Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Hate U Give and Year End Round Up

So. Where have I been? What have I been doing? Well...not much, admittedly. I totally missed posting for the Cephalopod Coffeehouse on Friday for which I did have a book I was supposed to finish but didn't quite. Being annoyed with myself for not finishing the book I sat down on Friday night and did so.

The title of this book is a reference to Tupac who said that Thug Life stood for 'The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody.' According to Khalil, what this means is that "what society gives us as youth, it bites them in the ass when we wild out."

I really liked this book a lot and I recommend it to everyone, but especially to white people. In it you will meet Starr, the unlikely hero of the story, a black girl who lives in two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. Then Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer, and soon after his death is big news. Some call him a thug and a drug dealer. Others protest yet another case of an unarmed black man being gunned down by the police. But everyone wants to know what really happened that night and the only person who knows that is Starr. The problem is that telling the truth could endanger her life and the lives of her family.

I loved Starr and the way she tries to balance her two worlds. I adored her family, her two brothers Sekani and Seven, her most awesome parents, and Black Jesus. At the beginning of the book Starr's daddy, an ex-con gone good, says a morning prayer to Black Jesus, asking him to "watch over my babies today. Keep them safe, steer them from wrong, and help them recognize snakes from friends...Thank you for Sekani's miraculous, sudden healing that just so happened to come after he found out they're having pizza at school today..." Afterward, Sekani says, "Daddy, why you put me on the spot like that with Black Jesus?"

Yep. There's a lot of humor like that, and a lot of wisdom that comes from both Starr's parents, her Uncle Carlos, and her boyfriend, Chris, who happens to be white. This makes for lots of good conversations, like at the end when Starr and Chris and her brother Seven and friend DeVante are hanging out and Chris says "Okay. Why do some black people give their kids odd names? I mean look at you guys' names. They're not normal."

"My name normal," DeVante says, all puffed-up sounding. "I don't know what you talking about."

"Man, you named after some dude from Jodeci," Seven says.

"And you named after a number! What's your middle name? Eight?"

"Anyway, Chris," Seven says, "DeVante's got a point. What makes his name or our names any less normal than yours? Who or what defines 'normal' to you? If my pops were here, he'd say you've fallen into the trap of the white standard."

I believe I've fallen into that trap myself. But now that I know about it, be sure I'll be avoiding that shit, as Starr might say.

I highly recommend this book to everyone!

Now for my year end stats.

This year I doubled the number of books I read. I still didn't read a lot, but it was waay better than 2016

Books read in 2017

  1. We were Liars by E. Lockhart
  2. Denton Little’s Deathdate by Lance Rubin
  3. The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
  4. Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
  5. Enchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swendson
  6. Pretty Girls by Karen Slaughter
  7. What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman
  8. Armada by Ernest Cline
  9. Thunderstruck by Erik Larson
  10. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
  11. The First Fifteen Lives of Henry August by Claire North
  12. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
  13. The Last One by Alexandra Oliva
  14. Seed by Ania Ahlborn
  15. Meddling Kids by Edgar Canter
  16. The Kept Woman by Karen Slaughter
  17. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  18. NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

If I had to pick a favorite it would be #11 but I also have to give a shout out to #18. You will never think of Christmas quite the same.

Next year I hope to get into the 20s, and here are The Books on my TBR list:

The Immortality Game by Ted Cross
The Raven Cycle #3 Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu
The Mermaid’s Sister by Carrie Anne Noble
Cress by Marissa Meyer
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
The First Salute by Barbara Tuchman
Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
The Book of Dust Volume One La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
After Life by Marcus Sakey
The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson
The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman

I've also watched a few Season Two of Stranger Things (awesome), Dark (also awesome), Jessica Jones (wicked awesome, especially David Tenant as the villain. He's sooo good), Criminal Minds, Longmire, and, just started Westworld. Desperately awaiting the next season of Supernatural to come to Netflix.

Lastly, I leave you with a pic of some of my stocking stuffers.

Note the Buffy Mad Libs? I might've squealed a little when I pulled that out of my stocking...

Happy New Year all!


  1. I have a copy of The Hate U Give, but leant it to a fellow teacher to read to her class. I'll have to get it back soon! :)
    Those are great stocking stuffers! My favourite might be my BB8 Pez dispenser :)
    Wishing you all of the very best for 2018!!

    1. Ooh, I'm jealous! I'd love a BB8 pez dispenser :)

  2. Where's my stocking stuffing? :)
    Happy New Year, Marcy!
    My previous publisher did Hate You Give (gave me some hate too which is why I left them LOL). I myself just translated new Holly Black CRUEL PRINCE for my new publisher, and I'm now doing Philip Reeve's MORTAL ENGINES and then Cassandra Claire's DARK ARTIFICES. You know I already did Katherine Arden, hope we get the second book too! Did you buy it?
    Westworld was nice, especially the second part of the season when the action starts around Thandie Newton's brothel madame :)

    1. I love Holly Black and The Nightingale and the Bear was fabulous :) Sounds like you're working with some great books!

    2. Holly's new (it is out January) is like a soap opera filled with royal fairies :)
      I do all the biggest YA novels here for some reason, although I myself prefer history and sf. I tell myself at least the milennials will remember me as the lead translator of their young days :)

  3. Here’s to another great year of reading ahead. Happy New Year!

    1. My first book for the year, "French Milk", wasn't so great but the next two were quite good. One review is going up tomorrow: "Throne of Glass." I could have sworn that was one you had reviewed but a search brought up nothing. Hmm... perhaps someone else in our circle.

  4. Wow! This book sounds so powerful. I'll have to see if my library gets it in. I just read I'm Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, a really good multicultural book too. Loved seeing what you read. Happy New Year!

    1. Very powerful. I'll have to add I'm not your Perfect Mexican Daughter to my list. Happy New Year to you, too!

  5. Thank you. This is another to add to my unread tower.
    I LOVED A Man Called Ove. To the extent that I bought another two of his books.
    Happy New Year.

    1. Yes, I hgave a tower as well, one virtual (on my kindle) and one bedside :)

  6. Six of Crows is on my TBR list, too, and you already know how much I loved The Hate U Give.

    Jessica Jones is wickedly awesome. David Tenant was amazing.

    Happy New Year!

    1. David Tenant was wicked amazing! I loved him and hated him. Happy New Year!

  7. I read A Man Called Ove a few days ago. It's wonderful. The book you reviewed sounds very good.


    1. Wicked Good Book. Highly recommended.

  8. I told my daughter, who attended a private school for the 11 & 12th grade, about this book and she said, that sounds like (name-withheld), a girl who was on full scholarship and did well even though she came from a part of town where shootings are commonplace. Good review and blessings in the new year!

    1. Very similar, though I'm pretty sure the book is 'fictional.' Definitely a book that should be read.

  9. Happy New Year! I'm impressed that you read 18 books this year. I only managed 5 and a half, lol.

  10. This year was a better reading year than last when I only managed 8.

  11. Longmire! I'm glad I'm not the only one who liked that show.

    I've heard good things about this book. I may get around to reading it one day.

  12. Okay, you've convinced me. (I am OH so easy!) That definitely sounds like a book worth reading.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR, Marcy. If you can... stay warm!!!

    1. Thank you, I will try. It isn't easy!

  13. Sounds like an interesting book. Be well!

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