Blog Tour + Thoughts: We Are Not Free by Traci Chee

9.03.2020


Thank you to Colored Pages Bookish Tours and HMH Teen for providing me with an advanced reader copy for this book tour.

  "You move, or you do not move; you freeze, or you act; it doesn't matter. You are too dangerous anyway, too yellow, too slow, too stupid, too weak anyway. You are arrested anyway. You are beaten anyway."

During World War II, the United States government held thousands of Japanese-Americans in internment camps. Driven by xenophobia and racism, the America justified the forced removal of families from their neighborhoods under the guise of identifying Japanese spies. Despite the fact that these individuals were citizens and some even fought in the American military, over 120,000 Japanese-Americans were uprooted from their lives and relocated to ten camps. They were forced to carry registration papers and abandon their belongings and businesses. In camps and in their own communities, Japanese-Americans were subject to discrimination, maltreatment, and even violence at the hands of government officials and other Americans. In We Are Not Free, author Traci Chee details the experiences of fourteen second-generation Japanese-American teenagers who must endure hatred and hardship.

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Blog Tour + Reflection: Dating Makes Perfect

8.18.2020


Thank you to Hear Our Voices Book Tours and Entangled Teen for providing me with an advanced reader copy for this book tour.


"If you love them, you have to give them a little credit. Give them the chance to prove you wrong, to show that they've been growing and adapting right alongside us."

In Dating Makes Perfect, Thai-American Orrawin "Winnie" Techavachara struggles to reconcile her Asian immigrant parents' expectations with her own desires. For as long as Winnie can remember, her parents forbade her and her two older twin sisters, Bunny and Ari, from dating in high school. But when the twins return from their first semester of college without romantic interests, Winnie's mom devises a "fake-dating" plan to introduce Winnie to dating etiquette. The high school student is reluctant to participate but worries that saying no would disrupt her parents' perception of her as the "good Asian daughter". To worsen matters, her mother arranges the first fake date with Mat Songsomboon, Winnie's mortal enemy and former childhood best friend. While navigating her first relationship and conversations with her parents, Winnie realizes that being herself allows her to more fully love others.
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Solitude & Self-Reflection: A Recap of Summer 2020

8.09.2020


"When we realize that we have the awesome power to paint our life story, we are free."
Happy August, all! I hope that in this time of uncertainty, you are safe and well. I have a hard time believing that it's already August. I have now been living at home for nearly five months. My university recently pushed our return to campus to September, although we will be resuming remote classes in ten days. I appreciate my school's efforts to ensure that students and faculty will stay healthy. I also yearn for the comfort of a campus learning environment and the relationships I could have developed with fellow classmates this summer and school year. In the short time I was at college, I remember being struck by how unique a situation it was to be completely surrounded by passionate, curious individuals all around my age. Typically, the only people I encountered outside of my age were professors. In a way, I was living in a bubble. Simultaneously, I was experiencing a new world.
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Blog Tour + Book Review: Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop

7.26.2020


Thank you to Caffeine Book Tours and Penguin Random House for providing me with an advanced reader copy for review. Receiving this galley does not impact my opinion of the book.


"There isn't anything wrong with knowing that something will expire. It focuses you: treasure the time you have together."

Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop follows Chinese-American accountant Vanessa Yu's pursuit of self-discovery in the City of Love. Since she was young, Vanessa has possessed the ability to tell fortunes based on the remnants of their tea (or other drink). Unfortunately, the accountant has no control over her power: she bursts with a prophecy every time she catches sight of the bottom of a cup. To worsen matters, her ability has left her so unable to sustain a long-term relationship that her aunts demand she see a matchmaker. When Vanessa spoils a wedding by accidentally predicting the groom's future infidelity, she becomes determined to control her power. She leaves her job in America behind to study under the tutelage of her Aunt Evelyn, an expert fortune-teller, in Paris. As Vanessa explores the city, she discovers magic and love and learns that her actions can be stronger than fate.
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My Top 7 Books of 2020 So Far: A Mid-Year Reading Recap

7.23.2020


It's hard to believe that 2020 is already more than halfway over. Amidst the uncertainty of coronavirus and what lies in store for my college semester, I have found solace in my books. This year, I set a goal to read 52 books: one per week. For the first time in several years, I am actually ahead on my Goodreads reading challenge (by six books, what?!). Although the halfway mark has already passed, I wanted to dedicate some time to reflect on the books I have read so far this year and share my favorites with you. A handful of these thoughts were originally posted on my bookstagram account.

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Loyalty is Chosen: Rebel Spy by Veronica Rossi

6.28.2020


Thank you to Delacorte Press for providing me with an advanced reader copy for review. Receiving this galley does not impact my opinion of the book.


"I sank into a deep curtsy. Then I rose, a lady."

The Culper Spy Ring was an American espionage network that conducted intelligence operations against the British in New York City during the Revolutionary War. Records hold the identities of a few members of this organization, including Hercules Mulligan, Robert Townsend, and Anna Strong. However, the identity of one female member, referred to only by the code name "Agent 355" or "Lady" remains unknown. In Rebel Spy, Agent 355 is Francisca "Frannie" Tasker, a young immigrant desiring to fulfill her deceased mother's dreams of a safer world. Frannie already leads a double life: to escape her abusive stepfather, she took on the identity of Emmeline Coates, a wealthy 19-year-old socialite who died in a shipwreck. For Frannie, spying for the Americans represents a way to use her newfound status and connections to serve a greater purpose. Veronica Rossi's exploration of Frannie's life highlights the role of women in the American Revolution and asserts that loyalty, whether to a country, ideal, or person, must be chosen to be true.
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Dear White Classmates

6.16.2020



Dear white classmates,

I am writing to you for two reasons. The first is selfish. I am frustrated and writing often provides me with a needed outlet to process and reflect upon my experiences. The second is for the both of us. I hope that maybe together we can reach a new understanding and become better citizens and advocates. We have learned a lot from each other, after all.
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Happy May + An Update from a Student During COVID-19

5.14.2020


“We might give it our all and crash and burn. But we might win. We might actually change things. And that maybe makes it still worth going for, don't you think?” 
- Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed, Yes, No, Maybe So

Happy May, all! A lot has changed since my last post. Today marks nearly two months that I have lived at home in Pennsylvania-- my university closed in mid-March due to COVID-19-- and the conclusion of my freshman year of college, which seems surreal. I took my last final exam on Monday. I am relieved to be done with the semester, but I am left with a lack of closure. I still feel young and new to the college experience. (However, I recognize the importance of staying home during this period and urge you to adhere to social distancing practices to reduce the spread of COVID-19). 

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Blog Tour, Book Review & Giveaway: The Silence of Bones by June Hur

4.16.2020


Thank you to Feiwel & Friends for providing me with an advanced reader copy for review. Receiving this galley does not impact my opinion of the book.


"Everyone dies. What is difficult is a meaningful death."

Set during the 1800s in the Joseon dyansty of Korea, The Silence of Bones follows 16-year-old Seol's journey to solve the murder of aristocrat Lady O and discover her own definition of family. A classist society confines Seol to indentured servitude to a police bureau as a damo until she is forty-one years old. The girl takes advantage of her position of her seemingly quiet work to analyze the interactions of the powerful and collect evidence for the case. Seol's observations strengthen her relationship with Inspector Han, one of the police department's top detectives. But when she uncovers new clues that point to the inspector's potential involvement in the killing, Seol must move forward with the investigation alone and resist authorities to expose the truth.
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Thoughts on "The Lucky Ones" by Liz Lawson

4.14.2020


Thank you to Random House for providing me with an advanced reader copy for review. Receiving this galley does not impact my opinion of the book.


"I want to say the exact right thing, the thing that will take away all her pain and her grief and her guilt, but I know those words don't exist."

In The Lucky Ones, teenagers May and Zach struggle with the aftermath of a school shooting. For May, attending a new high school not even a year after her twin brother Jordan was killed in the band classroom where she hid feels impossible. For Zach, social isolation and family problems abound when his mother, a lawyer, decides to defend the school shooter. A chance meeting unites the two, and together they grieve, learn, and heal. Liz Lawson's debut novel explores the consequences of school shootings, too often forgotten after the cameras leave and the news quiets, on young survivors.
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