Posts By: Rashika

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Matriarchal Society Gone Corrupt: Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera

Posted by 1 Comment

Matriarchal Society Gone Corrupt: Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera
Dealing in Dreams
Lilliam Rivera
Genre: Dystopia, YA
Publication date: March 5th, 2019
by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

GoodreadsPurchase
At night, Las Mal Criadas own these streets.

Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. That roles brings with it violent throw downs and access to the hottest boydega clubs, but the sixteen-year-old grows weary of the life. Her dream is to get off the streets and make a home in the exclusive Mega Towers, in which only a chosen few get to live. To make it to the Mega towers, Nalah must prove her loyalty to the city's benevolent founder and cross the border in a search for a mysterious gang the Ashé Ryders. Led by a reluctant guide, Nalah battles other crews and her own doubts, but the closer she gets to her goal, the more she loses sight of everything—and everyone— she cares about.

Nalah must do the unspeakable to get what she wants—a place to call home. But is a home just where you live? Or who you choose to protect? 
-A copy was provided by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for review-

I honestly didn’t know that Lilliam Rivera had a new book coming out until earlier this year which just shows you where publishing’s priorities are in terms of marketing. In my eagerness to read anything Rivera writes, I actually forgot to read the summary and it wasn’t until a while later that I realized Dealing in Dreams was a proper dystopian novel. If you read my review for We Set the Dark on Fire, you will know I don’t do dystopia anymore but given that I’ve technically now read two dystopian novels for the first time in literal years, I THINK IT’S SAFE TO SAY I am doing dystopia again. BUT, to be clear, I am only doing dystopia written by POC.

Dealing in Dreams starts off super slow. I actually read 11% first and put the book down. I considered DNFing because it just wasn’t grabbing at me but my friend Shannon told me she had the same problem at first so I decided to push through instead of DNFing. I am so glad I did because otherwise, I would have missed being immersed in the vibrant, matriarchal world of Mega City.

First things first, even though Dealing in Dreams was much harder for me to get into than Rivera’s debut The Education of Margot Sanchez, I can still see how far she has come since writing Margot Sanchez. I love how complex many of the characters are, I love how how imperfect Nalah is and I really just love this world.

Dealing in Dreams is set in a matriarchal society gone corrupt, and not everyone is quite aware of how deep that corruption runs (including Nalah.) I genuinely loved this take, especially when it was later contrasted with another matriarchal society. I also adored the time and care Rivera puts into slowly unfolding all the systematic discrimination in this society. Not only did it provide a great lens with which we could look at our own society, but it felt a lot more realistic as Nalah slowly came to realize how much the system works against them.

Backtracking a bit, while Nalah’s crew is super complex, I found that some other major secondary characters weren’t? For example, Déesse, the villain, seems pretty flat. We don’t really know her motivation or what forced her to deviate off the track set by the other founders of Mega City. 

Overall though, this book is both a remarkable adventure and a compelling dystopian novel. You’re sure to fall in love (or at least in like) with Nalah’s badass crew and sure to be taken in by the brewing revolution. If you’re a fan of dystopian novels or ready to give one a chance, Dealing in Dreams is not a book to be missed.

3.5 Stars
3.5 Hot Espressos

Three Pride & Prejudice Retellings You Cannot Miss in 2019

Three Pride & Prejudice Retellings You Cannot Miss in 2019

Posted by on 03/18/2019 • 6 Comments

1. Unmarriageable by Sonia Kamal

Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan.

2. Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

Gender-flipped P&P retelling that follows an Indian-American family descended from royalty. Set in San Francisco. 

3. Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

P&P set in Toronto! Follows the adventures of a large, boisterous Muslim family.

Bonus Emma Retelling: Polite Society by Mahesh Rao

Emma, with a touch of Crazy Rich Asians, set in Delhi. 

Content Warnings: the What and the Why

Content Warnings: the What and the Why

Posted by on 03/13/2019 • 1 Comment

After getting into an argument on Twitter, I came to the realization that the purpose and definition of content warnings isn’t as widely known as I previously thought. I’ve always felt that content warnings are necessary and to have them be perceived as shameful was incredibly frustrating. I decided to channel my frustration into a (hopefully) helpful post that breaks down what they are, what they do and why they are so incredibly important. 

What Are Content Warnings

As the term implies, they are warnings that precede content. To be more specific, content that might be sensitive. These kind of warnings can be found on all sorts of media – tv shows, movies, games, books, etc. Keep in mind that a content warning isn’t necessarily the same as a…

Entertaining but not Memorable: Field Notes in Love by Jennifer E. Smith

Entertaining but not Memorable: Field Notes in Love by Jennifer E. Smith

Posted by on 03/12/2019 • 1 Comment

Field Notes on Love is exactly what you would expect. It’s cute. It’s fluffy. It’s a quick read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is the kind of book you seek out on a cold, winter day when you need some good vibes and miss the summer sun.

Hugo just broke up with his long-time girlfriend and is stuck with a non-transferable trip to the US of A. He needs to find someone with the exact same name as his ex so he can go on a trip of a lifetime and get away from his big, bustling family for the first time. So he does what anyone would do, he puts an ad on the internet. YAY.

Mae is an aspiring filmmaker. Unfortunately she didn’t get into the…

Breathes Life Into a Genre I Thought I Was Done With: We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Breathes Life Into a Genre I Thought I Was Done With: We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Posted by on 02/28/2019 • 0 Comments

Currently, I am staring at a blank document trying to figure out how words work because I am not entirely sure how to even begin to describe We Set the Dark on Fire? When I first started hearing about the book, I thought it was a fantasy but then my friend, Shannon said it was more dystopia so I really didn’t know what genre I was diving into. I did go in expecting some badass girls and I GOT SOME BADASS GIRLS.

Upon finishing, I think I can say that while this book isn’t like a futuristic sci-fic novel, labelling it dystopia is not wholly inaccurate. WHICH, if you like me stopped reading dystopia half a decade ago because it was all bland, I promise We Set the Dark…

Another Worthy Addition to the Series: Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong

Another Worthy Addition to the Series: Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong

Posted by on 02/26/2019 • 0 Comments

I have been reading Kelley Armstrong’s books for over half a decade now so it’s safe to say I am a fan. From her YA to her adult, she never fails to deliver a series of characters I find myself immediately invested in and plots I am eager to watch unfold. Watcher in the Woods is the fourth book in a series and usually, by the fourth book of a series, my interest starts to wane but a fourth book in the hands of Kelley Armstrong??? Watcher in the Woods proves that it can be a very powerful thing.

If you haven’t read this series and are a fan of well-written mystery novels that don’t involve annoying dude detectives, you should probably get on it. If you’re already a…

Just Finished Watching: Manifest

Just Finished Watching: Manifest

Posted by on 02/21/2019 • 0 Comments

I haven’t done this in AGES but I just finished season 1 of Manifest which I reallly felt the need to talk about so here we areeeee. I am sure you were as fascinated by the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 as I was so when I found out this show was about a plane disappearing and the people returning 5 years later not having aged a day, I WAS CURIOUS. CURIOUS indeed. Also curious about how I could make that run on sentence not a run on sentence but thats for another day.

My friend Nick watched the pilot but was unimpressed so I decided to not dive in right away. I was bored one day late in October though and suddenly found myself in the midst…

Read It So You Can Read the Sequel: Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway

Read It So You Can Read the Sequel: Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway

Posted by on 02/13/2019 • 2 Comments

I think it was the comp to The Winner’s Curse that drew me to Dark of the West (which is funny because I still haven’t read that series) but I dove into this book with not many expectations. The only one I remember having was that Dark of the West was a fantasy but it became abundantly clear very early on that it was not. The main reason I bring this up is because it very much felt like false advertising. There are no fantastical elements to this book. In fact, calling it a historical novel would be way more accurate since it seems to draw inspiration from the World Wars of the early 20th century. A lot of the technology we have exists in this world too: planes,…