Quick Picks [1]

I need to catch up on some reviews so here are a few quick picks!

Quick Picks [1]I Am Alfonso Jones
by Tony Medina
Illustrated by John Jennings, Stacey Robinson
Published 2017 by Tu Books
168 pages. Paperback
Source: Library
Genres: Comics, Graphic Novels, Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult

Must Read!

Since I read this months ago and just recently got a finished copy to skim through again, I decided to write a quick pick for this one. 

Alfonso Jones is out with his girlfriend when he’s shot and killed by a police officer. He finds himself in an alternate version of the subway system among other people who were killed by police violence. From this limbo, Alfonso witnesses the grief and anger surrounding his death.

This graphic novel hits hard, maybe even harder than The Hate U Give, because the violence and anger are plain on the page through the art. It’s heartbreaking and so beautifully done. It’s such a heavy read that I had to read it in several sittings chapter by chapter instead of in one sitting. This book not only confronts the sad problems with policing, they take the time to look at the cop who shot Alfonso. They way the creators deal with the complexities of this issue is spot on. The art is amazing. I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s required reading.

Quick Picks [1]Let's Talk About Love
by Claire Kann
Published 2018 by Swoon Reads
304 pages. DRC
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2018 New Release Challenge

Recommended

After a pretty awful breakup with her girlfriend, Alice decides to take a break from relationships and crushes. They’re just too exhausting because no one ever understands her asexuality. She just wants to focus on work, her best friends and roommates, and figuring out how to tell her parents she doesn’t want to go to law school. Then, she meets Takumi and her whole plan falls to pieces. He’s pretty much perfect, but will he stay that way when he learns that Alice is asexual?

Let’s start by acknowledging how important this book is. It definitely gets a spot on my best list for the year, even though it’s not a favorite. I love the way the author addresses the microaggressions Alice has to deal with as a black girl and how difficult (but not impossible) navigating relationships can be when you’re asexual. I had some major misconceptions about asexuality going in, so I ended up learning a lot from it. I kept stopping to google things and ending up getting a book from the library on asexuality so I’ll be a little more educated. I had some quibbles with the writing; it occasionally felt a little all over the place. Overall, it was a positive experience and a cute read. It left me with a smile on my face and I’m glad to see more ace rep and some intersectionality.

Quick Picks [1]Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Published 2017 by Knopf Publishing Group
63 pages. eBook
Source: Library
Genres: Nonfiction, Social Sciences
Reading Challenges: 2018 Library Love Challenge

Must Read!

When Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie recevied a letter from her friend, Ijeawele, asking for advice on raising a feminist daughter, she wasn’t sure where to begin. This is a version of the letter she sent to her friend, containing fifteen suggestions for breaking the cycles of how we instill gender roles in children.

I did so much highlighting in this book! I need a copy for myself that I can write in and go back to again and again. Like her lecture, We Should All Be Feminists, Adichie explains the basics of feminist theory so plainly and perfectly. She really explores how we teach sexism to our children daily when they are only toddlers. She also explores how we let men get away with not being full parents to their children. It’s certainly a great book for anyone who is having children or just had children, but it’s so much more than advice for parents. There were things I came across that I need work on with myself. It helped me confront the ways in which I’m perpetuating the problems with gender roles and casual sexism in my own life. It made me hold myself accountable for the small ways that I allow myself to sink into the gender barriers that were introduced to me when I was a child. I think that’s what makes it so powerful. I could read it all over again next year and find even more ways that I can be better and do better. While there’s no one way to be a feminist–no set guidelines to follow–I think Adichie’s suggestions are a great starting point for anyone beginning to explore feminism.

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