Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Want (My/Any) Teenager to Read

 Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week I will make a list of 10 books, authors or other bookish things surrounding a certain topic. Today, the topic is actually: books I’d want my children to read. Now, I don’t actually know whether I ever want to have kids. And I thought it would be more interesting to show you what I hope my teenager(s) (or any teenager for that matter) would read. So let’s go!

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee // First of all, this book is hilarious. I listened to the audiobook, and it made me laugh out loud multiple times. Add that to the fact that it’s historical fiction + has (a bisexual main character + a PoC love interest and best friend + disability rep) + sexism throughout history is addressed = a book I’d want any teenager to read. 

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli // I adore this book for multiple reasons. I love the body positivity, the relationship Molly and Cassie (they’re twins) have, their two moms and little brother, I love Reid, I love Cassie and Mina… Some of the side characters in this book identify as lesbian, bisexual and pansexual, and I love that this is not a story about them coming out. Not that we don’t need those stories too. But to just see them in loving, wonderful and happy relationships? That’s so important too. Most of all though, I love the body positivity and the fact that this is a book about a plus size girl who isn’t looking to lose weight in order to love herself.

All the Rage by Courtney Summers // This isn’t really a ‘pleasant’ book. This is a book that hits you in the face instead. Yet I think this is SUCH an important read for teenagers! It’s about a girl called Romy, who was raped by the ‘golden boy’ of her town. No one believes her. She’s bullied, ridiculed and above all, traumatized (obviously). This book addresses slut-shaming and victim blaming, and I think teenagers need to be aware of it. 

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman // Again, I want teenagers to read this for multiple reasons. First: the main character is biracial and bisexual. What I love though is the conversation about asexuality and demisexuality. A- and demisexuality are so often overlooked and forgotten, and I think it’s important to be aware of them. Another aspect I think is interesting is its focus on education. Alice Oseman addresses that university/college is not necessarily the right path for everyone and that it has nothing to do with intelligence. It’s just about what you love, and what you want to do. 

Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne // I was lucky enough to meet Holly Bourne and get my book signed by her. I also told her how much I loved it, and how I think it’s an incredibly powerful and important read. This is the story of Evie, who goes to college (UK – so not university) after recovering from a serious episode of her OCD. She makes friends, talks about feminism, wants to have a boyfriend…She wants to be “normal”. This is therapy and medication positive, which I can’t highlight enough.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller // Will I ever make a favorites list that doesn’t include this book? NOPE. I think it’s a wonderful read for teenagers because they get to experience a (familiar, for a lot of people) story with a gay romance. I love Achilles and Patroclus so much…

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo // Back at it with the fantasy recommendations. I know that so many people recommend this book to others. For good reason though. Is it perfect? Of course not. It’s a great fantasy/heist story about a group of thieves. But it also talks about body positivity, PTSD, disability, etc. Not to mention Jesper & Wylan’s adorable romance. Seriously, those two will be the death of me.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz // I read this book a few years ago and absolutely fell in love with it. And I need every single person to read it. Understood?

We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie // I don’t think reading this is too much to ask of anyone considering it’s only 50 pages long. It’s a great speech about feminism and its misconceptions.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance #1) by N.K. Jemisin // You might feel a bit confused about this one, because it’s not quite the same tone as the previous 9 picks. But I’d want anyone to give the fantasy genre a try -especially if they were my own children. And I’d want them to join me on a journey of reading fantasy written by PoC authors. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is an incredible read, and I want everyone to try it. 


What do you think of my choices? Do you agree/disagree? Which books would you want your teenager (or any teenager ever) to read?

 

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Top 5 Wednesday | Problematic Faves

Today’s #T5W post revolves around your problematic favorites. At first I thought it would be about the books you read and loved, but know are problematic in some way(s). But actually, it’s about the 5 characters you know you shouldn’t love, but end up liking anyway. Which is a very different list! Anyway, here are 5 characters I know I shouldn’t like, but do.

Books mentioned:

  1. Henry // The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  2. Holland // A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  3. Darrow // Red Rising by Pierce Brown 
  4. Draco Malfoy // Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling 
  5. Loki // Magnus Chase by Rick Riordan

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Who’d Make Good Leaders

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week I will make a list of 10 books, authors or other bookish things surrounding a certain topic. Today, we’re talking about characters who would make great leaders!

 

Nasuada // Eragon by Christopher Paolini // I know that she actually is a leader/ruler in the series. I think she is just such a great leader, that I had to put her on this list. She listens to her advisers but doesn’t let them control her. She makes tough decisions, overcoming her personal feelings on matters for the better of the Varden. I just… She’s incredible.

Julius // Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers #1) by Rachel Aaron // Julius, the Nice Dragon. At first, I wouldn’t have considered him a leader because he’s basically been hiding from his family for years. He’s content, as long as they leave him alone. But then I think of the adventures he goes through, the way he learns to stand up to people, and how he always tries to do the right (and nice) thing. And I know I would trust him to lead my country. 

Elend // The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson // I find Elend to be very interesting. He just has such an idealistic view of the world. It’s adorable. He has all these great ideas of how to improve society when given a chance. But facing the reality, he realizes that this ideal will most likely never succeed. Instead, you’ll need to compromise.

Elisa // The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Girl of Fire and Thorns #1) by Rae Carson // Another woman I would trust with my life -and country. She’s such a naive girl at the start. But she just grows so much as a leader and woman, and I admire her.

Aragorn // The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien // NO EXPLANATION NECESSARY.

Gwen // Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan // I know that Gwen is technically a side character in these stories. But I can’t help but think that she would make a wonderful leader. She’s capable, smart, compassionate and caring -and she doesn’t judge people based on appearance, etc. 

Verity // Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer #1) by Robin Hobb // I feel like I don’t really need to explain this one. I was supporting Verity 100% while reading this trilogy. Do I think he’s always right or flawless? Of course not. That’s not the point of being a leader either. 


Those are 7 characters I think would make good leaders. Do you agree with me on these? Let me know which characters you think would make great leaders!

Some of my favorite non-fiction reads

I’ve mentioned a few times now that I’m not really reading anything at the moment. I’m probably in the worst reading slump I have ever been in (it’s been about 3 months now) and it doesn’t look like it’s about to end. I’m especially sad about this because I really wanted to participate in Non Fiction November again. Since I can’t do that, I thought I’d just make a post and video on my favorite non fiction reads so far. 

Quiet by Susan Cain // This may well be my favorite non fiction book ever. Mostly because I read it at the time in my life when I needed it most. This book is about introverts, and how we can thrive in a western society that values extroverts. At university, I really struggled with balancing my health and what I wanted with my friends and what everyone else was doing. Reading this helped me understand what being an introvert is, and how that isn’t a bad thing or something to be ashamed of. 

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin // I received this book as a gift from Inge (thank you!) and I really enjoyed it. I do think that Gretchen Rubin is privileged, which is why she was able to do this whole year-long happiness project in the first place. But I really liked some of the things she said, like making an interest-list so you can keep track of every little thing that piques your interest (and look into it later without forgetting).

The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal // I read this book because I listened to her Ted Talk (which I’d highly recommend you do as well). The idea that changing your mindset on stress could be beneficial for your body and mind is intriguing to me. 

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie // This is only 50 pages, which means that there’s no excuse not to read it. It’s such an important read!

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg // I like reading about things like habits! I’m always trying to improve my routines and habits, so I can lead a healthier life. This was a really interesting and easy read, that I’d highly recommend. 

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui // This is a graphic memoir on Thi Bui and her family. It portrays her family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam to the United States. First of all, the artwork here is beautiful. And then there’s the story. I don’t really know much about Vietnam, so this memoir taught me a lot. There’s a lot of pain and hurt in this story, so be prepared for that when you pick it up.


I haven’t read that much non fiction, but these are some of my favorites so far. Have you read any of these? Which non fiction books are your faves? 

Review: When Dimple Met Rishi

when-dimple-met-rishiWhen Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Published: 30.05.2017 by Simon Pulse

Genre: Contemporary (YA)
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Goodreads

Synopsis: Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

break

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I don’t really have an excuse, to be honest. I haven’t been reading. I haven’t been filming or writing blog posts. But don’t worry. I haven’t abandoned you all! Today, I want to talk about this book I read while I was on holiday: When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi had been on my to-read list since the moment I became aware of its existence pre-release. Wanting to support more diverse reads and read more books out of my comfort zone (which means reading books that aren’t fantasy), this seemed like the perfect fit. So when I was craving a cute romance while traveling, I knew it was the right time to pick it up. 

I was right. I absolutely adored reading this book. 

I was somewhat hesitant at first. I’d seen quite a few negative reviews on this book, and I didn’t want to be disappointed. After reading this -and their reviews- I’m of two minds about it. On the one hand, I do agree with some of their points. Dimple could be somewhat mean and rude. On the other hand, I think that this book included some tropes and moments that almost every other YA contemporary has. And they often don’t get marked down because of it. 

This novel really does feel like a rom com to me. I have always loved watching those. Even if they are often cheesy, and you can predict the ending 0.1 minute into the story, I don’t care. I live for them. They are adorable and sweet. And so was this book. Yet while When Dimple Met Rishi had countless of adorable moments, it didn’t hesitate to address some problematic aspects of our society either. Which is exactly what a YA contemporary should do, in my opinion. 

This is the story of two teenagers, Dimple and Rishi. Both come from fairly traditional Indian families, and while Rishi absolutely loves the traditions he grew up with, Dimple couldn’t care less about her parents’ obsession with finding her the ‘Ideal Indian Husband’. She just wants to build her career in tech, and create the app she has been building in her mind for ages.

I think it was really interesting to see how they were opposites in some aspects, yet so similar in others. Rishi loves tradition, and as a hopeless romantic believes in an arranged marriage full of love -like that of his parents. Dimple loves her family, but the last thing she wants to do is get married. I adored both characters. Even if I think that Dimple was ridiculously stubborn at the end -today, there are quite a lot of women who manage to have an incredible career and a husband they love- I do admit that it is a trait of the rom com. The big misunderstanding that separates the two.

The only thing that makes me sad, is that I wish there was more of the actual coding and working on the app here. Other than that, I love this novel. This is a wonderful YA contemporary, with two incredible main characters. I’m so glad I read this. Diverse books, everyone. They are so important. AND IF YOU SOMEHOW HAVEN’T READ THIS ONE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? 

I’ll leave you with some of my favorite passages. 

Dimple thought of Insomnia Con, of Jenny Lindt, of SFSU, of Stanford. Of all the things she’d jeopardize if she called Ritu auntie a backward, antifeminist blight on democratic society. 

 

Dimple opened her mouth to say that, yeah, in her opinion misogyny was complicated. Mainly because of the way it was integrated into the very fabric of society, which made it hard to see when a guy was being a total d-bag to you.

 

You’re going to see a lot of it. People getting ahead unfairly because of the category into which they were born: male or white or straight or rich. I’m in a few of those categories myself, which is why I make it a point to reach out and help those who aren’t, those who might not necessarily be seen if I didn’t make the effort. We need to shake this field up, you know? We need more people with different points of view and experiences and thought processes so we can keep innovating and moving ahead.

 

 

Top 5 Wednesday | Genre Bending Faves

Hi everyone! I’m here with a #T5W post for you all. I’m trying to get back into the swing of things, and what better way to do that than with a list of favorites? Today, I’m talking about 5 books I absolutely loved but find hard to place within one genre.

Books mentioned: 

  1. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  2. The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
  3. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  4. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  5. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón