Library Checkout Reviews: The Poet X & Forest of Thousand Lanterns

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The Poet X

by Elizabeth Acevedo

+almost cried a lot~ raw, tough moments

+sexual curvy brown teen girl

+ faith~ shows the negative side of  what certain religions have done (sexism) especially for black and brown girls (who are both seen as inherently more sexual from the jump than girls of other races)

+so many good poems

+narrator (Elizabeth Acevedo) brought story to life

+toxic masculinity but also still disappointment of not being protected

 

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Forest of A Thousand Lanterns

by Julie C. Dao

(finally finished since this was my first finished book of 2018)

+Feminism commentary (beauty=power/value, ownership people have over girls)

+Xifeng~ is dimensional (good & bad)

+Mythology~the fantasy prevalent which is always a plus for me (if you are fantasy I want to see it), the fantasy felt well thought out (again, with the always but always looking for worlds that feel full and interesting to explore)

-I don’t feel that it was emphasized by people pushing the novel that it was court intrigue so I was annoyed by that when I read it (I don’t know if it is that big of a deal now)

It felt at times like court intrigue without intrigue and foe who is worthy to step toe to toe with main character

-There was some obviousness that I caught onto even though I missed most of the Snow White references

 

(images are from goodreads)

 

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273: Miles Morales: Spider-Man

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Synopsis

“Everyone gets mad at hustlers, especially if you’re on the victim side of the hustle. And Miles knew hustling was in his veins.”

Miles Morales is just your average teenager. Dinner every Sunday with his parents, chilling out playing old-school video games with his best friend, Ganke, crushing on brainy, beautiful poet Alicia. He’s even got a scholarship spot at the prestigious Brooklyn Visions Academy. Oh yeah, and he’s Spider Man.

But lately, Miles’s spidey-sense has been on the fritz. When a misunderstanding leads to his suspension from school, Miles begins to question his abilities. After all, his dad and uncle were Brooklyn jack-boys with criminal records. Maybe kids like Miles aren’t meant to be superheroes. Maybe Miles should take his dad’s advice and focus on saving himself.

As Miles tries to get his school life back on track, he can’t shake the vivid nightmares that continue to haunt him. Nor can he avoid the relentless buzz of his spidey-sense every day in history class, amidst his teacher’s lectures on the historical “benefits” of slavery and the modern-day prison system. But after his scholarship is threatened, Miles uncovers a chilling plot, one that puts his friends, his neighborhood, and himself at risk.

It’s time for Miles to suit up.

The Good

🕷️Narration: consumed most of it on audiobook,  the narrator (Guy Lockard) does well with doing young black dude voices

🕷️Not an origin story (as someone who knows Miles Morales this was interesting although I wouldn’t have cared if it was an origin story)

🕷️Add dimensions to the story that some of the comics does not have (because they are written by white men)

🕷️Similar to comic

🕷️Black girl love interest

The Bad

🕷️Loses some of the comics fun

🕷️Lessons/morals (is it too literal?) with villain and stuff

🕷️Did not care for Spider-man parts

The Meh

🕷️More contemporary than sff (which made me angry for a little while)

Questions🕸️

How are hardcore/people who read Miles Morales comics going to feel about it? Who is this for?

Not origin story but doesn’t have the action adventure/Miles Morales-isms I was expecting as a comic reader. Nonetheless, the further I got into it the more I enjoyed it. You have to expect a realistic contemporary with Miles Morales with a pinch of Spider-man.

(Synopsis and  cover are from goodreads)

Blacklist Introduction

This will be a black young adult, middle grade and maybe adult older books theme/review thing.

Why I’m starting this:

  • There is not enough talk/reading of black backlist young adult or middle grade novels

A lot of problems come from this lack:

  1. Amnesia of black content- content comes out and people forget about it because there are not 99 people talking about it every five minutes
  2. Idea of only/first- noticing a lot of books coming out last year and this year being seen as the only or first of their kind. It is messy because most of the time they are not the first ever or even that year.
  3. You shouldn’t critique and should be thankful- because x book is the only/first black novel within a certain genre/category.
  4. It dismisses – pioneers like Walter Dean Myers and Sharon M. Draper but also erases so many other authors like Tracy West
  5. Randomly finding so many black pre-weneeddiversebooks ya that I’ve never heard of in my life.

Criteria:

There is not a lot to my criteria it just has to be pre-2017 particularly published in 80s/90s or early 2000 and be written by a black person.

Black History of Ya

Going to end this post with a link to the black young adult novel I read last year: Reprintable: Promises

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(all images from goodreads)

All American Ep 1 Thoughts

Since I am taking  a break from reading I decided to start watching tv which lead me to this show. I basically decided to start watching it because it is set around a high school and has black main characters (could go on a rant about lack of black teen shows)(Also added some book recommendations)

Onto the episode:

Band and dance team are realistic in terms of outfits, music, and dances.

I don’t know how I’m going to feel about the football-ness of this show (one of my main worries in getting into this show)

I like that Spencer and Coop (or Frida Gatz from Empire) is in here. She is dark skin she looks like a teen so she could play a teen in other things but I think they have an idea of what she can/can’t play (which is the case for a lot of actors particularly black ones)

Main Character, Spencer, gives off that black guy who is around a bunch of whites vibes (random thought)

Spence little brother mentioned Saga (cursed in front of his mom I’m like she could be okay with it or isn’t paying attention to him. I don’t know some parents are okay with kids cursing in front of them I don’t know)

It  sucks that there is this idea of getting out  and all good opportunities being with whites.

His dad went to coach college ball in Nevada that’s totally not going to be a problem later.

Honestly, I’m just happy to see so many black people in a teen show (dark skins too)

The show so far makes me think of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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-live in hood but goes to predominately white high school

-dealing with reality of those two worlds

 

How does Beverly Hills compare to Spencer old high school?

Why does everyone have computers? Is this college? Even then they don’t expect you to have a computer at school

I know bro didn’t move his computer to block from helping our main character

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Of course love interest is light skint (Olivia)

Two light skint love interests (Olivia) and (Leila Keating)

random: I’m interested in rich black folks in media

Every black at this school light skint, guys and girls

“What is it crips or bloods?”

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He is just mad because the exchange between Leila and Spencer.

Hey dark skin black girl with kinky afro *wave emoji*

Why is he telling her all this (other than liking her)?

Wow, he really read her he is  doing too much.

He does need to simmer down but there is this let’s bring him down a peg vibe. But he wasn’t trying to work with them as a team.

Also, I like that Coop has a black hair style they usually don’t show black people in general having.

Wait, 1st love interest (Olivia) and light skint bro are siblings.

There house is nice.

And by I’m making you mean your Asian maid/chef, okay.

Visuals I’ve noticed: Difference between first time we see Spencer house and the Beverly Hills House. The Beverly Hills House is bright/big while Spence house is small/dark with shadows around the house.

Can you stop making googly eyes at each other this is why bro (Asher) don’t like you.

Oh, son (Jordan) hears dad say team are losers. In his dads defense he may have had to play a role to appease whoever he was talking to. On the other hand if he is doing it just to save his job and not help Spencer that goes back to maybe he is trying to lower Spencer down to do whatever he says.

At this point makes me think of Home and Away by Candice Montgomery (haven’t read yet so I may be off)

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-rich black m.c.

-m.c. plays football

-the m.c. is biracial (I think)

Aww poor Olivia who is post rehab (even though don’t most rich kids do drugs so why they acting weird about it) 75K=90 Days wow they are rich if the house didn’t say it. I think there is more to the story with Olivia. It’s sad that Leila is taking over Spencer space and Olivia will feel like only person giving her attention will throw her away to be with popular girl

This party is a horrible idea! especially with football team trying to get him.

“Boughie babies of Beverly hills” but Leila is still one of them boughies…He is too comfortable with her.

*Shakes head and sighs* It sucks because they are rich thus could not do football and be good while he “needs” this.

So Leila is good unknowing participant or knowing bad inviter?

That’s a big assumption that his bad decisions are because of his dad leaving.

A. he was making As

B. Going to school regularly

C. Only got into a fight to help his friend

What is his mistake?

I’m scared for Coop. She gives good advice work football and all this for you

It sucks for a kid to have to shoulder the responsibility of making better life for their parents

*Comparing the new  football game look to his old school team look*

Asher and  the brother are still going to have animosity towards Spencer because coach favors him

Do you think brother or Asher reported him noting the fact that Jordan mentioned Spencers transfer permit specifically?

So drama is going to come from this move.

Why is no one worried about Olivia ? No one is worried where she is?

I knew Coop did not have it handled. She in a gang now?

Billy Baker is his real dad!?

End of the Episode

Next Week: 99 Problems

277: Brave (Mini-Rant)

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Synopsis

An epic adventure set in the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. Determined to carve her own path in life, a skilled archer named Princess Merida defies a sacred age-old custom–and inadvertently unleashes a beastly curse upon the kingdom. To set things right, Merida embarks on a perilous quest and discovers the meaning of true bravery.

The Bad

So while reading/listening to this I realized that the story makes the dad out to be innocent and that made me so mad…

  • He is not the vocal one but he is the one when poo poo hit fan (telling Merida about betrayal/suitors) he sputters then slides to back so mom can take all heat
  • Merida is actually a bad person/teen- the story reads more you’re ruining my life teen than I remember
  • My feminist tirade is only thing made me finish this book (also audiobook shortness)
  • This did not offer anything new to story

 

(cover image and synopsis from goodreads)

 

275: Barbie: In Fashion

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Synopsis

Barbie is one of the world’s best-loved dolls–with more than 700 million dolls sold since 1959. This tiny treasure includes an introduction by Barbie herself and presents her favorite outfits from 1959 to 1989. A description of each outfit accompanies each of the 300 color photos, as well as the year in which it debuted.

The Good

  • Book is largely art based  so there was fun to be had looking at all the different fashions
  • Barbie Family tree in the back

The Bad

One thing to note not to excuse is that this was published in 1994

When I picked this book up I thought it would be a fun departure from the stream of novelizations that I had been using as my purse books. I thought it was all pictures so there was zero thought to talking about issues surrounding Barbie.

  • essays at the beginning are skippable- they are in the point of view of Barbie but are in that glamour voice like Jackie Collins I guess where they name drop fashion stuff (I don’t know if I am explaining this well but either way skippable). The first essay felt like it trivialized the critiques people had about Barbie such as her hourglass figure. It also said something about how Barbie represents America. Overall, I did not expect or need/want words in this book.
  • Represents Barbie- Took 171 pages to get to the first black barbie and there was zero brown Barbie’s in between it got me thinking about legacy. How are thing ever going to be equal when there is this massive legacy of whiteness? Only in the last couple of years have Barbie started really addressing the issues of body, race, and going beyond the status quo. Even still there is so much more work to be done.

The Meh

  • A lot of the clothes are ugly and/or weird

Random-ish Thoughts

I am still waiting on a Barbie book that deals with Barbies legacy in a nuanced manner that goes beyond white women point of views. I would even love to see men who loved Barbie opinions.

Some of these fashions  need to make a comeback on brown dolls

(image from amazon, ignore how horrible it looks, and synopsis from goodreads)

274: Redemption in Indigo

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Synopsis

 A tale of adventure, magic, and the power of the human spirit. Paama’s husband is a fool and a glutton. Bad enough that he followed her to her parents’ home in the village of Makendha—now he’s disgraced himself by murdering livestock and stealing corn. When Paama leaves him for good, she attracts the attention of the undying ones—the djombi— who present her with a gift: the Chaos Stick, which allows her to manipulate the subtle forces of the world. Unfortunately, a wrathful djombi with indigo skin believes this power should be his and his alone.

A contemporary fairy tale that is inspired in part by a Senegalese folk tale.

The Good

When I first got into Redemption In Indigo I was slightly disappointed because I thought it would be more like Best of All Possible Worlds (Karen Lord second novel that I read first) which is different I want to say that this is more philosophical than that but I don’t know if that is true now. I think Best of All Possible Worlds has more fantastical elements because it explore different planets but Indigo is more like a parable or a fable which is probably not a mistake because it’s based off a Senegalese folk tale.

Cultural elements

Fantastical- its the culture and the mythology (one of my favorite parts is the talking creatures which nobody pays attention to its almost magical realism)

Large world and events for this to be a 188 page novel

The Bad

Questionable fatphobia and colorism

Fatphobia

-There is a character whose flaw is they are fat and always want to eat.

-I cannot tell if it is part of the original story

-Is their gluttony a bigger story about how they consume without any thought to anyone else?

Colorism

-There was a moment when main character told someone they need to cover themselves so not to get darker

– A certain character is seen as imposing because they are dark black

Overall

Probably not giving it enough justice I’ll just say I enjoyed it a lot.

Did It Better In My Opinion:

colorism in African fantasy setting~ Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

 

(cover and synopsis from goodreads)

 

264: Class of Hope and Change

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*received in exchange for my review*

Synopsis

Reclaiming their time. Sharing their lives. Speaking their truth.

Millennials, the young people who entered adulthood during the first 18 years of the 21st century, have come of age during one of the most dramatic periods in modern human history. The rapid changes taking place in their individual lives parallel the rapid changes occurring in technology, culture, economics, and politics in societies around the world.

For the past ten years, millennials have been the driving force behind large and small changes across the full spectrum of life. They have built their own seats, created spaces for themselves at the tables of influence, and claimed their places as equal stakeholders in the ongoing project of human civilization.

They have a lot to say, and we made time to listen.

Class of Hope and Change captures this moment in history through a series of conversations, conducted over the past two years, with over 50 millennials. This book is an intra-generational conversation among young people who bring a variety of life experiences and cultural perspectives to discussions about a wide range of timely and timeless subjects.

This beautiful movement of love, trust, and truth is rooted in the belief that through conversation, we can discover the gems of wisdom which lie beneath the surface of what we typically see and share on social media.

Life in the real world is not always pretty, but we think truth can be communicated in love…and we aspire to do just that.

Pick up your copy of the book, and join us!  

The Good

First and foremost it is something to read the thoughts and opinions of black people always.

The amount and variety of voices (the chapter on technology is one of the best examples of this because when you think the narrative of technology is going to be one-sided someone comes in with a differing/rounded opinion)

Wide variety in topics- it is not just social justice (there are chapters on social media and art)

There is a lot of consciousness so this was not just  uninformed opinions

Reading the opinions of people who are millennials (around my age)- one of my issues I have realized is feeling so much black content (particularly literature) is written for folks older than me. Yes, the older generations works can still say something to me but there is something to reading things that pertain directly to me.

The chapters were short and easy to read- Another gripe (yes, another one) is that sometimes I feel people put on airs when writing nonfiction (and poetry and literary fiction). This book is not formal and stuffy which I think makes it flow really well. Also, the different opinions are usually a chapter to page at most so not long. I personally paired it with watching television (reading during the commercial breaks, it was easy to switch back into the show or movie versus other books where there are not many breaks in the chapter)

Beginning of chapters- throws out truth bombs and manages to capture all these different things that need to be said about the topics in one page

The Meh

Some chapters were tough to read because of the subjects of the chapters.

It would have been interesting to have even more variety in voices. There were points where it felt like people were repeating the same ideas (but I do think it gives a snapshot into the values and ideas we as black people carry. Basically, it possibly shows what was passed on to our generation and what we will pass on to other generations.)

 

Library Checkout Reviews: The Belles

23197837Synopsis

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

The Ugly

Many questions have repeatedly crossed my mind in 2018: Yes, it talks about problem but does it do it well? Does it move past starting a conversation to moving conversations? Does it show complexity? This book does not do a good job showing the fullness or even a bit of the realities/ugliness of beauty.

  • It deals with the conversation of beauty simplistically
  • Too much description. At one point I described it as fluffy, shallow, superficial
  • So many interesting details in background but none in foreground (and so much of these details are wasted)
  • Billions of subplots but not a lot of work on main plot. I mean think if this story actually spent time developing the antagonist and conflicts instead of useless scenes. We do not five scenes of the antagonist doing evil to get it
  • Camellia is so dense like she holds back the story with her naiveté like obvious stuff she does not investigate, she doesn’t know when to read the room or shut her mouth
  • Antagonist is a cartoony villain- they did not feel dimensional
  • Nothing happens for large part of the novel. If I am being honest did the story ever really ever pick up?
  • The love interest and their romance was weak
  • Is this story reinforcing beauty standards? (Then again I have a post coming about my expectations/assumptions when it comes to this book. As sad as it sounds has any story really been challenging or subverting beauty standards in y.a.?)
  • It felt like this novel heavily reinforced negative things without subversion, challenge, or commentary

The Beautiful

  • There is a huge list of interesting parts of this world
  • It did manage to go against my expectations at points (but then fall back into those expectations but this is the positive section)
  • Audiobook elevated this book it is the reason I finished the book

Meh

In a weird way it did make me think about bigger issues

-There are not enough black novels that specifically (fantasy or not) deal with beauty for black girls

-Reinforcing beauty standards. When are we going to start subverting beauty standards? I think it connected all these separate observations in my head about how we talk about beauty in young adult lit (link shows a small few of my observations)

Did It Better In My Opinion:

court intrigue, beauty, fantasy ~ Forest of A Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

plastic surgery, different types of beauty, many of conversations around beauty ~  My ID is Gangnam Beauty (Korean drama)

 

Interpreting Synopses

In this post the author intends to not only interpret what they think these books will be about based only on the synopsis (except for one they fully read) and give their thoughts about  synopses in general.

Part of Your World by Liz Baswell

What if Ariel had never defeated Ursula? Five years after the (twisted) events of the film, Ariel is now the queen of Atlantica, and Ursula is running Eric’s kingdom on land. But when the sea witch threatens Atlantica once more, Ariel finds herself returning to a world (and a prince) she thought she’d left behind forever.

Comments

Ursula is running Eric’s kingdom on land (ugh)- I don’t like this because it sounds like it is going to be boring and if Ariel never defeated Ursula she would be dead. Why is Ursula not running the underwater kingdom? I want Ursula to be the ruler. Okay, so this is going through the viewpoint of if Ursula married Prince Eric. I support that.

Ariel being queen might be interesting.

Caveat- Ursula is probably my favorite villain so I want her to be in the forefront and I feel this will not allow that. I want to see what Ursula ruling the merkingdom would be like but this is not that story.

Home and Away by Candice Montgomery

Tasia Quirk is young, Black, and fabulous. She’s a senior, she’s got great friends, and a supportive and wealthy family. She even plays football as the only girl on her private high school’s team.

But when she catches her mamma trying to stuff a mysterious box in the closet, her identity is suddenly called into question. Now Tasia’s determined to unravel the lies that have overtaken her life. Along the way, she discovers what family and forgiveness really mean, and that her answers don’t come without a fee. An artsy bisexual boy from the Valley could help her find them—but only if she stops fighting who she is, beyond the color of her skin.

Comments

The entire first paragraph I support since there are not enough rich black main characters in young adult. I think there could be a conversation about respectability and privilege. Is there going to be (black) feminist conversation in result of her being the only girl on football team?  She goes to a private school so race is probably going to be a thing.

Bet the mysterious box is her being adopted. bet. “Her answers don’t come without a fee” sounds ominous. Do you think there is a very real reason she was put up for adoption?

The valley so the main character is from Beverly Hills? (researched it nope)  Of course she is into a poorer guy. This is another source for story to talk about privilege. Also, he is bisexual authors do not usually allow men (or anyone for that matter) to be bisexual since most of the time they act like they don’t exist. What is she fighting if she already knows she is black? Is she finding about another racial identity? She is biracial- white and black obviously because the only biracial that exists in media is between white and black. What if her mom or dad cheated and that is the fee she pays?

I don’t like this beyond the color of her skin phrasing it feels very my race doesn’t define me. It gives off a “transcend” blackness vibe blagh.

The Ring & The Crown by Melissa De La Cruz

Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the Lily Throne, and Aelwyn Myrddn, bastard daughter of the Mage of England, grew up together. But who will rule, and who will serve?

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. With the help of her Head Merlin, Emrys, Eleanor has maintained her stranglehold on the world’s only source of magic. She rules the most powerful empire the world has ever seen.

But even with the aid of Emrys’ magic, Eleanor’s extended lifespan is nearing its end. The princess must marry and produce an heir or the Empire will be vulnerable to its greatest enemy, Prussia. The two kingdoms must unite to end the war, and the only solution is a match between Marie and Prince Leopold VII, heir to the Prussian throne. But Marie has always loved Gill, her childhood friend and soldier of the Queen’s Guard.

Together, Marie and Aelwyn, a powerful magician in her own right, come up with a plan. Aelwyn will take on Marie’s face, allowing the princess to escape with Gill and live the quiet life she’s always wanted. And Aelwyn will get what she’s always dreamed of–the chance to rule. But the court intrigue and hunger for power in Lenoran England run deeper than anyone could imagine. In the end, there is only rule that matters in Eleanor’s court: trust no one.

Comments (Pre-read)

Princess Marie-Victoria will serve because she is the heir to the throne.

My impression is that her mom is going to be mean (possibly the villain) because her daughter does not live up to her ambitions. Also, she maintains a stronghold on the only magic in the world so she is fierce, for a lack of better word.

Extended lifespan (aided obviously/assuming  by magic)

Love triangle (ugh) Prince Leopold VII +Marie+ Gill

Gill is of course a soldier and the guy she does not want is royalty (even though this is probably based upon historical events so yeah but still ugh)

The Face Swap- I support it. It sounds like it might be interesting.

(Post-read) More Accurate Synopsis

Magic is power, and power is magic…

Once they were inseparable, just two little girls playing games in a mighty castle. Now Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the mightiest empire in the world, and Aelwyn Myrddyn, a bastard mage, face vastly different futures.

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second. With the help of her Merlin, Eleanor has maintained a stranglehold on the world’s only source of magic. While the enchanters faithfully serve the crown, the sun will never set on the Franco-British Empire.

As the annual London Season begins, the great and noble families across the globe flaunt their wealth and magic at parties, teas, and, of course, the lavish Bal du Drap d’Or, the Ball of the Gold Cloth.

But the talk of the season is Ronan Astor, a social-climbing American with only her dazzling beauty to recommend her. Ronan is determined to make a good match to save her family’s position. But when she falls for a handsome rogue on the voyage over, her lofty plans are imperiled by her desires.

Meanwhile, Isabelle of Orleans, daughter of the displaced French royal family, finds herself cast aside by Leopold, heir to the Prussian crown, in favor of a political marriage to Marie-Victoria. Isabelle arrives in the city bent on reclaiming what is hers. But Marie doesn’t even want Leopold-she has lost her heart to a boy the future queen would never be allowed to marry.

When Marie comes to Aelwyn, desperate to escape a life without love, the girls form a perilous plan that endangers not only the entire kingdom but the fate of the monarchy.

Comments (Post-read)

The first synopsis does not give a picture to what this book is truly really about thus setting people up for disappointment.

How this is better…

1) Takes away “the event” so it can be a surprise

2) Emphasizes the multi-point of view

3) Deemphasizes the magic

4) Shows the complex connections of the characters

Thoughts on Synopsis

~Assumptions- what I assume the story is about vs what the story actually is about

Just doing this commenting on synopsis shows me what assumptions I bring into these novels. What unspoken expectations are put on novels that novels are expected to fulfill? The example that comes to mind is The Belles because I came into it with assumptions

  1. Because the author is a black woman she has to talk about black beauty
  2. Because the story is about beauty it has to be an indictment of beauty standards in our society

The reason I put this squarely on my assumptions is because I don’t think the marketing ever said she is going to talk about  black beauty or challenge beauty standards. A bit to my defense I think when you mention a book is about beauty there is this connotation that the book is going to talk about beauty standards.I could say a lot but I’ll just say not addressing black beauty standards feels like a wasted opportunity. But also I feel bad for putting that expectation on her when there is a larger issue of not addressing the beauty standards that are put on black girls.

Also, what I noticed with the synopses is me filling in the blanks of what I would want or think will happen. Most of those fill ins are based on my knowledge of y.a. genre tropes. Going into a book without knowing a lot about it is a solution a lot of people use to try to navigate these expectations/assumptions. Well is there  a way to really go into a book without connotations since there is still the cover, color of the inside of the book, the title, typography of the title, the author, the publishers, the genre, the category, and not to mention the outside influence of other readers.

~ One of my biggest issues is the way publishing portrays books

They push what they think will sell versus selling it for what it is thus getting that audience disappointed. There are books like The Hate U Give that people/publishing pushed  solely as the black lives matter book. Part of me feels that publishing pushed T.H.U.G that way because they felt black lives matter/police brutality is hot right now so people will buy it up. Having read THUG it is not necessarily that focused on the black lives matter (from my recollection), its focused more on Starrs life. People were disappointed because they wanted it to be an in-depth conversation on black lives matter/police brutality and it’s not.

On the other hand I think in y.a. people like certain things such as epic fantasy. In the case of The Ring & The Crown it does not fit in that box of typical epic fantasy but the synopsis (on my book) sells it that way. Where do books that do not fit into an easy market box go? Will people buy x book if it is not sold a certain type of way?

~I guess in the end can you ever fully encompass what a book is anyway?

Also, there are so many memes about how hard it is to write synopses.

(from loebrick where they talk about difficulties of writing a synopsis)