Review: Why We March: Signs of Protest and Hope by Artisan Press

On January 21, 2017, millions of people gathered worldwide for the Women’s March, one of the largest demonstrations in political history. Together they raised their voices in hope, protest, and solidarity.
This inspiring collection features hundreds of the most eloquent, provocative, uplifting, clever, and creative signs from across the United States and around the world. Each is a powerful reminder of why we march.

Why We March was the perfect read to satisfy my need for more after having followed the Women’s March all over social media. As the blurb states, the signs featured in here will evoke all kids of emotions–from laughing to contemplating to clutching your heart, this collection will make you feel it all. Real talk, I ended up in tears I couldn’t hold back so many times it got alarming.

It was also a very quick read that I tried to saver, but found to be quite impossible when the following page is RIGHT THERE!! I kept turning to the next page and the next and next, until I unexpectedly reached the last one and was left bewildered as to why I completed it so quickly…

On that note, here are the many, many signs I loved in this collection:

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Without a shadow of a doubt, Why We March is a read I’ll come back to time and again, especially when in need for something uplifting, heartening and gripping. Oh, and quick warning: if you’re reading this before bed, like I did, be prepared for a thumping heart, pumping with adrenaline, and the sudden need to fight someone… that is to say: I LOVED it!! And I can’t stress enough how grateful I am that it exists.

ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication: March 7th, 2017

5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Why We March, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Netflix & Books: Book tag

Since it’s February 14, also known as Valentine’s Day for some, it seemed like the perfect time to answer the Netflix & Books book tag.13908546I mean, what’s better than spending the day ranting about some of my favorite tv shows, which – fun fact – I can do for hours, so proceed with caution.

Rules

  • Choose a book or book series that best matches the prompt provided.
  • Feel free to change the TV show if you’d like it to reflect YOUR preferences!
  • A blank set of the prompts is located at the very bottom.
  • Link back to the creators, Christy at Novel Ink and Lauren at Bookmark Lit, and tag some friends to join in!

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you want to buy any of the reads I mention in this post, just click on the books below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

The questions:

1. Skam: best cast of characters/friendships.

It’s no secret by now that Skam is my all-time favorite show (see: December Wrap Up & Skam Book Tag | Original). And one of the main reasons it remains so stubbornly stuck in my mind is because of the profound connections formed between each and every one of these characters. It is truly unlike anything I’ve seen on television before.

So comparing it to a book wasn’t an easy job, but eventually the leading ladies from The Lunar Chronicles popped into my mind… meridiangray2Art (C) Meridian Gray

Over the course of this series, Cinder, Winter, Iko, Scarlet and Cress bond over this otherworldly shared mission they have to complete. And I was living anytime they were together in a scene. It was rare, but when it occurred I was practically on cloud nine.

Also, like this post said best:

2. This Is Us: best family or parents.

This show remains truly one of the most inspiring ones I’ve seen that tackles family ties, love, sibling rivalry, racism, body image, grief and so much more. Real talk, there’s not even one character in the Pearson family that I don’t adore in some way or other. They all have their quirks and flaws that make me love them individually.

So to pick something with a similar dynamic, I decided to go with The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton. the-strange-and-beautiful-sorrows-of-ava-lavender-bookspoilsThe book follows three generations of women individually, and I was swept into their whimsical tales. I especially loved Emilienne – the grandmother – because of how real she felt to me, particularly after this:

“Simply put, Emilienne was merely more sensitive to the outside world than other people. As such, she was able to catch on to things that others missed. While to some a dropped spoon might indicate a need to retrieve a clean one, to Emilienne it meant that her mother should put the kettle on for tea — someone was coming to visit. An owl hoot was an omen of impending unhappiness. A peculiar noise heard three times at night meant death was near. To receive a bouquet was a tricky one since it depended on the flowers — blue violets said, I’ll always be true, but a striped carnation, Sorry, I can’t be with you. And while this gift proved useful at times, it could also make things quite confusing for young Emilienne. She struggled to distinguish between signs she received from the universe and those she conjured up in her head.”

I’m just really fond of family sagas that focus mainly on the women. Which is also why Nadja Spiegelman’s spell-binding and moving memoir, I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This, became another immediate addition to my favorites.I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This-- bookspoils

P.S. I light up anytime Beth Pearson appears in a scene.

3. Orange is the New Black: couldn’t stop reading.

In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero fits like a glove for this question.Diane Guerrero, who plays Maritza Ramos on the Netflix series, has written one of the most raw and heart-wrenching memoirs I’ve read as of late. Even months and months after, I cannot stop replaying some of the vividly written scenes from this read. It’s truly one of the most memorable memoirs for me.

P.S. The release date for OITNB season five was announced recently, so I know what I’m counting down for.

4. Grey’s Anatomy: all the feels.

This show has been in my life for almost a decade, which I still find mind-boggling. So to answer this question, I wanted a read that captured that same feeling the show creates of being completely sucked into a character’s life and getting to forget about your own issues. And a fairly recent read popped into my head: Motherest by Kristen Iskandrian, particularly the second part, when the focus is on the main character and the journey she has to go through almost all alone. motherest-bookspoilsThe main theme being explored in it remains an increasingly fascinating topic for me to delve into while reading, especially in regards to this recent emotionally jarring scene (the whole episode, really) in Grey’s Anatomy.

I’ve been on the hunt for a similar read ever since, with no luck so far with already published works. But I did find Rebecca Barrow’s You Don’t Know Me but I Know You, dealing with motherhood, coming-of-age, female friendship over romance, and pregnancy. Set to come out on August 29, 2017, I’ve promptly added it to my growing TBR.you-dont-know-me-but-i-know-you-bookspoils

5. Insecure (HBO):  left you wanting more.

I started watching Insecure right after having finished Issa Rae’s The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, so my cravings for more of her utterly brilliant humor were successfully satisfied.
However, since the show aired quite recently, it has just one season with eight entertainingly inventive episodes. So to say that I was left wanting more (once again) would barely begin to cover it. There’s nothing quite like it on television; I’ve been looking for months.

P.S. I still laugh out loud whenever Issa Rae’s Broken Pussy gets randomly stuck in my head. The moment it played in the first episode, I knew the show was a keeper.

Also, I miss Kelli more than anything!!

I cannot wait for season two to come out!!


Those were my answers for the Netflix & Books book tag. If you’re interested in answering these questions, I tag you.
Also, just throwing this out there: I’m always one the look-out for more tv shows to binge-watch, so if you have any recommendations leave them down in the comments!!

Here are all the prompts:

  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: unlikeable character(s)
  • Vampire Diaries: your ship sank or didn’t happen
  • Friends: best cast of characters/friendships
  • Gossip Girl: hate that you love or guilty pleasure
  • Doctor Who: long series you loved
  • Grey’s Anatomy: all the feels
  • How I Met Your Mother: bad ending
  • Supernatural: favorite paranormal/fantasy
  • Freaks & Geeks: left you wanting more
  • The OC: series that should have ended earlier
  • Girl Meets World: should have a spin-off
  • That 70’s Show: set in a different time period
  • Orange is the New Black: couldn’t stop reading
  • Parks and Recreation: made you laugh out loud
  • One Tree Hill: favorite book boyfriend
  • Breaking Bad: favorite villain
  • Modern Family: best family or parents

Review: Amour Amour by Krista Ritchie and Becca Ritchie

“I no longer want to live in fantasy.
I want the images in my mind to be real.
It’s why I’m in Vegas after all. Following my dreams.”

This was another phase of I-can’t-fall-asleep-and-it’s-3am-so-let’s-just-read, and thankfully I was so swept up into Thora’s journey that I barely noticed the hours fly by. It was magical. I didn’t even feel a hinge of regret upon finally waking up with minimal sleep.

And since this book started off so promising, here’s a list of things that I loved (and later on hated) in Amour Amour:

  • I knew this book was a keeper when Thora mentioned One Three Hill in the first chapter:

“He’s not the Clyde to my Bonnie or the Damon to my Elena. Shay is and will always be the Lucas to my Haley. A great, protective friend. Like that of One Tree Hill. Who will point out the storm ahead for me while I choose to relish in the sunshine.”

A girl after my own heart.

  • However, I quickly realized that I hated her “friend” with a fiery passion. Shay was the definition of an awfully unsupportive friend. And I despised how he repeatedly teared down all of Thora’s hopes and dreams. So I was more than glad to see him gone.
  • But on a positive note, the first two chapters of Amour Amour are completely stellar. They had me so hooked that I couldn’t let go until my eyes literally hurt from reading. Aka one of the best feelings.
  • I also loved how Thora believed in herself. Like she said, “I am my biggest cheerleader. Always have been. Probably always will be.” It was inspiring having a main character saving herself in this one (at least, in the first half).
  • Thora’s meet-cute with Nikolai was anything but cute. It did, however, leave me on the edge of my seat, screaming, “Did she just do that?” “Did he just say that?” “HELP.” To say that it was unlike anything I’d read before would be a severe understatement. (Piercing her fucking nipple!!!) But it did its job in leaving a lasting impression on me with the addition of an intoxicating adrenaline rush.

“Guess what, myshka?” The glow necklace and strobe lights swath him in deep red.
“What…?” I hesitate.
He stands. Towers, really. And he tilts my chin up. With grays like gunmetal skies, bearing down from up above, he says, “I choose you.”

This was literally my facial expression upon meeting Nikolai Kotova:

I was daring myself to dislike this six-foot-five Russian athlete, but in my heart of hearts, I knew I was a goner for his tricks.

  • Side note: the number of times this book mentioned Nikolai’s height is kind of funny. You could low-key make a drinking game out of it…
  • I also found it both comical and cute how Thora liked reading paranormal romances. Especially when she recommend her favorite one to Nikolai’s sixteen-year-old sister, Katya. Which she ended up loving so much she almost missed practice:

“If you want to try out for Noctis, you need a full-in, full-out or a triple sault, and you’re not going to get there by sitting on your ass, reading…” He scrutinizes the paperback’s title and cover (legs intertwined on a blue silk sheet) with confusion and then gives me a weird look.
“It’s a good book,” I assure him. Though I start to wonder whether it’s age appropriate. I mean, I was reading explicit adult books at twelve—but I didn’t really understand some of the graphic sex scenes. Sixteen can’t be that bad.”

This had me cackling.

  • And since we’re on the topic of his siblings, I have to say that I fucking loved the Kotovas. They are what made this book so much better. Especially in the end when Thora and Nikolai’s romance left me extremely underwhelmed. Real talk, those two failed at making me feel or experience any kind of emotions when they got together. There wasn’t anything special or exciting about them after that initial meeting at the club. So Nik and Thora just ended up being your average hetero romance between two white people. And all the fun I experienced when they’d just met and were circling around each other kind of disappeared.
  • Thankfully, I still had the rest of the Kotova family for my entertainment: from gambling issues to competitiveness and alpha glaring contests to kleptomania, this book has it all. If I had to sum up this family in one word, I’d say they’re kind of a mess… the kind that reminded me of the Gallaghers in Shameless.tumblr_mig3xuq6he1qzm2geo6_250Nikolai even had a similar scene as Fiona Gallagher about raising his brothers and sister:“You raised your siblings. You realize that, right?”
    He lets out a short laugh. “Not well enough.”
    I frown and shake my head. The waiter comes around and takes our orders. A salmon dish for me, and chicken for him.
    “You’re wrong,” I tell him, the flames creating shadows over his strong features in the dark. He looks like a devil dressed in black at first sight, but coming to know him, he’s the god that everyone describes. “Katya is sweet and friendly.” I think about his brother, the one who offered me mints and stole Skittles for his little sister. “Luka is generous and kind.” And Timo—magnetic. There are no just words to define him. I smile, staring off. “And Timo is…captivating, more full of life than anyone I’ve ever met.”

I love siblings that take care of each other, so this made me as emotional as Fiona’s speech:

  • And continuing about the tv show, I kept thinking of Debbie Gallagher when Katya was around. Since both were raised by older siblings, wanted to grow up faster and earn their independence. Oh, and just throwing this idea out there: I’d be over the moon excited if Katya got her own point of view in a later sequel.
  • One last positive was that Amour Amour included LGBTQIA+ aspects: Thora’s friend, John Ruiz, gets together with one of the Kotova brothers, Timo. They’re one of the reasons why I want to continue on with the sequel.

“Don’t stare into his eyes!” John shouts to me. “Little parts of you will die inside!”
He almost lifts my spirits.
A smile stretches Timo’s beautiful features. “So you’re admitting to feeling something from me, John?!”
John glares. “Death. I feel death!”
Timo whistles, but I can’t hear the sound from the pop song. “That’s a strong feeling.”

And it’s also why I loved this tweet:

  • But quickly circling back to the main Kotova brother: Nikolai. I mentioned before how I was a goner for him… but that was before he fully showed his overly protective, possessive and controlling side. It just left me with a sour taste in my mouth. Like, I physically cringe when I think back on his behavior. tumblr_ojzpbbp6wl1vs3hvqo3_400
  • And since I’m on a roll about the negatives, Amour Amour was also so damn unnecessary looooong. As a result, my thoughts kept shifting when I wasn’t captivated by what was happening. Which ended up occurring quite often when the Kotova siblings weren’t in the picture.
  • I started skimming around towards the last 100 or so pages. I just didn’t see what it had going on other than Nikolai’s obsession with Thora. So I ended up high-key despising that convenient ending for those two to be together.

For now, I’m hesitant on whether I should move on to Luka’s story in Infini, since I’m interested to see what surprises that one will hold (hopefully less of Nik and Thora). But I still can’t ignore how utterly disappointed I am with this book, especially after loving it so damn much for the first half… I guess only time will tell.

3/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Amour Amour, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!