mini-reviews! THUG, Lu, and Raymie Nightingale (trying something out!)

Hiii! How’s your week been? I’ve been busy eating avocados and taking on far too many responsibilities. Also, I maaay have COMPLETELY SUBMERGED the book I was supposed to review next week into a small body of water, but we won’t talk about that as I am currently grieving and drowning my sorrows in avocados.

Anyway, I’ve decided to start trying out something new. Mini-reviews! Because I read too much. And also write too much. Jk, but honestly, I read so many books that I don’t feel like writing a 1000 word book review about, but want to write about anyway. I think this will be a learning opportunity for me because I can be long-winded, especially about books I like.

(here be dragons SPOILERS)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is a YA book about Starr, a black girl from a stereotypically “ghetto” neighborhood, and how her world changes when her childhood friend Khalid is shot by a white cop while driving her home from a party. He was unarmed.

Starr grapples with many things in this book: deciding to stand up and speak out despite worrying about the threat of retribution and what others will think. Some things I liked about this book were: that it brought attention to an important and timely subject; the way Starr’s relationship with her friends and boyfriend were handled and how at least some of them demonstrated how to be a good ally; how Starr decided to end her friendship with Hailey rather than enable her racist behavior, because I feel like this is something a lot of people have trouble with. I do feel like Starr and her whole situation (Living in a poor neighborhood, hearing gunshots every night, her father is a retired gang member, has a half-brother from an affair her father had, etc, etc) was a bit stereotypical, but I don’t live in America, so I don’t know how close to reality it is.

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo is a MG book about 11-year-old Raymie Clarke, who’s father has run away with a dental hygienist, and whose plan to bring him back depends on winning the Little Miss Florida Tire pageant.

This book feels like a real story about the inner world of a real girl. Raymie is a protagonist that you can’t help but root for, even when you don’t know if she’ll accomplish her goal or not. The plot of this book is wandering, and contemplative, and this may annoy some, but I enjoyed it. Raymie Nightingale is a story about friendship, about finding others who are going through similar things to you, and maybe even though nothing seems to be going well, it’s okay because you have each other.

Lu, by Jason Reynolds is the final book in the MG series “Track”, following a track team known as the Defenders and the stories of each of the four newbies, Ghost, Patina, Sunny and Lu.

“Lu” follows Lu, a sprinter and preteen with albinism, as he learns what it means to be responsible and have integrity (a word I didn’t really think much about the meaning of before I read this book) without letting his ego get in the way. This series talks about a lot of important issues (like drug addiction) while still being funny and heartwarming. At it’s core, the Track series is about family. The family you’re born with and the one you choose for yourself.

Have you read any of these books recently? If so, what did you think? Do you have any good avocado recipes? Should I keep doing mini-reviews?

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