Month: November 2016

Book review: Every Falling Star

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 the first book to portray contemporary North Korea to a young audience, is the intense memoir of a North Korean boy named Sungju who is forced at age twelve to live on the streets and fend for himself. To survive, Sungju creates a gang and lives by thieving, fighting, begging, and stealing rides on cargo trains. Sungju richly re-creates his scabrous story, depicting what it was like for a boy alone to create a new family with his gang, his “brothers”; to be hungry and to fear arrest, imprisonment, and even execution. This riveting memoir allows young readers to learn about other cultures where freedoms they take for granted do not exist.



I know what you’re all thinking “Ryy read an auto-biography”  which i mean ya got me. I hardly ever read auto-biographies but something about this one, I was really interested in the story.

EVERY FALLING STAR written by Sungju Lee follows his time and life trying to escape (and survive) North Korea. Told through a moving backdrop of  cultural shock to a lot this book is nothing short of breath taking. Surprisingly, the violence in this novel is not as raw as I think it could have been,some of the moments were changed to protect the identity of those still alive in North Korea.What Sungju does masterfully is that he doesn’t hold any punches. His transparency from his experience to what the reader gets is equal to that of ripping yourself open and handing someone your heart.

One of the biggest themes from the book I think is the structure of privilege and freedoms. It is almost an eye opener to how much people like me have and how much we take it for granted. This book is intense and jaw clinching honest, Sungju has you at the edge of your seats clinging on to the pages hoping for a better tomorrow for him.




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When sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson dies from two gunshot wounds, his community is thrown into an uproar. Tariq was black. The shooter, Jack Franklin, is white.

In the aftermath of Tariq’s death, everyone has something to say, but no two accounts of the events line up. Day by day, new twists further obscure the truth.
Tariq’s friends, family, and community struggle to make sense of the tragedy, and to cope with the hole left behind when a life is cut short. In their own words, they grapple for a way to say with certainty: This is how it went down.



Tariq Johnson is an African American teen growing up in the a poor-working class household. The author Kekla Magoon writes him as just another teen;  She humanized him to the point that he doesn’t need to fit the narrative of the innocent black teen who didn’t do anything wrong ever. Which that’s dope, because we don’t have to be perfect for us to be seen as human.

This book is told through multiple perspectives,  which as you all know, I struggle with because I get confused easy. Everyone seems to have a perspective or the right view of what happened the night Tariq was shot. everyone seems to be an eye witness with a different eye.

One thing I found iconic with how Kekla used the different perspective was that everyone had at some point a grieving period they went through after his death. Each perspective allows for us to piece together who Tariq was. My only upset about this book is that it doesn’t seem like it actually ended, just like real cases it never ends, no one ever gets closure.

All in all i give this book four out of five stars, told through page clinching chapters an easy but carsickness read!