Weekly Update

In case you missed it, here are this week’s blog posts:

Tags this week:

I’ve been reading:

Recently acquired:

  • nothing this week!

1 thing this week:

  • This weekend is going to be great! My boyfriend is visiting and we have so many plans. I’m scheduling this a little bit in advance, but should’ve been at a concert last night and we’ll be at a birthday party this afternoon.

Blog hopping:

  • Alex‘s review of The Mister made me laugh out loud on my lunch break! I almost want to read this one just to see how bad it is.
  • Malanie shared a list of stress-free books, which is just what I needed this week! Dear Aaron is going on my TBR and hopefully I’ll be able to read it really soon!
  • May talked about blog design and shared some really great tips!

Song of the week:

In honor of the Broods concert last night…

How was your week? What’s the best thing you read or listened to? Anything interesting happening in your life? Let’s talk in the comments!

Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

Book review: American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: September 1, 2006
Source: Purchased

All Jin Wang wants is to fit in. When his family moves to a new neighborhood, he suddenly finds that he’s the only Chinese American student at his school. Jocks and bullies pick on him constantly, and he has hardly any friends. Then, to make matters worse, he falls in love with an all-American girl…

Born to rule over all the monkeys in the world, the story of the Monkey King is one of the oldest and greatest Chinese fables. Adored by his subjects, master of the arts of kung-fu, he is the most powerful monkey on earth. But the Monkey King doesn’t want to be a monkey. He wants to be hailed as a god…

Chin-Kee is the ultimate negative Chinese stereotype, and he’s ruining his cousin Danny’s life. Danny’s a popular kid at school, but every year Chin-Kee comes to visit, and every year Danny has to transfer to a new school to escape the shame. This year, though, things quickly go from bad to worse…

These three apparently unrelated tales come together with an unexpected twist, in a modern fable that is hilarious, poignant and action-packed. American Born Chinese is an amazing rise, all the way up to the astonishing climax–and confirms what a growing number of readers already know: Gene Yang is a major talent.

I was looking through my books for something to read for my Killing the TBR challenge this month and realized that I’d bought this graphic novel a few months ago and hadn’t read it yet. I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into with it other than that I’ve seen mostly positive reviews. I generally go into graphic novels expecting to absolutely love them, and this one was no different, especially since my Goodreads friends have given it an average rating of 4 stars.

All in all… the book was okay, but there was just something about it that I didn’t like. I mean, the art was good. I appreciate the message about being comfortable with yourself, not trying to be something you’re not, and not being embarrassed by your heritage. Jin was a nicely complex character with enough flaws to feel realistic while still being likable. All of that was really good.

What wasn’t so good, for me at least, was the execution of the actual plot. The story is told through three seemingly unconnected characters — the Monkey King, Jin, and Danny. The Monkey King wants to be recognized as an all-powerful god. Jin just wants to fit in as one of the very few Asian kids at his school. Danny is trying to make it through high school but his life keeps getting derailed by visits from his weird cousin Chin-kee. I’m going to keep my review as spoiler-free as possible, but I do have to say that the way the stories wove around and connected was a little odd.

I think that I understand what Yang was trying to do here, but the constant, overt stereotypes (especially of Chin-kee) continually pulled me out of the story and made it hard to enjoy the book overall. There were also some things Chin-kee did that just seemed so odd (and one thing that was particularly disgusting) and one scene with Jin and Suzy, his best friend’s girlfriend, that felt really out-of-character.

I’d still recommend this if you’re into graphic novels and looking for something quick to read that touches on important issues, but it was definitely not my favorite.

#killingthetbr: three months on shelf
#ps19: a book inspired by mythology, legend, or folklore

Have you read American Born Chinese? What’s your favorite graphic novel?
Let’s talk in the comments!

Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

Top Ten Tuesday: Last ten books I added to my TBR

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme is last ten books I added to my TBR. I’m just going to talk about the last ten books that I bought for myself, because my TBR is basically just a running list in the back of my mind of things that sound interesting or that have gotten good reviews.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

I had a day of used book shopping a couple weeks ago and found this one in a pile of books near the cash register. It hadn’t even been shelved yet and I was so excited to find it! Little Fires Everywhere was one of my favorites of 2018 and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

Fly on the Wall by E. Lockhart

So, funny story. I’ve wanted to read this book since it came out 13 years ago. I loved E. Lockhart’s books when I was in high school and asked my mom to buy me this for Christmas one year. Well, she bought me a book called Fly on the Wall, but it was not this one. (It was actually erotica. Both of us were mortified.) Anyway, I found this for $1, so I bought it.

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

This was an add-on for January’s Book of the Month box. I’ve seen some really mixed reviews for it, but I’m hoping it’ll be good!

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

And this was my actual January Book of the Month! It seems to be getting really good reviews and I’m hoping to read it soon.

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

To be fair, The Luxe has been on my TBR for years. I recently found it at a used bookstore for $2, though, and added it to my physical collection. Fingers crossed that I’ll actually read it and it won’t just sit on my shelf taunting me forever.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

I feel like I’m the only book blogger alive who hasn’t read this book yet — even just going on my Goodreads, I have 30 friends who’ve reviewed it! I recently found it for $2 at a used bookstore and it’s pretty short, so I’m hoping to read it soon.

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

In a pretty huge coincidence, I recently asked Rae what her favorite graphic novel of 2018 was, and she told me it was this one. A couple days later, I was at a used bookstore and found it for $3! I’m so excited to read this one.

Solitaire by Alice Oseman

I have been meaning to read something by Alice Oseman for years. Her books are consistently praised by the book blogging community and they all sound so good! The problem is that I never find them in any bookstores or at my library. Well, I stepped into the fancy bookstore downtown one morning as I waited for the library to open, and they had one copy of Solitaire marked down like 75% on final sale. I had to buy it.

Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand

In the same shopping trip where I found Solitaire, I also found Some Kind of Happiness. I didn’t love Furyborn and my copy of Sawkill Girls has been sitting on my nightstand for like three months, but I’m determined to love something by this author since I see her almost every weekend at my library. I’m hoping that the things that were a problem for me in Furyborn will be a nonissue in this middle-grade novel.

The Draining Lake by Arnaldur Indridason

One of my favorite classes in college was a Scandinavian literature class I took as an elective. In it, we read A TON of mysteries, including one by Indridason. I haven’t read anything else by him since, but I had to snap this book up when I found it for only $2.

Did you do your own Top Ten Tuesday post today? Feel free to leave your link in the comments and I’ll check it out! Have you read any of these books? Which one should I tackle first? Let’s talk in the comments!

Weekly Update

In case you missed it, here are this week’s blog posts:

Tags this week:

I’ve been reading:

Recently acquired:

1 thing this week:

  • I went a little overboard on the book buying, but in my defense, I only ended up spending like maybe $20? That makes it okay, right?

Blog hopping:

  • Ilsa shared so many tips on requesting ARCs!
  • I loved The Orangutan Librarian’s list of happy books!

Song of the week:

I’m going way back to one of my high school obsessions, Something Corporate’s Ready… Break. This is one of my favorite songs from that album.