DA Readathon TBR

HAPPY NEW YEAR! (Okay, in 15 minutes, it’ll be a new year)

In an effort to turn this blog into more of a book blog, I am trying to participate in readathons. One of the neatest ones I have heard of is the Dumbledore’s Army Readathon. Unlike all the cool kids, I am keeping this a bit relaxed, and reading at my own pace.

Obviously, I am a Slytherin. Also obviously, you should follow me on Goodreads to see my reactions as I read these books. Another obvious thing is that I cheated and included two books that I am currently reading. Whatever. I just want to read more and to write more. Here we go.

Expecto Patronum:

The Sun is Also a Star–Nicola Yoon

 

Expelliarmus–A book about a marginalized group

Girl of Fire and Thorns–Rae Carson

Curvy girls of color, people like me, are not really in books often. For someone like me to be a hero of a story would mean the world to me. So, I can’t wait to read this one!

 

Impedmimenta–Diverse book that’s been on TBR the longest

Demon’s Covenant–Sarah Rees Brennan

 

Protego–OWN voices

You Know Me Well–Nina LaCour and David Levithan

Reducto–Smashing Glass Ceiling

Dream Thieves–Maggie Stievfater

Stupefy–Hyped book

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe–Benjamin Alire Saenz

 

Lumos–book recommended by bloggers 

Cinder– Marissa Meyer  

Hello! My past week was awful in terms of reading, so I am hoping to
  Welcome to mid-August of 2017! So, this week marks the beginning of the Reading
Hello! I have been seeing a rumble of Reading Quest sign ups on Twitter. Because

BR: The Art of Being Normal

I found this bright and colorful The Art of Being Normal  by Lisa Williamson at the library. Unsure of its contents, I picked it up. The Art of Being Normal is an exploration of gender and its relation to gender norms.

Gender

Throughout the story, David struggles find a place for his true identity Kate. He explores his place as a woman in his school and, to a larger extent, the world. One of the struggles he faces is to share his experience with parents and family.

His frustration with his body was particularly haunting. I was sad to see him measure his body in mortification as to what it would mean for him as a girl. Check-ins portrayed a true struggle with body dysphoria. Pubic hair too coarse, feet too big, the fear of stubble, it all was overwhelming.

Even more difficult to read was Livvy’s development as a girl and the pain it caused Kate as she was trying to break out of David’s body.

 

Identity

Kate, and the joy she feels as herself, communicated a lot about identity and transgender individuals. It is truly about being in the wrong body. Mis-marked, I suppose, and the dissonance a person feels as they struggle to find their place in a rather unforgiving world.

The make-up tutorials, the dancing with Essie, the way Kate dresses herself for the first time, it all was so moving to read about. It was like watching someone finding their own self after years of hiding it. Beautiful and unsure of their footing.

 

 

Community

The ball at the end meant a lot. Finding community means a lot to both Kate and Leo, a place where it is safe to be one’s self. Kate’s family learning about her existence in David helped establish a safe zone, too. One of the most beautiful moments was when Kate gets her makeup done by her mom. Or, that moment when she was dancing with Essie at the ball. Even talking to Leo as an ally meant a lot for me to see in a story. While I didn’t know much about Lady Gaga’s connection with transgender folk, I have come to realize that her work is very influential and supportive for some LGBTQ+ peeps.

Bullying

It hurts that there was a lot of bullying in the story. From being called “Freak show,” to the physical scaring tactics, it was terrifying to see how unfair the punishments were. I wish school officials were better trained and more aware of these struggles students experience.

Overall:

The book was a sad and hopeful story of trans-teens and their experiences in finding their identity and establishing safe-zone for themselves. I definitely know a little better about how to support my trans-family, where they may be. As someone who is aro ace, I want to support my LGBTQ+ peeps however I can. I’m happy that I found this book in the library. I hope more stories exist to support all the LGBTQ+ youth, and all their allies understand more of how they can be supportive.

 

I have practically devoured The Falconer by Elizabeth May. Here's a book review, let's quit stalling. If
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I finished The Selection by Keira Cass earlier this past week. There are some thoughts I'd like

BT: Harry Potter Book Tag

In an effort to make my blog more accurately a reflection of who I am, I am going to try to write more about my books. One could even venture to say, maybe this blog could become more of a book blog. Maybe.If you don’t know this about me, I wrote my graduate thesis was all about Harry Potter. Naturally, it’s time to do a tag!

The Harry Potter Book Tag

I stole this from Inge over at Of Wonderland, which I’ll link here. 

What is your favorite book?

It’s a tie. Order of the Phoenix, where Harry was raging, made me laugh a lot, because, I, too, have rage issues. But, the first HP book I ever got was Goblet of Fire after watching/obsessing over the first movie. Therefore, this has to be my favorite. Incidentally, when I got this book as a gift, I didn’t know that Harry Potter was a series. I thought there was only one book. (Ah, to be young).

What is your favorite film?

Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite. It’s the first movie I have ever seen on my own with my friends, and I love the aesthetic of it. 

What is your least favorite book?

Chamber of Secrets, because we could have learned more about Draco and we didn’t. Or was it Dean? I remember a portion of the book revolving around one of these two characters and then that section being taken out to focus on Ginny/Harry/Tom.

What is your least favorite film?

Chamber of Secrets. Oh, I cringe at the awkward puberty of the cast. Ugh.

Parts of the books/films that made you cry.

Remus’ death was hard on me. I feel a close connection to him more than anyone in that group. Snape’s death, too, was difficult to handle. I cried whenever Ron broke the hearts of everyone in the golden trio. Dumbledore was the loving grandfather I never had, and, therefore, his death was so, so painful to read.

 If you could hook up with any character, who would it be?

I am asexual and aromantic. More importantly, I read fan fiction for too long, so rather than them hooking up with me, I would like to share some ships.

Draco/Harry (“What is Draco doing in the Room of Requirement?” Harry, you stalker, stop it), Draco/Hermione, Seamus/Dean, Oliver Wood/ Percy Weasley, Luna/Neville, Ron/Hermione, shush, but Sirius/Remus was fun. I still don’t like movie Ginny that much, but Luna/Ginny would be really cute.

Guys, remember when we didn’t know if Blaise Zabini was a girl or boy? Ah, those were the days.

Who is your favorite character?

Luna Lovegood and Hermione Granger are up there. My heart is full of love for Ron Weasley and Draco Malfoy, too. Remus.

Who is your least favorite character?

This is hard, because I love them all. I used to hate Ginny Weasley with the fires of INFINITE SUNS!!! It took me a while to come around. I adore Bonnie Wright now. Truly. She’s adorable.

What is your least favorite line?

Anything with Sirius confusing Harry with James.

What would your Patronus be?

Apparently, my patronus is a buffalo, which would have been profound had I known what that meant.

If you could have the resurrection stone, the elder wand, or the invisibility cloak, which would it be?

To be quite honest, I would be too paranoid had I had any of the Deathly Hallows, so I pass on all of them, sincerely. I am serious.

Which House would you be in?

Slytherin. I was mistakenly sorted in Hufflepuff before, which is just wrong. Always a Slytherin.

If you could meet any member of the cast, who would it be?

Emma Watson and Dan Radcliffe. I love their movies in general, and I find them intellectually fascinating. Evanna Lynch is the best, and I would like to talk animal rights and veganism with her! She is probably the most fascinating person to me of that cast.

If you were on the Quidditch team, which position would you play?

I’m a coward and can’t do heights. I’d be home in the dorms if there were matches to attend.

Were you happy with the ending?

Which one? The canon one was good. However, Cursed Child is not read, and I am never reading it ever. I felt like Draco, Dean, Seamus, Neville, Luna, all deserved better endings. Let’s not even talk about all these claims by Rowling were made afterwards. The demise of Hermione and Ron’s marriage is a devastating idea to fathom. Part of their charm is that they were so different. Just because two very different people are married, it doesn’t mean they need counseling. Huffing right now, because this fills me with so much rage.

 How much does Harry Potter mean to me?

As a bi-cultural person, I came to see Harry Potter as a place empowering those who are like me. Harry and Tom were also bi-cultural: Gryffindor/Slytherin and half-bloods raised in unforgiving circumstances. I can relate to that, a lot. This is what I wrote my thesis on. Harry Potter brought on some firsts for me. Good memories, despite awful circumstances at home. Just like Harry and Tom. We have legacies to fulfill.

  I saw this lovely tag on Of Wonderland, so I thought I'd share it
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So, I was watching my sweet friend Ely's channel when she discussed this tag. It