The Big Reading Update 2021: Week 6

February 12, 2021 in Wrap-Ups
5 Books I Read This Week [pictured: The Black Friend - Soppy - Check, Please! 2 - The Coven - March Book One]


Hello and happy Friday! This week has been another slumpy-feeling one. And yet somehow, I still have books to discuss. Five books in fact! This includes two upcoming releases that you might be interested in hearing about. So without any further ado, let’s talk books!

 

What I Read This Week

 

The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person by Frederick Joseph

The Black Friend:
On Being A Better White Person
by Frederick Joseph

★★★★★

Buy on Bookshop.org*


Many thanks to Walker Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is an important, timely read for young adults. Especially white young adults. Of all the antiracism books I’ve read so far, The Black Friend is by far the most accessible. It’s told in a really refreshing way – through the author’s own anecdotes. Joseph shares the many ways he has experienced racism throughout his life, explaining why those incidents were racist and offering opportunities for white people like myself to educate ourselves and be better “accomplices” to people of colour everywhere. Because of this conversational nature, the content remains light even though the subject itself is heavy.

 

The Coven by Lizzie Fry

The Coven
by Lizzie Fry

★★★★

Buy on Bookshop.org*

Many thanks to Little, Brown Book Group for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Coven is set in a dark alternative present day where women all over the world are persecuted for witchcraft. Sounds familiar, right? I loved that it took the whole “history repeats itself” concept and amped up the tension.

First of all, I really enjoyed this book. It’s action packed and twisty with danger always lurking nearby. In some ways, I feel that this would make a great film. Because it does have that constant action type of plot. (And this makes a lot of sense because Fry is a screenwriter!)

There were times that it felt repetitive and the use of several racial slurs towards indigenous people was incredibly problematic. But other than that, it was great. With a diverse cast of characters and strong social justice themes, it was right up my street!

 

Soppy by Philippa Rice

Soppy
by Philippa Rice

★★★

Buy on Bookshop.org*

If you’ve been following my reading updates, you’ll know that I only bought this a few weeks back. And it was 100% a cover buy. I knew nothing about the book other than it being a cute looking graphic novel.

And it was cute. The artwork was absolutely beautiful and I loved the refined colour palette. However, I was definitely left wanting. Most of the pages don’t have any text at all and there’s not really a storyline here. Overall, I enjoyed this but I think I would have preferred a bit more of a story to it.

 

Check, Please! Book 2: Sticks & Scones by Ngozi Ukazu

Check, Please! Book 2:
Sticks & Scones
by Ngozi Ukazu

★★★★★

Buy on Bookshop.org*

Check, Please! is a comic series about a young man called Eric “Bitty” Bittle who is a gay college hockey player slash food vlogger. And if you haven’t read it yet, you really should. It’s the comfort food of graphic novels. Seriously.

So book 2 picks back up where book 1 left off. At first, it was very hockey heavy which I didn’t enjoy as much. But it does quickly get back into the relationships and romance so that wasn’t a huge issue for me. The messaging in this one is so sweet and positive. And my goodness, that ending. I was crying. So so cute.

 

March: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

March: Book One
by John Lewis et al

★★★★★

Buy on Bookshop.org*

Graphic novels are great. Fiction or non-fiction, I will devour them all. But storytelling in graphic novels can be hit or miss. The storytelling in March is phenomenal. I loved the way that it details Lewis’ life and work as a civil rights activist in such an authentic way. It was clear very early on that this was a 5 star read.

As with Soppy, I’m drawn in by refined colour palettes over vivid colour explosions. So the black and white colour scheme worked really well for me. And I suspect this was an intentional choice to symbolise race? While the art style itself wasn’t my favourite, I did still enjoy it. And again, the story carries itself really well.

 

Currently Reading


First of all, I’m currently working my way through How to Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. I’ve been reading two chapters a day since last weekend and that’s been a great strategy.

I’m also about to start the Maze Runner series by James Dashner. We watched the movie adaptation last weekend and I loved it. But I wanted to read the second book before we watch the next one. So I started that and discovered very quickly that I needed to read the first book because Thomas and Teresa can communicate telepathically? Anyway The Maze Runner is on its way so I should have started reading it by the time this post goes live. (But I am very tired so maybe I won’t…)

Haul

This would have been a reasonable week for book purchases if we hadn’t watched The Maze Runner last weekend… As it is, I bought six new books and spent a total of £19.97. (Yikes.)

  • The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure and The Kill Order by James Dashner (Paperback)
  • Warcross by Marie Lu (Kindle eBook)
  • All the Rage by Cara Hunter (Kindle eBook)

No review copies this week but I do have a library book to tell you about! I got The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colourblindness by Michelle Alexander. It’s another book that I wanted to read as part of Black History Month. And I will be getting to it as soon as I finish How to Be an Antiracist!

 

Links I Loved This Week

What have you been reading this week? Let me know in the comments.

4 Comments

  • Cristina Rosano February 25, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    Uh, March and The Black friend on being a better white person are going straight on my TBR! Also How to be an antiracist I hope to pick up next! Thank you for sharing x

    • Hayley March 5, 2021 at 1:35 pm

      Great choices Cristina! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. 🙂

  • Heather @ RandomRedheadedRamblings March 4, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    Soppy looks adorable, I’d have bought it for the cover alone!

    • Hayley March 5, 2021 at 2:00 pm

      It really is! Apparently there’s a second book about their lives as parents and that one looks just as adorable!!

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