Friday, May 12, 2017

Heartfelt Coming of Age Novel: That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim

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Heartfelt Coming of Age Novel: That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim
That Thing We Call a Heart
Sheba Karim
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: May 9th, 2017
by HarperTeen

GoodreadsPurchase
This young adult novel by Sheba Karim, author of Skunk Girl, is a funny and affecting coming-of-age story for fans of Jenny Han, Megan McCafferty, and Sara Farizan.

Shabnam Qureshi is facing a summer of loneliness and boredom until she meets Jamie, who scores her a job at his aunt’s pie shack. Shabnam quickly finds herself in love, while her former best friend, Farah, who Shabnam has begun to reconnect with, finds Jamie worrying.

In her quest to figure out who she really is and what she really wants, Shabnam looks for help in an unexpected place—her family, and her father’s beloved Urdu poetry.

That Thing We Call a Heart is a funny and fresh story about the importance of love—in all its forms.
-A copy was provided by HarperTeen for review-

Sometimes there are books you read and you love and then sometimes there are books you read and FUCKING LOVE. As you might be able to gather given my subtle opening line, That Thing We Call a Heart falls into the latter category for me.

I honestly don’t even know how to express all the love I feel for the book into this review because I doubt that is even possible. Perhaps I might use this gif:

Or I could use words but as I told my prof the other day when he suggested I do a creative writing project, I am not a writer so if this review is completely incoherent, know that I honestly tried.

That Thing We Call a Heart is a book that needs to be in the hands of every teen. It is an amazing coming of age novel that places us in the life of Shabnam, the daughter of two Pakistani immigrants. This novel explores both religion and culture and the complicated relationship first gen children might have to these things. Shabnam doesn’t necessarily identify as muslim and isn’t sure how to react when her friend Farah starts wearing a hijab. There relationship becomes incredibly complicated and over the course of the summer, Shabnam needs to find a way to fix her friendship with her best friend and to better understand Islam and her cultural heritage.

I think part of the charm of this book is that Shabnam is a complicated human who has clearly internalized some terrible shit she needs to access. She is far from perfect but there is always a learning curve with growing up as you realize that sometimes, you’re just dead wrong. Even if you think you know all the things you could possibly know (spoiler alert, you don’t.)

But anyway, my point is that Shabnam is a complicated, self centered teen with complex relationships we get to see unfold over the course of the book. She has a fling with a cute-ish boy. Re-connects with her parents and sees them as more than just mom and dad. She gets to know her friend Farah in a way she hasn’t before and everything is great. Kind of anyway because nothing is ever perfect.

My fav thing about this book is though that it talks about the India/Pakistan partition which is SO IMPORTANT to me and honestly I had so many feels. No one really talks about such an important part of history (and one my family was impacted by!!!!) so it was really great to see it come up in YA but also not told by a white person (I know at least one YA partition book exists but it was written by a white author so I wasn’t entirely sure I would feel safe reading it.)

And if none of this has you riled up for this book, there is always the food porn that might appeal to you. Everyone loves food porn right????? I hope so.

SO. PLEASE JUST BUY AND READ AND LOVE THIS BOOK. It is 110% worthy of your attention and honestly needs so much more hype. Also, The Thing We Call a Heart is a total summer read and it ~is~ summer *wink wink**nudge nudge*

 

5 Stars
5 Hot Espressos

An Adventurous Middle Grade Novel: The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi

An Adventurous Middle Grade Novel: The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi

Posted by on 05/10/2017 • 1 Comment

5 Things You Need To Know About The Gauntlet

1. It is a great book for kids who love games and kids who love RP games. Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you were made a character in your fav game? WELL THIS BOOK ANSWERS all those questions and more.

2. Friendships are a huge deal in this book. Farah and her friends grew apart when she moved and as they are forced into The Gauntlet, they reconnect and work together to rescue Farah’s brothers. Lots of cutes to go around.

3. It is fast paced. While I do enjoy a fast paced book, I did feel like it was a little rushed in terms of development and transitions from challenge to challenge.

4. FOOD PORN. Lots and lots of…

Blog Tour: Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld

Blog Tour: Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld

Posted by on 05/09/2017 • 1 Comment

This was a creepy, weird book, interesting graphic novel.  I don’t tend to read a lot of them, but I do enjoy them on occasion. This one has beautiful artwork and a pretty crazy storyline. I thought that the illustrations really brought the story to life and added a creepy factor to it.  The characters were great too and though we don’t learn too much about them yet, it really makes the anticipation for a sequel almost unbearable.

Addie is the main character. She takes care of her little sister now that her parents are dead. Thanks to The Spill. No one is allowed in the Spill Zone, but Addie sneaks in and takes gorgeous, haunting, and chilling photos of it. It’s super dangerous, but that is the only way…

Fresh Batch (May 7th – 13th)

Fresh Batch (May 7th – 13th)

Posted by on 05/06/2017 • 0 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

Ramona Blue Julie Murphy Publication date: May 9th 2017by Balzer + Bray

Goodreads Purchase

Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever.

Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with…

Diverse Books out April 2017

Diverse Books out April 2017

Posted by on 05/04/2017 • 0 Comments

Hello and welcome to the April round up of Diverse Releases! As you may know, Nick from Nick & Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist and I do round ups of all the diverse books out that month at the end of it. If we missed an important release, please let us know and if we include something that has problematic rep, please let us know as well! We want this round up to be as accurate as possible while also adding books to people’s TBRs that might have otherwise slipped under the radar!

1. Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Release Date: April 4th

Goodreads | Buy

Bi-racial MC     2. Get it Together, Deliah by Erin Gough  

Release Date: April 4th

Goodreads | Buy

Lesbian MC

  3. Alex, Approximately by Jenn…

Needs More Diversity: Queer, There and Everywhere by Sarah Prager

Needs More Diversity: Queer, There and Everywhere by Sarah Prager

Posted by on 05/02/2017 • 0 Comments

I feel like somewhat of a black sheep because I didn’t absolutely love this book but *insert shrug emoji*. I love that we get to learn about so many amazing individuals, I love the detail each section goes into and how easy it is to read and yet, when I look back at the people who are represented in this book, it seems like there isn’t as much rep as their could be. Queer, There and Everywhere is essentially trying to present readers with the stories of amazing queer people across time and remind people that queer people have always been here. For a book trying to achieve that though, it primarily draws on queer people from the western world and those closely tied with the historical movements in the western world….

Recap: To C2E2 and Beyond

Recap: To C2E2 and Beyond

Posted by on 05/01/2017 • 0 Comments

If you live in the Chicago area you’ve probably heard of C2E2 but for those of you that haven’t. C2E2 or Chicago Entertainment and Comic Expo happened April 21st-23rd and was basically a weekend of geeking out over comics, TV shows, books, etc. Also known as the event where you want to be if you were in the area-ish. Two weeks before C2E2 was set to happen, I had no idea I would be attending, never mind getting to meet a blogger friend. As a scrounged to make plans, I got more and more excited. This would be my first time attending the expo and I had only heard good things.

C2E2 is primarily a comic and entertainment expo but even for a major book nerd like me, there were so…

Fresh Batch (April 30th – May 6th)

Fresh Batch (April 30th – May 6th)

Posted by on 04/29/2017 • 0 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

Girl Out of Water Laura Silverman Publication date: May 2nd 2017by Sourcebooks Fire

Goodreads Purchase

Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise…