Author: dembooksdoee

Tyler Johnson Was Here: book review

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When Marvin Johnson’s twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid.
The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it’s up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels and mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean.
Tyler Johnson Was Here is a stunning account of police brutality in modern America.
This book is not for the faint of heart, literally. Jay Coles holds no punches and does not dilute his characters blackness for anything. Which is what I think I enjoyed the most of it all.
There were so many moments where I was recounting the times I’ve been stopped by the police, and how I could have been Tyler Johnson, there was an emotional connection to this book that didn’t let me put it down, until I finished it.
With the rise of YA novels and novels in general centering around police brutality, black lives matter, and hot topics related this stands aside as a gritty, honest take on it. It’s the titanic of YA novels, will go down as a classic.  okay tasteless, sorry.
There are a lot of things that work for this novel: the book is paced really well. Jay Coles cuts just enough of the fluff that plagues typically Young Adult novels and gets right the point and holds nothing back.
This book will get you attached to all the characters, you’ll be rooting for them. Crying with them. Shoot, you’ll feel like they’re sitting right next to you and y’all are watching the video together.
There is so much to say, but I don’t want to spoil anything so Im not yet, will make an updated version later. All in All i give this book 4 out of 5 stars1280px-4_stars.svg.png

Book Review: The Vegetarian by Han Kang

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This book was a lot to handle. I walked in knowing little about this book so when it landed at my door I had something to forward to. The book is Trigger Warning for marital Rape, Force feeding, corporal punishment, self hrm, animal cruelty, suicide attempt and so much more.

The writing is powerful, Kang does is a wordsmith and masterfully picks each word. This book is intense but at times it was a lot to handle, even still I couldn’t not put it down.

I feel like this might be the strangest novella I’ve read in a long time. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. Had this book been written by anyone else other than Kang it probbaly wouldn’t have made sense, Kang knew how to tell this story of a rollercoaster and I’m not sure I can give much about the plot without spoiling it for everyone. I believe you everyone should experience this novella!


Book review: Beast by Brie Spangler

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I was sent a copy of BEAST from Brie Spangler herself. I am forever grateful that I was able to get my hands on this book. I remember stumbling upon this book one day on one of those “Goodreads most anticipated” and I read the review and Signal boosted the mess out of this book on my then tumblr account.  I mean it read as a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, of course I would want this book. ( Confess: I’ve never seen Beauty and the beast the movie, but I love the concept.)

I knew walking into this book, that the main character was trans, but I wasn’t sure how the book was going to maneuver around that topic. Surprisingly it did it,( to my opinion and take my interpretation of the trans experience with a grain of salt cause i’m a cis blk gay person.) really well.

The main character, Jamie does deal with transphobia and transmisogyny, along with other darker elements of the story that really make you feel for Jamie, which is good. Humanizing a main character and not making their oppression seem like the only dimensional aspect of them is boring, this book is not.

The story is told through the perspective of Dylan (Beast) who ends up in a self haring program after falling off the roof and breaking his leg, he meets Jamie then things happen. We poke a lot of fun at Manic-Pixie dream girl troupes and Jamie runs a close line of being a manic-pixie herself as she exist it seems at time to be the person to help him through his own cognitive dissonance and understanding of the politics surrounding gender and sexuality. he is after all a teenage boy.

The book is both parts light-hearted and also dark, it is honest and represents people honestly. I enjoyed reading it and I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.



In response to staybookish

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Read here first

So I just saw a post by someone who made a big fluff about books being called out for their problematic content and how 2016 sucked for the book community. I mean, I guess if all the books you’ve read this year got “called-out” and were over-hyped mainstream books then it would suck for you, perhaps. (I can’t relate) The first grievance I have with their post is how they linkage “unlikeable” and “problematic” 

Is problematic the new unlikeable

What type of nonsense, now I wasn’t around when the whole unlikeable topic was making rounds on twitter but I’m sure it’s not the same as a book being problematic. (The word problematic has been Columbused) Just like POC, WOC, Queer, et al. Problematic has become a word that people use without first understanding what  exactly makes it problematic.. It really is early 2000’s tumblr  logic.

When will book bloggers realize the internet isn’t friendly? The blogger talks about the atmosphere on twitter after a book is called as this form of divide amongst the marginalized and privilege, and truly, honestly it seems like they’re trying to hyperbolize their own dystopian right on twitter. The blogger falls into that elitist viewpoint by regulating how someone should call out these  authors. Be loud but don’t be to loud cause I’m trying to sleep. Fight for what you believe in, as long as I’m comfortable on the sidelines. How come they never try to regulate how people yoresponto these book bloggers, el oh el.Whenever  I see people saying OMG so much drama I can’t take it. Often times it just be people trying to ask questions, or having discussions. However, I suppose if youre a sensitive person — no shade — these type of things might seem like hostile environments. 

Rinse and repeat.

One quote in particular that stands out to me:

we fail to do something that we, as marginalized people, have done since forever: make the best of the situation.

Now I’m genuinely confused, make the best out of a situation sounds a lot like. Hey, I know you’re upset that their was bad representation but be happy the author thought of your people in the first place. Am I not trying to make the best out of a situation by addressing the author about the problematic element in the book? These sounds a lot like sit down and shut up.

They keep talking about creating a division in the community, but how sway? The resistance seems to come from the people who are anti diversity. The ones always in Mentions defending the book instead of listening. I’m going to ignore that section of bullet points that they may have found compelling but actually contradict their whole blog post. Because you can’t tell people to be out spoken and brave but earlier say make the best out of a  situation.

Most of their post seems to place the blame on those who speak up about diversity, and how we have caused a division in the community. Which, I find cute considering — I’ve never seen someone trying to speak up about diversity call people rats, but some of their none-diverse friends have. Now getting into that tea.

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!

Book review: Stained by Abda Khan

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This will be your only Trigger warning for discussions r@pe and sexual assault.



Reading a book that involves maneuvers through the nuances of the psychological and psychical effects of rape, rape culture, is extremely tough to read. At moments it was uncomfortable, but while reading I had to remind myself that one: this story is important, and two: my discomfort comes from a place of privilege. The titled Stained instantly made me think of The Scarlet Letter. 

Stained centers Selina Hussain, a british-born Pakistani who is under-prepared for her economics test so she receives help from Zubair Qureshi, a good friend of hers and her family. One thing I noticed the author did that was really important was how she put an emphasis on Selina focusing on academia and going to college and her having little interest relationships. It shouldn’t come to much of a surprise that Zubair  is the predator who eventually rapes her. Which, to me isn’t a spoiler because like its clear in the synopsis.

The author does an amazing job with positioning us inside the perspective of a victim. A lot of times, people, assume that a survivor of rape doesn’t go through anything else. We often ignore the fact that it is a everlasting trauma that reoccurs and can be triggered by so many things. For me some of the best moments was being able to witness Selina gain courage and can autonomy of herself again.

Stained has a lot to offer readers, from a  great perspective we often don’t get experience, The writing throughout flowed really and while at points it made me uncomfortable with how raw and honest it was it still maintained a certain beauty. told in first person, Abda Khan wrote the rest of the characters in ways that made them come to life from the pages. The characters who i was suppose to hurt for I did. The ones who I was suppose to despise and hate, I did. Her characters felt more real than a lot other characters. She allowed herself to be honest when writing this book and it reflects in what she has to offer. I recommend everyone go out and get this book!