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IselaKay

IselaKay

Joined June 2019

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IselaKay
Untitled | Unknown
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I didn‘t meet my goal for 2022, but I‘m happy with the amount I did read.

I‘m starting anew. The goal for 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣3️⃣ is ✨20✨ books!

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IselaKay
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Pickpick

I needed a wholesome comfort read after the difficult semester I just had.

“…look how far we‘ve come” ♡

I recommend the audiobook, it has beautiful music and soothing wildlife sounds.

👦🏽🦡🦊🐴

Kristin_Reads I listened to this because of your post… it‘s delightful ✨ I hope your next semester is much better. (edited) 2mo
IselaKay @Kristin_Reads I‘m glad you enjoyed it too! ✨ And thank you, just one more and I graduate! 2mo
12 likes2 comments
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IselaKay
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IselaKay
I'm Glad My Mom Died | Jennette McCurdy
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I watched Jennette on iCarly growing up and thought her character was always so fun. It astounds me how sad and difficult her life was behind the scenes. Like she just couldn‘t catch a break for so long. I‘m glad she‘s seemingly doing better now. This was such an addicting read. Such a good memoir. Definitely see for yourselves. But *warning* there is talk about eating disorders and abuse.

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IselaKay
The Giver | Lois Lowry
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I read this classic dystopian in 7th grade in 2007! I remembered so much of it, surprisingly. It was as good as I remembered it to be. It‘s frightening in its own way and so it fits this time of year.

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IselaKay
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Pickpick

I absolutely love this book. I cried reading it multiple times because the author, Julissa Arce, put into words what I felt and experienced growing up and still sometimes feel now as a Mexican American born to immigrant parents. I have never felt so seen.
She wrote this book for her people, not to appeal to “mainstream audiences.” She wrote this book for me. And I‘m glad we have voices like hers.

5 likes1 stack add
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IselaKay
Piranesi | Susanna Clarke
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this unique story. The pace at which it all begins to make sense was great and the ending left me satisfied—though I‘m still left trying to analyze the wider message if there is one. I feel like I got a lot from this story, yet, it‘s hard to explain.
Definitely see for yourself!

Great, great read.

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IselaKay
Educated: A Memoir | Tara Westover
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Pickpick

I loved this one! I‘m so happy for the author for finding her own voice! I found it relatable as I grew up in a relatively small and conservative town within a religious family. When I left home for the military, I also felt like I was a step behind others and had to become ‘Educated‘ in a lot of ways—outside a classroom. …And now, thankfully, inside one too!

Definitely recommend!

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IselaKay
Refugees | Viet Thanh Nguyen
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Mehso-so

I really wanted to like this book more than I did.

It‘s a compilation of short stories, each containing characters that are Vietnamese refugees. The stories are fairly interesting, the writing is good, but the characters just fall flat, they were extremely forgettable—at least to me.

This was ok.

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IselaKay
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Mehso-so

I started a summer job on my campus where I‘m allowed to read when I‘m not busy!

This book is good for what it is. An entertaining read. A story about 2 women who were friends as children and reconnect. The main character, Rose, is smart, obsessive, toxic, overly self-conscious, & self-absorbed—so, quite annoying. The author describes her as “willing to break boundaries” which I suppose is true. It‘s not a great book, but it kept me entertained!

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IselaKay
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Pickpick

A thought-inducing, sad, and wonderful short book. I‘ll certainly have to read it a few more times.

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IselaKay
Crying in H Mart: A Memoir | Michelle Zauner
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Such a great read! Michelle Zauner writes simply but beautifully about her complicated relationship with her tough but “lovely” mother, about her grief once she loses her, and about her Korean heritage and how she struggled to feel like it was apart of her. I teared up countless times. And it was very relatable.

Recommend!

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IselaKay
The Call of the Wild | Jack London
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I had to read this book when I was either in middle school or high school, but didn‘t really remember anything about it. My boyfriend wanted to listen to a short audiobook on our way back from a short out of state road trip, so we decided on this.

It was pretty good, I liked both the story and the author‘s writing style.

(An aside: I‘ve now visited 14 out of the 50 states)

10 likes1 stack add
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IselaKay
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Pickpick

This is a compilation of Greta‘s speeches from 2018-2020. It is repetitive because she is stating the same facts over and over—but repetition is necessary because of “inaction” like she says states. Reading this made me feel hopeful and simultaneously powerless. I hope change on a large scale happens before it‘s too late.

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IselaKay
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Pickpick

“Later, I would mourn these conceits. Not only because this version of the future was constitutionally impossible—such arbitrary and unaccountable power was, after all, the problem—but also because I was repeating myself. I was looking for stories, I should have seen a system”

A.W.‘s excellently written insights of working in Silicon Valley are alarming but like many have said, not completely surprising. I‘m glad she decided to write—great book!

7 likes1 stack add
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IselaKay
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Pickpick

“[…]—that there is an accesible force within us all. And no matter what we call it or how we classify it, no matter if it originates in something truly “divine” or in the subtle, deft manipulation of the truth, it can be a very real and very powerful force to improve our lives”

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IselaKay
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Bookstore haul 📚✨

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IselaKay
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Library haul 📚✨

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IselaKay
Hamnet | Maggie O'Farrell
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Pickpick

This is a beautifully written story about a family that deals with loss. There is a lot not known about Shakespeare and his family and that gave O‘ Farrell a lot of room for speculation and creativity.
The pace was a little slow and the chapters were long which made it hard for me to read for long periods of time—but I took my time with it and I‘m glad I did.

Recommend.

18 likes1 stack add
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IselaKay
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Pickpick

Super entertaining! I couldn‘t set it down because I just needed to know what was going to happen next.

If you‘re in the mood for something pretty light, entertaining, and mysterious—this is your book. I especially recommend the audiobook, the cast made it that much more engaging.

7 likes1 stack add
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IselaKay
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Pickpick

Great read! It grabbed my attention immediately and held onto it through to the end.

I liked all the characters and I liked the unexpected turns this book took.

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IselaKay
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Mehso-so

“Maybe it‘s better to have gotten it right and been happy for one day instead of living a lifetime of wrongs.”

I had a hard time choosing between rating this as a “pick” or as “so-so” it was somewhere in the middle, but I guess, overall, I enjoyed it enough. The dialogue felt a little silly to me and a lot of the story was too cheesy, but I like the overall message.

*Edit* I thought about it some more, it‘s a “so-so” for me

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IselaKay
The Push | Ashley Audrain
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This is definitely a page turner!

It makes you wonder about how much influence parents have over how their kids will turn out. What kind of people they‘ll be and if love and support are enough.

Some parts felt unrealistic like how no one notices Violet‘s strange behavior.

Overall, it was entertaining, quick-paced, and emotional, but not overly sentimental. I enjoyed it.

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IselaKay
Eleanor and Park | Rainbow Rowell
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Mehso-so

This was maybe slightly better than ‘so-so‘ but not super great. It‘s a teenage love story and the love described between Park & Eleanor is just that: weirdly fast moving & at times cringely intense. And then there‘s the way Eleanor is made to describe Park—she never lets us forget he‘s half Korean. It was a bit uncomfortable.

Overall, it was ok. Some parts were good.

8 likes1 stack add
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IselaKay
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✨First book of 2022✨

This was a great read about a Chinese-American family who are not just trying to survive in the Wild West, but are trying to belong in spite of how people don‘t really see them, but just stare and treat them like outsiders. Siblings Lucy and Sam later feel differently about where home is—but help each other along their journey.

Recommend.

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IselaKay
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Other than memoirs, this is the only non-fiction book I read all year and the last book I aimed to finish to reach my 2021 reading goal of 27 books. Next year I‘m aiming for 30 or more!

This was a great read about the self-domestication of certain animals including humans and how friendliness is a trait that is beneficial to our survival and our ability to thrive

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IselaKay
The Immortalists | Chloe Benjamin
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Mehso-so

The story is about 4 siblings who visit a psychic as children so they can learn the day of each of their deaths and how their lives are affected by the fortunes. It‘s a decent story, but it‘s a bit predictable and leaves you wanting more and feeling like better questions could have been asked about determinism and free will.

BarbaraBB I felt the same 13mo
11 likes1 stack add1 comment
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IselaKay
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Mehso-so

I had never read this book or any others apart of the series, I only saw the movie when I was younger. Maybe that‘s why I don‘t have the nostalgia it might take to read and fully appreciate this as an adult.

I picked it because it seemed like a good winter read and it was. The story was enjoyable enough, though I didn‘t really like the heavy handed biblical allegory or how C.S.L addressed the audience so often.
Still, I‘m glad to have read it

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IselaKay
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My most favorite read this year so far and if I had to choose my favorite book of all time it would be in the running! I loved and related to this coming of a age story so much!

Definitely recommend!

Bookwormjillk One of my favorites of all time. Such a great book. 14mo
IselaKay @Bookwormjillk it really is! 14mo
14 likes2 comments
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IselaKay
Normal People | Sally Rooney
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I saw the Hulu adaptation first, loved it. The book was great, loved it. And now I‘m off to watch the show through one more time!

I recommend both!

📖 📺

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IselaKay
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Pickpick

This was a fantastic, funny, and short read! Maud sort of reminds me of Joe from the series ‘You‘— they both justify murdering people because they‘re inconvenient or in their way somehow. But because Maud is 88 years old and hides behind her ‘elderly lady‘ status—she‘s more hilarious… but just as sinister! Still, you can‘t help but like her, she just wants her peace after all lol

Recommend!

👵🏼🔪☠️

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IselaKay
Frankenstien | Mary Shelley
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I finished this today while the weather was cold and rainy, which felt fitting for this gothic classic. The pace was a little slow, but the story was great and amazingly written. I really enjoyed it and its commentary on society‘s treatment of those who are different, pridefulness and fallibility, feeling isolated, nature, and revenge.

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IselaKay
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I really enjoyed this one, more than I expected!

It was full of wonderful prose, thoughtful exposition, interesting (and at times, annoying) characters, philosophical themes, and was a bit of a horror story as well—at least to me.

Recommend!

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IselaKay
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Pickpick

I received this edition of Alice‘s Adventures in Wonderland that has a beautiful cover and illustrations. I had never read the book, just saw the animated movie when I was little.

I‘m glad I finally read this classic with all its zany characters.

I followed along with the audio book performed by Scarlet Johansson—she was incredible with all the characters‘ voices!

Leftcoastzen Lovely edition! 1y
IselaKay @Leftcoastzen right?! My dad got it for me. I think at B&N 1y
15 likes2 comments
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IselaKay
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Pickpick

I decided to squeeze in this read before the end of the month!

Review ⬆️

5 likes1 stack add
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IselaKay
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Pickpick

Both a #Scary pick & a #HispanicHeritageMonth pick.

This book of stories is creepy, dark, has a macabre sense of humor, is erotic, and unsettling. There are ghosts, curses, supernatural occurrences, and disturbing obsessions. I like allegorical horror, but I felt like some of these lacked meaning and of the few types of books that I‘ve read that are similar, this is my least favorite. Still, the writing was good and I enjoyed it.

Recommend.

Cathythoughts Nice review! I have this one stacked already 1y
IselaKay @Cathythoughts thanks! It‘s a creepy one, perfect for this time of year. I‘d also like to read her other collection of stories, Things We Lost In The Fire, sometime soon 1y
6 likes2 comments
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IselaKay
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Mehso-so

I enjoyed reading and listening to this book, I‘d even say it was hard to put down. It was easy to listen to. But now that I‘m done, it just feels ok. The story overall was pretty good, but there‘s things that weren‘t great. Addie‘s character is a little boring and self-centered, the romance isn‘t too convincing, and it lacks more diverse and interesting characters.

Still worth a read though

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IselaKay
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I‘m excited! 📖✨🍁

#tbr

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IselaKay
Never Let Me Go | Kazuo Ishiguro
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Mehso-so

This book explores the idea of what it means to be human. It‘s not quite a dystopian, but it has similar elements in that it portrays a world where there are injustices to people like the protagonists. But the workings of this world are vague enough that we know to focus on the characters.
I didn‘t love this book, but it was enjoyable enough. The writing style, where something was pointed out first & then explained in parts was not my favorite.

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IselaKay
The Song of Achilles | Madeline Miller
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Madeline Miller‘s magnificent storytelling has blown me away once again! I could not set it down! Her prose is mesmerizing. This book had been on my list for a while and just like with Circe, I let it wait too long! Her spin on ancient and mythical characters is delightful, and she gave the mythology more heart.

Definitely recommend!

SamAnne Glad my book club picked this for next month. I‘ve been trying to get to it for a year! 1y
IselaKay That‘s great! I‘m sure you‘ll enjoy it! 1y
GondorGirl Miller has an e-novella as well. You can get it on Amazon. It was just as phenomenal as the novels. 1y
IselaKay @gondorgirl I just looked it up, thank you so much for the recommendation! (edited) 1y
16 likes1 stack add4 comments
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IselaKay
Scene from the Movie Giant | Tino Villanueva
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4️⃣

4th & final book for my Mexican American Literature class (the 5th book was canceled).

This is an epic poem divided into 5 parts about Villanueva‘s experience, as a boy, watching the movie Giant (1956) and it‘s anti-Mexican racist scene. The racism he witnessed on screen made him feel small and powerless but as he found his voice as a writer and poet he knew he was not—in finding his voice he felt certain of his place and found his power

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IselaKay
The House on Mango Street | Sandra Cisneros
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3️⃣
Finished! 3rd book for my Mexican American Literature class.

This is the 4th time I read this book & I like it more each time.

Sandra Cisneros captures the feeling of loving a culture you sometimes don‘t feel apart of or understand. Of daring to want something better and moving past the resentment of your situation—instead, replacing it with a drive to overcome and help others to do the same. Esperanza is so many young Hispanic Americans.

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IselaKay
Bless Me, Ultima | Rudolfo Anaya
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2️⃣
The second read for my Mexican American Literature class

This story takes places during WW2 & in New Mexico. The protagonist is a little boy who feels torn between his parents contrasting dreams for him, & has questions about God, sinning, forgiveness, & how to forge his own destiny. Ultima, a curandera, becomes his guide.
Some themes felt a little repetitive, but overall I can see why this is an iconic novel in the Chicano literary canon! ✨

3 likes1 stack add
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IselaKay
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1️⃣
Stories are presented from the perspective of different characters, but who are all Mexican immigrants. It touches on the racism they face, the unhospitable work environments they endure to support their families, & the act of questioning the idea that one must work tirelessly because it is part of a devine plan. The recurring unnamed narrator finds freedom in rejecting this idea. The ending has a way of bringing all the perspectives together.

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IselaKay
Untitled | Unknown
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📚

🇧‌🇴‌🇴‌🇰‌🇭‌🇦‌🇺‌🇱‌

📚

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IselaKay
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I‘m still trying to get caught up with my May reading list—the last book I have yet to finish is “The Song of Achilles,” but my for-pleasure reading is going to have to be put on pause again while I take a 5-week Mexican-American Literature course.

These are the required books, plus “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros but I‘ve already read that one. I look forward to reading these; required reading is still for-fun reading. 🤓📚

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IselaKay
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“What I do in literature is come and go from reality to fantasy, from fantasy to reality, the way life itself is.”

Amparo Dávila

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IselaKay
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This book includes 12 short stories by Mexican author Amparo Davila. Her style of writing was really interesting; each story is uncanny, ambiguous, creepy, and unsettling. They leave you with questions and goosebumps. Only a few feel like they‘re being forced into the aforementioned themes—most feel spot on, natural, and original. This work reminded me of “Her Body and Other Parties” by C.M. Machado. If you read and liked that book, read this one!

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IselaKay
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Mehso-so

I really wanted to like this book, but instead I found it a little boring and formless. It wasn‘t a bad read, it just wasn‘t what I expected. It touches on important issues relevant to both the time period and now including social class, mental health, fitting into societal and gender norms, figuring out one‘s identity, the double standards women face in sex and relationships… all important, but, ultimately, I didn‘t enjoy the story very much.

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IselaKay
Know My Name: A Memoir | Chanel Miller
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Chanel Miller writes so honestly, bravely, and powerfully about such a horrible but too often occurring experience. It was painful to read at times and hard to process but I couldn‘t set it down for too long because I wanted to know her story beyond the news articles and what she was often reduced to in them. If you can, read this book.