HOW HAD I NOT READ THIS BOOK? 🖤 To Kill a Mockingbird Readalong Vlog

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First off, many thanks to Tom over at T.J. Reads the Stars for hosting this readalong of To Kill a Mockingbird! 💖

One of my reading goals for 2018 was to read this book—and reading it with new reader friends made the experience even better. 👍🏻

Meet Tom in his readalong announcement video:

Now check out my reading vlog of the readalong! 🖤

Image result for barnes and noble to kill a mockingbirdSYNOPSIS

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep South—and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred.

One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

REVIEW

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads.

To sum up why I loved this book, it comes down to how the characters and plot developed and thickened over the course of the novel. Plus, the book tackles heavy, important themes—racial inequality, gender inequality, poverty—through a young girl’s interactions and understandings of her small, Southern town.

Regarding characters, Scout was such an endearing firecracker. She grew immensely as a human, and by the end of the book, she finally understands her dad Atticus’ instruction and advice about empathizing with other people. Growing up in such a small, problematic, racist, sexist town causes her to confront a lot of upsetting and even dangerous situations, and there were a couple of instances where her reactions to these moments had me in tears. She brought hope. Hope that people can learn, people can empathize, people can use words instead of fists.

The second reason why I loved this book was the plot progression. Though I had an idea of how the book was going to go, I had no idea how all of the plot lines and people were going to wrap up and be significant. But they did. Everything mattered, every character mattered.

I’m so happy and proud of myself for FINALLY reading this classic novel!

FAVORITE QUOTES

🖤 “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”

🖤 “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

🖤 “People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”

🖤 “People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.”

🖤 “It’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.”

🖤 “It’s not time to worry yet.”

Have you read To Kill a Mockingbird? Did you read it in school? What did you like or not like about it? Let me know in the comments!

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BookTube Newbie Tag 2.0 ✨

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It’s the BookTube Newbie Tag 2.0! ✨

I’ve been on BookTube now for about 4 months, and making bookish videos honestly brings me so much joy.

Books, new reader friends, what more could I ask for. 🖤

QUESTIONS

  1. What genres would you like to see talked about more on BookTube?
  2. What do you feel is the best way to make friends on BookTube?
  3. What will/ do you enjoy the most about making BookTube videos?
  4. What do you least look forward to when making BookTube videos?
  5. What videos other than tags, TBR’s, wrap-ups, reviews and recommendations would you want to see more of?
  6. What are some themes you want to see more of or less of in books?
  7. What advice would you give to a BookTuber that has just created their channel?
  8. What are some qualities or traits that you look for when it comes to watching other BookTubers?
  9. What’s a hobby besides reading and writing that people on BookTube might not know you have?

CHECK OUT THESE OTHER BOOKTUBERS DOING THIS TAG!

July 2018 OWLCRATE UNBOXING 👻🔮

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No other theme for an OwlCrate box could do me better than the Strange & Unusual July 2018 box. 👌🏼

I am here for the ghosts and the witches and the fortune tellers. 🖤

My #PimpMyBio for Pitch Wars

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First things first.

I’m Morgan Vega, and thanks for checking out my #PimpMyBio for Pitch Wars 2018!

ABOUT MY BOOK

My young adult contemporary SLEEPING AROUND is about a foster-care escapee searching to belong at college.

Sleeping Around Aesthetics

Eighteen-year-old freshman CORA LI has never belonged—not with her unknown parents in Taiwan or at her past eleven foster homes. But Cora must belong at Borns College. She’s supposed to live in Harmony Hall, make good grades, and sit first chair violinist. She’s not supposed to show up on move-in day without a room, rejected from the music program. So when Residence Life shoves her into a temporary triple after effing up her room assignment, and one of her new roommates throws her out, she struggles to keep hold of her dream to belong. Cora begins sleeping around campus—from air mattresses to drainage tunnels—while waiting for reslife to call with an open room.

College feels like the foster care system Cora’s trying to escape, complete with incompetent adults and bitchy peers. Then her plummeting grades threaten her with academic probation. But despite her friendship fall-outs, messy romances, and lack of a room, Cora refuses to be another foster care statistic.

SLEEPING AROUND IS . . .

Emergency ContactStarfishPitch Perfect + sassy but insecure protagonist + foster care + quirky, small college + coffee shop + autumn + music + violin + unexpected friendships + toxic friendships + first love + wrong crowd + regret + mistakes + overcoming + pumpkin picking + strict professors + understanding foster parents + siblings + found families + diversity + bisexual rep + hope + belonging + independence + trust + identity + personal growth + character development

ABOUT ME

IMG_3948I’m currently a graduate student in the Writing, Rhetoric & Technical Communication program at James Madison University, where I also work full-time in career services. I’ll also be an intern at a publishing house this year!

Some of my favorite books are To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and The Raven Boys, and some of my favorite shows are Stranger ThingsSupergirlPretty Little Liars, and the YouTube series Carmilla.

As a mentee, I’ll bring a dedicated, persistent work ethic. This book is near to my heart—as I went through a similar but less-traumatic experience in college—but I want to make this book the best it can be. Along with beta readers, critique partners, and sensitivity readers, I’ve taken this book as far as I can. I would be thrilled to be chosen as a mentee, and I would give my everything to this process.

Want to know even more? Check out How I Came Up with Sleeping Around and Why I Wrote Sleeping Around.

A Room Away From the Wolves Book Review and Giveaway

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Here it is! Another book’s blog tour!

One of my fave genres is magical realism, so I was thrilled to receive an ARC of A Room Away for the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma. 👌🏼

Bring on the strange and mysterious. 🖤

Also, don’t miss the giveaway details below my review!

a room away from the wolves FFBC

A Room Away From the Wolves
by Nova Ren Suma

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Magical Realism, Mystery

Synopsis

37792722Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother—a bond Bina thought was unbreakable.

Eight years later, after too many lies and with trouble on her heels, Bina finds herself on the side of the road again, the city of her dreams calling for her. She has an old suitcase, a fresh black eye, and a room waiting for her at Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, a vow of confidentiality, and dark, magical secrets. There, Bina is drawn to her enigmatic downstairs neighbor Monet, a girl who is equal parts intriguing and dangerous. As Bina’s lease begins to run out, and nightmare and memory get tangled, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will take for her to leave…

About the Author

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Nova Ren Suma is the author of the YA novels THE WALLS AROUND US as well as the YA novels IMAGINARY GIRLS and 17 & GONE, which were both named 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound by YALSA. Her middle-grade novel, DANI NOIR, was reissued for a YA audience under the title FADE OUT. She has a BA in writing & photography from Antioch College and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and has been awarded fiction fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Millay Colony, and an NEA fellowship for a residency at the Hambidge Center. She worked for years behind the scenes in publishing, at places such as Harper Collins, Penguin, Marvel Comics, and RAW Books, and now she teaches writing work-shops. She is from various small towns across the Hudson Valley and lives and writes in New York City.

Find Nova online at novaren.com and on her blog distraction99.com.

Review

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

So I wanted to love this book, I really did, especially because I’m a fan of magical realism. And because the main character Bina is bisexual. (She doesn’t identify with that particular word anywhere in the novel, but we know she’s attracted to both boys and girls.) I wanted it to be a five-star read.

However, I needed more from this book, specifically more of the mystical and romantic elements. Basically the elements I most wanted to read.

More than anything, I enjoyed the mysterious atmosphere—and mysterious plot points—of this book. Greenwich Village, Catherine House, even Bina’s stepdad’s house in the middle of nowhere surrounded by woods. Each setting had creepy (and some super creepy) details that I was here for.

The atmosphere and setting (and the ghosts) honestly made this book for me. 👻

There were a lot of characters, but I didn’t get to know a single one of them well except for Bina and her mom. Even our sort-of-romantic-but-not-really interest Monet, another girl staying in Catherine House, wasn’t fully developed.

Mysterious, yes. Developed, no. Disappointing, definitely. 😢

But I did appreciate how flawed, seriously flawed, Bina was. She stole, she vandalized, she lied, she got together with her stepsister’s boyfriend, and the list could go on. She wasn’t exactly likeable, sure, but I’m not a fan of too-likeable characters anyway. And, like you’ll see below, there were lots of almost brooding descriptions of Bina’s thoughts that really resonated with me.

Last was the ending. I won’t spoil anything, but geez, it was not all I had hoped it would be. The magical realism elements took a confusing turn, and I didn’t get the on-the-page romance I NEEDED.

All in all, though, it was an okay, solid read that I do recommend. The elements I liked kept this at three stars, and the elements I didn’t kept this from being four stars.

Favorite Quotes

🖤 “One by one, in quick succession, these thoughts struck me: She thinks my mother sent me here on purpose. She thinks I talked to a dead woman on the phone. Get up. Get out of the chair. Walk to the door. Get your suitcase. Go. But my body didn’t move. Only my mouth did.”

🖤 “The way she spoke made the sunny street dark for a moment. I heard the whistle of wind, as if I were back inside that gated garden, down on my knees in the dirt by the grave, where the city didn’t seem to touch.”

🖤 “The girls who lived in this house didn’t really have Monet’s back, not like I did. There was a point at which you threw your lot in with someone. There was a point when you were all in, and there was no scrambling out of it when you got scared, or found morals, or wanted to save your own skin.”

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |Kobo | IndieBound | iBooks

Giveaway

Enter the giveaway to win a free copy of the book!

  • US only
  • August 8 – September 5, 2018

BOOK TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!

My FIRST OwlCrate Unboxing! | June 2018 Summer Lovin 🍍💗

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I’ve watched BookTubers do OwlCrate unboxing videos on their channels for years now, so I was ECSTATIC to open the OwlCrate June 2018 Summer Lovin on mine. ☀️

I love being a BookTube newbie. 🖤

I MET AUTHORTUBER KRISTEN MARTIN 💖 | All About the Indies Vlog

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I went to the indie book expo All About the Indies and omg. I met AuthorTuber Kristen Martin! 😍

Meeting Kristen was everything and more. I’ve been watching her YouTube channel for forever, but I never thought I would actually meet her.

She’s such a kind, positive, uplifting, high vibe human. ✨

Shoutout to my new writer friend and fellow BookTuber Books Are My Hart—and, of course, my partner in life Kelvin Vega.

Now to read her new book, Be Your Own #Goals! 👍🏼

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Enjoy the vlog! 💖