an explainer of my own unique journey: Reviewing Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo

Hi everyone! I apologize for my prolonged absence from this blog. I’ve been teaching classes and as well as taking classes. I am cheating slightly because I did read this book for a class but I really wanted to bring awareness about this novel. It is important to me to breakthrough my usual genres and explore more. I want to widen the discussion and become more aware of social issues that exist outside of my realm. That is why I will be talking to you about Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo.

In Evaristo’s most recent novel, she explores identity, intersectionality, feminism, and other social issues through the interconnected lives of her characters. From a radical lesbian playwright, to a gender non-binary influencer, to a ninety three – year – old woman, these stories all involve complex internal and external issues they must face in order to full realize themselves in this heartfelt, charming, and unforgettable novel.

This novel is hard to describe but it is truly incredible. Evaristo plays with form and narration in order to make the novel so much more impactful. I was truly entranced by this novel and the areas it explored. Evaristo includes a very British sense of humor and self-awareness in order to bring you as a reader closer to the story. Since the characters come from all walks of life, it is easy to find someone to gravitate to. The way Evaristo blends together wider social issues with very personal stories is brilliant. It shows that we are all learning and no one is perfect, no matter who they are. I learned a lot from Girl, Woman, Other and it really redefined women’s literature for me. You don’t need to be British or a woman to fully appreciate this novel, which would certainly be a good pick for a book club. I cannot recommend this novel enough as it is perfect for casual or critical reading.

PS: If you had this novel, I would love to talk about it more with you so let me know in the comments.

I Have Built a You in Me: Reviewing This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Hey everybody! Well, it has been a decent chunk of time since I’ve been on here. Fortunately, I am reaching the end of fall semester so I will be doing a lot of catching up during the winter break. Next semester I will be teaching a class so I will definitely be blogging about that. Thankfully, I was able to get a hold of this novel as I had seen it everywhere and was ever so curious. So, let’s talk about This Is How You Lose the Time War.

Red is deadly, resourceful, and relentless on the battlefield. She comes from a future ruled by the Agency, a post-singularity technotopia. Blue is strategic, cunning, and just as deadly. She belongs to Garden, an omnipotent and omniscient consciousness contained within all organic matter. The two agents are sent by their respective societies to stop the other from changing the future. Red and Blue, however, begin a correspondence that transcends time and space. Soon, they will have to choose between the future of their worlds and their own futures.

I was incredibly intrigued by this novel upon seeing it online and I am so glad I was able to get my hands on it because I loved it. This novel combines the abstracts and language of poetry and the thrill and action of science fiction. It is a fairly short novel at just under 200 pages. I became emotionally invested quickly in the characters. The language of their letters is fascinating. They feel like real people in a sense, the way that Blue and Red express their emotions through humor or angst. I don’t plan on making this review too long as I don’t want to give away too much. I do recommend this novel if you are looking for a quick read that will captivate you with its world building and poetic structure. You don’t have be a huge sci-fi fan either to enjoy this book. Also, bonus points if you wants a book that features LGBTQ+ characters.

The Princess, the Damsel, the Queen, and You: Reviewing The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace

Hello everyone! I know I had promised another book review to you earlier but (of course) I get sidetracked with other books because I have no self control. Back to the topic at hand, I am excited to talk to you about Amanda Lovelace’s first collection of poetry, the princess saves herself in this one. I may have mentioned that I’m really not a diehard poetry fan but that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to explore the territory. You can read my reviews on Rupi Kaur’s poetry collections. Before that, please read this review of the princess saves herself in this one. 

In her debut collection of poetry, Lovelace does not hold back from exploring the difficulties that she has faced in her life. Her whole narrative is beautifully tied together with her fairytale metaphors, that help the reader to better understand the situations she is describing. Personally, I felt a deep connection to Lovelace through her poems. She often describes herself as “bookmad” and I think that is a wonderful term. Though the book does cover very heavy topics, such as abuse, self-harm, death, and bullying among others, there is still a message of hope. Modern poets, such as Lovelace, are unafraid to express their fears and hopes, which makes such an impact on the reader. If you are a fan of Rupi Kaur, I highly recommend Amanda Lovelace to you.

Note: Lovelace recently released her second collection of poetry, the witch doesn’t burn in this one. Stay tuned for that review.

Quotes to Consider

Hello everybody. I am back at college and already feeling the pressures of upcoming projects and finals week. Some of you may be stressed out university students as well or you’re stressed out by work, or family, or just life in general. In order to combat this, I turn to some of my favorite quotes to give me some reassurance that I will make it through all of this. I haven’t posted about quotes in a while so I am going to share with you more of my favorite ones. Please enjoy.

“May the space between where I am and where I want to be inspire me.” – Anonymous

“Words are the antidote for everything that’s ever hurt, ever stopped, ever bruised my heart.” – Noor Unnahar

“The courage it took to get out of bed each morning to face the same things over and over again was enormous.” – Charles Bukowski

“In all you do, absolutely everything, may love be the core, may love be the essence.” – Christopher Poindexter

“Great things are not done by impulse, but by small things brought together.” – Vincent Van Gogh

“A word after a word after a word is power.” – Margaret Atwood

“You’re feeling burnt out and discouraged, but you’ve made it this far and I think that’s really brave.” – Anonymous

“Strange as it may seem, I hope for the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely it arrives, and when it does it can be lost so easily.” – Lemony Snicket

“I want to taste and glory in each day, and never be afraid to experience pain.” – Sylvia Plath

“Let me be that I am and seek no to alter me.” – William Shakespeare

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” – Joseph Chilton Pearce

“In the world through which I travel, I am endlessly creating myself.” – Anonymous

I hope you enjoyed these quotes. I would love to hear some of your favorite inspirational quotes so leave them in the comments. Share your inspiration with everyone who may need it.

 

Wilting, Falling, Rooting, Rising, Blooming: Reviewing The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

I may have said before that I have never been a huge fan of poetry. I’m awful at writing it and it doesn’t hold my attention for long. Older poetry tends  to bore me, though I have a few exceptions. In the modern era, though, poetry has been redefined to become more relatable and powerful. I will now present to you my thought on Rupi Kaur’s second collection of poetry, the sun and her flowers. 

Rupi Kaur continues her exploration of life and its struggles in her new set of poems. Kaur doesn’t hold back as she talks about her own personal experiences with pain and how she has learned to recover. Each poem, long and short, is carefully crafted to provide profound insight into her life and the lives of others. Her simple illustrations create a dreamy feel that fits her ongoing aesthetic. With the metaphor of flowers and foliage, Kaur leads the reader through her life’s struggles while providing a relatable narrative for almost anyone.

I truly think Kaur’s books should be read by every woman. Kaur is such a powerful feminist writer and she isn’t afraid to talk about more taboo issues, such as rape or dealing with body image. Poetry isn’t my “thing” but Kaur is my exception. If you’re already a fan then you should read this second collection and, if you aren’t a fan, go out and read this poetry. You might realize that these were things that you needed to read.

The hurting, the loving, the breaking, the healing: Reviewing Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

I was never a huge fan of poetry. I’ve read plenty of it and I do have favorites but I detested having to write it. If you were to ask me to write five pages describing my hometown, I could do that in a heartbeat. On the other hand, if you want me to write a poem about my hometown then you might as well be asking me to get blood from a stone. Nonetheless, I deeply admire poets and their ability to cram so many emotions into a few simple sentences. I will now happily introduce you to Rupi Kaur, a modern poet who captures complex emotions with her art and words.

Rupi Kaur’s debut collection of poetry, milk and honey, came to be in the most modern way: through the internet. Originally. Kaur began to post her poems and illustrations on Instagram and Tumblr for others to read. The book is split up into four different parts and covers topics that are typically taboo, particularly she delves into what femininity means in today’s world. Her simple but bold style is eye-catching. Kaur pours her heart and soul into this collection of poetry meant to empower and discuss the things that bother us.