was hard for me to feel bad for her when I think I was supposed to. I liked and hated June at times. Mostly, she would just extremely judgmental and slightly hypocritical and irrational. She has a feud with the other Korean ballerinas and she holds one of their secrets that they might like the opposite sex. JUNE’S PROBLEM IS THAT SHE STRUGGLES TO STAY IN HER LANE BECAUSE DESPITE HOW MUCH YOU MIGHT HATE SOMEONE YOU SHOULDN’T BE THE ONE TO TELL PEOPLE BECAUSE THAT’S A PERSONAL DECISION NOT YOUR DECISION. OUTING SOMEONE IS NEVER OK.

Some of the stuff these girls did made me uncomfortable because I don;t understand how they can get away with what they did. Like um, where are the adults in this?!?!?!

It was difficult for me to get behind any of the romances. I felt like Gigis and Alex were a bit insta-lovey and moved way too fast. Bette’s obsession with them also didn’t help either. Like she was really POSSESSIVE over Alex. Overall, everyone’s relationships (friendships and love interests) seemed weirdly unnatural to me.  I wish the relationships were more flushed out and slowed down.

Also, there’s this one scene where I almost threw my kindle (this isn’t a spoiler). Gigi was in the teacher’s office really distress and heartbroken about something and then the teacher was like “oh since you’re in here did you have an affair with one of the teachers?” Like what? IS THIS REALLY THE TIME?!?!?!?!?!

The book ended super abruptly and there’s still a lot of unanswered questions. I think I will finish the duology because the drama (even though it’s problematic at times) is addicting as hell.

It’s a fun book with some riveting themes. I don’t think books (or anything in general) about ballerinas are my thing because I tend to not care about that aspect. It’s a good book if you want to read some cut throat drama with a diverse cast of characters. If you like Pretty Little Liars, this might be the book for you.

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