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IselaKay

IselaKay

Joined June 2019

review
IselaKay
Circe | Madeline Miller
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Edit: Spoiler ahead!!! Sorry!

Second reading! The first time I read this beautifully written retelling was in 2020. I loved it just as much this second time. I definitely identified with her character even more throughout the chapters when she was becoming a new mother now that I‘m in that season myself. I love the character, the writing, and the strong woman energy. Recommend!

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IselaKay
Hello Beautiful | Ann Napolitano
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This was a great book to help me get out of my reading slump! It had me engrossed from the very first page. It‘s about 4 sisters—one whom was written especially well because she truly frustrated me, haha—who navigate life together amongst tough decisions. They deal with love, happiness, loss, and forgiveness. Definitely recommend!

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IselaKay
Untitled | Unknown
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I haven‘t finished a book in months! So the goal is actually ambitious. New mamahood is really difficult! The most difficult thing I‘ve ever done. Also the most wonderful! But time to myself has almost ceased to exist, so 15 books it is. Fingers crossed 🤞🏽 and good luck to everyone with their reading goals.

ManyWordsLater Parenthood is hard. I hope reading can be a safe place for you to escape the stresses and fold back into yourself. 3mo
IselaKay @ManyWordsLater thank you, that means a lot! 3mo
5 likes2 comments
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IselaKay
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A quick read on personal finance tips. Some of the points were basic, but I did learn some new things. I‘m in my late 20‘s and have been a college student for the past 4 years working part time here and there and I hadn‘t really thought about money as much as I should have. But now being married and with a baby on the way—I‘m thinking about it more. Budgeting is hard! But we‘ll get better.
Recommend.

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IselaKay
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I‘ve finally finished a book after several months! Between my last year of school, graduating, moving, and my first pregnancy—time has gotten away from me.
This book was a great beginner‘s guide to making better financial decisions. It talks about budgeting, saving, investing, and “dreaming medium”—that is following your dreams while still being realistic and financially wise. Recommend!

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IselaKay
Before the Coffee Gets Cold | Toshikazu Kawaguchi
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There were some parts I didn‘t like about this book. Like how Fumiko couldn‘t find a way to get in contact with her boyfriend in this day and age was unrealistic to me. But overall, I did like the story. It was warm, sweet, creative, and well written. Recommend.

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IselaKay
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Good read! I learned a lot about Frida. She was definitely a unique person with a unique and hard life. She is someone to look to for inspiration. She was smart, brave, funny, charismatic, opinionated, kind, loud, and bold. It was fitting for #WomensHistoryMonth.
My only critique is that it is really repetitive. The same information was shared again and again in each chapter.

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IselaKay
Madeline | Ludwig Bemelmans
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I saw the 1998 movie growing up countless times. It was one of my favorites. My parents didn‘t read to us growing up and I never stumbled upon the book in elementary school so I didn‘t even know this was a book until I was a teenager!
And now I‘ve finally read it. I love the story, it brought back memories and I love the illustrations! I can‘t wait to read this to my future kids!

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IselaKay
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I‘m counting all 6 of these kids books as my first read of the year!

I‘m pregnant with my first baby! And I want him to know Spanish. I‘m not completely fluent myself, but I bought these books ahead of time so I can practice my Spanish—so that I‘m reading these fluently to him.

Some are from an awesome little company called Lil‘ Libros that create & publish Spanish/English books!

#bilingualbooks #lillibros #kidsbooks #spanish

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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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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) 1y
IselaKay @Kristin_Reads I‘m glad you enjoyed it too! ✨ And thank you, just one more and I graduate! 1y
12 likes2 comments
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IselaKay
Untitled | Unknown
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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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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.

6 likes1 stack add
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IselaKay
Piranesi | Susanna Clarke
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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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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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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)

11 likes1 stack add
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IselaKay
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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 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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“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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“[…]—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
Untitled | Unknown
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Bookstore haul 📚✨

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IselaKay
Untitled | Unknown
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Library haul 📚✨

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IselaKay
Hamnet | Maggie O'Farrell
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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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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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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 2y
12 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 age story so much!

Definitely recommend!

Bookwormjillk One of my favorites of all time. Such a great book. 2y
IselaKay @Bookwormjillk it really is! 2y
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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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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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! 2y
IselaKay @Leftcoastzen right?! My dad got it for me. I think at B&N 2y
15 likes2 comments
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IselaKay
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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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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 3y
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 3y
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
Untitled | Unknown
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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! 3y
IselaKay That‘s great! I‘m sure you‘ll enjoy it! 3y
GondorGirl Miller has an e-novella as well. You can get it on Amazon. It was just as phenomenal as the novels. 3y
IselaKay @gondorgirl I just looked it up, thank you so much for the recommendation! (edited) 3y
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